Review: Kata “Reflex-C” Camera Strap

by Klaus on February 15, 2011

in Photography

You’d be surprised how hard it is to review a camera strap. I mean, it’s a strap. It holds your camera. What else is there?

Actually, there’s more to it than that, and if you’re still shooting with your branded original camera strap, I’ll let you in on a secret: It sucks and it was made to suck.

Okay so maybe there’s one or two photographers out there who actually enjoys using the original camera strap. The rest of them just doesn’t use a camera strap that much so they leave it on for those occasions where they need to hang it on their shoulder and stuff like that.

There are several great camera straps out there, at very reasonable prices, which has different purposes. I’ll do a summary on those later, but for now I’ll just focus on one strap: Kata Reflex-C.

Kata is a company based in Israel which also makes equipment for their military, so you’d imagine their stuff is good enough for photographers also. Actually, I can’t remember ever having heard anything bad about Kata and their camera equipment (bags, straps etc.).

I bought the Kata Reflex-C camera strap for two reasons:

  1. I was desperate. I just couldn’t stand walking around with the original strap anymore, fearing every step I’d take if now would be the moment it slipped off my shoulder and camera goes down to the ground.
  2. Scott Bourne has recommended the “Reflex-E” version multiple times on his podcasts etc.

So when I came by a store who actually had the Reflex-C in stock, I figured I would give it a try. If it didn’t work out, I could always sell it again. But I was absolutely sure it would be better than my original Nikon strap that came with the D7000 – I was not wrong.

I wanted the Reflex-E version as that was what Scott Bourne prefers, but they didn’t have that in stock. The only difference, as far as I know, is that “E” has a quick release system so you can easily remove most of the strap from the camera. The “C” strap is like the original straps, basically always attached.

Very comfortable neoprene shoulder pad

Let’s get to the pros and cons regarding Kata Reflex-C and I’ll also let you know which strap(s) I already replaced it with.

What I do like about Kata Reflex-C:

  • Comfortable. I think it has some “built-in stretching system”, so your camera doesn’t feel as heavy.
  • The shoulder pad is very comfortable, much more so than original camera straps.
  • The pad feels more secure, it doesn’t slide off your shoulder as easy (though it’s not perfect).
  • It has two built-in zippered pockets for CF cards. Unfortunately they’re too small to hold business cards (I don’t use CF cards).

What I do not like too much about Kata Reflex-C:

  • No quick-release system. The Reflex-E has this and I actually miss that.
  • The CF card pockets. For storing SD cards, just one would be enough (or at least make them smaller) – or have just one pocket which is also big enough for some backup business cards. I’d prefer not having the pockets though.
  • The pad doesn’t have anything in particular to prevent it from sliding off your shoulder, though the neoprene is better than whatever material the Nikon straps are made of (and probably Canon too?).

As you can see, I contradict myself on a few points. Kata Reflex-C is better than the original strap, but it’s not quite as good as what I was hoping for.

That’s why I replaced it with the Super Classic Strap from OP/TECH USA, plus the SLR Wrist Strap, both using the uni-loop connectors (came with the Super Classic Strap). Why? I’ll tell you in my next post on camera straps in a week or so… stay tuned!

One of two zippered CF card pockets on Kata Reflex-C

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Comments & Leave a Comment

comments

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

market traders insurance February 16, 2011 at 11:03

Well if you have a camera and you use it all the time its nice to have a camera strap into it. Nice review by the way.

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TJ McDowell February 17, 2011 at 14:52

I think our next camera strap is going to be one of those straps where the camera hangs upside down. I haven’t looked into these yet, but we’ve got that on our list of things to get when we get the time to look, and the extra money in our equipment budget.
TJ McDowell recently posted… Photography Personality Profile Beta Testing

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Klaus February 17, 2011 at 16:16

Yeah, like the Black Rapid RS-7 or Luma Loop. They are great straps as well and I’ll write more about them (the RS-5, though, and Luma Loop) in future posts.
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TJ McDowell February 17, 2011 at 16:24

Sweet! Looking forward to your reviews on those.
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Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com February 18, 2011 at 01:55

Nice review. My friends often get confused too – how could I review a case? It’s just a case. Only those with attention to details eyes can review a “straight-forward” product :D

The zip pockets should come in handy for professional photographers with multiple cards
Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com recently posted… Linksys WUSB600N problems solved with this unofficial Windows 7 driver

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Klaus February 19, 2011 at 20:53

Yep I don’t blame people for wanting the zip pockets for their CF cards. Personally I would rather not have them, as SD cards are so small they easily fit anywhere else :) And I have two SD cards in my D7000 so I am yet to run out of space when I’m shooting, as I always empty them when I get back home.
Klaus recently posted… Review- Kata “Reflex-C” Camera Strap

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Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com February 19, 2011 at 23:09

Canon just exchanged their loan 500D camera with a 7D. Love it so much, but unfortunately it’s using a CF card :(
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Vinay February 18, 2011 at 10:45

Yes you’re right !I can use camera easily and without stabilizing and good quality video this belt is good i need to buy this.
Very informative article keep up the good work:)

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Ron February 19, 2011 at 04:21

Great product review. Always giving the pros and cons. I like it.
Ron recently posted… 5 Awesome Coffee Infographics That You Must See

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John February 19, 2011 at 18:36

Hey Klaus,

I haven’t noticed until now but you’re right, I haven’t seen much reviews on a camera strap. I thought I would just keep my branded original camera strap but you convinced me otherwise. Thanks for the review on the Kata Reflex-C, I will check it out for myself.
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Sire February 22, 2011 at 09:56

After reading your review I had to rush and check the strap on my Canon. There is no way that baby is going to break, so as far as the camera falling off, that’s not going to happen.

I like the idea of being able to hold some CF cards is appealing though.
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Klaus February 22, 2011 at 09:58

Sire – why would you check if your Canon strap would break? I don’t think that was one of the points I was trying to make in the post ;)
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Sire February 22, 2011 at 10:26

My mistake Klaus. It was because of the section where you said,

I just couldn’t stand walking around with the original strap anymore, fearing every step I’d take if now would be the moment it slipped off my shoulder and camera goes down to the ground.

For some reason I read it wrong. Where you were worried about it falling off your shoulder I mistook it for it breaking off. My mistake, must be getting old, and I do apologize.
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Klaus February 22, 2011 at 10:27

No problem – at least now you have checked your strap to make sure it’s secure, that’s gotta count for something :)
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James Moralde February 23, 2011 at 09:42

My strap that came with the Canon I bought 4 months ago is alright in terms of strength and secure-ness. It does feel uncomfortable though after a few minutes. If I can find something that lets me feel the weight of the camera less, I’d certainly buy it. I’d be checking out the Kata Reflex E next time I visit the camera store at the mall. I like the idea of the built in SD card holder in the strap.
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Klaus February 23, 2011 at 10:59

Note that it’s CF card holders, not SD card, so they are bigger :) They’ll of course still hold SD cards, and even a few of them.

Also check out the OP/TECH strap I link to at the bottom of the post, I prefer that one over the Kata.
Klaus recently posted… Samsung release Galaxy S II with Android 23 Gingerbread

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James Moralde February 23, 2011 at 14:05

Cool. Thanks for the suggestions Klaus.
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Shane Ryans March 1, 2011 at 20:53

It doesn’t seem to be all that bad. I do see what your saying about the ability to have business cards, but you can always get a small case and out it in your pocket maybe?

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