Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap Review

Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap Review


I recently got my hands on what I think is the most incredible camera strap on the market today; the RS7 from the good folks over at Black Rapid. I’ve searched far and wide for a good camera strap and I definitely found it! In this review I’ll go over the pro’s and con’s of both the RS7 R-Strap as well as the pro’s and con’s of using the factory strap from your DSLR.

Black Rapid RS7 R-Strap Review

This strap is legit. Seriously. I could just stop there because if that statement is true, then what else do I need to say really!? But that wouldn’t make for a very good article and I know some people need proof, so allow me to elaborate.

The RS-7 is a camera strap that is designed to fit around your shoulder and across your chest (man purse/satchel style). The weight of the camera is then transfered to your shoulder instead of around your neck. It’s made of ballistic nylon and the build quality is superb, this thing is going to last a loong time for sure.

The RS-7 is also designed to be fully compatible with Black Rapid’s ‘MOD’ attachments to further customize your strap system to your specific needs.

On Using The Factory Strap

To be completely honest; I haven’t been a very big fan of camera straps. I do a lot of landscape and travel work where I use a tripod so I don’t really need a specific type of strap most of the time. And when I do use a strap for client and portrait work (at least before the RS-7) I always find myself not even utilizing it and I wind up simply hand holding the camera without the strap around my neck anyways. It’s just too uncomfortable trying to walk around with a big camera, a big lens and a flash dangling from my neck and bouncing off my stomach with every step I take. And forget about slinging the camera system and strap over your shoulder if you have a flash attached, it just doesn’t work!

The factory strap is a nice gesture from the camera manufacturer and they work fine for just slinging a camera around your shoulder for transport, but that’s pretty much where their usefulness ends. They are of course nifty because the new ones brag to the world about what type of camera you’re using so you don’t have to, but what if you aren’t in to that sort of thing? Or you don’t want anyone to know how nice your camera is?

Aside from those issues, the straps for Canon cameras (can’t speak for Nikon) take forever to put on and take off. It almost makes you want to choose once and for all whether or not you will ever use the strap.

On Using the Black Rapid RS-7

The RS-7 is a game changer when it comes to carrying around your camera. I can honestly say that it has completely changed my outlook on this sort of thing. I actually look forward to carrying my camera around now because this strap makes it so easy.

With my factory strap I could still carry my camera around on my shoulder or around my neck, but it was such a pain. With the camera around my neck the weight of the camera was always pulling down on me and it just wasn’t worth it. With the camera around a shoulder I get get to the camera relatively quick, but the camera was never really secure. I always felt that at any moment it could slide off my shoulder and fall to the ground. And when I picked it up to take a picture the camera really was fully exposed to the possibility of being dropped.

The RS-7 fixes all this nonsense. It goes around your chest and the camera simply hangs from the carabiner. When you’re ready to take a picture simply grab the camera, pull it up to the ready position and you’re ready to go. The camera travels up the strap in a quick and fluid motion while the strap stays in place the entire time.

Comfort Level

The strap is very comfortable. As comfortable as carrying a camera around your shoulder can possibly be, I would say. The weight is distributed nicely across the shoulder you hang the strap on, and the camera simply hangs at your side until it’s ready to be used.

Walking around with the camera at your side is a breeze. The camera doesn’t get in the way of your arms while walking about, yet it’s always in a ready position if a photo opp arises.

Durability/Peace of Mind

The strap is extremely well built. I’m probably a little over-protective of my cameras because I’m always cautious about dropping them, bumping into something or falling down and seeing the pieces of my camera scattered on the ground. I feel very confident with the RS-7 strap. The cameras not going anywhere. The camera can twirl around in circles when dangling from the carabiner so there will never be enough tension to start unscrewing the fastener from the camera body. The threading on the camera bodies (as well as the fastener) are steel, so the threads aren’t going to wear down or loosen over time.

The strap itself is made of ballistic nylon so I have no concern that the strap will ever wear down or break.

Keeping the Camera and Strap in Place

The Black Rapid straps feature clips on each side of the camera called bumpers. The bumpers simply clamp on to the strap and block the camera from moving up and down the strap when needed.

The bumper on the front can be used when walking from place to place when you know you won’t need immediate access to your camera. Just slide the bumper down to right in front of the camera and clamp it down to keep your camera from moving around.

The bumper on the other side of the camera keeps your should strap in place. Sometimes when shooting for an extended period of time (without putting the camera down) the strap will slowly begin to fall behind your back and dangle there. If you then went to drop the camera back at your side without the bumper, the strap would still be behind your back in an awkward position. The bumper causes the strap to travel back up your backside and right into place where it was before. Brilliant!

Noteworthy Cons

The main thing I’ve noticed is that the strap works better with longer lenses. What I mean is that with longer lenses the camera will hug your side better and move around less. With a 70-200 lens the camera sticks to your side and doesn’t hardly move at all. But with a small camera body like a 5DMII and a 50mm prime lens, the camera will spin around from time to time as you walk. Sometimes the lens will be pointing towards your back like it’s supposed to, but at other time the lens will stick straight out and be exposed to bumping up against something or getting scratched.

Another thing I noticed is that while using the Black Rapid fastener (the part that screws in to the camera body) you have to lay your camera on its side while not using it. The fastener is round and sort of sphere shaped so the camera will just tip over if you try to lay it right side up.

