The Good and The Bad Ways to Carry Your Camera: Ways to Carry Your DSLR or Mirrorless

holding a camera

Good and Bad Ways to Carry Your Camera

I suppose when you buy your first camera, you immediately think you’ve got to hold it with the bag that came with the package.

I’m here to tell you this isn’t the case…

There are, in truth, plenty of ways to carry your new camera, some good, some bad.

In order to help you escape the pain and frustration I felt when I got my first camera, here are a few great ways to hold a camera and one way to stop it at all costs!

holding a camera

The Best Way: SpiderLight Camera Holster

If you think of positions on your body that are designed to carry things, your hips should be the first thing that comes to mind.

They can carry quite a load easily, including one or two cameras!

The added advantage of taking your camera off your back or off your neck is that you have now enhanced mobility space. That makes moving around easier for you and getting the shot you want.

Keeping freedom of movement in mind, Spider Holster built their SpiderLight camera holster.

You get a much better carrying experience by putting your mirrorless or lightweight camera on your hips that prevents your back, shoulders and arms from getting tired.

What’s more, it’s much easier to wear your camera on your hips than to bring it around your neck, where you can walk and move about.

The nice thing about the Holster SpiderLight Camera is it fits right into your belt. Only add the Spider plate to your camera’s bottom and you have a very powerful shooting device like a pro!


As you can see in the GIF above, it’s also easy to use SpiderLight.

You can easily quick-draw your camera whenever you need to shoot instead of having your body, hair, and head tangled up in a shoulder strap.

And neither do you think the SpiderLight is big and bulky.

It’s lightweight but solid, and as you walk about, it won’t get in your way. It’s all worlds best!

For long-lasting results, the SpiderLight Camera Holster is incredibly durable and designed to fit ergonomically on your hip.

The two-position metal lock ensures that the camera is securely attached to the belt, but for a quick shot, it remains easy to remove.

You can even use the SpiderLight backpacker to attach a loop for a sling strap for added safety or transfer the SpiderLight from your hip to your backpack.

This means that this rig is perfect for all-level shooters who want an easy, safe way to carry their camera.

The Good Way: Vanguard Alta Rise 45 Backpack

alta rise 45 right angled min image

If you’re going out for a shooting day, the first thing you’re going to want is a good camera bag that will secure your equipment, keep it organized, and give you space for extras such as camera accessories, phone, snacks, keys, etc.

I only brought my equipment in a normal backpack when I began photography for the first time. That was a BIG error.

Everything bounces around as you walk because there are no padded compartments in a regular backpack.

Therefore, having a dedicated camera backpack like the Vanguard Alta Rise 45 is important.

vanguard alta rise 45 tripod min image

This bad boy can fit a big DSLR, 4-5 lenses, a flash, memory cards and batteries, and even a tripod. You can also add more space to fit a tablet or a laptop with a fast expansion zipper.

There are side access points for quick access that allow you to capture your camera in a matter of seconds.

The Alta Rise 45 is fitted with an ergonomic air system back with belt, so you can evenly distribute the load around your arms, chest, back and hips.

Maybe the best feature is the interior of this package…

altarise453 image

Not only is the bag well-padded all the way around to provide maximum protection for your camera gear, it’s also extremely well designed for all your necessities with dedicated pockets.

It’s also a nice touch with the brightly colored interior, so you don’t have to mess around trying to find what you need.

Even the Alta Rise 45 has an integrated rain cover, so you don’t have to worry about your equipment if there’s rain.

This backpack is, in other words, the ultimate choice for adventurous photographers who want to carry a lot of equipment, do it easily, while keeping their cameras safe and sound!

The Bad Way: Factory Camera Strap

carry your camera

In a word, the camera strap with cameras is bad.

Using a thin, flimsy strap digging into your neck or shoulder is not only completely uncomfortable, but they are also not robust.

They will start to deteriorate without much use, making them even less secure to hold your camera.

camera strap

What’s more, as I noted earlier, the camera bounces around when you wear your camera with a conventional camera strap, pounding you in your chest when you walk.

You can simply carry your camera over your shoulder to prevent that, but then there’s nothing to stop it from sliding off your shoulder (other than a thin anti-skid pad inside the strap that doesn’t function so well).

Also, camera straps from the factory are bulky, don’t last long, and are still not especially safe to carry your phone.

Add to that the fact that prospective criminals are drawn to straps that say “CANON” or “NIKON” or “SONY” in big, bright letters, and you have the make-up for just about the worst way to carry your expensive gear! With that, you have two decent ways to carry your camera gear in safety and comfort, and one way you can avoid at all costs.

Want to know the full list of ways to carry your camera?

List of all the ways you can carry your camera

Neck strap

this is a common way for many of us (including myself) to wear a camera. Nevertheless, holding a camera, lens and speedlight with a heavy set-up for long periods of time can cause strain in your neck and shoulders. It can cause bad posture as well.


Wrist strap

while getting your camera around your wrist may be useful, I would suggest this only works with lightweight super-light cameras. Over time, using a wrist strap to hold a DLSR or mirrorless camera with a lens may cause a number of problems. It affects the breathing, causing pain in your arm and shoulder. Also, using it for protection can be useful, but don’t use it to hold your camera all day long.


Shoulder strap

you can hold the camera on your back instead of around your neck if you use your camera kit strap. It is a better option, but it can still be challenging. It has the ability to fall off when you have something on one shoulder, so you subconsciously raise your head. You can feel pain in your neck and back over time.



This is definitely a good choice because the camera’s weight is distributed more evenly than with previous solutions. If you’re feeling some discomfort, though, it’s a good idea to move your camera from time to time to the other side of your body.



Dual strap

For photographers using two cameras, this is a convenient solution. It’s also a good option as the weight is distributed evenly and no force on the neck. On top of that, it is secured so you don’t worry it’s going to slip. Also, if you’ve been carrying two heavy cameras for more than two hours, you might want to choose another choice because it could put pressure on your shoulders.



Cotton carriers

I’ve never used any of these, but according to Chris, cotton carries are usable, comfortable and safe. But if you care about the aesthetics, you’ll probably avoid it. Indeed, it looks kinda like you ‘re wearing a bra on your T-shirt. But hey, if safety and usability come before the aesthetics (and if you care about your gear, they should), I believe this could be a good solution.



Belt holsters

This puts no pressure on the face, back, and shoulders, while the cameras are easily accessible. Make sure to put the holster front of your pelvis, otherwise, you would have too much weight that would put extra pressure on your lower back.


Spider Holster

The last one is Spider Holster we mentioned first in this article, and in terms of your health, it is by far the best solution. It is best for your stance if you wear it around your waist (right above the iliac crest). On your pelvis, the weight is evenly distributed, which can bear more energy than your neck and shoulders.