The New Black Rapid RS-7 arrived and I have had a chance to give it the once over. This is one of those products that I thought was a bit gimmicky in the beginning. Why mess with tradition I thought...neck pain is just part of photography. I kept seeing great reviews of the product and various pro photographers endorsing them so I began paying a bit more attention. My interest was really sparked when several of the photographers that I admire use them but have no affiliation with the Black Rapid company. So, after much deliberation I decided to try it out. I am very impressed.
Good soft ergonomic shoulder strap
Solid attachment to the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera (most plates have additional threads for tripods)
Bumpers keep the camera where you want it
The low profile design makes it less obvious that you are carrying around a large DSLR by keeping the camera hip level and at the ready
It is very quick to bring up to your eyes and allows for easy vertical use as well
The RS-7 is compatible with the modular system allowing for small pouches to be added
Quick release clip allows for fast detachment from the adapter
The attachment adapter comes out relatively fast if you plan on doing tripod work
While the attachment adapter comes out quickly there is no sure fire way to transition extremely quick from hand held with the strap to the tripod. However, most of the time if I shoot from the tripod I generally transport it over my shoulder.
The attachment adapter is low profile but does add a minor obstacle for vertical hand holding (if you have a large DSLR or one with a battery grip). This is not a deal breaker as it is very manageable
The Joey-1 Pouch was listed as being able to hold a smart phone (iPhone in particular) with a medium sized case. I have an Otter Box for my iPhone (which is pretty big) and it does not even come close. Now, the Joey-1 contains all my CF cards so there is certainly a use for the pouch.