BlackRapid RS-7 Camera Strap [Review]

BlackRapid RS-7 Camera Strap [Review]


Recently, The lovely folk at invited us to check out their wares – deciding that the best course of action would be to have friends that are professionals in their respective photographic fields, and styles, try them and let us know what they thought!

I’d like to start of the series of reviews with the BlackRapid RS-7 – This review comes to you from JadedSnapper, a press photographer, who has a unique and amusing style as you can see below!

JadedSnapper is outside court. He is testing the BlackRapid RS-7 strap, which is a sling style strap. The camera rests behind his hip.

CameraGeek: [standing in front of JS, blocking view to the court] Hey you must be JadedSnapper, the photographer!

JS: Erm, how did you know that? You can’t see my camera from this angle

CameraGeek: I’ve been following you for months.

JS: That’s comforting. You know I’m kind of busy waiting for a villain to flick me the V-sign..

CameraGeek: I really like that strap, it’s made out of a ballistic nylon weave

JS: Sounds like marketing speak to me.  What the hell does that mean?

CameraGeek: Ballistic nylon is designed to repel shrapnel

JS: Not bullets?

CameraGeek: No! Not bullets

JS: So if you were wearing this strap and I shot you point blank it wouldn’t protect you?

CameraGeek: Nope

JS: That’s good to know

CameraGeek: Why have you put a cable tie around the clip at the back. Don’t you know that’s so you can put the Joey Pouches through??!?!!

JS: Yes well it would only take one joker to ping it and that’s my camera clattering on the floor

CameraGeek: Yeah and that’s a good one too it’s got twelve megapixels –

JS: -Does it? I’ve no idea, look I am doing something here

CameraGeek: No you’re not you’ve standing about for 2 hours and 47 minutes

JS: This is a court snatch

CameraGeek: And you know you’re not supposed to use the strap like that, it’s supposed to be on the hip, not behind it

JS: Yes well I’ve adjusted it in the hope that no one can see the camera

CameraGeek: Why would you do that? Surely the whole point is so that you can see it?

JS: That is one school of thought

CameraGeek: I think the ConnectR is really good on that

JS: And what the heck is that?

CameraGeek: The ConnectR?

JS: And why are you talking like that?

CameraGeek: [point at strap] That’s what thing’s called

JS: I thought it was a carabiner

PettyCrim starts to leave court

JS: – Look out the way

CameraGeek: Out the way of what?-

JS: -My purpose in life

CameraGeek: [pointing at PettyCrim and shouting] Hey that’s the guy you want!

JS: [picks up camera]

CameraGeek: Look how incredibly swift and intuitive that movement was!

JS: [and swings it at CameraGeek, smacks it off his head] click click

CameraGeek: Hey that feels like magnesium alloy you’ve just smacked me with!

PettyCrim: [shouting to JS] Did you get me flicking the Vs boss?

JS: Nah I missed it ‘cos of this joker [pointing at CameraGeek]

PettyCrim: Look mate can we do it again? It’ll ruin my rep if I’m not swearing in your paper

JS: Alright, but mouth ‘Pluck off’ as well to make it look authentic!

The starry bit (out of 5 stars)

Build quality: ****4 stars

The BlackRapid is not going to run ragged unlike the one you get free with the camera. The clip on the back is a bit of an oversight. Although you can use the ‘Joey’ pouches, don’t try to put anything heavier on it, like say a spare zoom lens. You’ll look like a prat. I know, I tried.

Utility: *****5 stars

This is great for accessing your 70-200mm or 300mm on a second body, much better than using the free strap which you have to unhitch before being able to fire, making this fantastic for the goal mouth lens at football. The camera feel somehow lighter over long periods of time. Very intuitive. Saves your neck!

Value: ***3 stars

It costs between £55-£65 in this here country. There’s no two ways about it, that’s a lot of cash for a strap. But then buying say the Nikon D3s branded strap is £25, and that will fall apart eventually. Sneak it through on expenses. Or claim the VAT back.

Conclusion: ****4 stars

If you regularly use two camera bodies, at photo calls or sport or whatever, you will find the BlackRapid RS-7 useful. If you don’t, then it’s a marginal improvement. This is basically a professionals’ play thing, but I wouldn’t be without it when speed is critical.

You can find out more about on their website and you can read more of Jadedsnapper’s tales on his or her blog (I was sworn to secrecy, JadedSnapper could be ANYONE!)

Review Date
Reviewed Item
BlackRapid RS-7 Camera Strap
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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Some Older Comments

  • Ron Stransky October 28, 2010 02:09 am

    do a search off this in ebay, I have used this for about a month now, works well

    NEW DESIGN black quick

  • Sime October 28, 2010 01:09 am

    Ron, I have looked through all of the comments awaiting moderation / that went to spam and you don't have another comment on the system. Post it again. -- Simon

  • Ron Stransky October 28, 2010 12:48 am

    I am wondering why my comments detailing a similar but less expensive product was not posted. Competition is a good thinkg for us consumers, no?

  • Mike October 27, 2010 12:17 am

    After reading a thread in the forum, I bought the RS-7. I LOVE it! Why didn't someone come up with this simple idea sooner?

    I do wish it had some type of stiffener that would prevent the strap from twisting so easily, when it is not being worn. I would also like the adjustment strap in the back to lock in place so that it doesn't bunch up as I am wearing it.

