Review of Camdapter Hand Strap
by Dave Berton July 2007

The Camdapter Hand Strap gets pretty much everything right: functionality, aesthetics, ergonomics and customer support. Using the strap does not preclude the use of a tripod, or even a separate neck strap if desired. It is small, extremely well-built, and does the job well. It is a professional tool for the professional and 'enthusiastic amateur' photographer.

The foundation of the Camdapter Hand Strap is the adapter. This metal plate is solid but quite light. It is matte black, and sports an engraved camdapter.com stamp on the bottom. There are numerous adapters available; I chose the Camdapter Manfrotto Plus which fits on my Manfrotto 484 mini ball head. Each adapter has two strap lugs on each side. Once screwed on the base of my camera (using the supplied hex wrench), this adapter has remained in place ever since. The adapter has a flat bottom, allowing the camera to be placed securely on any level surface. The plate looks and feels solid, and matches well with my Nikon D200. The plate does not interfere with the battery door, or the compact flash access door.

The strap itself is installed through the bottom plate, and looped through the right strap attachment of the camera. Once adjusted to your hand, it can be secured back onto itself, which essentially locks it in place. Snip off any excess, if it bothers you.

Slide your hand in so that the strap lies across the back of your hand. There is enough wiggle room to operate all dials and controls on your camera.

With your hand in the shooting position, the strap distributes the weight across your hand and wrist. On hot shooting days, I have found very little sweat accumulating between the strap and the back of my hand. On the contrary, since the strap keeps your hand directly on the camera most of the time, I found my palm getting slightly damp. Under more sane shooting conditions, the strap causes no issues at all.

With your hand at your side, the strap will now cause the camera to 'hang' off the back of your hand, pinning it behind your fingers. This allows you to essentially let go and allow gravity to work in your favor. Bending your fingers slightly brings the camera back into a more secure grip, although I've found that I can walk around with my hand relaxed to a certain extent and feel totally secure.

There are two different leather straps available, the Kidskin ProStrap and the Top Grain ProStrap. I chose the Kidskin, and found the material to be very soft and comfortable. The back of the strap also has an imprinted "Camdapter" logo on it, but it is fairly low profile. Overall, the strap has a very professional look to it, and compliments my Nikon.

You can use your camera without the Camdapter. Just pick it up with your hand covering the strap, and start shooting. But like driving off without your seat-belt fastened, holding your camera without using the Camdapter makes you feel naked. Once you've used it for a few weeks, it molds to the shape of your outer hand and becomes an essential part of your photography.

The Camdapter can also be used with a neck strap. By running the neck strap through the left attachment on the camera and through the remaining strap lug on the adapter, you can carry your camera around your neck as usual (the camera will hang sideways). To shoot, simply slide you hand into the Camdapter strap from the bottom and start shooting.

Of course you can also use the Camdapter on a tripod. It is small enough, and low-profile enough, to stay out of your way. When finished with the tripod, just grab it and go.

I have never been a fan of neck straps. They are large, unwieldy and typically get uncomfortable in short order. They are also uniformly ugly. If you are not a fan of neck straps, your search for the perfect camera strap is over. The Camdapter seems to solve all the problems associated with neck straps, but retain almost all of the functionality.

The person behind Camdapter is Jim Garavuso. He has been very responsive to questions and issues, and he is a pleasure to do business with. He stands behind his product, to all our benefit. I recommend the Camdapter Hand Strap very highly, for yourself or for the photographer in your life. Visit camdapter.com and check it out.