Spider Holster SpiderLight review: A belt holster for your camera

There are many ways to carry a DSLR, but a belt-based holster system may be best for you.

IDG

IDG

Throughout my photography career, I’ve always struggled to find the best way to carry my camera, and I know I’m not alone in experimenting with different solutions. But one month with the Spider Holster SpiderLight ($95 on Amazon) has shown me the answer. Or at least an answer.

Before I get into how this belt-based holster system works, let’s quickly review other options. 

Spider Holster SpiderLight on a Canon 5D Mark III Matthew Mikaelian

Sure, I could use the strap that comes with the camera, but it’s stiff, scratchy, and plastered with logos. What about cross body straps? No, they’re not secure, and also get in the way of a shoulder bag or backpack. How about wrist straps? They’re usually uncomfortable, and require that you always hold the camera in your hand.

Enter the SpiderLight, which gives you an excuse to look like a real-life gunslinger, only with a safer alternative to a gun.

Spider Holster SpiderLight Adam Patrick Murray/idg

The SpiderLight hardware is a very simple, two-piece system. It starts with a clip, which attaches to your belt, and is completed by a plate, which secures to the base of your camera body, and includes a ball-jointed pin that slides into a groove on the belt clip. After you slide the pin into the clip, you can lock it down completely, allowing you to move briskly—and even run—without fear of damaging your camera.

Fully holstered, the camera lens points toward your butt, and even when you bend down, it stays comfortable and securely attached to your hip. When it’s time to take a shot, you flip open the “quick draw” lock that secures the pin to the belt clip, and slide up to remove the camera.

On location shoots, it was great to have a safe place to store my camera while addressing the set or directing the model, and it was super easy to grab the camera whenever I needed to start shooting again. I even started to use the SpiderLight during studio shoots, as the camera stays out of the way yet remains accessible.

Spider Holster SpiderLight on a Canon 5D Mark III Matthew Mikaelian

Attaching the belt clip is easy enough and it feels secure, but after a while it started to tug on my belt—enough to make me worry about its build quality. It also took me a couple minutes to figure out the best way to install the plate to the camera. There’s a clear indicator pointing out the direction the lens should face, but no explanation as to the best distance for the placement of the ball joint. I defaulted to lining the end of the plate with the side of the camera body, and that seemed to work fine. Luckily, the plate doesn’t cover up the battery door, so you still have complete access to everything on the body.

Once affixed, the whole system comes together with a satisfying click of the lock, and feels very secure (notwithstanding the tugging on my belt). At the beginning of my time with the SpiderLight, I did bump the camera into a couple of doorways, but quickly learned my lesson, and after a while the system felt like a natural part of my body. Because the camera sits so close to your hip, it stayed put even when I went into a jog. The SpiderLight is marketed toward use with mirrorless bodies, but I tested it on a Canon 5D Mk III and a Sony a7r II, and found it usable on both DSLRs.

Spider Holster SpiderLight on a Canon 5D Mark III Matthew Mikaelian

It only took me a short time to get accustomed to having my camera attached to my hip, and I felt very liberated in a way that straps have never afforded me. That said, I wouldn’t recommend adding a telephoto like Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8L. For that, you would want to step up to the SpiderPro system that includes a belt and heftier parts.

Spider Holster’s products are a little more pricey than the offerings from Peak Designs, and certainly more expensive than conventional straps. But if you’re like me, and haven’t been happy with the other ways of carrying your camera, I would recommend looking into the SpiderLight. I think I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Canon

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Adam Patrick Murray

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?