Blackrapid RS Camera Sling System Review

A strap is one of the most important pieces of equipment a photographer can have. It’s what separates our multi-thousand dollar camera systems from our side and the ground. Just think of how painful it would be to hear your prizes camera body and high end glass hit the ground because of that stock strap you were still using from the day you purchased your camera.

This is where a secure and trustworthy camera strap comes in. Given the amount of money you spent on that fancy new body or pro lens, a minimal investment in a new strap would be a no brainer. Not only does a better strap provide safety and security of your gear, but also makes you look better as a photographer.

Recently, Blackrapid gave me the opportunity to “test-drive” some of their high end camera slings. This particular company caught my attention because of the innovative design and workability of their sling system. The ingenious way Blackrapid went about designing the RS camera sling system is very efficient compared to many other camera straps on the market today. Using the idea of a cross-body strap, Blackrapid creates security and maximum mobility while keeping the camera safe and a pesky traditional camera strap out of the way.

The RS camera sling system is by far one of the better camera strap systems I’ve used. As a concert photographer I am constantly waiting around in between sets lugging my gear around. Most of this time I’m carrying my camera around my shoulder, constantly adjusting it, preventing it from slipping off, or fighting with it so it doesn’t dig into the other side of my neck. With my discovery of the Blackrapid RS camera sling system, my troubles went away instantaneously. My camera is now safe and secure and I don’t have to worry about anything. Using the Blackrapid sling system, my camera sits perfectly at the hip and can be locked into place with the included locking sliders. Fighting with my strap and worrying about dumping my camera have been a thing of the past thanks to Blackrapid.

In addition to my ever increasing frustration with other strap systems in between sets, Blackrapid has exponentially increased the security of my camera in the photo pit. Now, you’re probably thinking,”what true photographer would ever drop his camera?” Well, until you’ve had strung out crowd surfers being wrestled down from the crowd by 300lb security personal who constantly back into you and sometimes drop people on you, I would expect you to think this. For this reason, Blackrapid now plays a huge role in the stability of my camera in the photo pit at many concerts. Of course every concert is not like the one I described above, but my point still stands.

From personal experience, I really enjoy the RS-5 cargo strap. It gives me a lot of stability as well as provide me with a good amount of storage space within the strap itself. I am able to story my cell phone, extra memory cards, money, ID’s, even an extra camera battery. For additional storage, the strap “breaks open” and allows the storage of items within the zippered inner

parts of the strap. And when you need to close it back up, that’s no problem. You don’t even have to adjust the strap. Just whip the open part of the strap towards your back, and snap. The embedded magnets secure the strap back into once piece. This same time of magnetic system is utilized on the outer pouch for cell phone storage. Personally I like Blackrapid’s choice on implementing magnets instead of flimsy Velcro. Over time Velcro will wear out, especially if you’re using this strap on a regular basis.

Many of the qualities featured on the RS-5 are mirrors on other Blackrapid slings. The build quality of these straps are phenomenal. The metal anchor that screws into the tripod mount of your camera shows that this strap will not fail you or your camera. There’s even a little rubber “locking washer” that helps secure the anchor in the bottom of your camera body, or if you use a long lens, the tripod mount attached to that.

Overall, I would highly recommend the RS-5 to photographers that like to store a few things and maybe balance out their rig with the strap on their shoulder as the RS-5 is a little bigger than a normal camera strap or sling. For a more casual and less utilitarian approach, there is the RS-7 curve which is a great choice for a casual photo shoot when storage isn’t required. Blackrapid straps just make photographer’s lives easier. There’s no hassle, and once you get your hands on a Blackrapid sling, you’ll never want to use anything else.

You can find Blackrapid straps at Adorama.


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