I use a tripod quite often, so I need a quick way to switch from using a strap to getting my camera on a tripod. Using the fastener that came with the strap was a bit combersome. I had to unscrew the fastener, then screw on my tripod plate each time. My good friend Cliff Baise then noticed that the Manfrotto Quick-Detach plates will work in place of the fastener. This means that I can carry the camera around on a strap until I’m ready to put it on a tripod, then I simply remove the camera from the strap and attach it to the tripod! I did notice later that Black Rapid has already thought of this problem, and offer a Black Rapid branded swivel that will replace the ones on the Manfrotto plates, but I don’t see a big need to pay money for something like this when the factory Manfrotto plate works in just the same way.

Sun Sniper is Black Rapids main competitor. Black Rapid came first, then Sun Sniper basically replicated their design and tried to come up with something superior. I think they failed in every aspect except one: Sun Sniper straps have a steel wire that is woven into the strap so thieves can’t come up and slice through your strap and run off. Since Sun Sniper seems to have forged Black Rapids entire product and idea, it seems fair that Black Rapid should be able to incorporate the steel wire idea!


This strap is just awesome. I have absolutely no hesitation to attach thousands and thousands of dollars worth of gear to this strap and let it dangle from my body without a care in the world. No more rubbing my neck, no more feeling like my camera is going to fall at any second, no more discomfort at all! If you’re in the market for a strap, I highly recommend getting your hands on one of these straps! Not that you’ll need it, but Black Rapid offers a 30-day return policy, so if you’re not happy for any reason you can simply return the strap for a refund.

Get your hands on a Black Rapid RS-7 from Amazon.

As always, be sure to follow me on twitter (@jamesdbrandon) if you don’t already. Always looking for interesting and fun people to follow!

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap
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James Brandon is a landscape photographer and educator residing in Dallas, Texas. Join 20,000+ photographers and get access to his free video tutorial library at his website. James also has an online store full of video courses, ebooks, presets and more. Use the coupon code "DPS25" for an exclusive discount!

Some Older Comments

  • Burton Olde August 4, 2013 02:58 pm

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap Review .

  • habitullence July 15, 2013 08:48 pm

    I tried Black Rapids, OpTechs, Sun Snipers and some others and my favourite out-of-the box was the Sun Sniper Pro 2:

    - Fantastic build quality
    - Built-in suspension makes equipment less jarring and relieves shoulder
    - Ball bearing attachment is miles better than others

    Only downside is no Brad to secure the pad on the shoulder but then you can attach this to the Sniper and you're good-to-go.

    In my opinion, Sun Sniper have done everything better than Black Rapid apart from the one thing mentioned above.

  • Glenn April 24, 2013 03:55 pm

    I have to say mine was a "QStrap" which looks almost identical except that it has a yellow "Q" where the red "R" is located on the Black Rapid strap. That being said, the shackles look identical and I am extremely concerned about the quality of the shackle and the fact that the weakest part of the whole system is the point where the spring loaded gate connects to the loop.

    There is simply not enough metal at that point and the fact that the locking collar does not cover the connection fully means that it is very vulnerable to shock such as that imposed by loading it with a 4.5Kg combination. In my case it was a Canon DSLR with battery grip, 70-200 f2.8 lens and flashgun.

    Although the manufacturers claim in their website that the shackle can hold upto 10KG, they should a static load test using a 10KG weight just hanging from the shackle and strap.

    We all know that this load is not static, but very dynamic. You could stand still all day long and nothing will happen. What really happens is that we move about. the action of walking causes the load to shift dramatically. I was walking across a field at a mountain biking event when my gear crashed to the ground.

    Having looked at the photographs of the shackle on the Black Rapid, I'm not convinced it would be any better than the one I used. I believe that the shackle should be deigned more like a climbing caribener where the locking ring fully covers the connection between the spring gate and the loop. That way the weak point, the hook would be protected as the locking ring would resist the dynamic loads.

    I'm not an engineer, just a practical guy. Would someone like to look into this and comment?

  • Gary April 24, 2013 08:01 am

    Are you sure it was a Black Rapid? there are other imitators out there now.

  • Glenn April 23, 2013 04:18 am

    I love the idea of these straps. I recently bought a similar strap. I am not too sure whether the same manufacturer, but extremely similar in design with a similar style of logo.

    The caribiner shackle that the camera is hung from also looks extremely similar to the one shown here.

    I have had a major failure with this piece of kit! £4000 worth of camera, lens and flashgun ended up on the floor with the flashgun in pieces.

    What happened? I hear you gasp.

    Quite simply, the hook on the loop of the caribiner sheared and the gate sprung open. The camera then came crashing off the caribiner as I walked along. I was furious as you can imagine.

    Upon inspection, I noticed that the thickness of the metal on the hook is only around 2.0mm and being "white metal" is quite brittle. What caused the load to shear the tip of the hook from the caribiner I can only guess at, suffice to say that I will NEVER use a strap with this type of caribiner again.

    Note how the locking ring stops where the rivet passes through the sprung loaded gate where it meets the hook. If the locking collar were to fully cover the hook and effectively bridge between the solid parts of the gate and loop, (as with climbing quality caribiners), then there wouldn't be an issue.

    So, be warned!

    A redesign is needed in my opinion.

  • Marylou August 3, 2012 04:17 pm

    An interesting and, frankly, amazing follow-up.... I sent a detailed email to Blackrapid indicating I knew it wasn't guaranteed but they needed to know of the problem. Within an hour I received an email back. They were horrified at what had happened and have asked that I send along photos of the strap attachment and also a list of what I lost so they could "help with the replacement" !!!!!!!! I'm very impressed.

    Perhaps I won't be out as much as I thought .... I'll keep you posted!

