When you buy a new camera you get just about everything you need to start shooting right away. Rummaging through all the accessories that come with a new camera, you’ll find cables and a battery and some paperwork and a strap.
The only thing they don’t give you in the box is a memory card.
It would be nice if camera manufacturers supplied a memory card instead of the terrible strap they force on you.
Yes, factory camera straps are terrible and here are three reasons why you should leave it in the box and get yourself a new one.
The Strap That Came With Your Camera Is Ugly
Ok, this isn’t the most important issue you’ll encounter with your factory issued camera strap, but it is an issue.
Factory straps are essentially all the same — a black strap with a marginally effective grippy underside and the manufacturer’s name/logo plastered across the top in unmissable fashion.
Whenever I’ve had to carry a camera attached to the factory strap I felt like a walking billboard. I suppose there are instances when wearing an advertisement doesn’t pain me but, for some reason, I can’t tolerate it when it comes to carrying a camera.
And I’m not the only one who feels that way.
You can remedy this problem by picking up a cheap, simple, single color nylon strap. Or a multi-colored retro style strap. Or a classy looking leather strap.
You can certainly pay a lot for a good looking camera strap but you don’t have to. Check your local camera shop or your favorite online retailer such as B&H or Amazon for an attractive, reasonably priced camera strap.
The Strap That Came With Your Camera Isn’t Customizable
Depending on what you need from a camera strap, the one-dimensional strap included with your camera may not get the job done.
If you want a strap that’s more than a standard neck/shoulder strap, look to offerings from BlackRapid, OpTech, and Peak Design. You’ll discover straps, slings, and harnesses that can be customized and worn in a variety of ways, adapted to hold lenses and other accessories and provide multiple attachment points.
Yes, simple is good, but there are times when you need extra. There are times when you need to carry more or want to wear your camera across your body rather than around your neck. Whatever the case may be, you should happily ditch your stock camera strap.
The Strap That Came With Your Camera Isn’t Comfortable
Even if you don’t need a customizable strap or you don’t care about the branding emblazoned across the strap, I think we can all agree that stock camera straps are pretty uncomfortable.
Having a comfortable camera strap makes a difference — it can be the difference between shooting for an hour or two and shooting all day.
When it comes to stock camera straps, it’s as if they’re an afterthought. I don’t know, maybe it makes sense — camera makers aren’t camera strap makers. Their flimsy, unpadded straps are no hindrance to any of us buying their cameras.
It just means that you’re going to have to look elsewhere for a strap that doesn’t cut into your neck when you’re carrying your camera.
A simple padded strap is easy enough to find, but there are a number of options that take things a step further.
There are straps that offer neoprene padding which is not only lightweight and comfortable, it also has a bit of stretch to it so that your camera sort of moves seamlessly with you as you move.
The more fashion conscious photographer might opt for the rope-style straps that are quite popular now. These rounded straps don’t dig into your neck/shoulder and they help distribute the weight of your camera more evenly.
A camera strap can’t make you a better photographer. But a better camera strap can potentially make a photographer’s life a little easier and, more importantly, more comfortable.
In this sense, something as simple as a camera strap has a huge impact on the overall shooting experience, so I say it’s worth the time and money to invest in a really good strap and leave the one that came with your camera behind.