Wednesday 20 May 2020

Camera Strap Review: SlideLite by Peak Design

Panasonic G7 With SlideLite Strap

If you value your camera, a good solid strap is vital when out and about with your expensive piece of kit. Not only does it need to be strong, it also needs to be comfortable and easy to use. There are a number of different types of strap available such as the wrist strap, shoulder strap and sling strap. There are more but these are the most common. Then we have the neck strap which usually comes as standard with most middle to higher end cameras. Today I will be writing about the standard neck strap and comparing it to the sling strap I ended up replacing it with.

If you weren't already aware, the bog standard neck strap is probably the worst kind of strap there is. It offers next to no length adjustments, it digs into your neck if you have a big camera attached so it can become very painful very quickly. On top of that there is almost always some company branding on it which I assume they want to act as free advertisement. Not only is advertising something you already spent a lot of money on for free with nothing in return a bad deal, it also screams HEY I'M A TOURIST! (Not really, but kind of). Sadly this can attract thieves who know which makes and models are worth a lot of money.

the box contains the strap, camera base plate, a hex key, 4 anchors and a small storage bag
Peak Design SlideLite Box Contents
I knew I wanted to wear my camera across my shoulder so I was after a sling strap that was quick and easy to adjust as well as some kind of quick release system. After spending some time searching, I came across a company called Peak Design. They offer a handful of various straps but the one which grabbed my interest was the SlideLite. This sling strap is their scaled down version of the very popular Slide but don't think that that makes it an inferior product. This strap is meant for smaller and lighter cameras such as APS-C or Micro Four Thirds cameras, whereas the Slide is aimed at those using Full Frame monsters which can be much larger and heavier.

As you can see in the photo above, it includes plenty of bits and pieces to keep most people's needs and wants covered. We have 4 small but strong quick release anchors, a tripod mount and hex tool, the strap itself and a handy little bag to keep it all in, which I promptly set aside and lost because the strap stays on my camera at all times.

tripod baseplate with attached anchor
Photo A: Tripod base plate with attached anchor
In photo A you can see how one of the anchors can be attached to the tripod base plate which in turn can be screwed onto the bottom of your camera (providing your camera supports being tripod mounted).

Tripod base plate screwed onto the camera with anchors attached
Photo B: Tripod base plate screwed onto camera
Photo B shows you the base plate mounted onto the bottom of your camera with the anchor attached. Off to the right you can just see a second anchor and this one will be attached to one of the cameras D rings (where your original neck strap would attach).

That brings me to the biggest downside to the original neck strap of all. It is attached on 2 D rings, one on either side of the camera. This means the rear of the camera sits against your chest while the business end sticks out in front like some kind of odd telephoto limb. The longer lens you have, the further it will stick out... The benefit of Peak Design's design is it allows the camera to hang by your hip facing down towards the ground so no matter how long your lens may be, it wont ever get in the way.

The downside is it isnt cheap. At £50 at the time of purchase you're sinking not  a small amount of money into something as basic as a strap but for that sum you do get a very strong and durable piece of kit.

As taken from Peak Designs website:

"Strap: seatbelt-style nylon webbing, anodized aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon adjuster hardware, Hypalon and leather accents (leather on Ash only)

Connectors: glass-reinforced nylon Links with stainless steel springs, 2-layer anti-abrasion woven thermoplastic Anchor cord, thermoplastic Anchor overmolding"

So as you can see, it is built to last.

Given the quite steep price, I unfortunately can't give it a perfect score, but it comes pretty close!

4 out of 5 slices!

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