  • Neil Hargreaves August 2, 2012 03:04 am

    Sorry to hear about your camera Marylou. I wonder how many of us BlackRapid users (myself included) bothered to read the instructions for the strap. Of interest might be that you should wet the rubber disc and use the connector hook as a tool to get a tighter fit (I haven't done that) and the statement that I imagine BlackRapid will respond to you with "Similar to your other equipment, periodically Check the fastener for tightness".

  • Marylou Badeaux August 1, 2012 01:39 pm

    A HUGE warning about the Blackrapid system. I have had my RS-7 and Connect r-2 for at least 2 years and very happy with the way it works.

    That is, until a week ago. I was on a boat, sailing down the Mekong (working photo holiday), going up the stairs. The connector dis-engaged (shame on me for not constantly checking the screw-in connection), my Canon 60D with 100-400 Canon lens, power battery grip, and 32gb Sandisk Ultra Pro SD card bounced down the stairs, through the opening in the rail, into the river!!!! Only the 2nd day of the trip, thank goodness I carry a back-up camera body (older Canon model) but the lens and the images I would have taken as the trip continued are gone forever. I will be doing my best to get as much renumeration from my travel insurance as possible so I can replace the equipment but this is a HUGE lesson ......

    I've written to Blackrapid, of course knowing there is no guarantee, but to advise them and see if there is any newer product in their line which would have kept this from happening.

    WARNING: If you decide to use this strap (again, I love the concept of the strap) check your connection to the camera CONSTANTLY!!!!!!

  • T Woodbury April 20, 2012 04:29 am

    The RS-sport with the strap under the arm is a real step up. It keeps the shoulder strap from moving when you bring the camera up to your face. It's a real joy to go out and shoot for hours and not have my neck breaking under the weight of the camera and lens.

  • Harrogate Wedding Photographer Chris Turner March 23, 2012 03:26 am

    I love the strap but find it slips off and out of place far too often. I've got the RS 5 with the pouches in which is what I like the most about it. Makes it a little clunky and feels like it needs something sticky underneath it to ensure it always stays on your shoulder.

    Even with the BRAD attachment it feels loose. Bending down at a wedding the other week and the whole contraption fell off my shoulder and clunked to the ground!

  • John Hurkett March 14, 2012 07:23 pm

    Time spent in locating these components was around 35 minutes.
    I lent my strap to a friend of mine " same as the original mate " we're his exact words.
    However your missing a point here ...this product is fine - no complaints at all , but an outlay of
    £104.00 for the RS7 - a support strap - a "Joey" and a next to useless buckle guard - brings only one
    Word to mind "overpriced"

  • Neil Hargreaves March 14, 2012 12:25 pm

    Congrats on your DIY project John.

    Quick question though - how long did you spend researching the RS7 in order to copy it, locating and purchasing your components and putting it all together?

    I run my business on the basis that it has to pay me at least $50/hr, so if it took more than say, a little over an hour in total to build a copy, I'd be better off buying the original.

  • John Hurkett March 14, 2012 07:36 am

    This RS7 - is - in my opinion 60% over priced.
    Yes - it works OK BUT your being brainwashed into thinking that this item warrants the outrageous price being asked in the High Street.
    It's a camera Sling.
    I copied it for around £12.00
    The screw in attachment for the base of the camera was bought for £5.00
    The Ballistic Strapping was easy enough to find in an outdoor world shop - along with the quick release buckles.
    My effort works perfectly - I made the extra wide shoulder strap from some leather off cuts.
    Prices being asked for this RS 7 are Simply a joke.

  • Joe February 15, 2012 12:58 pm

    I had to look at this strap, I am puzzled how it got better coverage here that the SunSniper. The fact that they are much alike may be why. The one difference that should make people take a look at SunSniper is the ball bearing head that attaches the camera to the strap. The camera slides the strap, which holds its position, but the ball bearing head lets the camera shift a little either way without putting any tension. On the strap. This means that the camera does a lot less shifting, and swinging when walking with the camera at your side. No hand is required to hold the camera still when you walk. With other straps, if you stretch the arm that has the strap, the camera would shift too, but not with the SunSniper.

  • Patrick January 22, 2012 07:46 pm

    Can't offer too much more to all the positive comments about the RS-7. It's a great product and works very well for me. I've tried several other strap but my biggest complaint with them is the use of metal buckles and such which tend to scrape and rub on the camera when it's not being suspended by the strap (i.e. in the camera bag, or being put into or pulled out of it). The BR uses all plastic hardware except for the Carabiner attachment at the tripod socket. The only concern I have with the BR, or, really, any other sling strap that connects to just the tripod socket, is that there is a single point of failure. When you have hundreds or thousands of dollars in equipment hanging from that single connection it's just not a very comfortable feeling for me.. So to solve that concern I added a simple safety tether which provides an extra measure of security and peace-of-mind. A few images of my solution can be seen at:

  • Shotslot January 5, 2012 12:54 am

    I've tried Black Rapid and Sniper straps. Sniper every single time I'm afraid! Oh, and I think you might find that they've been around in Europe rather longer that Black Rapid...just sayin'...

  • Biomech December 31, 2011 01:08 pm

    I have the sun sniper strap, I bought it before I heard about BR. It's one of the best things I've bought for my cam, absolutely love it. The suspension link is really good too, I don't know if the black rapid has that?

  • Prophoto Wedding Photography Perth,WA August 14, 2011 05:30 pm

    I have just finished explaining in another comment I made under wedding photography tips Prophoto Wedding Photography about just how good the BlackRapid strap is then I came across your review and completely agree it is the best strap innovation ever. I have the two camera strap version so I always keep my D3s with the 24-70 lens then the other with my D3s & 70-200 combinations I don't know how I got by with out this camera starp prior to having it. always had then on my shoulder and pulling them up as I walked, always fearful one body was going to come off your shoulder and fall with lens attached now I never worry as it is safely attached with the blackrapid strap. Fully recommend getting one they are not cheap but worth every penny.

