Thanks to the coin friendly attachment of the F-1 Mounting Plate and D-1 Ball Head, hooking up your camera to its new tether is a no fuss experience. The slotted mounting hole allows for fine positioning of the plate forward and aft. While I cannot speak for other DSLRs, I was very happy to see that the mounting plate did not obstruct my Canon Rebel T2i's battery door, although just barely. If you want to check your own camera for this potential issue, the plate measures 48 mm from the ball head end to the center of the mounting screw and 25 mm from the opposite end to the same screw. If you have an Arca-Swiss quick-release tripod mount, no further action is required. The six tripod mounting holes give you plenty of flexibility if you lack Arca-Swiss. Now all that's left to do is set the ball head into the sling receiver, lock it down, and start shooting!
Our first day of CES was also my first day of using the sling. Given that the day was packed with meetings and lots of walking between hotels, it was the perfect opportunity to test the comfort and functionality of the FS-Slim. The construction and security of the sling had already earned my confidence after a quick once over. I was more concerned with the sling's ergonomics, which for the most part did not dissappoint. With the side of the camera resting flat against my leg, I was able to intuitively find the handgrip and draw it up for a shot rather than fumbling for it. If our group needed to hustle along the Vegas Strip or pack into a crowded elevator, cinching up the length of the strap allowed me to shield the camera body with my arm. Given that the camera lens naturally points rearward, I kept the lens cap on out of paranoia, as it would be easy for it to impact someone's watch, ring, or belt buckle and receive a nasty scratch. I also found it easy to cinch the strap tight and rotate the camera around to my back for when I needed to bend down to tie a shoe. The system does an admirable job of keeping the camera fixed while walking quickly or climbing over obstacles, but the front metal piece did tend to work it's way loose after every 2 city blocks. Because this can get rather annoying, I'd be willing to sacrifice a smooth camera draw if Carry Speed could make the cinching a 'set it and forget it' system.
The FS-Slim's rubberized neoprene shoulder pad was pure bliss for my neck and shoulder. No sore muscles and no chafing equals a happy photographer at the end of a long day of shooting. But I did discover an unexpected downside of all the rubber on the underside of the pad. It creates a reasonable amount of friction on your shoulder; enough to roughen up the fibers of your shirt in that area. This problem is rather unavoidable from a design standpoint, because a good shoulder pad needs to be sticky, so preventing wear and tear on clothing comes down to how you use the sling. Think less country western, more bow hunter. If you can resist the urge to quickly draw the camera, you're shirts will thank you.