I have had a black rapid strap, model RS-2 for a while now. I was really excited to get one, and loved it but… Were you expecting a but? It wasn’t perfect. I loved the innovative way the camera hung at my side, hanging there waiting for the moment that I needed to quickly raise it to my eye. But, I had a few complaints I discovered after using the strap for a while. This is a bit of a RS-2 to RS-7 comparison. (Keep with with me, the complaints are all fixed)
- I didn’t like the connector thingy. (Technical term) It was just too bulky. It looked like a good first try from someone welding things together in their garage. It worked, but didn’t look pretty. And I lost mine. Twice. Some people even tried tying their strap with a little make-shift cord connector. That didn’t always work out.
- It was bulky. The strap seemed a little too wide. Too much material. It just felt too noticeable, especially with a jacket on. The model I had also had this whole extra flap that held memory cards, business cards, and had a pocket on it for a cell phone. This sounded good at the time, but just ended up feeling bulky. I felt like the cell phone pocket was right at my chin, like a poor mans hands free phone system. I eventually cut off the extra, but it still seemed a little stiff and bulky.
- The strap wasn’t like better backpack straps that are curved to conform to your shoulder a little better. I found it would slip off sometimes too.
- My strap didn’t have a clip to hold the excess webbing strap. That was probably because I cut off part of the padding (the pockets) to make it smaller. It also seemed like it could use another clip to keep the camera from sliding around. If you switched shoulders it seemed like the clip was on the wrong side.
- The connector was completely re-engineered. It now looks very professional, and more importantly, works wonderfully. It is much smaller. It piece that screws into the camera is a much lower profile, and has a piece of rubber on the end. This does two things. Not having the lock nut and instead having the rubber make it more secure, and doesn’t seem to loosen anymore. The lower profile means that you can hold the camera with a portrait grip on it, which really wasn’t possible with the other connector. And last, using the locking mini carabiner allows you to remove the strap if you need to with needing to unscrew the whole thing.
- The new RS-7 strap is thinner. Much better profile, and this one doesn’t have any bells and whistles. Some people might like pockets and stuff on their strap, and they still have models that have them, and an accessory pocket can be attached to the RS-7, but if you don’t want the extra material, you don’t have to have it.
- The new RS-7 is curved. Not by much, but it works. It seems to stay on my shoulder better, feels more comfortable, and seems less prone to sliding off. Seems great.
- This RS-7 is much more finished in every way. No matter which side of your head/shoulder you wear this strap, it still fits well. There is a new clip that keeps the strap from flapping, and there are two clips that are designed to keep the camera in place, no matter how you wear the strap.
I did say I loved this strap didn’t I? Ok, at first I loved it, then as the issues came up, I stopped wearing it as much. Then the improvements started to come out.
The first strap I had felt like a great idea that was put together in someones garage. functional, but not the best finish. This strap is a whole new level. The straps, buckles, padding, connector, and even what they left off are seem perfect now. If I had to come up with one item for an update, it would be to have the material under the strap to be “stickier”, like a rubber or something that would cling to nylon/rain jackets better. This isn’t as important on a strap you wear across your body, but I sometimes fell it moves a little, and I have to keep putting it back in place.
That’s all I can come up with on the negative side. I love it. If you are replacing your strap, definitely consider this one. I think it’s worth the money.