Category Archives: mirrorless camera

EddyCam Camera Strap Review

Ergonomics. Speed. Megapixels. Focal Length. Aperture. All considerations we photographers make when choosing a camera and lens. All important considerations, of course.

Then out in the field or in our studio, we put our carefully chosen equipment to the task of helping us create the photographs we envisage, either by observation of the world around us or from the creative concepts within. You reach for your camera at that critical moment, as the juxtaposition of life becomes perfect or your model gets into their groove, yet is slips off your shoulder, you fumble, get a grip, raise it to your eye and that fleeting moment has disappeared and you’ve missed your picture.

EddyCam Edition 35mm in cognac brown camera strap with natural contrast seams, on my Leica M10-D, Leica brown leather protector case and Leica 50mm Noctilux ASPH. London, UK. July 18, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

I grant you that’s a tad poetic, but we’ve all been there. Especially in genres of photography that involve a lot of moving around, often with two, sometimes even three cameras, for long periods of time. Photojournalists, wedding photographers, street photographers to name a few disciplines, will all know this feeling; cameras that slip off your shoulder not only become very frustrating, they do make you miss a picture. The thousands you spent and the days you agonised over camera and lens choice, don’t reach their potential as the camera slipped when you reached for it. Or as you’re running around a corner during a speedy walk about by a politician in a rush to get back to his office and away from his constituents, and the camera slips off your shoulder and pendulum actions itself into a brick wall (something I’ve personally enjoyed doing, years ago!). Or the tiredness setting in as the cameras on your shoulder or your neck become uncomfortable and you get sweaty, soaking up your creative energy and turning it into discomfort and fatigue.

EddyCam Edition 35mm in cognac brown camera strap with natural contrast seams, on my Leica M10-D, Leica brown leather protector case and Leica 50mm Noctilux ASPH. The leather end pieces and the nylon connection straps are sewn five times with special thread, which guarantees a high tensile strength. London, UK. July 18, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

All of this is down to one simple choice. Your camera strap. It’s the simple accessories we spend less time considering that can make our lives easier, more comfortable and fruitful, or frustrating, fatiguing and non-productive. Simple things like memory card wallets, battery holders, small bags for cables and adapter, and of course, camera straps.

I have to admit of never really looking at EddyCam before. I had noticed the company on my periphery, but as I had discovered UpStraps more than a decade ago, I wasn’t really interested in other camera straps. UpStraps gripped my shoulder like nothing before. Ugly, inelegant but absolutely practical, with a big chunk of rubber. Very uncomfortable on the bare neck though, but this had been my choice, along with my colleagues’, for a long, long time.

On assignment with the EddyCam Edition 35mm on my Leica M10-D. I hadn’t yet got the Edition 50mm Shoulder straps for my Lumix cameras yet and they’re still on UpStraps. Edmond Terakopian on assignment, covering the clapping for carers, in appreciation of the nurses, doctors and staff at the NHS during the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road, London, UK. May 28, 2020. Photo: Jeff Moore

Purely through an exploration based on aesthetics, I started to have a look around online, for a new strap to compliment my Leica M10-D. I’d got a very elegant and practical Leica leather half case, in brown, and wanted to see if I could find a nice brown leather strap for it. The huge issue being that it had to be practical. It basically needed to stay put on my shoulder, be comfortable on my neck and the fashionista in me also wanted it to look good with my Leica combination. I had previously been through the fashionable and unpractical straps made by various purveyors of beautiful, yet unpractical straps. Google and YouTube then brought me to EddyCam.

Leica M10-D with 50mm Noctilux ASPH in a leather Leica half case and cognac Eddycam Edition 35mm leather camera strap. London, UK. June 29, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

When I saw the Edition 35mm cognac brown version, it seemed to tick all the boxes. Strangely, the first thing that immediately caught my eye and made me look at the strap as a serious contender, was the double X pattern stichting on the leather end pieces, which connect the main elk leather strap to the webbing. This was craftsmanship and manufacturing which was clearly made to last, and made for real use. There are so many beautiful straps with a couple of stitches or eyelet connectors, that make me wince in horror at the thought of them coming undone and my camera crashing to the ground whilst on assignment. This however, was properly designed, for heavy use in the field, by photographers who want to use their cameras as opposed to photograph their cameras in cafes.

I also liked the notion of an un-padded leather strap, which meant it would be soft, easily wrapped around the wrist and comfortable in use. The shape of it also showed that it should stay comfortably on the shoulder. The website stated “The patented lines, created together with orthopaedists, are so formed that you can easily carry it on your shoulder, around your neck or diagonally”.

