It is something that I, for a very long time and up until now, never managed to find an effective solution to. How to comfortably carry my DSLR whilst hiking / hillwalking and have it readily accessible for taking photos without the hassle of stopping to get it out of the rucksack. You would think this to be a fairly straightforward problem to sort out – not so. What options did I try? Well, there were only really a couple to choose from…
1.) Slung around the neck with the attached strap, dangling in front of my chest. Accessibility – 10 out of 10. Comfort – 6 out of 10. Convenience – 4 out of 10.
No doubt, the camera is readily to hand in this position. However, one always needed to keep hold of it to stop it swinging and bumping around. Having to keep hold of it meant your hand wasn’t free for anything else. With a heavy DSLR, the strap could feel quite uncomfortable after a time digging in and rubbing the back of your neck.
2.) Attached to the belt within a case. Accessibility – 6 out of 10. Comfort – 4 out of 10. Convenience – 5 out of 10.
It was better protected from the elements but it was in a case so it wasn’t immediately accessible for photos. Again, the weight of the camera pulls quite significantly on the belt if it’s not very firmly attached and this can cause a problem with comfort.
Last week, I was looking for a new strap for the new camera (Nikon D800E) and came across this.
Wow! I hear you say. “A young, pretty blonde girl to carry the camera for you. What a great idea!”
Well, unfortunately, no. She doesn’t come as an optional accessory. The product in question is called the “Strapshot” and it’s from a company called “Cotton Carrier”. They are a Canadian manufacturer of high quality camera carrying systems. Their website can be found here. The Straplock is a system which attaches to the shoulder strap of a rucksack which then allows you to slide a camera easily into a heavy-duty holster via a slot-insert which screws into the camera’s tripod socket. It’s a very secure mount with not much chance of it failing. An additional tether comes supplied with the package for when you’re using the camera so you don’t lose it over the edge of that mountain you’ve just climbed.
It’s not cheap at £60.00 but it’s a good quality piece of kit and it works! I was a little and pleasantly surprised at how un-noticeable the weight of the camera was when inserted into the Straplock. It’s position is such that it doesn’t get in the way of anything either. The camera is easy to insert and remove. Accessibility – 10 out of 10. Comfort – 9 out of 10. Convenience – 8 out of 10.
The only immediate disadvantage I can think of is that the system uses the tripod screw on the camera. However, there is an optional adaptor that can be purchased which allows you to attach a Quick-Release plate also. Other than that, it’s very effective at what it is designed for.
A solution at last? I think so.