Objects of Desire: BlackRapid RS-5

Oct 28, 2009
By Dan Havlik

BlackRapid RS-5

We gave a positive review to the original BlackRapid RS-1 camera strap back in the December 2008 issue of PDN and are happy to see that the device's inventor, Ron Henry, has continued to improve on his product. The new RS-5 uses the same essential concept as the original—a sling-like camera strap that makes it easy to quickly and safely bring your digital SLR to your face— and has added a few tweaks.

There are several useful storage options on the RS-5 thanks to its new, layered design. On the front outside panel of the strap there's a pocket for carrying a smart phone—it easily fit our iPhone—an extra battery, or even a Cliff Bar. There's also a mesh pocket on the back of the front panel to store a lens cloth or other small items. The top of the chest pad zips opens to provide space for memory cards, cash, ID, credit cards. The one thing we would've liked to have seen in this section were actual plastic sleeves to keep your memory cards in place. (That's a small quibble though.)

Instead of using Velcro to keep the two storage layers together, Henry's wisely chosen to go with locking padded Neodymium magnets that offer noise-free access. (Yes, the sound of ripping Velcro isn't ideal when you're trying to photograph shy wildlife or delicate moments at a wedding.)

Otherwise, the RS-5 offers the same quick access to your DSLR as the original. Wear it diagonally across your torso from your shoulder to your hip and adjust it snugly so the camera glides smoothly your face as if on a zip line.

Hard to believe but someone finally has built a better camera strap.

Cost: $65
Further information: www.blackrapid.com

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