Many photographers do not realize this but having an ergonomic system for your cameras and gear when you go on a photoshoot is absolutely essential. Unfortunately, most people do not consider this aspect before investing hundreds, if not thousands in photography equipment.
Many people will do online research by searching for the best and latest products, using product reviews and word of mouth. This is what they base their decisions on when thinking of acquiring a new camera or accessories.
But will the latest camera model offer you comfort and convenience during an entire shoot? While some of the newest camera models will naturally be updated in terms of comfort and ergonomics, there are others that are not be suitable for lengthy use because they might cause discomfort and a number of other negative effects. But, of course, to each his own. This is why it is important to do your own research and try out potential photography gear before actually making the purchase.
Do continue reading to learn about the following:
- Camera ergonomics
- Its importance in photography
- Ergonomic systems for cameras
What is Camera Ergonomics?
Ergonomics refer to the science of people-machine relationships. An ergonomically designed product implies that the device blends smoothly with a person’s body or actions. This is based on the reasonable definition given by the Amateur Photographer.
In the words of the average Joe, ergonomics refers to how “right” something feels when used.
And in the world of photography, camera ergonomics can affect how someone takes pictures, thereby influencing the resulting photographs. However, others argue that photographers can compromise on ergonomics and still take great pictures without it.
Consequently, many say that today’s cameras are not very comfortable to work with. That is because manufacturers and users alike want a device that will provide the best results, on top of comfort and convenience. And while technology has achieved a nearly perfect camera time and again, its ergonomics is a challenge to perfect.
So, is this science really crucial in photography?
Why is Camera Ergonomics Important?
Imagine using a professional DSLR that is big and heavy, with a couple of lenses that are as big and heavy as the camera body itself, on a long ten hour shoot. Just thinking about it can make you cringe with the expected agony and discomfort.
Or, how about suddenly needing to switch the settings on your camera while having it already settled on your eyes? Is it possible? Or will the potentially amazing spontaneous shot be missed because you need to detach your equipment in order to change to the right settings?
Ergonomics may not be important for some photographers, as they value the image quality that the equipment gives over physical comfort. However, without an ergonomically-designed product, a number of unpleasant results can occur.
Specifically, here are some reasons why you need to consider ergonomics as a priority when choosing and using cameras.
- Photoshoots can take the whole day to finish. And when it takes this long or even longer, handling a heavy camera that is not ergonomically designed will cause serious discomfort and could even result in injuries in the long term. In particular, carrying a heavy camera inappropriately for long hours, such as in the case of using neck straps or shoulder straps, can lead to shoulder, neck and back pain. In worse cases, they might result in spine injuries. Check this article to learn more about such injuries during photoshoots.
- Cameras almost always stay in your hands. Even if the shoot only takes an hour or so, your camera will most probably be in your hands most of the time, if not the whole time. When this happens with a poorly designed device, your hands can get stiff, and moving it will definitely send jolts of pain up to your arms.
- You might need a sudden change in camera settings. When a photo opportunity suddenly presents itself while your camera is already positioned at your eyes, you might just waste it if you need to remove your gear and manipulate the settings to the appropriate ones. A single second can mean missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime picture. However, if your camera is designed with its controls within reach and easily managed, such opportunities will definitely be captured even without moving your camera.
- The viewfinder is your interface to the scene. But when ergonomics is overlooked, this important feature in your camera may not display the needed area, thus, information can be critically lacking, leading to poorly taken images. An ergonomically-designed camera needs to have at least 95% of the actual image area covered and shown in the viewfinder.
- Camera menus are always accessed. Most photographers need to make frequent changes to settings and will access the camera menu multiple times during photoshoots. Therefore, the camera needs to be easily navigable and user-friendly, which can be quite hard for manufacturers to design since modern cameras are very complex, advanced and have numerous features and settings.
- The camera’s physical aspect can be frustrating. You might want a memory card slot that is easy to open yet secure enough from being opened accidentally. Or a battery door that does not interfere with other functions. Without proper ergonomics, these aspects will surely get you frustrated.
If you aren’t convinced, check this video out to see what happens when your camera is not designed ergonomically.
Ergonomic Systems for Cameras
It may not be easy for manufacturers to create a high quality camera that also works best with your body. But if you really need to use such non-ergonomic equipment, the key to making them work well is having accessories that help your gear blend well with your person.
Thankfully, there are many such accessories at Spider Holster. When you choose the right combination, you will be able to tell the difference almost instantly.
Here are some of the most ergonomic systems for different types of cameras.
- SpiderPro Single and Dual Camera Systems v2. This is one of, if not, the most ergonomic way of carrying one or two professional cameras. It can comfortably carry and secure your heavy DSLR camera and gear, all the while offering ease of use with its unique self-locking design. Never worry about your camera being damaged again because the best carrying system protects your camera lens from being bumped while kneeling or setting up shots.
- SpiderPro Hand Strap v2. Compatible with DSLRs and most mirrorless camera bodies, this revolutionary S shaped hand strap remembers your hand shape and shooting angle after repeated use. Plus, it has a wider memory foam interior which offers optimal hand support all day long. It is also designed such that unlike typical handstraps, it offers clear access to the shoot button, memory cards and battery.
- SpiderLight Backpacker Kit. This is the only product that allows you to quickly switch between carrying your camera on your backpack to your belt, with zero assembly and minimal effort.
- SpiderLight Holster Set. This strapless, belt mounted camera holster system is perfect for mirrorless and lightweight DSLR cameras. It has a self-locking design and offers secure freedom of movement. Your camera swings along with your body as you move.
- Black Widow Holster Kit. This is everything you need to holster a lightweight camera with maximum comfort. It is perfect for bringing your mirrorless out all day with easy access but being barely noticeable.
Understanding why having an ergonomic system for your camera is important as it will help you find the best accessories that will work for you and your craft. That is, if the camera you plan on using is not ergonomically-designed.
When you do find the right ergonomic system, it will lead to more comfort and convenience during your photoshoots. And, thus, give you greater opportunity to take the best shots, without compromising your health. After all, as David Alan Harvey said, “don’t shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like.”
If your camera needs a little more work in its design, it may be time to get that ergonomic system that will make your photography gear better suited for your body. Find the accessory you need at Spider Holster.