Photo from http://www.camdapter.com
I haven’t mentioned this before, but I HATE traditional camera straps. They are great for security and quick access to your camera, but I rarely just walk around with my camera hanging from my neck…too touristy for me. I usually end up wrapping the neck strap around my hand a few times which is not ideal but it gets it out of the way and provides some security. I’ve had a neck strap on my camera for a while now but I decided to take it off a few months ago. I was sick of constantly fighting with the thing. It would either bother my neck or it would get in the way when taking portrait shots. Off with the neck strap!
So how as life been without the neck strap? Well, it’s been better but now I’m constantly worrying that I’m going to drop my precious 5D. This is just another one of those situations where a solution to a problem just creates another problem…bummer. What I was really looking for was a HAND strap. I just wanted something that would provide some support (to prevent fatigue) and more safety/security than simply hand holding the camera. Luckily, I think I may have found the solution.
After doing some digging, I found camdapter.com. You can read his story on the site, but Jim Garavuso has created a product that seems to be exactly what I’m looking for. His solution consists of two things. The first is a plate that is secured to the camera by the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera body. The second piece is a hand strap that secures to one of your camera’s traditional strap loops and the other end attaches to the plate. Brilliant! Jim has pretty much thought of everything with this solution. Below is just a small list of things I like about this setup:
- You can connect the hand strap AND a neck strap if you so desire. No need to remove the plate if you really miss your neck strap.
- He makes special plates that work with Manfrotto and Arca type tripod heads
- Provided you buy the correct plate for your camera, the plate does not need to be removed to access the battery door
I’m sure there will be more to list once I’ve had some time to use the Camdapter in the field. I literally just ordered this from his site so I’ll write a followup post once I receive my new Camdapter.
I remember my grandfather telling me stories about how things used to be back in “the good old days”. One of the reoccurring themes was how businesses treated customers. (Stay with me here…I’m actually getting to something photography related.) They would go out of their way to make you happy. This makes sense to me. A happy customer is likely to tell their friends of their experiences and they will most likely return in the future. Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel like in our current day in age most companies could care less about about how you are treated or what your experience was buying their products; they are happy as long as the $ is coming in from the masses. This has been my mindset, until a few weeks ago…
Like most people hooked on photography, I have a small obsession with bags. I have more bags than I do lenses. I feel like I’m on a never ending quest to find the “perfect” bag. I’m 99% sure it doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t stop me from trying…and spending tons of $ in the process. I’m getting sidetracking again…I know. Anyway, if you have been reading my blog you know that I recently reviewed the Lowepro Primus AW backpack. I got an AMAZING deal on this bag and I really wanted it to work for me, but the camera section of the bag was less than ideal for my needs. So what did I do? I ended up taking all of the extra inserts from my other camera bags and I tried to make a “custom” setup for my gear. I figured out a design that would work for me, but the inserts that I had did not fit exactly as I had hoped (I get picky about certain things). I was pretty bummed at this point. I REALLY did not want to return the bag, but I didn’t want to keep a bag I would never use even if it was a steal. As a last resort, I decided to shoot a note to Lowepro seeing if they would be able to help me out. To my surprise, they responded the next day!
I spoke to a very friendly person at Lowepro that was eager to help me with my current situation. He asked me about the bag I was using then he asked for the dimensions and fabrics for the inserts that I needed to make my custom setup. I went back and forth with him for a couple of days while he looked for exactly what I needed. About 3-4 days later, I received an email saying that he had found what I was looking for and he wanted to ship them out to me. I asked about cost and he said why don’t you see if they work out for you. If they do, then we just ask that you cover the cost of shipping. I was blown away. Now THAT is customer service baby! I received the inserts about 3 days later and I couldn’t have been happier. My custom setup worked great!
In the end, I ended up selling the bag on craigslist.org because was just too heavy when loaded up (the bag is over 6lbs. empty) but Lowepro now has a loyal customer for life. Great products + amazing customer service is definitely a winning combination.
About a week after selling this bag I picked up the Lowepro Versapack 200 AW at my local camera store’s annual sale. This is a great camera bag that I was able to setup to fit my current needs. I couldn’t be happier! While at the store, I made a point to speak to the Lowepro reps about my experience with their customer service…they weren’t surprised by my story. I have a feeling they hear stories like mine quite frequently.
So if you’re in the market for a quality camera bag and a company that will stand behind their products and strive to make their customers happy, I’d start with Lowepro.