Along with most wedding photographers, I carry two camera bodies on me at all times to document the action quickly with varying focal lengths. Having easy and quick access is essential.
The norm is to typically have these two cameras on a dual strap or harness system. However, that may not always be the most comfortable or even the fastest solution.
Enter SpiderHolster, a brand of hip-slung camera holster systems that have been around for a while now.
I first discovered SpiderHolster when I was with Nikon and was on my search for a two camera system that made life easier than using two of the included camera straps that came with the camera body. After a stint with the Black Rapid Straps and the Holdfast Money Maker harness, one thing became clear. I HATE straps.
Straps to me are cumbersome and bulky. I’m carrying all of the weight of the cameras on my shoulders and back (I already have degenerative disc disease.) My cameras are swinging at my hips and bruising me. Also, with the innovative flip screens that we have today, I want to be able to quickly take my camera to the ground or up high without a strap being in my way.
However, would having the weight at my hips be any better for my back? Would this slide in mechanism be safe? When I switched to Sony, I decided it was time to try something different – here’s my SpiderPro SpiderLight dual camera system review.
Table of Contents
SpiderPro SpiderLight Dual Camera System Specs
Compatibility: Designed for mirrorless or lightweight DSLR cameras.
Weight Limit: Up to 7 lbs (3.25kg)
Belt Length: 25-48″ (71-127cm)
System Weight: 1.0 lbs (454g)
Build & Appearance
- Quick camera Access
- Freedom of Movement when shooting
- Arca-Swiss compatible
- Less Back Pain
- You apparently look like a cowboy
- Pulls on pants with heavier lenses
- Less freedom of movement when walking through tight spots
- Risk dropping your camera if not careful
The SpiderLite system is built from the same durable materials of the regular SpiderPro harnesses. The belt itself feels strong, durable, and resistant to tearing or extreme wear.
The camera plate boasts an all-metal construction and has built-in Arca-Swiss geometry which is awesome for those travel tripod users out there!
It also includes a universal 1/4 20″ mount to accommodate other tripods or camera attachments. It is also camera-adjustable!
The plate is on a slider that allows you to adjust the mounting point according to your camera.
The holster is also all-metal and equipped with a 2-position lock feature along with its self-locking design.
The ball joint of the camera plate slides into the holster quickly and securely, and also allows for the camera to move freely along with you while hanging at your side.
Overall the entire SpiderLight Dual Camera Holster System feels of durable quality and certainly passes the eye test.
After an entire year of use and over 45 weddings and multiple photo sessions, my SpiderLight belt definitely doesn’t look new, but it still feels durable!
The only issue I have is the right side holster is starting to get “sticky”. My camera doesn’t slide in and out as easily as it once did and almost feels like it catches a tiny fragment of metal on it’s way out.
While it’s not as pretty as a new one, mine still gets the job done and I still get called a Camera Cowboy at weddings!
Ease of Use
Overall I find the SpiderLight Camera System very freeing. What I mean by that is, I love being able to just grab my camera and shoot with no restrictions on my body or where I place my camera (ie high, low, 3 feet to the right, etc.)
Since I have switched to mirrorless cameras, I use the rear flip LCD screen more than ever!
While it does take some getting used to, muscle memory now allows me to not ever miss putting my camera back in. I do admit though, that I have dropped a camera twice by quickly trying to change and missing the holster all together. The cameras survived though!
The SpiderLight Camera System is the easiest to use for me as I can quickly adapt to a tripod without having to remove camera strap attachment screws at the base of the camera, and the fact that the plate just slides on to my Arca-Swiss equipped tripod is great!
The one complaint I do have with a belt system is that with a heavier setup, you do have to be careful about it pulling down your pants slightly.
I use shirt stays and still wear a regular belt to help with this. I wear my SpiderLight just below my regular belt on my dress pants for weddings and typically have to adjust myself a couple of times throughout the night.
Also, having both cameras on your hips causes you to become very ‘wide’ when trying to walk through a tight spot. You have to be mindful of the cameras on your side – I have knocked our very expensive 70-200mm GM into things I shouldn’t have!
Reception halls can get very crowded, but this is no different to the care you need to take with most dual camera harnesses – it’s actually a lot safer than having two camera bodies freely swinging by your site.
Value for Money
You can pick up the single SpiderHolster by itself for just under $100 which is great value for money considering the construction and R&D that I’m sure went into the system.
The entire SpiderLight dual setup that I use can be had for just over $200 which I believe to be a worthy one-time price for a professional.
Not to mention, it has saved me a few trips to the chiropractor!
SpiderLight Camera System Review | Conclusion
Overall I have been very happy with my SpiderLight Camera System and plan on continuing to use it.
I do want to explore other dual-camera systems as they become available and to make sure I try out ALL options.
With that said, my back pain has decreased a lot since switching to Sony and the SpiderLight belt system.
I believe if I went back to a strap setup, that I would have to be cautious of the strain on my back and shoulders again.
If you are like me and have herniated discs, or back issues, I definitely recommend trying out the Spider system!