  • Russ July 21, 2011 09:58 am

    "With a 70-200 lens the camera sticks to your side and doesn’t hardly move at all"
    In other words, it moves around a lot.

  • Phil July 19, 2011 03:16 am

    I use the Q-strap too. The screw on latch of the carabiner came loose and when the camera got bumped, the latch gave way and my camera fell, lens first. Cap and filter took the brunt of the fall with the filter now just a conversation piece. I thought at first that it was cos it was a cheap knock-off but ever since I've read about the problems of Black Rapid owners, I guess it's really a shared design flaw. My band-aid solution is literally that, a band aid. As long as the clip doesn't come undone, it's pretty solid. It offers pretty much all of what the Black Rapid offers but has a better plate than the BR. The plate has a tripod mount and doesn't break.

    BTW even before I came up with my band aid solution, I was still using the strap, even with the risk of it coming loose. That's how much I love the strap over the ones that go around the neck. But I'm so much happier now that I've found my solution to it coming loose accidentally.

    For those with experience with both the double strap and 2 single straps, which would you recommend for someone with 2 cameras and a single strap? Do I get another single strap or do I get a double strap? I would appreciate comments from owners of any of these side sling type of camera straps.

  • Peter Guerrini July 13, 2011 01:18 am

    Love my RS-5. Never had the (Black Rapid) screw come loose. I screw it in so the washer slightly compresses. Sometimes, I moisten (e.g. spit) the washer slightly to make this easier. I believe that with most cameras, the tripod screw hole is more robust than the camera strap attachments. I sometimes wear the strap under a jacket so the camera is concealed when it's at my side. The RS-5 pockets are then a bit bulky for this. I'm going to get a second Black Rapid that has a thinner shoulder pad for my under-a-jacket use. Very slight adjustments to strap length can make major changes in stopping camera swing. Not sure why folks want to save a few bucks for a knock-off strap that's holding thousands of bucks of camera gear. Get the best! I have a quick release (non-Manfrotto) tripod plate that has a 1/4" tripod hole. Thus, I can just unscrew the Black Rapid screw and clamp my camera onto my tripod. Almost as quick as the Manfrotto plate/BlackRapid screw.

  • photoman022 July 7, 2011 10:16 am

    I bought the e-bay "Q"-strap. I wouldn't change it for the world! My neck doesn't hurt after a day of walking around with the camera hanging. To insure that the clip doesn't come undone, I've secured it with duct tape. The base plate is super secure and will handle a tripod. It's one of the best investments I've made in camera equipment!

  • Reimon Andisuwa July 6, 2011 01:49 am

    i've used Optech strap for nearly 2 years..
    then i heard about this RS7 rapid.. looks interesting even though im not buying because the price is quite expensive for a strap.

    I shoot mostly events and weddings, after my partner bought this strap (i laughed at first hearing the price again) and tried the strap personally while i'm working. I bought this strap immediately.

    the camera is somewhat 'feel' lighter, and not giving my neck any pain like my Optech.

    There are things i dont like about this strap though..
    1. i ALWAYS have to un-strap the camera from the strap (i dont do this with optech)
    2. its occupying the tripod mount. kinda hard if you have to switch from handheld to tripod regularly

    but then, since my neck is priority, i think i can live with that 2 points above :D

  • Salil S July 4, 2011 09:52 am

    i agree with the review given here. It is definitely not biased. I bought my Blackrapid Sport recently at the PMA Expo in Sydney and of all the camera gear I have bought thus far,this is the best purchase I have made. I used to use the strap which came with my Canon but as James mentioned, it dangles around your neck and with a massive lens and flash attached to it, isn't doing your neck a favour. Then I bought a Op/Tech. Worked well for a while but once again was turning out to be very inefficient and obstrusive when walking around. I would prefer just carrying the camera in my hand. I was very tempted to get the wrist strap but lucky for me, I came to the Blackrapid stand at the PMA. Test drove a few models they had and decided on the Sport model.. Now my camera with the lens sits to the side of my body, there is even weight distribution and the camera is always ready for action.
    So anyone who is still undecided on whether to buy a Black Rapid, you don't have to. Just get one.

  • Lee July 2, 2011 05:21 am

    I love my R7 strap. I have had it for about 6 month and have absolutely loved it. Although i would recommend the BRAD strap to go along with it. I didn't like how the camera would flop all over my hip, or creep up when i bent over. The BRAD strap stopped all that. I took my camera zip-lining with my R7 and it performed awesome.

  • Gary July 1, 2011 07:06 am

    I really enjoy the Blackrapid (would say that I love it, but that's been overdone). I use it on a Manfrotto quick adapter, and have never had a problem in over 2 years. I have no problem going from hand held to tripod using the quick link that Blackrapid uses. Doesn't take long at all.

  • Jack July 1, 2011 06:58 am

    I have been using the Black Rapid for at least 6 months and love it. One thing I did change was to do away with their screw in connector. If you mount a split ring to the camera body is quicker still, the tripod screw in is available and lastly the camera will now sit flat. It's a great strap and the heavier the rig the better it works.

  • George July 1, 2011 04:24 am

    I have a similar product that I have used for about 6 months and just conclude 3.5 weeks of travel using it.
    The base connection and ring seem adequate but I still coonected the camera with a secondary strap for
    additional backup.

  • Scott July 1, 2011 12:48 am

    oops in addition, using the original strap mount is not only more secure but means I can put the camera on a tripod whilst still on the strap for additional speed and security.

