Ask me to rate my favorite non-camera photo gear, and the Peak Design CapturePRO® Camera Clip is at the top of the list. It allows me to carry a camera on my backpack strap or belt, and have it ready in an instant. This is ideal when outdoors, whether hiking and taking wildlife photos, or on a photo shoot. And as an added bonus, the PROplate it uses is available in the popular Arca Swiss mount, making it compatible with all of my tripods as well. If you’re a cyclist familiar with clipless pedals, the concept is like one cleat for all your shoe and pedal combinations, road or MTB.
As mentioned in other articles, I’ve never really been a huge big fan of straps. I’ve reviewed some that offered the security of steel wires running through them, so I wouldn’t drop a large aperture zoom lens again, but I always saw them as a compromise. Then at Outdoor Retailer, I saw a bunch of guys at the Peak Design booth with beards and tattoos, wearing their cameras on their hip or backpack strap. This intrigued me, and not because they seemed to be missing their fixed gear bicycles. As luck would have it, one of them was kind enough to introduce me to the Peak Design CapturePRO Camera Clip, and provided a quick demo of the product, and how it would change my life. Or at least how I carried my cameras.
It’s really rather simple. Put the CapturePRO on your belt or backpack strap, screw a PROplate onto the bottom of your camera (with the included allen wrench), and you’ve got a secure way to carry your camera, and have it ready for that decisive moment. Depending on how you mount it, you can drop your camera down and in, or slide it in horizontally. There is a button to unlock it, and the tension is adjustable. First thought? “Must have”.
Fast forward to today. Every camera body I own has a PROplate on it, and I have spares for my long lenses too. I can keep one camera at my side, and rather than switch lenses (I hate exposing the mirror and sensor to dust), swap cameras in a flash. This is great for wildlife, and brilliant for shooting weddings, where my main lens might be a 24-70, but I want a 17-40 at the ready. With a CapturePRO on each side of my belt, I can have my hands free to set up a tripod, without a camera hanging off my neck and banging around. And for days when I don’t need a full frame camera, the weight of a mirror-less Canon hanging off the CapturePRO is hardly noticed, but my camera falls naturally at hand when I need it. No matter which camera I use, it locks into place very secure, yet is easy to remove with only a little practice.
Peak Design offers many different plates, including the Arca Swiss compatible, a DUALplate that works with both Arca Swiss and Manfrotto RC2 type tripod heads, a MICROplate for slim cameras, and the Standard, which allows me to get to the battery and memory card on my little mirror-less camera. The CapturePRO and the more wallet-friendly Capture will both support 200 pounds, which is more than any camera lens combo you could likely come up with. For larger lenses and heavier bodies with battery grips, get the PROpad, which magically seems to lighten the load.
While I would be content with the CapturePRO, I saw their Clutch on Kickstarter, and realizing that it would be great for studio work, backed that campaign. And despite my indifference to straps, I decided to give their Slide a shot too. So look for reviews on both of them in the future. They have a couple of other product for binoculars and GoPro cameras too, so be sure to have a look at their whole line, which is growing steadily. Pricing is all very reasonable, and you can count on most items shipping at no extra cost. Note that as I was getting ready to publish this article, I realized I didn’t have any of my own photos to include, so all the images you see came from the Peak Design website. But with my next review, I’ll have original photos so Canon can get the representation it deserves.