The Edition 35mm In Use

I’m pleased to say, the orthopaedists clearly knew their stuff as did Edlef Wienen, the brains behind the product. It came as no surprise when I later found out that Edlef is a very keen photographer of decades and also an avid hiker. I’ve found when something is conceived and created from passion and experience, it truly rises to a different level.

I have to admit to never having been aware of elk skin, so when I read the EddyCam straps are made from this, it did make me ponder. The company’s website states “Elk-skin is one of the thickest leathers there is – very sturdy and almost indestructible. At the same time, almost no other leather is as fine and soft as elk-skin”. It does seem a contradictory reality, but after receiving the Edition 35mm, it clearly is so. Extremely soft, but very tough too. The contrast stitching and two tones of leather, along with the high end webbing straps, which still remain malleable, even down to the coated and rounded stainless steel clips, just ooze quality.

Packed for my next assignment. Lumix S1 and S1R with Lumix S Pro 16-35 f4.0, 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f4.0 in a MindShift PhotoCross 15 backpack. Leica M10-D with a 50mm Noctilux ASPH and 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE in a ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 5 shoulder bag. All cameras on Eddycam straps. London, UK. June 10, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

One wonderful aspect of the strap is also a little bit of elasticity, which translates into more comfort when worn. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bounce, but it gives it a little of suspension by stretching roughly an extra 2cm along it’s entire length. A Leica M10-D is a small camera, but it’s solid, so weigh’s more than one assumes. Add a Leica 50mm Noctilux ASPH and you’ve got some heft. I’ve found wearing this combination either around my neck or on my shoulder, has been supremely comfortable and crucially, non slip too. I’ve walked the streets for hours, when documenting the COVID 19 lockdown, or photographed clapping for carers outside a London hospital, working inside a church when services resumed and always found my camera stayed on my shoulder, remaining comfortable. When worn around my neck, against bare skin, it also always remained extremely comfortable.

It’s one thing making a beautiful and elegant strap; it’s a totally different thing making a strap which is practical and usable in real life scenarios. EddyCam has managed to combine both these things. In a career spanning 31 years, I’ve never found any strap which achieves both these qualities.

The Shoulder Range

I was so impressed by the Edition 35mm for my Leica, that I started looking further into the entire range. I wanted a strap for my Lumix S1 and S1R. When on assignment I’ll often work with two cameras. One with a Lumix S Pro 70-200mm and the other with either a Lumix S Pro 24-70mm or 16-35mm, depending on the assignment. My search led me to the Edition 50mm black on black Shoulder version.

EddyCam Edition 50mm, black on black Shoulder version camera strap, on my Lumix S1R and Lumix S Pro 70-200mm f2.8. London, UK. July 18, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The bigger and heavier S Series needed a slightly wider strap to spread the load more as well as a little padding. The materials on this edition differ slightly too; Finnish elk skin on the outside and Mongolian yak leather on the inside. The yak leather brings even more grip. As a result, it’s not as soft as the elk leather, but certainly not abrasive either, nor as uncomfortable as rubber against the skin, so whilst the S Series cameras usually reside hung on my shoulders, around the neck things didn’t become uncomfortable.

Hours spent on assignment, indoors, outdoors, worn on top of various materials of shirts and jackets, all resulted in one universal outcome; comfort and grip. The camera just stays put. The strap grips very well indeed, is extremely comfortable and just wide enough without being too wide, so easily packs away in a camera bag.

EddyCam Edition 50mm, black on black Shoulder version camera strap, on my Lumix S1R and Lumix S Pro 70-200mm f2.8. The leather end pieces and the nylon connection straps are sewn five times with special thread, which guarantees a high tensile strength. London, UK. July 18, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

I had one reservation before getting the 50mm shoulder version though. As the straps are ergonomically shaped, my worry was that it may not work with my camera mounted with a 70-200mm. With longer lenses, I often turn the camera so the prism is pointing inwards (always on my left side so the shutter isn’t accidentally pressed when it rests on my side). This way the longer lens points downwards rather than outwards, which makes moving around earlier and the lens is less prone to bash into things or people. The yak underside has so much grip though, that to my joy, I found the strap works on either shoulder, regardless of the direction it’s facing (although a little better when carried properly as the ergonomic curve helps it rest much better). Also, the benefit of having elk on the top side means that if you want to carry your camera diagonally across your body, you can twist the strap so the elk side is in contact with you, meaning you can comfortable slide the camera from your side, to your front and shoot. As before, there’s a tiny bit of elasticity in the strap; it’s much less than the Edition 35mm, but does move a tiny bit, around 1cm along it’s entire length, giving you a little bit of suspension. Lastly, the natural rubber padding, which is just right as it’s not too fat, makes the strap sit extremely comfortably, even with a heavier professional body and longer lens, even for extended periods of time.