  • Scott July 1, 2011 12:44 am

    I made my own from bits on ebay (seat belt material, a heavy duty clunk clip , and a slider for length adjustment) I then got my lady to double stitch it all together for me.

    Then I added a small length of thin rope from a climbing store to the original mounting point (certified to held more than my weight so will be fine with the camera gear) I then hook this onto a screw lock carabiner from the same climbing store.

    All in very very close to the black rapid, but in my opinion more secure (due to screw lock) and much more personalised.


  • Neil Hargreaves June 30, 2011 05:05 pm

    oops - forgot the URL

  • Neil Hargreaves June 30, 2011 05:04 pm

    Black Rapid have the issue with the Manfrotto RC2 plates sorted with an engineered fastener which replaces the pin on the Manfrotto plate.

    All the benefits of the Black Rapid system without having to unmount your tripod plate.......

  • Michael Kaufman June 30, 2011 04:46 pm

    James Brandon:

    >Were you clipping the strap onto a factory manfrotto plate or did you use the Black Rapid connector?

    Using the Black Rapid connector.

    >Where did the system fail? Did it come unscrewed or did something break?

    Came unscrewed. I had tightened it in the morning, but it came loose anyhow. It might have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but I wasn't about to try it again.

    I recently purchased a similar strap from Op/Tech. Not nearly as high quality, but it attaches to the strap mount and cannot come loose.

  • Barbara June 29, 2011 09:19 pm

    I own the RS-W1 women's model and absolutely Love It! I use it on my D300 with battery grip and 24-70 lens...this strap is so much better than a around the neck strap...Very comfortable and a must have!!

  • Joe June 29, 2011 08:43 pm

    I totally agree with Kari above. I too noticed the ring on the Manfrotto plates are not made to use this way, i found out by tightening the plate a bit much and the D ring popped right off.

  • Kari June 29, 2011 05:33 pm

    I have a BR strap and the Manfrotto tripod plate, and I have to tell you this because it's important.


    In short, I was doing this, and I almost learned a very expensive lesson with my 50D and 70-200 very nearly meeting concrete when I let them fall to my side expecting the strap would catch them, as it always does. Fortunately, I happened to keep my hand on the camera this time.

    The Manfrotto tripod plate ring completely fatigued after only about six months of use with the BR strap. The ring does NOT go all the way through the screw pin on the plate mount--it only goes into the screw pin about a millimeter on each side. No, I'm not kidding. So it really doesn't take much weight/time/torsion at all for the ring to fatigue and completely pop out of the screw pin.

    The Black Rapid tripod plate pin/ring combo, on the other hand, has a ring that goes all the way through the screw pin--it's MUCH more sturdy.

    I actually posted a picture and wrote this on their FB page:

  • Jim Denham June 29, 2011 01:18 am

    You covered it James. I LOVE mine for family shoots and street pics! Awesome product!

  • Keren June 28, 2011 05:58 pm

    I just bought mine today. Did yours come in a white box or in the webbed bag? Cheers. It's awesome.. i am thinking of taping down the buckle so no one will get the idea.

  • Brett Cox June 28, 2011 06:51 am

    Hey James,

    Another great review. I reviewed the RS-5 a while back, but not nearly to the extent you did for the RS-7.

    I have noticed that my adjustment strap will creep over time a bit when wearing with a heavy lens.

  • Nate June 28, 2011 01:58 am

    One problem for me. I do travel photography in some sketchy places. While I didn't think the steel cable of the sun sniper was necessary, I wish black rapids didn't put the buckle in the back so a thief wouldn't even need a knife. Just unclip the buckle and away you go. I fixed this by flipping it backwards and it sort of works that way.

  • Odai June 28, 2011 01:17 am

    I personally use a my laptop bags shoulder strap on my camera. Its really comfortable, adjustable and a cheap solution that is still very reliable and sturdy. I don't have extremely heavy gear , but it carries my D7000 17-55 2.8 like a treat and you don't look like a walking add campaign either which is great. Furthermore your tripod bit is available and when you don't need the strap its quick to remove.

    Also why do Nikon and Cannon make the strap so short and uncomfortable? Its not like they are selling separately 'pro' straps. Are the actual straps any better on the pro bodies?

  • Odai June 28, 2011 01:17 am

    I personally use a my laptop bags shoulder strap on my camera. Its really comfortable, adjustable and a cheap solution that is still very reliable and sturdy. I don't have extremely heavy gear it, but it carries my D7000 17-55 2.8 like a treat and you don't look like a walking add campaign either which is great. Furthermore your tripod bit is available and when you don't need the strap its quick to remove.

    Also why do Nikon and Cannon make the strap so short and uncomfortable? Its not like they are selling separately 'pro' straps. Are the actual straps any better on the pro bodies?

  • Richard Gunther June 28, 2011 12:35 am

    I walk and hike a lot. Bought a Black Rapids Strap this spring and find it is the best product for carrying a camera on foot for long distances that I have ever used. I rarely carry a tripod so do not have the attachment issue.Makes a hike with my 70-200 a pleasure rather than a chore.

  • Brandon June 27, 2011 11:58 pm

    I use the BR double strap and absolutely love it! If you shoot with two cameras, it is simply indispensable.

    Like many other posters, I was uncomfortable using the tripod mount as the connection point to my camera. I simply used a couple larger double key rings on the strap mounts. One ring on one side of each camera. The camera hangs perfectly, feels secure, and I can use my tripod without taking the strap off.

