How about review-rules? Read it here: “reviews, tests & hands-ons”
A few weeks ago, the Sun-Sniper GmbH sent me one of their newest products for review. Since then I’ve tested it very thoroughly. “The Pro” is a camera-strap, which is worn diagonally across the upper body.
It incorporates a steel wire to preclude thiefs from simply cutting through the strap to get your camera. On top, this case is insured by the manufactory. However, the insurance’s usefulness is a bit limited, as the max. value of 500 US $ will propably only cover entry-level DSLRs – the most camera-lens-kits are more expensive.
This feature is not totally new as it’s already known from a previous model. The really new addition of “The Pro” is the connection between strap and camera, which now contains a stainless stell bearing. The connection called „GENUINE BEARING“ is shorter and consists of fewer parts that can get loose compared to the previous models and competitors.
It shows it’s strengths when put to practical use. I never feared or thought about the camera getting loose. I also could not experience too much unwanted swinging. The whole system, that allows to wear the camera simply on your side and get it to your eye right when you need it, is proved and tested. Especially for press- and reportage photographers or “voyagers” the whole thing is VERY usefull. I tested it a complete day in London and the camera (5D without verticale shutter release + 50 mm 1.4) never was a burden to me. Maybe this also was because of the “SHOCK ABSORBER” (some kind of rubber band built into a part of the strap) – but because I lack the possibility of comparison to similar competitors I can’t say with threefold safety.
However, being a studio photographer I also appreciate the strap. I dropped my camera to the floor 2 times already because I let it rest on stool when not in use. So I was searching for a better solution. The most obvious one is not to let the camera lie around somewhere, of course. Once in a while I need both hands free to change the lightformer, move the stand or something similar. The assistant can’t be there quick enough every time – and I don’t want delays in the shooting. So it’s help yourself and the camera often is disturbing then. With the Sun-Sniper I just let it slide to my side and take it up lightning-fast whenever I want to take the next photos. Very useful.
However, in daily use some minor flaws were also revealed.
You can’t avoid getting in touch with any of the corners of your camera from time to time, for example. After a whole day this can mean some bruises and dents in extreme cases.
The balance is not ideal as well with heavy lenses without lens collars (like the 24-70 2.8 L).
The little “knob” of the connection bothers me far less than I’d expected, I can happily live with it. What I somehow miss however with the new system is a possibility to hook out the strap quickly, to show some pictures to the model or client while in the shooting, for example. To take of the whole strap is often somewhat cumbersome. This is less tragic in the studio as long as you’re shooting tethered, on location shooting tethered is a bit less likely.
The most relevante flaw for most is more due to the system and therefor hard to avoid but should be mentioned nonetheless: While the camera is swinging on your side it’s easy to let it crash against something. With the new system swinging is far reduced but due to the connection on one point, the tripod socket, not totally avoidable. Scratches and dints are to be expected over time. If you refer to your camera as a tool in the first place, this is totally ok and tolerable. If it’s more for your show case or if you’re up to a high re-sell value, you should stay away from the strap.
In conclusion most of the found flaws are minor ones. I’m very surprised how much I like the Sun-Sniper “The Pro” -Steel&Bear- in the end (despite the much to complicated and long name). Espacially the use for “reportage” in London adds to that positive impression. I went into the testing as sceptical as usual and am now in conclusion pretty convinced from the strap. I, for one, would have a hard time giving it back. Because of the already mentioned flaws it can’t get all 10 “flashes” anymore, of course. So in the end it gains, also because of the not-so-low price, a rating of 8 out of 10 “flashes”. A very good rating which represents my positive impression.