I also got another strap from the shoulder range, an Edition 35mm black on black Shoulder version for my Lumix GX9. This is identical in size and shape to the Edition 35mm cognac brown version, but has the yak leather on the underside for that extra grip, but lacks the rubber padding. I really liked using this version of the strap too and my observations on its performance are as above.

EddyCam Edition 35mm, black on black Shoulder version camera strap, on my Lumix GX9 and Leica DG Summilux 15mm lens. London, UK. July 18, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Value

We get the “free” included camera straps in the box with our cameras. Often with bright branding, that from a distance screams “photographer here”. Often with little comfort and very little grip. We also have a range of truly awful straps on the market, which should be avoided at all costs. There are also several other manufacturers which make a range of straps extending from beautiful to practical. These qualities being mutually exclusive though.

EddyCam is the only manufacturer which I’ve used which has practical elegance, seemingly as an unspoken ethos. It goes further though. Absolutely comfortable, supremely grippy and phenomenally well made. Every aspect, from design, thoughtful choice of materials and production, means this is a first rate product. This is manufacturing at it’s best, realising the concept of design through practical experience and expertise in the field.

Looking at the market, the pricing is nearer the top end. The question is though, is it expensive, or is it good value for money? Having used these straps on assignment and personal work, for two months, I’m absolutely certain that there isn’t a better camera strap for my needs. I’m also certain that these straps will last for decades. Through several camera changes, easily.

I used to use Nikon burgundy (with yellow stitching) wide camera straps back in the days of film. These were expensive, but lasted many camera changes and I still have them on my Nikon FM2 and F3. I’ve also used the same UpStraps for well over a decade. Comparing these two straps with my EddyCam straps, I’m absolutely certain the EddyCam straps are the best made and thus will easily outlast them.

When you make this realisation, the cost of the straps becomes extremely good value. In the heat of the moment though, when you reach for your camera and it slips from your shoulder, making you fumble and end up missing that picture, that’s when you will wish you bought that EddyCam.

Urban 2020 Selected Photographer

Very happy to share that a portfolio of 5 of my images has been selected for the next stage of the Urban Photo Awards.

Wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial khachkar (a carved Armenian Stone Cross memorial sculpture) took place after a remembrance service and prayer of intercession, to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of April 24th, 1915, when 1.5 Million Armenians were massacred by the Ottoman Empire. A member of the clergy swings a censer (a type of thurible) of incense. The usual wreath laying ceremony at The Cenotaph, attended by hundreds, was cancelled this year due to the COVID 19 lockdown and instead took place on church grounds. St. Yeghiche Armenian Church, Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, London, UK. April 24, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Panasonic Lumix S1 with a Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f4.0 lens.


https://urbanphotoawards.com/selected-2020/selected-2020-people/#group-1 (I’m around 2/3 down the page – just look for my full name)

A portrait of Jim Connor (former picture editor, The Herald, Glasgow) enjoying a pint of Guiness at The Long Hall pub in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. January 17, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Sigma fp with a Leica 35mm APO Summicron SL f2.0 lens.
Opera singer Ida Ränzlöv (mezzo-soprano) in her dressing room ahead of her performance in Ian Page’s visionary MOZART 250 series, 1770 – A Retrospective. In conjunction with Classic FM. Wigmore Hall, Wigmore Street, London, UK. January 09, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Sigma fp with a Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4 lens.
Fashion designer and independent British luxury brand, Joshua Kane, in his flagship store at 68 Great Portland Street, London, UK. July 23, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Panasonic Lumix S1R with a Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens.
Easing Of The Coronavirus Lockdown In England begins today with non-essential retailers being allowed to open if they adhere to social distancing rules. Harrods opens it’s doors to shoppers who began queuing over an hour before the 11am opening of the store. Knightsbridge, London, UK. June 15, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Panasonic Lumix S1R with a Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f4.0 lens.

All the images were made using the L-Mount camera system. Three images were shot on the Lumix S Series with Lumix S Pro lenses and the other two images were shot on the Sigma fp with a Leica APO Summicron SL lens and a Lumix S Pro lens.

All photographs were from raw files, edited and processed in Adobe Lightroom and finished in Exposure Software’s Exposure X5, with the monochrome image being finished in DxO’s Nik Collection, Silver Efex Pro.

Fingers crossed for the October announcement!