  • Newman June 27, 2011 09:26 pm

    has anyone ever tried clipping anything on to strap mount?
    this may sound a little crude but i currently have a couple of run-of-the-mill key-rings attached to the strap mount of my SLR to which i have attached a strap similar to the Black Rapid. this way i never have the problem of anything being in the way of my tripod plate. i often have a Canon 70-200 lens attached to my camera and it seems to handle the weight just fine. i dread the day the key-rings fail.

  • Neil Hargreaves June 27, 2011 06:51 pm

    I converted to a double Black Rapid strap about a year ago after starting to suffer a bad back, neck and shoulders when shooting weddings.

    Traditional straps meant that I would have to shrug my shoulders to stop the strap from slipping off. The double system means that they cannot possibly slide off (you can separate them to use individually though).

    I shoot with 1x gripped 5Dii with a 70-200/2.8 on one side and 1x gripped 5Dii with a 35L on the other for the ceremony, switching to a 35L/85L combo for the reception. It makes for a heavy load. Since I invested in the Black Rapid straps, I have had NO pain following long weddings. [I shot two weddings back to back this weekend and one of them a 16 hour marathon and still no pain.]

    The risk of the connector unscrewing from the mount seems to be much less of a problem since BR introduced a thick rubber washer to the connector. I still check regularly during the day though!

    I can't recommend them enough.

  • Steve (oz_ollie) June 27, 2011 06:31 pm

    Just a quick question - how long is the strap? Is it designed for little people or taller people. Little people are those under 6' or 183cm ;-)

  • Morgan June 27, 2011 02:15 pm

    The strap still moves around too much result the camera moves too. So I added b grip to the mix. It works out perfect! When move around, the b grip holds the camera and when using the camera the strap secures everything.

  • James Brandon June 27, 2011 11:20 am

    Michael Kaufman - Very interesting story! A couple questions though...

    Were you clipping the strap onto a factory manfrotto plate or did you use the Black Rapid connector?

    Where did the system fail? Did it come unscrewed or did something break?

    Josh - That cute model wearing the strap is my wife, so contain yourself ;-)

  • joel June 27, 2011 08:16 am

    Iv'e had the Rs5 for a while now, i'm no pro just a guy with a toddler, so i carry my camera around a lot. did tons of web research and then found this and think it works great. it was pricier than some but i liked the design and ended up searching for, and finding it on e-bay for less than the website. if interested in something like this check it out and you'll save a couple bucks.

  • Niklas Györi June 27, 2011 03:42 am

    I have it. I love it. Best purchase i ever made so far :)

  • Martin June 27, 2011 02:51 am

    I've had the Black Rapid RS-7 for a year and absolutely love it! It carried my camera all the way through a 2-week mountain trip in Southwest China without problems - it's really durable and comfortable to wear, and I don't have to get a treatment for my neck after carrying the camera around with my tele lens all day. Buy it if you haven't already :-)

  • Geoff June 27, 2011 02:39 am

    I have been using the Black Rapid sport, with the under arm strap for better stabilisation, for about 4 months and my wife purchased the female version at the same time.
    This last week we had our biggest Horse Show of the year for 4 days taking over 2000 photos. This year both of us remarked on how much better our necks and shoulders were afterwards. Fantastic piece of kit.

  • PY June 27, 2011 12:10 am

    definitely a disturbing story !

  • Michael Kaufman June 26, 2011 11:55 pm

    Sure. I was out in Orlando Florida. I had been taking pictures for about four hours. My day had involved a but ride and then 3 different shooting locations. Some with a crowd around me. I was walking to the fourth location and I stepped of a curb, and my camera just dropped to the concrete. Somehow during the day the connector had come loose. I had put it on tightly that morning, but somehow in the hussle and bussle it had untightened.

    I had been using the BR strap for about a year with no problem, so its not like the strap is going to fail often, but once was enough for me. Even if this failure was a once in a lifetime situation, I would never have been comfortable just leaving the camera hanging at my side again. It would always have been on my mind as I was using it.

  • PY June 26, 2011 11:45 pm

    @michael kaufman :

    Could you tell us more on how it happened ?

  • LukeK June 26, 2011 11:44 pm

    I too liked the Black Rapid design, I built my own for about $20.

  • Mike Hoffman June 26, 2011 11:40 pm

    I bought the very first R-Strap, and have been a fan ever since. They've continually tweaked the design, and the new updates are excellent! I now own two, and can sling a camera over each shoulder, bandolier style, when I need to have two bodies going at one :-)

    The only minor annoyance I've had, is that with my Canon cameras and lenses, walking around with the camera at my hip will occasionally bump the auto focus switch on the lens to manual. I've gotten in the habit of sliding my thumb over the switch every time I lift the camera to ensure it is in the AF position.

    Other than that, I give the R-Strap 2 thumbs up!


  • Michael Kaufman June 26, 2011 11:38 pm

    I used to have one of these, and I thought it was the greatest strap I had ever used. Then one day my camera came loose and $4000 worth of equipment fell to the concrete. Now I only use straps that cannot come loose.

  • Joe Parenti June 26, 2011 10:07 pm

    I agre with the fact that I no longer have to worry about valuable equipment hanging off of my side. It's gotten to the point now, that I can't be with out this strap......

  • Neil Lee June 26, 2011 10:04 pm

    BTW here is the link to CarrySpeed if you are interested (yes looks like the Black Rapid :)):
    and sorry about the typos in my first message.

  • Neil Lee June 26, 2011 10:00 pm

    I looked at the Black Rapid (a friend has one) it is very neat but expensive.

    In the end of went for the Carry Speed - it has front and back bumpers like the Black Rapid, and uses the same tripod friendly connection as the Quick Rapid - the makers say the connection is strong enough to a 150lb strain - not tested and no desire too :).

