(review originally published Sept 15, updated since)
Camera straps are useful if you want, for example, to shoot street photography from the hip. As a whole they do allow you to use your two hands to do something else if you need.
But with an increased amount of my time now spent creating cinemagraphs and using a tripod for timelapse, I’ve found them to get more in my way rather than being really useful. They always tend to dangle in my way.
I now think the best solution is to keep the camera in the bag when not in use, and securely attached to my wrist when I shoot through the use of a leather wrist strap.
So... After intensive research online and asking my photography friends, I eventually narrowed it down to a shortlist of premium leather camera wrist straps.
Here's a short summary of what are think are the best camera wrist straps:
1 - Tap & Dye Legacy leather camera wrist strap - Horween Chromexcel / Hand stitched (Dark Olive)
Tap and Dye is one of the best companies when it comes to camera leather goods and they offer many variations on the camera strap. I had reviewed their shoulder leather strap so I was now keen to give this premium leather wrist strap a go. I certainly am not disappointed and it has not left my Sony A7RII since I attached it.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is without any exaggeration the very best leather wrist strap you’ll ever buy for your camera. OK, it's the priciest but at under $90, it's worth it when it comes to saving your camera from destruction by fall.
It is hand-crafted, made of thick (yet incredibly supple) leather, which is the softest I’ve ever come to touch. I can’t stress enough how beautiful it feels and looks.
What I really like is the fact it will not scratch my camera as (except the loop to attach to the camera itself) it is just thread and leather. The embossed Tap & Dye logo / branding is also a very nice touch.
Finally the hand stitched leather loop lock for size adjustment means you can adjust how tight it wraps around your wrist, ensuring it’ll never drop.
A must have camera strap for mirrorless camera users including the larger A7RII which I own.
2 – Angelo Pelle
Get ready to fall in love with that one!
Have any of you heard of Angelo Pelle? Probably if you are a regular on Steve Huff's website but I have to admit I hadn’t.
With a little research and I came across this website and what a find! The site is a bit basic but this cannot be said of any products manufactured by Angelo Smaldore. Real premium stuff!
This is a beautiful leather camera strap, which will enhance the look of any camera while keeping it securely tied to your wrist. The leather is a little thinner than the Tap and Dye but doesn’t feel any less secure, plus it's also immensely soft. It’s very reminiscent of the Tap and Dye, but I really like the addition of the protective pad which slips between the camera body and the metal loop ensuring your camera will never get scratched.
Check out the website as they have lots of very special camera cases, straps and limited edition bits and pieces.
A very close call but this is my second favourite after the Tap & Dye. It's the wrist strap I choose to use on my A7RII.
3 - Hawkesmill
I had already features Hawkesmill in my Best Camera Strap Review and Mirrorless Camera Bags review and for a reason.
A fairly new kid on the block, Hawkesmill is a luxury camera bag and accessory brand that has really has made an impact. Quality all over, UK brand, lovely people, what else could you wish for?
I highly recommend these up-market straps, worth every penny.
4 – Lucky Straps
Lucky Straps is an Australian brand. Since my wife is Australian, Justin at Lucky very kindly sent me a personalised camera strap with my wife’s name. Quite a nice touch!
Now this is a beautiful, very thick and large strap. On one hand I think it’s good for someone with a larger DSLR type camera, but for me personally using a smaller mirrorless camera I found it a tad too large and a tad too rigid. But it may be just a question of tastes.
In terms of quality and overall look, I have nothing but positive feedback plus there are no scratchy metal bits to damage your camera body. It's also very affordable at £23, a bargain for such a good looking strap. The leather has a much more velvety feel and I’m sure the rigidness will decrease with use. It looks great and can be customised with your name or a loved one’s as a gift for example.
5 – Gordy
The Gordy leather camera strap, hand-made in the US, is quite popular and well known. It comes available in three lengths and three type of attachments: lug mount, string or tripod mount. This is my third favourite after Tap & Dye and Angelo Pelle. My wife prefers it for her Olympus E-M10 Mark II and I agree it's just the right size.
It comes in various leathers and a range of coloured waxed heavy-duty cord (including hot pink for those of you who like it flashy)
It's a simple camera strap, quite small and thin and does the job very well... which is to secure your camera and not get in the way of taking photos! I like the fact you can also customise it by adding a "bumper" which is a piece of leather placed between the camera and the attachment ring.
The wrist strap is still comfortable after an entire day walking around and I'd say probably the best sized strap. Not too big, not too small. The most straight forward choice if you are not looking for the most fancy strap and you can't really go wrong for $20!
6 – Cub & Company - The Russet Wrist Strap
The Cub & Co is probably one of the prettiest leather camera straps out there. It's 100% hand-made, hand-stitched and a variety of leathers are available. It costs $65.
I did notice though that as pretty as it is, it's a bit long. It's not a biggie, and some people may prefer that but the fact it's the longest of this bunch is something to be aware of.
I also hope with time that the edges of the leather will soften and get more comfortable as the first impression is it's a bit rough.
7 – Born & Bred
Born & Bred are a UK based company and it's good to see another! Seems when it comes to leather camera straps and leather wrists straps that the US have most of the manufacturers.
This is a solid leather camera wrist strap... actually so solid it comes with a lifetime warranty! Makes the £35 a pretty solid investment.
Of all the reviewed here I'd say it's the one I'd recommend for the medium to larger cameras although on their website they say small to medium. I wouldn't advise smaller camera users to opt for it personally.
This English made camera strap does have quite a bit of metal (it's something that I've grown to be wary of as I've had cameras scratched before) however it has no sharp edges so it would not be an issue here I think.
Voila! I hope this short review will help you decide on one, personally my favourites are Tap & Dye and the Angelo Pelle followed by the Hawkesmill and the Gordy.
Prefer leather shoulder/neck straps? Read my other review of the Best Leather Camera Straps!