Many wedding and event photographers who shoot two cameras to avoid the lost time/opportunities while switching lenses already know about camera harnesses.
- These are essentially two camera straps so you can carry two cameras and switch between them quickly,
- but these are designed to remove some of the drawbacks of actually using two camera straps.
I’ve been researching these lately due to my increased need to carry two cameras this way.
- At slower events, I had been using a sling and a Peak Design Pro Pad to carry a 2nd camera on my belt, but this design is not useful if you need to move faster.
- Using two sling straps is doable for short events, but drains your energy in the long run trying to manage the overlap.
- and a sling backpack (or any other bag) is not a viable option
- as it also slow and eats up time/opportunities (I have one and it doesn’t help)
- and you don’t want to be wearing a backpack or carrying around a camera bag around an event.
I’ve seen many camera harnesses come and go over the years. Many posts mention harnesses that are no longer available (like CameraSlingers). Here is what I am considering (and is available) at the moment.
There are a number of harnesses that don’t meet my needs (but might meet yours). Many limit flexibility to use the camera off the harness. These include proprietary connectors that are difficult to remove from the tripod socket (so you can’t quick connect to ARCA plates) or are not compatible with the Peak Design ARCA plates that I like to use with sling straps.
I also (mostly) don’t need to carry heavy cameras and lenses any more, so large padding that gets sweaty and draws attention is not wanted.
And many are just awful to look at. 😦
Some of my eliminated models include:
- Cowboy Studio Double Shoulder Strap
- OP-TECH USA Double Sling and Dual Harness
- Pretty much every cheap neoprene and Black Rapid knock-off harness on eBay and Amazon
- I also eliminated double waist holders like the one by Spiderholster
That pretty much narrows it down to two manufacturers: Black Rapid and Hold Fast.
Black Rapid ($100-135)
Black Rapid is probably the most well known of the harness manufacturers. Their clips work fine with the Pro Drive Screws in the (old) Peak Design ARCA plates. They are work horses and would probably work fine, but the Double and Double Slim
- Are probably heftier than I would like (I don’t want to look like I’m ready for a warzone),
and the Yeti:
- Will put too much weight on one shoulder
- Doesn’t reverse well (I like to pull my primary camera from the left hip with my right hand). I know from experience with my BR Curve and BR Sport Slim that the extra strap material is bunched up in the “back” which becomes the front if you switch shoulders.
- (This also isn’t going to work great if you carry two heavy cameras.)
Hold Fast (Money Maker $215+, Camera Swagg $145)
Hold Fast has quickly gained a following in the camera community. Unlike other straps that are black and look like they were born from SWAT gear, Hold Fast makes most of their gear from quality leather which makes you look amazing when you use your gear. Plus, they come in different types of leather and colors to (hopefully) suit your tastes.
(I’ve also seen variations of the design on etsy that aren’t much cheaper.)
Unfortunately, I neither make my living on photography nor use a two camera setup often enough to easily warrant the gorgeous $215+ leather models (make sure you get the right size for your height), but the new (and cheaper) Camera Swagg models made from synthetic materials is very attractive.
Unfortunately, (unlike leather) only the black synthetic color goes with everything (vs copper, navy and bright red), but it stands out more than I like. As a family photographer, A) I don’t always get to know that I’m shooting an event until we arrive or B) an event is after work so I’m not always dressed to hide camera straps.
What I need is suburban camo – maybe something khaki with a little navy blue and black. Kinda like a sweater pattern. Or maybe covered in Jedi chanting “these are not the suspenders holding large cameras that you are looking at.” 🙂
I’m a bit annoyed that there are so few reviews of the Camera Swagg strap. I’m doubly annoyed that they are rarely seen on eBay. 😦 If I ever get my hands on one, I will definitely give you my impressions, but based on what I have read about the Money Maker harness, the Camera Swagg should be fantastic.
Too bad they don’t have a double camera harness. I own 3 of their straps (along with 3 Black Rapids), and I’d love to see what Peak Design would come up with.