Gear Photography

Best dSLR Camera Strap: BlackRapid RS-5

The BlackRapid RS-5 is by far the best dSLR camera strap I have ever seen. Barry Anderson of Mogo media and 5DMKII shooter introduced the RS-5 to me when I was DC for the Photoshop Live event. At the time, I was lugging around my beast of a camera all morning and had the worst neck spasm from shooting video footage of the White House (yet to be edited :S).

The BlackRapid RS-5 is not only comfortable, but it redistributes the weight of your camera so that you feel no stress on your neck. The locking fastener screws directly in to your tripod socket and allows you to quickly grab and swivel your camera. It makes you feel like a photo ninja. Hiyah!

Another great feature is the handy pocket in the strap which fits your iPhone, iPod or a Flip. There is also a zippered pocket where you can store extra batterys, memory cards, biz cards, and very small snacks!

Mine just arrived today! Photowalk anyone?

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  • Reply
    Ryan Christensen
    December 9, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Awesome to hear it has your thumbs up — I was just about to order my own!

  • Reply
    Tim Goldenburg
    December 9, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    This is very intriguing. However, I’m not sure how I feel about hanging my camera at my side. I, too, suffer from the sore neck especially at several day long conventions. But I feel the camera is safer with my neck strap and that I have more control from inadvertently bumping my camera/lens into people. Perhaps, this is a false perception. I can definitely see how this would be a nicer strap for a photowalk. For the crowded environment, perhaps not so much.

  • Reply
    Hey Hey JK
    December 9, 2009 at 3:31 PM

    You’ve seriously got to stop asking if we want to go on a photowalk. Do you realize how hard it is to WANT to go but not be able to?? Arrange one in advance and I’ll try to take the train up from Portland! I love Vancouver and haven’t been in over ten years!!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Have RS-5 and Double Strap. Love them both and said goodbye to my Canon neck straps.

  • Reply
    Ryan Christensen
    December 9, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    @Tim, when using a longer strap like this so the camera is at my side (especially when moving around…) I tend to rest one hand on/near the camera/lens to avoid collisions.

    Might be too much hassle for some, but I seem to do it without even thinking about it.

  • Reply
    Tony G
    December 10, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Hey, it’s Barry. All of you guys were so nice to me in DC that night.

    OK. Now a relevant comment. That is a great strap and now you can walk all afternoon!! I am getting one after the holidays.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2009 at 2:31 AM

    Haha was this dry humor? :

  • Reply
    December 11, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    Hey Lisa,

    I have a 15inch monitor widescreen, so its just standard size. But your old/new header/head takes up the entire screen on my laptop.

    anyway regarding the slr. I bought one 1 week ago, and im loving it, defo recommend.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    Hmmm… looks interesting. Might be worth looking into a purchase in the new year. As for the photo walk, just let me know when and where. ;)

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    December 11, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    @Enatom — currently redesigning my site for my 2010 Vancouver Olympics coverage. had to revert to my old template from 2 years ago. i know it’s dated, but bear with me while i’m in the redesign process.

  • Reply
    Louise |
    December 11, 2009 at 8:17 PM

    Uhm. I’m not sure. SLR’s are pretty heavy to have it hanging on the side. I don’t think I’ll be comfortable bringing it like that. I’ll definitely feel paranoid, LOL.

  • Reply
    Tim Goldenburg
    December 12, 2009 at 6:36 AM

    @Ryan, thanks for the insight. I just finished a company holiday party shoot last night, and was consciously thinking about my current strap and this new one all night. I can definitely see how your hand/arm can protect the camera by your side. My neck was aching by the end of the night, and the camera was in the way if I wanted to eat or drink a little something. I think I’ll try this strap out.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2009 at 8:35 PM

    Totally gonna buy one…my neck still hurts from lugging the 5D2 around in London and Paris.

  • Reply
    Ryan Christensen
    December 13, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    @Tim, glad to hear! I’d definitely recommend it. I picked up an RS-4 a couple days ago and really love it so far… much more comfortable than the old/standard strap, and fast/easy access to the camera.

    The price feels a little high at first for such a simple-looking accessory, but the comfort and easy of access seems to be a fair trade-off.

  • Reply
    clarke thomas
    December 14, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    ooh, cool. I’ve been wanting to get something without the Canon name on it. Though do wonder how comfortable it will be with a big lens on it?