  • claudia October 12, 2010 01:25 am

    love, love, love my Rapid R strap, would never go back to a neck strap!! I use it with my Sony a300 while shooting live view... awesome!

  • Chris October 11, 2010 10:12 am

    I broke down and bought the RS-5 this spring and love it. No more neck pain and don't feel like a tourist with a camera hanging out just above my belly!!

    i was worried when I first tried it out that the fasteners don't look that strong but (knock on wood) I have had no problem. My heaviest load is my 40D with a 70-400mm lens attached. Did a hike last week and no pain whatsoever.

  • JadedSnapper October 8, 2010 04:13 pm

    Ahh, Ron, first PictureBoss told me I did a good job this week, and now you! It's like I'm at the Oscars. But even better than all of that - I've blagged copious amounts of cake!

  • ron henry October 8, 2010 12:19 am

    The Photo was so creative - i had to post our Blackrapids Raves.
    Ron Henry
    Blackrapid Founder

  • Rosemary Sheel October 7, 2010 10:28 am

    I have two black rapid straps and wear them bandolier style. I would hesitate to recommend them because my camera has fallen from the strap on two occasions. The first time the camera fell onto a couch cushion. This gave me the idea to jury rig a safety strap using a piece of an old op-tech neck strap. The second time the camera fell from the strap,I was in a stable in India. This time it was after I had rigged my safety strap. I felt a sudden lightening of the load I was carrying and looked down to see my camera swaying just inches above the hard cobblestone floor.

    The problem with the safety strap as I have rigged it is that it interferes with the swinging movement of the camera. However, I would not feel safe using the strap without it.

    Op-Tech has a dual camera shoulder harness type strap for about $30.00. I'm trying that on my next trip.

  • m.c.adams October 6, 2010 07:57 am

    Well, that link didn't work. Just search "Sell N Send" on Face Book. Right now they have 10 to 15% off.

  • m.c.adams October 6, 2010 07:54 am

    Black Rapid can be a bit expensive. The best place to buy that I found was Sell N Send. Like them on Face Book and you can get some pretty good discounts via coupons. When I got my DR 1, they had a coupon for something like 40% off.!/sellnsend

  • Rabi October 6, 2010 12:43 am

    I have an RS-4. I was hesitant about the price at first, but now I can't remember what I did without it. I see much more serious photographers than me with cameras thrown over their shoulders with standard straps and am amazed.

    These things are expensive, but they are a solid investment.

  • GradyPhilpott October 5, 2010 11:52 pm

    I have a BlackRapid RS-4 strap.

    All I can say is that mine is a great product. It's very well designed, keeps my camera at the ready and out of the way at the same time. Mine doesn't have any quick release buckles, so that's no problem for me. I've never had a problem shooting at any angle using. All you need is enough slack. I'm a pretty big guy at 6'2" and 220# and I have plenty of slack to work with.

    I'd never use anything else ever again.

  • JadedSnapper October 5, 2010 08:43 pm

    As M.C Adams says shooting vertically with the BlackRapid can be awkward. I've found adjusting the strap to a very long setting on every day use makes shooting uprights easy and then tightening it for goal mouth/ sports pictures is the best solution

  • Jason Yeung October 5, 2010 08:39 pm

    Hey I just looked at both the videos of the RS4 and the RS7, what are the major differences?
    The RS4 is a bit cheaper in comparison to the RS7...

    If I use a set up of a Canon 5D Mrk II with 24-105mm OR 70-200 f/2.8 ... which one would be more suitable? :P



  • Hagen October 5, 2010 08:26 am

    I've had an RS4 for 18 months now, and love it. My reason reason for getting it: no neck pull. The weight of the camera is straight down my spine. Oh and the speed and ease of deployment. Okay, 2 reasons.

    I wore it 16 hours a day for 2 weeks in Spain. A normal neck strap would kill my back in about 30 minutes with the 50D and 70-200 2.8 IS (that's a heavy tank of a lens).

    I loved the humour in the post. Thanks

  • m.c.adams October 5, 2010 07:48 am

    I have the DR-1 double strap and its the only way to carry 2 cameras. They hang toward the back side of the hip, pretty much out of the way. You can move about freely without worry of hitting the cameras together. The only problem that I have found, not really much, is taking photos with the camera vertically, but I'm sure that with more use, it can be overcome. The build quality is very high and looks to take wear pretty good. Of course, quaility doesn't come cheap, but then not all that bad. All in all, I give it 2 thumbs up.

  • Brian Hoffman October 5, 2010 07:42 am

    I bought one several months ago. I use it with a D700 and either my 14 - 24 zoom or 80 - 200 zoom (both heavy) and it works great. My neck loves it. And I love the "quick draw" feel to using it.

  • Marc October 5, 2010 06:16 am

    One thing that I realized on travel having my 7D dangling from my RS7 for days is that the FastenR-3 has an inner edge in the loop that grinds away metal from the ConnectR-2...
    Not sure how this will affect the long term durability, and if we'll be able to change the ConnectR-2 but may become a problem with intense use...

  • Andreas October 5, 2010 06:03 am

    I have the blackRapid RS-7 too and i thought alot about it when buying it because of the price, but now i wouldn't be without it! you don't even feel the weight of the camera anymore! you can go on for hours without hurting your neck! i LOVE it!

  • kirpi October 5, 2010 05:49 am

    Thank you for this article: it is something new I didn't know anything about. I'll give a though look at it, soon.