Photographers in search of a strap as high tech as their camera need look no further than than the new Rotaball straps from Germany-based Sun-Sniper. Thanks to a special connector, Rotaball straps are designed to hold cameras weighing up to 11 pounds, although they can clearly handle much heavier loads, as seen in the “stress test” video below.
The straps use a cross-body sling design, similar to straps from BlackRapid and a few other manufacturers. This provides a comfortable carrying position while keeping the camera at arm’s reach at all times. What makes the new Sun-Sniper straps unique is the stainless steel Rotaball connector component, which uses a single large, metal ball-bearing that rotates within 32 smaller ball-bearings to achieve incredibly smooth camera rotation.
Other new technologies introduced with the Rotaball line include a redesigned shock absorber, a new secondary strap that fits below the armpit to keep the shoulder pad in place, and a new limiter that prevents the camera from swinging too far back.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of the new straps, however, are the anti-theft measures. A new locking pin dubbed the Blokker prevents the camera from being unscrewed, while an integrated steel cable guards against attempts to cut the strap with a knife. In fact, according to DPReview, Sun-Sniper is even including a 1,000-euro insurance plan with each strap sold, in the event a camera is stolen as a result of a strap being cut. (As of this writing, it is unclear if this applies only to European markets.)
Of course, the latest and greatest in camera-strap technology does not come cheap. Currently available for pre-order, Rotaball straps will start at $65 and go up to $150 for a dual-camera version. A backpack with integrated dual-camera Rotaball attachments is also available for $300 (B&H). However, for the photographer on the go, especially one traveling in high-risk areas, the price may be well worth the security.