What are the best and the worst ways to carry your gear

May 9, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

What are the best and the worst ways to carry your gear

May 9, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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No matter if you only have a point and shoot camera or three tons of gear – you need something to carry it in, right? Chris from The Camera Store TV guides you through eleven different ways of carrying your photographic gear. From free manufacturer’s camera strap to pricey stylish bags, you’ll see all sorts of ways to carry your gear and their good and bad sides. Which one is your choice?

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Manufacturer’s camera strap

It’s free and handy, as your camera is always around. But if you carry the camera in front, it makes you kinda look like a tourist. Regardless of the aesthetics (I personally don’t care about it), the camera bounces when you walk which can be pretty annoying. When I carry my camera this way, I always lean one hand on it; otherwise, it hits me in the belly as I walk.

If your camera and lens are heavy, it can be uncomfortable to carry it this way, and it’s a pain in the neck (literally). If you have long hair, taking the camera around your neck and taking it off involves a lot of hair pulling. Chris may not mention it, but trust me.

Of course, if all this bothers you, you can casually carry it on your shoulder – but frankly, I wouldn’t do that. It calls for a theft.

Neoprene camera strap

Neoprene camera strap will give you a bit of cushion and help to carry a heavier camera be more comfortable. However, it’s a bit large, and in the summer it can be uncomfortable as you’re sweating under the cushion. According to Chris, most of these also make the camera bounce. It has quick release clips, which is handy for you – but so it is for the thieves.

BlackRapid straps

BlackRapid straps attach to the camera tripod mount. According to Chris, they’re handy to use as the camera is easy to grab from the hip. But when I imagine my camera dangling like that and hitting me in the hips, I don’t think I would prefer this solution. Also, you need to remove the strap every time you want to use a tripod, which can be a minus as well.

Cotton carriers

I’ve never used any of these, but according to Chris, cotton carries are usable, comfortable and safe. But if you care about the aesthetics, you’ll probably avoid it. Indeed, it looks kinda like you’re wearing a bra on your T-shirt. But hey, if safety and usability come before the aesthetics (and if you care about your gear, they should), I believe this could be a good solution.

Photo vests and belt systems

Vests and belt systems are modular and you can add pouches and stuff you need for the type of shoot you’re doing. They are safe and handy, but like cotton carriers – they look a bit ridiculous. The minus side of the belt system is that, depending on the amount of gear you’re carrying, can feel as if your pants are gonna fall down. I used these a couple of times and gave it up precisely because of this feeling.

Backpacks

It’s hard to imagine not having a backpack, right? Large backpacks allow you to carry a lot of heavy gear on long distances and still feel (relatively) comfortable. Depending on the type, they can make your gear more or less exposed to thieves, so pay attention. The minus side is, if you’re traveling, there’s hardly a way they’ll fit in the carry-on.

Mid-size rear access backpacks

According to the video, it seems this is Chris’ absolute favorite. He shows Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee-210 backpack, and it has lots of advantages. It fits the airline carry-on and still fits a fair amount of gear.

It’s comfortable and secure, and you can get the stuff without taking the backpack off and putting it to the ground.

Tiny backpacks

Just like their big brothers, the tiny backpacks are comfortable, safe and easy to carry. The only difference is that they carry less gear.

Slingbags

These are kinda like hybrid between the shoulder bag and the backpack. Chris likes them because of availability of the gear and because they are comfortable (unless you overload them). If you ask me, I find them very uncomfortable. The weight distribution with slingbags just feels weird for me and I don’t like them.

Shoulder bags

In Chris’ opinion, shoulder bags should disappear because they are uncomfortable and very bulky and heavy. And this is all true if you have a lot of gear to carry. But for me, this is my favorite option. I don’t carry too much gear, and I put the bag across the body, not on one shoulder. It’s not too heavy when I carry it this way, and my gear is available at any time.

Fashionable shoulder bags

The cameras are getting smaller, so the bags getting smaller too, and they can become a fashion accessory. Therefore, if you don’t carry too much gear and opt for the camera bag, you can make it stylish as well. Make sure not to carry it on one shoulder like Chris, so someone doesn’t steal your “purse.” :) Joke aside, I believe stylish camera shoulder bags attract thieves less because they don’t assume there’s photography gear inside.

Well, now we’ve gone through all sorts of ways of carrying the gear. For me, the shoulder bag is the way, or I carry the camera around my neck (and my hair in a bun). What about you? What’s your favorite and the handiest way for carrying the camera and the rest of the gear? Share it with us in the comments.

[The Best & Worst Ways To Carry Your Camera (Bags, Straps & Holsters) | TheCameraStoreTV]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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5 responses to “What are the best and the worst ways to carry your gear”

  1. Filip Kcl Avatar
    Filip Kcl

    An assitant ;)

  2. Laurent Roy Avatar
    Laurent Roy

    I use this Kata bag (which includes a rain cover): http://www.laurent-roy.com/photo/Matos/Mien/Sac_Kata_3N1-35_PL.html
    And this JJC neckstrap: http://www.laurent-roy.com/photo/Matos/Mien/Courroie_JJC_NS-T1.html
    And I’m pretty happy with them… ;-)

  3. Chris Hutcheson Avatar
    Chris Hutcheson

    I bought a canvas shoulder bag from Strand bookstore, popped a camera bag insert inside. Unobtrusive, light, cheap and works like a charm for my FUJI, with plenty of room left over.

  4. Daris Fox Avatar
    Daris Fox

    I have a SpiderHolster, and it’s key advantage is it puts the weight down on your hips and central to your body making moving easier and reduce back stress. I also have some repurposed military pouches that I use as a lens changer, food/water, misc. storage and other bits and pieces. I may also use the shoulder webbing to spread the weight (especially if I’m using 2-3 cameras) but overall this is the quickest/easiest method I’ve found for events. Main problem is your camera is exposed to knocks on your hip. I’ve also modified the shoulder webbing to do what the Cotton Carrier can do at a far cheaper cost (you can pick up MilSpec webbing dirt cheap) so all you need to buy is the second Holster to fit the shoulder strap.

    The other problem is you look like a wannabe soldier so you can get some odd looks but I tend to source black pouches or if possible.

  5. Doug Sundseth Avatar
    Doug Sundseth

    If your camera carry system is primarily a fashion accessory, your priorities are different from mine. For me, a camera is a tool and I’m no more interested in buying camera/gear support systems because of their fashion than I am in buying pink screwdrivers or hammers.

    Opinions obviously vary. 8-)

    For landscape work, I use a sling bag and a long neoprene strap, because I want to carry minimal survival gear in addition to my camera gear and I need easy access and the ability to do a bit of climbing without too much difficulty.

    For indoor work, I despise wrist/hand straps, because I tend to have a D810 and a fairly heavy lens in my hand for hours at a time, and my hands and wrists get tired. (And hand straps have much more of a sweating problem for me than neck straps.) Here I use a long neck strap as well, with the camera slung over one shoulder and hanging at my hip. In most cases, I’ll use a small shoulder bag for all the gear that isn’t with me and leave it in a secure location, since I don’t usually need to move far when shooting indoors.