Interviewed By Panasonic Lumix UK

Very nice of Panasonic UK to featue my work on the Lumix Experience website.

Its an interview on my career, workflow and the camera gear which I use. It’s mainly centred around my thought of shooting with the m43 Lumix G9 but does expand on favourite lenses, workflow and other equipment too. Hope you enjoy the piece.

Interviewed On “The As Yet Unnamed Podcast”

Thoroughly enjoyable chat with Ian Barstow on the “The As Yet Unnamed Podcast“, which went live earlier today.

We spoke about life, politics, newspapers, my career and the many aspects of photography. I even shared my journey in cameras; Nikon, Canon, Leica, Olympus and Panasonic Lumix. Something for everyone!

Hope you get a chance to listen (above) or even watch our chat.

The As Yet Unnamed Podcast – Edmond Terakopian

Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2020

The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action Shortlist

Thrilled to share some good news! One of my images has made the shortlist of the prestigeous Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year, in the The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action subcategory.

Late night dining with an abundance of fresh fish. La Fonda Del Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain. January 27, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian *NB Test shot with a prototype Lumix S1 and S Series 24-105mm f4.0 lens*

I made the image on my first night in Barcelona, ahead of the world launch of the Lumix S Series and L Mount Alliance, which took place the next day! The picture was made on a preproduction Lumix S1 and Lumix S 24-105mm lens.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 28th April, 2020 at 20:00 (GMT), on the Pink Lady Food Photographer Of The Year FaceBook page.

International Color Awards 2020

Two Honourable Mentions and Five Nominations

Thrilled to share that the judges of the 13th International Color Awards have kindly awarded two of my images and nominated a further five, out of the 6093 entries received.

Wonderful to see such a wide reaching panel, comprised of jury members from Newsweek, New York; Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg; The Art Channel, London; Netflix, Los Angeles; Koller Auctions, Zurich; Preus Museum, Norway; Galerie Mitterrand, Paris; Fila, New York; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg; Fox Broadcasting Network, Los Angeles; Gallery Kong, Seoul; Mini / BMW Group, London; and the Royal Academy Of Art, The Hague, Netherlands.

Honourable Mentions

Silhouette

A lady photographs her friend using a smartphone. Upper deck of the Snog frozen yoghurt bus. South Bank, London, UK. July 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix S1R
  • Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens

Abstract

A Surreal Stream. A bubble performance by a street entertainer. Daily Life, London, UK. October 07, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix G9
  • Leica DG 10-25mm Vario Summilux

Nominees

Advertising

A Piccadilly Ballerina Jonquil timepiece, modelled by Mona Ali. British luxury timepiece creator Backes & Strauss (founded in 1789). 21-22 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London, UK. July 17, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix S1R
  • Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8

Fine Art

Natural History; A Bridge To Our Past. A portrait of Andre Sanganoo-Dixon with a 3D printed replica of the dinosaur skull of the Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus carnegii. London, UK. May 09, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix S1R
  • Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4
  • Elinchrom monolight

Portrait

Fashion designer and independent British luxury brand, Joshua Kane, in his flagship store at 68 Great Portland Street, London, UK. July 23, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix S1R
  • Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8

People

Jan Hellebrand assembles a mechanical clock after a full dissasembly and service. The Clock Gallery, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, London, UK. July 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix S1
  • Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8

Food

In Armenian mythology, the pomegranate is celebrated as a symbol of life and is also believed to keep us safe from evil spirits. It has religious connotations to Christianity and is seen as the blood of Christ. The mythology of ancient Greece regarded this fruit as the symbol of life, marriage and rebirth. The fruit is also used as a holy symbol and respected in zoroastrian worshipping ceremonies and rituals.The pomegranate symbolises the soul’s immortality and the perfection of nature for Zoroastrians. For Muslims, the pomegranate is also a symbol of beauty, it is said to give beauty to those who eat it. Prophet Mohammed has advised pregnant women to eat pomegranates if they wanted beautiful children. Placement of pomegranate trees in the gardens of Eden, brings meaning for Muslims, who as a result believe that it is a holy tree. The Jewish mysticism called Kabbala reveres the pomegranate in many of its rituals. In modern Turkey today, many families throw a pomegranate on the floor and “crack” it on the New Year’s Eve to have a plentiful new year. Pomegranate still life. London, UK. July 16, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
  • Lumix S1R
  • Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8

As a side note, when putting together this blog post’s images, I was quite surprised at just how many of these images were made using the extremely versatile, new Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens. In fact these were all shot using a pre-production lens ahead of its release. Some of these images were also used in the Panasonic Lumix international launch campaign for the lens, which I was commissioned to shoot.