The majority of people that purchase a new camera will use the supplied camera strap or buy a cheap neck-strap that may look and feel more comfortable. I mean… how important is a camera strap anyway!! Most people would say it wasn’t important at all ….well they’re wrong. Take it from us (and we are Professional Travel Photographers) that the humble camera strap is crucial in the difference between not only how you shoot but also how your neck feels at the end of a long day. For years, we used the “comfortable” neck strap that was extremely comfortable at the beginning but by the end of the day, we were relieved to finally be able to remove it. Sure we could have had the strap over our head and sitting on one shoulder but this made it impractical when taking shots on the go.
There had to be a better way. Several years ago we started using a sling strap made by Joby (the same guys that brought you the nifty Gorillapod tripod) and we absolutely loved it. We immediately tossed all our other straps in the bin and used nothing but these, however, the problem with most sling straps on the market is that they are connected to the tripod thread at the bottom of the camera. Now, this is great until of course, you need to use a tripod and then you have to laboriously remove the strap to mount the camera on the tripod. Sure, with the Joby strap you can mount a plate to the bottom of the camera which can hold the strap and mount a Quick Release for the tripod however this can be a problem depending on the size of your Quick Release (this is the case with our Manfrotto 168 Ball Head).
And then along came Peak Design with their “Slide” strap with its very unique design. They put their heads together and came up with a very innovative way of connecting the strap to the camera that would keep the bottom of the camera free and also easy-peasy to remove if needed. They invented the “Anchor Link”. The nifty thing about the Anchor Link is that they can connect to the normal camera strap connection point (eyelets, lugs etc) or any other connection point such as an L Bracket (for use with Arca Swiss quick release systems). In the image below they are the small red & black objects with the loop. The newly upgraded *Dyneema-corded Anchors can each hold well over 90kg (200lbs.). Once the loop is fed through the eyelets (lugs) on the camera or another connection point, the small plastic dime-sized (5 cent coin for us Aussies) connection slides securely into the buckles at the end of the strap. Make sure you are pushing down on the dime-sized connector while sliding into the buckles.
*Dyneema is apparently the worlds strongest fibre
The strap is made from what seems to be very high quality “seatbelt” material which you would normally see in a vehicle. This, in our view, will make it last a very very long time. The great thing about the material, and especially its width, is that it would be very difficult to slash through by thieves doing a “slash and grab” when attempting to steal your camera. The fact that the strap is used as a sling would make it difficult anyway but this makes it even more secure in our view. The strap can be easily adjusted using either of the 2 durable aluminium quick-adjust handles. The section of strap that would cover your shoulder is smooth on one side and silicone grip on the other making it easy to flip the strap over if you want to wear just over one shoulder (not that we would ever use it like this in our travel photography). Included is also an ARCA-Swiss compatible tripod plate.
Other than Black (Classic) as seen above the strap also comes in a lighter colour (Ash).
The things we love about this strap –
- It is extremely well designed and sturdy
- The Anchor Links to connect to the camera are the best design in the market
- Makes it a cinch to use your tripod with the strap attached or easy to remove the strap without being fiddly.
- Looks great
- Brilliant for photographers who do not carry backpack type bags
- Takes the strain off the neck reducing muscle pain and headaches
Now, as much as we love this strap there are just a few negatives (sorry but there’s always got to be a downside)
- It’s not really a sling, well not like the Joby Sling. The whole strap needs to slide for the camera to be raised to the eye whereas with the Joby Sling the camera will actually slide along the strap as you raise it to your eye. Therefore you can use the Joby Strap underneath your backpack and it works fine. As a result, the Peak Design Slide is not great when using it underneath a backpack camera bag. You could use it by putting the strap on top of the backpack bag. We’ve met a photographer that uses it this way and has no problem so we guess it is up to the individual to make up their mind. So for those that walk around with a backpack camera bag all day, this is, in our opinion, not an ideal strap. Having said that, Peak Design recommends the Capture Camera Clip as being more ideal for those that carry backpack camera bags.
- The strap rides up on the side of your neck. This can be quite uncomfortable unless you are constantly wearing a shirt/top with a collar that will stop it rubbing on your neck. For a short period of time, this is not a problem but can see it being an issue over a long period.
- The stiffened area of the strap that would normally be on the shoulder in our opinion is a little too stiff. As a result, this makes putting the camera in your bag with the strap attached a little more awkward. This may become a little more pliable over time with regular use.
Below is a short 4 minute video about the strap –
To buy off the Peak Design website is USD$59.95 + Delivery or approx AUD$89.00 from a local supplier. If you like the design and style it is a great investment and possibly the only camera strap that you will ever need.
All in all, we highly recommend the Peak Design Slide camera strap and we hope this blog post will encourage you to give it a try. We definitely think you won’t regret it.
If you have any comments or questions about this product then we’d love to hear from you.