    The shoulder strap is not as fancy as the Black Rapid (less pocket space) but quite comfortable. It is half the price of the Black Rapid.

    It is your call which you go for, I would just say that the strap desire (Black Rapid, Carry Speed or Quick Rapid or Sun Sniper) is very comfortable and well worth the spend. I carried my Nikon D90 with a SB 600 flash and a 18-200 mm VR II most of day with no problems. Easy to use too.

    PS Sydney siders - can find a range of Black Rapids at Foto Reisel on Kent St (price is about $A99 from memory) I wasn't paying much attention ;)

  • Chris June 26, 2011 09:24 pm

    I have the RS-5, and I love it, like anything else it has cons, but they're far outweighed by the pros.
    After using it for a couple of months I did a quick write up:

  • Chong Yuh Yih June 26, 2011 07:51 pm

    Yes, i bought mine and never used the manufacturer strap ever. Highly recommended.

  • Adrian June 26, 2011 07:13 pm

    I have two of these for easy access to two cameras at a shoot. I think the product is fantastic. I don't use mine for walking around as I prefer keeping the camera in a small inconspicuous bag and use a neoprene wrist strap on these occasions. I never use a traditional neck strap now. I bought a Sun Sniper originally but found them bulky, uncomfortable and not made as well as the Black Rapid straps.

  • Josh June 26, 2011 05:39 pm

    The strap looks cool, but I'm probably a bigger fan of the cute model wearing the strap!

  • Bruce A June 26, 2011 04:45 pm

    The Q Strap (another knock off) does the same job for a third of the price - or so they say. Mine's on order.

  • interpleb June 26, 2011 03:32 pm

    I have had the RS-7 for a few months and love it, but recently got a second DSLR and found on Ebay a "Black Quick Safe Draw Rapid Shoulder Sling Camera Strap" which does the same as the RS-7 for a third of the cost, and has a connector which allows you to put it on a tripod without removing the strap, unlike the RS-7.

  • Michael Van der Tol June 26, 2011 01:21 pm

    I bought a black rapid strap a year ago. I used it twice and found that when I walked my camera bounce around on & off my hip. When I bent down and leaned forward the camera (and strap) would come swing forward and getting in my way. I put it back in my camera bag for good.

    Now I use a traditional neck strap extended out to it's full length and place it over my shoulder and across my chest to hang on the opposite side of my body. Solid and secure. The downside is that I don't have that rapid "holster action" when I need to grab my camera. For me that is not an issue as I shoot landscapes and don't need to fire too quickly.

    Anyone wanna buy a black-rapid strap - nearly new :)

  • harley130 June 26, 2011 12:59 pm

    I have been using the Rapid Strap for over two years now and still love it. If you add the BRAD mod it will hold the strap in place on your shoulder. It is well worth the $15 it costs.

  • Carol June 26, 2011 11:50 am

    Just bought the strap and I have to say it was money well spent.

  • AJ June 26, 2011 11:33 am

    I purchased this and found it uncomfortable --- always stiff and never seemed to relax. I then tried the SUN-SNIPER and noticed a considerable difference. The Sun-Sniper was softer and curved around my neck a lot better than this one. Additionally, it folded nicely into my Think Tank. My 2 cents worth.

  • Sam June 26, 2011 10:18 am

    Just two comments:

    (1) I bought the original rapid strap and I really like the manner in which is hangs the camera; the new version I have with storage attached is cumbersome and when I put batteries, or a phone, etc. in the storage, it makes the strap slide down and ruins the balance of the strap. I stick with simple no storage solution, but LOVE the strap.

    (2) I agree with Marc above, regarding the Manfrotto RC D-rings: Location wedding, beach, Nikon D700 with Nikkor 14-24mm 2.8 attached ($2,500 camera plus battery grip, $2,000 lens that cannot attach a UV filter for protection), D-ring fails, camera dumps into sand butter-side down. Do NOT use the D-Ring.

    Shoot smart,


  • Mandeno Moments June 26, 2011 10:08 am

    With systems like the Black Rapid I always wonder if the tripod socket is designed to carry the weight of the camera and lens. I'm not certain about the physics of this, but I would have thought that having the camera bouncing and jerking would generate higher forces (on the tripod socket) than a static load would.

    A static load would occur when the camera is mounted on the tripod and tilted sideways. Also, in that position there's more shear forces than tensile forces acting on the tripod socket (tensile forces occur when your camera is hanging on the Black Rapid). It's possible that camera manufacturers did not expect tripod sockets to be subjected to tensile forces and that the sockets are not designed for these forces.

    The tripod socket's ability to withstand tensile forces probably varies with each camera, manufacturer, and class of camera.

    Equally, I have heard no reports of failure of a tripod socket (which proves nothing apart from the fact that I haven't heard such a report :)

    If you do prefer to have the camera hanging around your neck and down your front try the OpTech straps. They have a wide, stretchy neck pad that greatly reduces the force of the jerks imposed on your neck and the apparent weight of the camera.

    On mine I cut off the "quick disconnects" - webbing buckles - and replaced each one with two good quality key rings. The quick disconnects are there for a good reason, but I prefer a permanent link. One risk with quick disconnects is that a kid will open them when you're not watching.

  • Blaine Ehrhart June 26, 2011 09:51 am

    Hi, I've been reading this blog for about 3 months now, my first comment.

    I did a search on your website to see if you have ever required OP/TECH USA's products and I couldn't find anything. When I started looking for camera straps it seemed they all took up the tripod port and were relatively expensive. I was searching for some time before I ran into their product, it doesn't seem nearly as popular as the other choices and it doesn't seem new either. Which is probably why they are vastly less expensive.

