I hate wearing camera straps. Especially the ones that come with the camera and are designed to go around your neck. They are never comfortable, never practical (the camera bumping and jumping around your mid-section as you walk), and slip easily off your shoulder if you try to sling the strap over just one arm. “I hates them precious” (using my best Golem voice).
But I use them. Or at least variants of them. Because as much as I hate using them, I hate the idea of a camera slipping out of my hand and onto the concrete even more. My ‘best’ solution with most of the camera straps is to not carry it around my neck, but twist the strap around my wrist a few times and hold the camera one-handed. Then if the camera does slip from my grasp, hopefully the weight from it dropping will apply enough force to tighten the strap wrapped around my wrist so that it stops falling? Good in theory at least. Fortunately, I haven’t had to put it into practice. The only time I’ve ever dropped a camera, I went with it as well and we both ended up in the river L
I’ve tried to find better solutions – usually gravitating towards the anti-slip varieties that I can sling over my shoulder. Yet I don’t really trust them 100% and usually end up just wrapping it around my wrist again anyway.
Then there’s the newly developed ‘gunslinger’, shoot-from-the-hip style camera slings that are all the rage at the moment. If you’ve got one of those and it’s working for you – great! They are a good idea, especially if you are carrying a really big DSLR rig and a lot of weight. But for me – well, to be honest they look a bit too ‘pretentious’ – a bit too ‘look at me I’m a hot-shot (rootin’ tootin’ gunslingin’) photographer for my liking. I think I’d just feel a bit silly using one. And conspicuous. And pretentious…. But that’s just me.
When I moved to the Olympus micro four thirds system, which is smaller and lighter than the DSLR kit I was used to, I decided it was also time to have another look at strap options. I stumbled, somehow (probably a Google search) across the Peak Design Cuff System, and I knew all my prayers were answered.
The Peak Design modular strap system is ingenious. It’s based around Anchors that connect to your camera, and then click firmly into a strap of your choice. Got a small camera – then choose the wrist strap that I now use (and love). Got a bigger DLSR – choose their version of the sling style harness strap. Or have both. That’s the great thing about a modular system. It’s, umm, modular.
The wrist (called the Cuff) strap design is extra clever in that, when not attached to the camera anchor, can double as a bracelet for quick access if you put the camera away for a while (if, say, you’re traveling for ten minutes to your next destination). The strap is made of a very soft (yet very strong) nylon material, and the anchor points themselves are virtually indestructible! They lock into place with a very audible ‘click’, and have to be pushed reasonably firmly down and back to release. There really is no likelihood of them coming apart on their own.
This level of security, however, also happens to be my only slight criticism with the system (and I really am being picky here). I have found that with gloves on, or if my hands are particularly cold, then it can be quite difficult actually pushing the button in and back to release it from the strap. If you wear gloves a lot, or work in very cold conditions, this ‘may’ be an issue. But for 90% of the time, it works like a charm.
For me, the Peak Design Cuff Strap is the perfect solution for carrying my OM-D E-M5 Mk2. I couldn’t be happier and would highly recommend it to all who are looking for an alternative carrying solution for their mirrorless system.
4.5 out of 5 Stars.