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    December 14, 2009 at 9:07 PM

    @clarke — i wore it with my 5DMKII and the beastly 70-200mm IS and i could hardly feel it. it was amazing. took all the weight and some how spread it out. it has a lot of padding so it was really comfortable as well!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Glad you are making changes to the site. While it’s an incredibly stunning photo of you in the header – it doesn’t scream hip photographer and all around techie. :)

    As for the strap – I’m going to have to check it out, as the odd time, I will shoot with the 300mm 2.8 without the use of a tripod, and it becomes quite heavy after a while. The 300 comes with its own strap to attach to the lens, but I’m thinking this strap might do the trick. Thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Joseph Linaschke
    December 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    I purchased the CameraSlinger double-strap some time ago, and absolutely love it. I know Black Rapid has a double-strap now as well, and I’m sure it’s equally great. But when you’re ‘slinging’ two cameras around, there’s no better choice than one of these guys. Beats having two normal camera straps falling off your shoulders any day of the week!

  • Reply
    Jay Rodriguez
    December 18, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    The Black Rapid R-Strap is the best in the market by far!
    No more neck aches, very comfortable for shooting and its a great looking product for you highly expensive/ good looking DSLR :)

  • Reply
    December 21, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    Thanks for sharing that.

  • Reply
    Bradley Groot
    December 21, 2009 at 3:20 AM

    I’ve had one of those straps for a while. I’m still a little uneasy about letting it just hang by my side without a hand on it though, it can swing back and forth a bit if you are walking briskly.

    But yes much better then a neck strap, I’ve decided those things are almost entirely useless, the problem is you just can’t reach your arms out far enough if you have the strap adjusted so it sits nicely on your chest. I’ve dropped more cameras because the strap got snagged on something then I’ve had cameras saved because I dropped it while shooting. I’d rather just put my camera in a padded bag when it’s not in use.

    There is a little clip that attaches to the screw on base plate that I don’t like on mine, they might have changed the design since I got mine, I still worry a bit I’m going to brush my hand in a particular way and send my 5d2 to its death.

    Still though nothing beats having no strap at all for freedom of movement, I like to be able to reach all the way out with my arms or hold my camera up high. the problem is that’s terrifying since I’d kinda be screwed if I ever dropped it.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Vancouver Olympics 2010? isn’t it the London Olympics 2012, and the olympics happen every 4 years. anyway.. Canada’s strange.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    Any update on the RS5? I got the RS4 but am considering the RS5 but was Wondering how useful you feel the phone/acces portion is in the real world. it looks like it adds some awkward shoulder bulk.

    BTW, a MAJOR advantage of these straps is that it makes handheld video easier. Its tough to describe, but it adds another anchor point when you extend your arms and take movies. Mine are so much more steady now.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    December 21, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    @Tim Goldenburg — it actually feels really secure and you can grip it with one of your hands if you feel like it’s too dangerous having it on your side.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2009 at 8:05 PM


    I like the cross the chest design. Can you attach it without using the tripod socket. I think that I would get tired of taking the L-bracket off of my camera all the time. I also have the lense plate on my 70-200mm and 200-400mm. Thank You

  • Reply
    Cory O'Brien
    December 26, 2009 at 1:39 AM

    I got an RS-5 when they first came out, and have been VERY happy with it. I love not having the camera strapped so closely around my neck, and the ability to go from hip to shooting with ease makes it a great alternative to tossing your camera in a bag when you’re not actively using it. The shoulder pad does move around more than I’d like when you’re using the camera, but that’s a small gripe for an otherwise great product.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2010 at 1:57 AM


    Yes Vancouver Olympics 2010. Winter Olympics take place every 4 years, staggered with the Summer Olympics. 2010 Winter = Vancouver; 2012 Summer = London.

  • Reply » Blog Archive » Two days in the life of Mashable CEO, Pete Cashmore
    May 26, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    […] the RØDE VideoMic, and a Litepanels Micro LED light. The neck strap I’m using is the BlackRapids Rs-5 (perfect for storing my iPhone and extra memory […]

  • Reply
    Jon S. White
    October 31, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    BUT, in portrait mode (with a pro cam or vertical-grip cam), the lug screw is in the way (in your fingers).

  • Reply
    Reggie Eperson
    December 21, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    Great blog!!! I would like to subscribe but I keep getting a 400 error? what the hell does that mean?

  • Reply
    No more straps for me. « Optic Bard
    December 31, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    […] 31, 2010 by opticbard Last Christmas, Lisa blogged about the Black Rapid. I was intrigued and for a long time thought I wanted a strap just like it. For some reason, […]

  • Reply
    February 27, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    I’ve been debating whether or not to get one of these. I really like the idea of it, but my main camera bag is one that I wear across my body messenger style and I worry that two straps like that would just be too much. Anyone have any experience combining this with a messenger style bag?

  • Reply
    March 21, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    The problem is you have to take the camera off of the strap to put it on a tripod.

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