Watching Over

by Vian Esterhuizen

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Why is it that the neck strap of an SLR is attached to the top of the body?

In my opinion it would be better if the neck strap would be attached to the bottom of the camera body. This would have the main benefit that when the camera is carried around the neck, the camera would hang with the lens facing downward (to the ground), rather then facing forward and thus "sticking out".

I know there are aftermarket neck straps that attach to the tripod-screw at the bottom of the camera which makes the camera hang down. Although this is a pretty nice solution it has the disadvantages of only being connected to 1 single point of the camera (thus less good for balance), and the fact that you can't keep the tripod plate attached to the camera all the time.

Is there any good reason why camera manufacturers don't just put 2 (additional) neck strap attachment points to the bottom of the camera?

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Great question. I was wondering the same, It also has the advantage of not having the strap obstruct camera controls or the eyelet dig into the side of your hand as it happens on a number of models. –  Itai Aug 17 '12 at 14:03
A strap mount digging into your hand is caused by bad design more than the idea of it being on top of the camera. I had a P&S for awhile whose strap was constantly getting in front of the lens, I went through a few straps to finally find one that worked for me. –  Dave Nelson Aug 17 '12 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

It would not matter if the strap is connected to the top or bottom of a camera body, the lens would contine to stick out. You can look at the videos of the black rapid strap to see what I mean, it attaches to the tripod mount on the bottom of a camera.

The reason that camera manufacturers do not place camera strap mounting points on the boom is because most camera users wear the strap as a neck strap and no not want their camera to point at the ground, instead they would rather the camera faced forward like a range finder camera.

Also mounts on the lower portion of the camera would get in the way of tripod mounts, film and memory card openeings, and when placing a camera on a table the body would be upside down.

Also, with a large flash attached to the camera the delicate flash would swing back and forth bumping into a lot of things.

There are a lot of innovative options out there that let you attach straps in different locations, like the black rapid or a hand strap that attaches to both the top and bottom, for the relatively few users who want them. If you are looking for a different way to hold your camera, I suggest you give them a try.

Personally I love the UP Strap on my shoulder and regularly use the quick disconnects to attach a strap that wraps around my wrist.

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As yourself why not?

And I don't think your argument quite works. With a longer/heavier lens, the lens points down no matter what - just because of its mass. With a short lens it currently points forward but with the neck strap attached to the bottom plate it would actually try to point into you... I.e. it would NOT point down.

Additionally, if you currently grab am SLR hanging from your neck, the chance is that is has the right orientation - if it were attached by the bottom plate you would have to turn the body upside down - wasting time.

In terms of attaching a neck strap "at the bottom": If you have a 1D series Canon or or a battery grip, there is an extra attachment on the lower right - for those that are primarily portrait shooters and want their camera turned by 90 degrees by default.

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