Mist

by Jakub

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
1  
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

3 Answers 3

Camera manufacturers, more than anyone else, does have the best "know-how" on where to place, what.

Every single control or surface on the camera, just like its feature set, has been carefully studied and modified, over the years, to assure giving its user the best experience with the product, taking into consideration other factors, such as logical layout, ease of use, underlying circuitry / electrical connections design, control or surface design costs, and the like.

I am sure that the standard, factory camera strap mounting points, pretty much in the same places as where they could be found, as far as I came to know cameras, many, many years ago, are still 'there' for the simple reason that the manufacturers deem it best that the camera be carried around in the "upright" position.

It may also be because those areas to the sides of the camera's top cover, wherein the camera strap lugs are located, are securely attached to the camera's chassis, thereby providing for the best attachment point for the camera's strap.

I have yet to hear of a malfunction or failure of the factory camera strap attachment point, in normal use, professionally or otherwise.

I am not saying that carrying or attaching the camera straps by an alternative method, using the tripod mounting hole at the bottom of the camera, is not at all good. What I am saying is that the tripod hole was not designed nor intended by the manufacturer to be used as a point for camera strap attachment. I guess that everyone knows that - hence the part name - tripod mounting hole. It is, logically, intended for use in attaching the camera to a tripod.

I think that no one has ever made, to date, of a comprehensive enough study (or extensive research) on the possible effects of using the tripod mounting hole for camera strap attachment, nor of the possible detrimental effects of carrying a camera (dSLR) upside down.

At the moment, it seems like it's purely a matter of personal preference, if one intends to use aftermarket parts or accessories that would enable the attachment of the camera straps, elsewhere, than where the manufacturer intended.

I have a friend, who, using a tripod hole mounted Quick Release System, had his dSLR dropped to the floor, lens first, due to a swivel pivot point failure, the same being worn out, that it broke-free from the part that slides along the camera's strap.

The matter could have been avoided from ever happening, if not for that aftermarket "accessory" that he had mistakenly 'fallen for.'

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.