There are many ways to wear your camera, from the traditional strap around your neck to sling straps and even holsters. Peak Design has come up with a new system, the Capture clip system. The Capture clip is said to free you from straps. You just hang your camera off your belt or any kind of strap that you happen to wear anywhere on your body.
When I first saw the 79.99 EUR Capture camera clip, I was enthralled with its design and the clever thinking behind it, but as with all of these special systems, it’s a brilliant idea that works out less obviously in practice. Which is not another way of saying the Capture is no good. Quite the contrary.
If you’ve been here before, you’ve perhaps read that I am really enchanted with two camera strap systems so far: the Spider Holster system with all of its accessories and the old (and no longer available) Luma Pro from Luma Labs (they make another strap now, which I haven’t had the chance of testing yet).
I’m also enthusiastic about Custom SLR’s system and accessories. I can’t say I am happy with any of the other systems that have made it to my test bench, so I was very curious about how Peak Design’s Capture would fair.
The Capture is a system that comes in a cute, nicely designed cardboard box. The system has three components: the Capture clip, an Arca style mounting plate and a hex screwdriver. The system is made of aluminium and has a solid feel. The whole system also comes in a small and stylish nylon carrying bag. The design doesn’t stop at how the thing looks. It’s also reflected in the way it is conceived for you to handle.
For example, the Arca style plate has a square aspect ratio and is equipped with four hand strap loops. This means it will fit in all Arca Classic style mounting systems such as Novoflex and Really Right Stuff ball heads. The handstrap loops show the care that went into the design. The plate has a full rubberised bottom, making it one of the few plates I have tested so far that won’t twist. The plate is best fixed by screwing the mount screw with the hexagon driver, but there’s also a solid and robust D-ring that you can use to attach a strap like the Luma Pro to.
The Capture clip itself is a system that you need to fix on a belt, a shoulder strap (like from a rucksack), a waist strap or a strap on a messenger bag. To fix the thing, you’ll unscrew two clamping bolts and pivot the top layer (the chassis) to expose the lower (the bottom plate). You’ll place your belt or strap between the two layers, tighten the two clamping bolts — really tighten them, as I was about to find out — and you’re ready.
The system is very secure if you handle it correctly. For example, there is a spring/release lock for the plate, but there’s also a twist lock for added security. The plate can’t slide off the clip, either, as the clip is equipped with a “stopper”.
The beauty of the system is that you’re free to hang the clip wherever you want. Want to hang the Capture clip at shoulder’s height on a backpack strap? No problem. Want to hang it on your belt somewhere close to your bottom? No problem. Want to hang it more to the front? Anything goes.
But. First of all: tighten those clamping bolts well — they can withstand a force of 60 kilograms, so they can take it. I didn’t and the Capture slid downward on the slippery slope of a nylon strap. I bumped my lens cap against my chest and thus broke one of my Xume filter holders.
Secondly: I’m skinny. That makes me part of a dying breed if I am to believe most health magazines, but there are still others like me. If you’re skinny, the freedom of hanging a 3 kilo heavy camera off your chest, in the neighbourhood of your shoulderblade, bumping into your body with every step you take, demands padding material. Most backpacks’ shoulder straps come with padding, but mine didn’t protect me from lens bumps.
Ultimately, I found the Capture to work best on a somewhat broader strap — you can go up to some 7cm wide — that isn’t too flexible. During my tests, I was very happy with hanging the Capture off my Lowepro messenger bag. The camera bumped its heart out… against the bag. Except for the weight (which you always need to deal with, unless someone invents a strap that airlifts your camera) this was the most comfortable way to carry my camera.
To that last sentence I didn’t add :”…with the Capture.” That’s because Peak Design’s Capture proved to be the most comfortable way to carry my camera around, period. The only other way that comes close is the Spider Holster, and to be honest I wouldn’t know which of the two I would prefer.