The SpiderPro Camera Holster camera carrying system is an innovation in an industry segment in need of some fresh insight and product development. Most camera carrying systems consist of some kind of strap or sling that is carried over the shoulder or around the neck, a lot of event or sports photographers swear by the slings or straps but I’m convinced that’s because they’ve never tried the SpiderPro Camera Holster.
The SpiderPro Holster allows a camera to sit at your hip leaving your hands free and your upper body free of the camera straps you’d normally associate with a single or a dual camera strap system. It’s a very liberating feeling and a little strange, in a very positive way, if you’re used to a strap.
Have you ever had a strap catch on a door handle or a seat back? Not with the SpiderPro Holster system!
Ever tighten a sling so the camera is carried snugly at your side only to have the camera’s weight cause the sling to extend to its full length and leave the camera hanging loosely at your side once more? Not with the SpiderPro Holster!
I tested the top of the line SpiderPro system, the most heavy duty or substantial of the Spider systems designed to carry a Pro-level camera and large zoom (70-200mm). Needless to say when I first got the system out of its box, attached the base plate to my camera’s tripod socket and slid the camera into the holster I was concerned that it would not be substantial enough and that my camera equipment might end up on the floor; I needn’t have worried, all four parts – the belt, the slotted holster, the camera base plate and the pin are industrial strength and inspire supreme confidence in the system.
Once the camera is slotted into the holster it sits comfortably, squarely and securely on the hip.
When wearing the camera on either hip the lens always points backwards. I wore the holster a little further back on my hip to ensure the camera and lens weren’t directly at my side. Moving through crowds and narrow stadium or theater seats meant that I had greater peace of mind knowing that my camera and lens weren’t hitting everything in my path.
When wearing the belt and with the camera attached the camera is easily accessible when the lock is disengaged but solid and secure when the lock is engaged. In short it does exactly what you’d hope it does, it provides a system that holds the camera securely and comfortably as you move freely about without your arms being impeded by occasionally cumbersome straps – but when you’re ready for it, the camera is immediately accessible and can easily be drawn from its holster ready to shoot!
The stainless steel and hardened aluminum cast construction of the holster and pin mean the camera slides into and out of the slot very easily and is always ready, there are no snags, nothing to catch or hitch to prevent you bringing the camera easily into the shooting position.
One small niggle: Given the fact the camera is carried on your hip, wearing a photographer's vest defeats the purpose of the need for ready and easy access. If you're going to use this system you have to travel light or carry a backpack with the rest of your equipment to keep it out of the "draw zone". This was a really a non-issue and solved the second time I used the system by taking a back pack the next time.
Other attractive features of the system include:
The adjustable belt, made of Velcro accommodates photographers of all sizes (waists 28”-50”).
The belt buckle with its three button snap connector ensures that it can’t just come loose. The belt will stay on and will stay as tight as you set it.
Spider Holster Systems provide other products including a full range of accessories that can be added to the system dependent upon your needs including a second holster should you want to carry a second camera, accessory clips that allow you to clamp flash guns to the belt and have similar ready and easy access to those too, and an Arca-Swiss clamp adapter to attach to the base plate ensuring ready and easy attachment to Arca-Swiss tripod heads.
Overall I think the SpiderPro Holster system is a very good solution for event or wedding photographers who travel light or who have their equipment case nearby. The intent of this system is to be ever-ready to capture the shot and it delivers on that intention but it also does it securely. A photographer can be confident that once the camera is attached to the system that the camera is going to stay on your hip until you want to be quick on the draw!