Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Peak Design Capture Pro camera clip

These days i seem to have just 2 things in my life, Photography and hiking, The first as its my living and second because in April this year i am walking the Camino De Santiago in Spain, A walk 800km to raise money for Cancer Research, For the last year i have been increasing my hiking distance and gaining some fitness for the walk, I always carry a camera with me and will be documenting the entire journey, Carrying a camera whilst hiking can be a pain, its never really where you want to it be, I have been carrying my Fuji XM1 in a Think Tank Mirrorless 10 bag which attaches to my backpack straps around my waist, Its secure and keeps the camera safe and dry, But it takes a few seconds or more to get to it, A few weeks ago i walked over 60 miles in 5 days just to see how fit i was and if any of my gear needed changing or sorting in anyway, Better to get everything done now than on the trip, I live near a very large lake, One day i was crossing a bridge across the lake when 4 Bald Eagles flew over, Very low and gave me a great view, I fumbled around to get the camera out of the bag and by the time i had adjusted the settings the Eagles where a dot in the distance, Now the camera and lens are small but i could have at the very least got a decent shot of 4 Eagles within a landscape image, When i got home i started to search the internet to find a better solution, I found Peak Design, and their Camera clip system looked just the job, I reached out to them and purchased one of their Capture Pro camera clips along with an extra 'microplate' for my Fuji XM1, Why the Pro? well i also use a large Dslr body so wanted their highest quality product as the Nikon D800E with a 24-70 lens will set you back over $5k,The Capture Pro clip comes with a 'standard' arcaplate which will fit my D800E Dslr, But you have the choice of an Arca style, Manfrotto or Micro plate for small cameras like my Fujifilm, The plates simply screw into the tripod tread on the base of your camera and becomes a quick release if you use it with a tripod or monopod with either an arca type or manfrotto head, Which brings me to another nice feature, the Pro version has a tripod thread on the back so you could use it as a tripod head or monpod head which is a very cool feature, If you take that into account and look at the prices of an Arca swiss type plate from say RRS or Wimberley (around $50) it makes the Capture camera clip excellent value for money,
My first impressions when the package arrived were excellent, Peak Design is a young company but whoever did the packaging design should get a pat on the back, Very nice indeed, infact everything screams quality, I opened the packaging and took the camera clip over, I called my wife over to take a look, The machining is beautiful, the clip feels solid and well made but not overly heavy, I will be using an Osprey Atmos 50 backpack on the walk so i fitted the clip to one of the straps, Now i will say that it was a bit of a fight as the straps are quite thick, I had to really compress the straps so i could screw the 2 retaining screws in, Peak Design do sell longer screws and personally i would have liked to have had both long and short supplied, If i had got the package and then had to order extra screws i would not have been happy , I have the Osprey backpack but i also have a daypack, Camera backpacks and water hydration pack so will need both short and long screws, This would be the ONLY thing i could say in a negative way, Please supply both lengths of screw, Anyway once the clip was in the right place on the strap it was time to test it out, I put the microplate on the Fuji and with a reassuring click it slid straight in, There are 2 buttons on the camera clip, A red one and a black one, Push the red button in and you can slid the camera out of the clip, If you decide to use the clip as a tripod or monopod head then you can screw the black button tight and it locks the camera in so it cannot accidentally fall out-nice,
Since i received the camera clip i have walked over 30 miles, Always with the Fuji attached and have to say its been great, The camera is always easily accessible and ready to use, It does not get in the way and you barely even know its there, One concern i had was that the camera would 'bounce' when you walk and would be annoying, This has proved NOT to be the case, I have only used it with the D800E for a short time but so far no problems even though there is some weight there,
I wanted to know that the camera was really secure so i took the backpack off and left the Fuji attached, I picked the backpack (20lb) up and swung it over my shoulder to put it on and the fuji stayed nicely in place and did not shoot of into the woodland, As i said before when you slide your camera into the clip it gives a nice reassuring 'click', If you are concerned that the camera is a little exposed and there is a chance of rain or you are in a dusty environment you can simply cover it with a zip lock bag or even a shower cap,
Peak design do not just sell the Camera Clip, They also have camera straps and some Go Pro accessories, The Capture Clip is also not just for backpacks, You can attach it to a waist belt or to one of their Pro Pads, Check them out here, I can honestly say that their products are beautifully made and work great,
If you decide to part with some of your hard earned cash and buy some Peak Design products the nice people at Peak Design have told me that my photo and hiking buddies can add 'courtenay' into the promotional code box at checkout and get 10% off (must be over $19.95 and through their website)

Some images of yours truly showing the Capture Pro with both Nikon D800 and 16-35 (Dslr)  and Fujifilm XM1 (Mirrorless) cameras

UPDATE-Well its now April 10th, I have been walking 4+ times a week and covering as much as 21 miles at a time, I am pleased to report back that the Capture Pro camera clip is working great, My camera is always with me and easily accessible, Never in the way and you never really notice its there which is perfect

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