By T.C. WORLEY
Managing a camera in the outdoors can be a pain. One solution, the Black Widow Camera Holster from Shai Gear LLC offers a belt-mounted system for western-style quick draw of a camera. For the last few months, I’ve put the holster to the test. No more fishing in a camera bag or wearing a camera strap slung over my neck. The holster sits on your hip or behind your back on your belt, the camera ready to grab in a flash.
It works with a small threaded knob that screws into the tripod mounting nut on the camera body. Simply lower the knob into the holster and it locks securely in place. To release, a quick flip of a lever allows you to lift the camera from the holster, and you’re off and shooting!
Camera weight is limited to two pounds for the holster system, which accomadates all but the bulkiest cameras on the market. The company sells pro-level systems for larger, heavier SLR cameras.
The Black Widow Camera Holster costs $50. Its holster can mount to any belt of your choosing or it can be paired with the padded and more comfortable $16 Black Widow Belt. A $9 optional Belt Pad is a smart addition for even more comfort.
I’d recommend the holster system for most low-output activities, but not for running — the bouncing will be too much. Where the belt setup stops short compared to a camera bag is in protection from knocks or weather, and there is no storage for batteries or extra media cards.
It looks admittedly a bit nerdy with a tool-belt-like style approach. But the payoff is fast, comfortable, hands-free carry. On short, fair-weather outings, the Black Widow holster system has proven to be a convenient, lightweight and low-bulk way to keep a camera close and quickly accessible.
—T.C. Worley is a professional photographer and contributing writer to GearJunkie. His photographic work appears regularly in the New York Times.