    The key reason I picked it was because it does not use the tripod plate for attachment. Instead it uses the camera strap holder with a clip. This allows you to remove the camera quickly if you are attaching it to a tripod. I leave my tripod's mount adapter on my camera and it's just unbuckle, and snap into the tripod.

    One thing that is absent is the front bumper. But I don't really have problems with the camera moving beyond what you said about the small size of the lens making the camera occasionally shift as you are walking. I am not sure my problem happens as often because yours is on a spinning attachment. Not only that, but your camera is hanging upside down if it is connecting to your tripod dock. On my strap the camera hangs from the camera holder, so the bottom of the camera sits on your hip or your ass (your choice). I think this gives more room for the camera to sit better.

    I would truly recommend this product to be reviewed and tried. While it isn't one the "hippest" strap on the market. It's less expensive, and in my opinion, has the ability to be more useful as the adapters can be used with their other strap combinations by simply unbuckling it from one strap and buckling it to another. They have a strap for what seems like every type of strap you could want. and

  • Glenn June 26, 2011 09:47 am

    The switch to tripod bit would be aggravating to me. I took a quick look at the markins plates I have on my camera and larger lenses and it appears they have a 1/4 tap in them as well. Anyone try this strap using theses?

  • James Brandon June 26, 2011 09:21 am

    Thanks for the comments so far everyone, and great points about the fastener for the Manfrotto plate. I hadn't yet heard that the original ring wasn't designed to hold that much weight but it makes sense that it probably wouldn't be (since it's only real purpose is for tightening/loosening).

    I have used the strap almost daily for the past several weeks and haven't had the plate fail yet but it's probably not worth the risk to see if it ever does...

    I think I'll probably go ahead and get the fastener :-)

  • Studio79 June 26, 2011 09:14 am

    Just used mine for the first time today at a local festival and it worked like a charm. Can't believe I have waited so long to get one.

  • Marc Mason June 26, 2011 08:31 am

    Just pay the extra $10 for the RS-Sport. It will change your photographic life. Absolutely hands down the best camera strap I have ever seen or used.

  • GradyPhilpott June 26, 2011 08:25 am

    Nice review. I wholeheartedly concur. I've been using a Black Rapid strap for over two years now and all I can say is that traditional straps are obsolete.

    I can't even think of a situation where wearing a camera around the neck is more desirable than wearing it across a shoulder.

    There is a learning curve to using the strap and keeping your gear safe, but it's a common sense matter that just takes some forethought and some simple behavioral adaptations.

  • Mike Troutt June 26, 2011 08:19 am

    Love my Black Rapid Strap. I got the under arm strap that goes on the side for mine that helps lock it in place on not move around so much. That way when I am doing things I can move the camera around to my back and it will not flop around at all. Worth the 20 extra bucks. I tried about 6 or so other straps at our local camera shop and this is what I walked out with. Worth every penny and then some. My buddy is getting one for his birthday coming up. Just waiting for it to arrive.

  • John Puett June 26, 2011 07:58 am

    Nice review. I considered the Blackrapid, but I went with the Luma Loop. I liked the look of their hardware, and how they connect to the camera better (Always worried the screw would come out). I do miss the pouches on the Blackrapids, but I bought one of their addon pouches and it works pretty well on my strap. I like the extra padding on the strap, the extra curve it comes with and the fact is is made partially from leather.

    Good to see so many of these alternative camera straps showing up though. It means better products for us all.


  • James P. June 26, 2011 07:46 am

    I've had my Black Rapid RS-7 for about two months now, and I absolutely love it and consider money well spent. I am a beginner, and I shoot a T1i with kit lenses, which is a small and light setup. Still, the stock strap was terribly uncomfortable and awkward. So much so that I tended to leave the camera at home instead of bringing it along when I went on a hike or some other activity. Now I want to take my camera everywhere. That's probably the best compliment I can give the product.

  • marc June 26, 2011 07:43 am

    FYI: The fancy folding Black Rapid fastener for Manfrotto QR plates may be cheaper then sending your camera/lens in for repair after it drops to the ground because the D-ring on the Manfrotto QR pulled off the screw post. The D ring is not designed to take the weight of a camera. The ends of the D-ring don't go all that far into the screw post.

  • PY June 26, 2011 07:14 am

    Following my previous comment / question :

    There are some comments that might change your point of view !

  • PY June 26, 2011 07:01 am

    I have a question about using the Manfrotto QR plate...

    I came across some comments that the D-ring on the original manfrotto screw wasn't built to hold such a weight since the ring doesn't go completely through the screw (which is supposedly why Black Rapid sells a replacement...). Are you completely conifdent using the original screw ??

    Thanks for you reply !

  • Wenmei June 26, 2011 06:54 am

    I love my Black Rapid strap! Just wanted to make one suggestion for the other lady photographers out there: the strap you want is the RS-W1. It's just like the RS strap, but it's curved for a woman's body and is oh so comfortable. (DPS did a review of it as well.) I will never go back to an around-the-neck strap!

  • Joe June 26, 2011 06:54 am

    I've had the strap for about a year and agree with everything you said

  • PY June 26, 2011 06:49 am

    Since your model is a woman, I first thought : why didn't she go for the woman version ( then I noticed your name... hehe ! Still I think the fact that a lady's version exists is cool !

    Thanks for this review !

  • PhotoDad June 26, 2011 06:37 am

    Yup love everything about Black Rapid.

    Personally i went with the Rs-5. with all the storage built into the strap. but the rest is the same. the strap is awesome. And its truely is Brilliant