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Wednesday
Sep072011

A Strap In Time Saves Nine - The BlackRapid RS-7 Review

(If you can't see the Video, please click here.)

There are few accessories that you can buy for your camera kit that will benefit your photography as much as a great camera strap. If you spend any time with a camera and lens hanging around your neck, you'll know that your kit gets heavy pretty fast. The BlackRapid RS-7 solves this problem with ease.

The Blackrapid R-Straps are based around a bandolier design - the strap hangs diagonally across your chest. Where these straps get really clever is the way that the camera hangs from its Tripod mount, and slides up and down the strap on a carabina type design.

Your camera hangs at your hip, ready for action but nicely out of the way. I love the way that my Canon 350d / Rebel XT becomes so unobtrusive when using the RS-7. It's almost hidden out of the way, and you can push your camera further back to hide it completely, protecting it from prying eyes and potential hazards.

Next up is the sheer comfort that using an R-Strap brings. By transferring the weight of the camera / lens combination from your neck to your shoulder, all of a sudden you're free on that dead weight that is normally swinging around in front of you. I've found that I can shoot for longer and concentrate harder with my camera on the RS-7. This is the most comfortable strap I've ever used.

As I mention in the video, there are "mods" or accessories that you can add to your RS-7. The Brad is an extra strap that makes the RS-7 super secure, and the Joey is a little pouch that can hold extra memory cards, a battery or a small phone. You could daisy chain several Joeys together to expand the carrying ability of the R Strap, but I didn't find this necessary as I always use an over-the-shoulder type bag, the Lowepro Photorunner, or a rucksack, which has all my bits in.

One of my concerns with the R-Strap was whether you could wear it along with a shoulder bag or a rucksack, and as I show in the video, the RS-7 performs admirably with both. You could have your supplemental kit in your bag, lenses and the such, with your main camera at the ready on the ready of an RS-7. Perfect!

So there we have it. The kind folks at Blackrapid sent me the RS-7 about a month ago, and it has been on my camera ever since. The only time I take it off is when I need to use a Tripod, and then the R-Strap goes straight back on afterwards. It isn't the cheapest camera strap on the market, but the RS-7 is probably the best.

Cheers, Rob.

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