I take a lot of pictures for JTT so I spend a fair amount of time with a camera hanging around my neck. I rarely use a tripod so having a decent camera strap is vital to how I take pictures. It doesn’t take much time spent with the typical strap included with a camera with its uninspiring hardware and uncomfortable faux leather lining to send you looking for a quality strap like the ECHO NiNER Original Camera Strap.
When I purchased my ECHO NiNER (E9) Original Camera Strap, it was known as just the E9 Camera Strap because it was the only strap E9 offered. Now, with the addition of the E9 Light Speed Camera Strap (and others coming soon), the strap that is the subject of this review is referred to as the Original Camera Strap.
This will be the first of several ECHO NiNER reviews.
The E9 Original Camera Strap is made to stand up to the rigors of combat photography (so it has no problems with the rigors of backyard blog pictures). Given this purpose, it has features that combat photographers and everyday shutterbugs will find useful.
The E9 Original utilizes para-cord(ish) connectors. The connectors are sewn to the strap with beefy box stitches that inspire a lot of confidence.
There are two side release buckles (SRB); one on each side. One SRB serves as a quick adjust for length. The SRBs are oriented in such a way that they can be connected to each other after the section of strap between the buckles is removed, allowing you to create a shorter hand strap. This shortened strap is also useful for hanging the camera from the shoulder strap of a chest rig or plate carrier.
The strap itself is a work of functional art. It consists of 2 layers. The outer layer is webbing in the case of the black and coyote brown straps or 1000D nylon folded and sewn into a flat strap in the case of the Multicam strap. The second layer has a thick, flexible rubber line applied to a heavy duty canvas-like material. This line of rubber is very tacky and is very effective at preventing the strap from sliding around on your back and neck.
Observations from Use
Face it. The strap that came with your camera is junk. It is probably uncomfortable, poorly made, and does nothing more than hang your camera around your neck. That was certainly the case with my camera strap. The E9 Original is well made, very durable, and offers useful functionality. This alone was reason enough for me to replace my old strap.
Now that I have used the E9 Original’s quick adjust feature for length, I won’t be without it. The length of the strap can be quickly shortened by pulling a webbing strap on one of the SRBs. It functions a lot like a 2 point sling. The ability to tighten the strap, combined with the tacky rubber line on the underside of the strap make it possible to tighten the camera down against your body so that it barely moves. This frees up your hands for other tasks and prevents the camera from being damaged by flopping around. I use this feature all the time!
For instance, say that I am shooting a new flashlight mount. I need pictures of the flashlight off the rail by itself and mounted on a rail. With the E9 Original, I can snap pictures of the mount, then tighten the camera against my back while I work on attaching the mount to a rail, and then loosen it and shoot those pictures, too. I never have to set the camera down. It is also great for when I have my hands full of review items and I need to do a bit of hiking to the spot where I will take the pictures. I can take my hands off the camera without fear of it swinging around and beating itself to death against the gear that I am carrying.
The ability to shorten the strap into a hand strap can be handy too. If I know I am going to be working on a tripod, I will often shorten the strap just so it stays out of the way. My cameras have articulating screens, so they are very easy to use over head or at arm’s length. The hand strap option works well for these situations when you have the camera held out further from your body than the full length strap will allow.
If you want or need a strap that is more durable and more functional than your typical camera strap, then the E9 Original Camera Strap may be exactly what you are looking for. It is made from extremely durable materials with extremely durable construction methods and offers useful functionality beyond just hanging the camera from your neck. Whether you are taking pictures on the front line or in the back yard, I think you’ll really like this strap.
Check out the E9 Original Camera Strap on ECHONiNER.com.