Save Your Camera! Use a Wrist Strap
Vampires, monsters, zombies, dropping your camera. When it comes to horror, watching your camera slip from your hands has to outrank anything conceived by Hollywood.
Big Hands, Small Cameras. What Could Go Wrong?
As cameras get smaller and lighter, they are also have become more tricky to hold. My old Minolta SLRs, even those without a built-in grip, always felt solid and secure in my hands.
Enter the Sony mirrorless cameras, especially the A6000 and A7 models. I love the small size, but I am uneasy handling them. Unlike my older Sony dSLRs, there simply isn’t enough space to clasp the camera in my right hand. With one finger over the shutter button, and two fingers clutching the body against my thumb, my little finger is left curling into nothing but air.
You get used to it after a while, but confession time: I sometimes feel nervous holding my camera, especially when I have a heavy (and expensive) lens attached.
I don’t mean to suggest that it is difficult to hold Sony mirrorless cameras. They are comfortable, and most of the time I never consider the value of the object I am carelessly waving around held only by a couple of digits.
That is the heart of the problem. When I am in the middle of a shoot, I am not thinking about the grip on my camera. Exposure, focus, and composition occupy my mind, leaving no room for thoughts of a camera disaster. Which is how accidents happen.
The risk intensifies in a crowd. You’re carrying equipment whose value exceeds that of a good used car. Jostled and jolted by bodies crowded around you, it only takes a second to lose your grip. The next thing you know, your beloved gear has had a great fall. And all the Sony Engineers and all the Alpha Repair Men can’t put your camera back together again.
A Simple Wrist Strap is the Answer
There are always neckstraps, but I don’t like having a strap permanently attached to my camera. Yet, the specter of smashed electronic gear smeared all over the ground haunts me. So, I went looking for a wrist strap.
There are plenty of wrist straps on Amazon, but I chose the WMWL Amazon Choice strap. It looks good, offers solid protection and costs less than ten dollars. What more could you ask for?
The strap attaches to the lug by the camera’s grip. Once in place, it only takes a moment to slip your hand through the loop, then you are ready to shoot.
The loop portion of this strap is made of parachute cord (paracord). Paracord is light and flexible, an excellent choice for a wrist strap. Thin leather sewn to the paracord attaches to a split ring in the side lug.
Some reviewers on Amazon have objected to the lightweight leather, suggesting it isn’t sturdy enough to secure a camera. I am not really concerned about this. I primarily use the strap as cheap insurance, and I am confident that should my cameras slip from my hand the leather would be sufficient to prevent it from crashing to the ground.
That being said, I find myself occasionally allowing the camera to dangle from my wrist. The leather has offered more than adequate support. For the most part, I still hold the camera in my hand with the strap serving as a fail-safe backup. There are times, however, when it is convenient to just let the camera dangle.
Paracord for the Win
The paracord loop is soft and nearly weightless. When I am shooting, I forget it is there. There is a cinch piece you can use to tighten the loop around your wrist. I usually don’t bother with this as just looping the paracord around my wrist feels nice and secure.
The strap comes in a variety of colors. I thought the silver-white version looked great, but Amazon said it would take a week to ship, while the black one was available for free overnight delivery. I wanted the extra protection ASAP, so I opted for black.
I may order a silver-white one for my A6000.
Will a wrist strap help you create better photos? Not directly. But a strap ensures that a moment of carelessness won’t leave your camera in pieces. And with that worry eliminated, you can concentrate on capturing the best images your mind can conceive. In that manner, a wrist strap could improve your photos.
Get it on Amazon for under Ten Dollars
You can get the strap here. As an Amazon affiliate, I will get a small commission if you buy it through my link. But even if you buy it elsewhere, buy one. Horror is fun on the silver screen, but not so much when you are staring at the corpse of a prized camera.