Peak Design Capture Review – Camera Clip System

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

Ever since recently buying a new backpacking camera, a Lumix GF2, I’ve been trying different ways to carry it with me on my backpacking trips.

The first, and simplest, way I tried was to attach the neck strap to the camera and hang it around my neck, but I quickly discovered how bad that was and how much it moved from side to side – annoying! Then I tried the modified neck carry with one arm through the strap as well, it reduced the swinging but put the camera at my side next to my pack and I found it still moved around enough to frequently knock off the lens cap.

I also tried a whole bunch of small, padded camera cases designed for my size of camera. I tried them around my neck, using the modified carry with my arm through the strap, and with the cases attached to my belt – I hated those options. Putting the camera inside my pack was a safe and secure way to carry the camera, but useless for quickly trying to take a photo in the spur of the moment. It takes too long to put my pack down and get my camera out and ready – long enough that I find I tend to use my camera a lot less than I would like to and end up with very few photos.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

While searching online for a better solution I stumbled upon the Capture camera clip system by Peak Design and was very intrigued by their completely new approach to the problem. So much so in fact that I reached out to Peak Design to ask some questions that I couldn’t find answers to on their website. After a short email correspondence with Adam Saraceno, I was given the opportunity to try one of their Capture Clip Systems for myself. That was several months ago…

I’ve been thoroughly testing the Capture Camera Clip System with my GF2 on a couple of my backpacks and wanted to share my views on it with you. I figured if I was struggling to find a good solution to the camera carry problem, then it’s highly likely that some of you might also be interested in a good solution.

The Capture Camera Clip System
The Capture camera clip system is unique yet simple solution to the problem of carrying a camera securely but in such a way that you have instant access to it when you need it. It achieves this by attaching to the shoulder straps of a backpack and using a clever little quick release camera bracket system. This results in the camera being positioned at your shoulder where you can easily keep an eye on it and remove in a split second to be ready to take a photo. It’s always right there when you need it – another one of those “why didn’t I think of this” sort of ideas!

Specifications:

  • Holds any camera. DSLR, Micro 4/3 or point and shoot
  • Weighs 5.4 oz
  • Attaches to a backpack shoulder strap or belt
  • Strong enough to withstand any physical activity
  • Does not obstruct camera lenses for changing
  • Redundant twist-lock for extra security
  • Quick release plate has built-in hand straps
  • Durable, weatherproof aluminum construction
  • Lifetime guarantee from Peak Design

How it Attaches
As I said earlier, one of the most unique aspects of the Capture clip system is that it attaches to the shoulder straps of your backpack rather than to the hip like more traditional camera carry solutions. If you really want to, the Capture clip system can be attached to a belt just as easily, but I don’t like heavy things on my belt.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

Capture attaches by means of a dual-screw clamping backplate that constitutes the majority of the main body of the product. One of the screws is a pivot for the upper plate, the other locks the plate in place. This allows the upper plate to open up completely so that you can insert the shoulder strap without having to feed it through a narrow slot. Hand tightening the two screws is more than sufficient to keep the entire bracket securely in place.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

I’ve found that the shoulder straps on most of my lightweight backpacks, such as my Gossamer Gear Gorilla packs, are thin enough to easily accommodate the Capture clamp system and let it tighten up properly. However, my GORUCK GR1 has much thicker shoulder pads that are too padded for the length of the thread on the clamp screws (0.5 inches or 1.3 cm).

Luckily there is an easy work around. I use the vertical MOLLE loops on my GR1′s straps to thread the Capture mount through and then tighten up the clamp. I mention this because lately I tend to use my GORUCK pack more than any other and if you have thicker shoulder straps you might want to consider this method. For the most part I was easily able to use the Capture mount on my UL backpacks.

Attaching the Camera
Once the body of the Capture clip has been properly attached to your shoulder strap, the next step is to attach the custom camera (tripod) plate to the bottom of the camera. Unlike a traditional tripod plate, the Capture plate is square. This allows you to not have to fuss with getting it the right way round when you are attaching it. It also allows you to insert the camera into the shoulder mount in the orientation that you prefer – up, down, or sideways. Just slide it in and hear it snap securely and firmly into place.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

Once the camera has been snapped into the shoulder mount and locked into place, it can only be removed by depressing the red quick-release button. It absolutely can’t fall out accidentally trust me, I’ve even tried running with my camera attached this way, and despite it being very uncomfortable and slightly weird, it never once came undone.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

As an added security feature there is a locking screw that guarantees that the camera bracket cannot slide out even when the red quick-release button is depressed. This is a great feature, but I’ll admit that I feel as though it is completely overkill. The camera is not coming out unless you really want it to.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

I’ve completely removed the neck strap from my camera now that I am using the Capture camera clip system. It just gets in the way and serves no practical use to justify leaving it on. In fact it gets in the way when my camera is carried on my shoulder strap. I’ve also noticed that I have begun to wrap my fingers around the bottom camera plate as part of my shooting grip because it protrudes a little on my diminutive GF2.

I believe that Peak Design will be releasing a smaller “micro” camera plate specifically for the four/thirds format as well as several other common mounting formats (ARCA, Manfrotto) that have been requested.

Areas for Improvement?
It’s pretty cheeky of me to suggest that I could improve on this clever solution, but you all know me too well by now not to expect me to have some opinions about what I would change or do differently.

Peak Design Capture Review - Camera Clip System

The Capture system is built to easily handle small cameras like mine and compact point and shoot cameras, but it was also designed to accommodate full-size DSLRs with long zoom lens without any problem. As a result the Capture system is built extremely strong using a lot of metal. Despite being made of aluminum, it’s relatively heavy, weighing in at 5.4 oz. I would like to see a lighter weight version of the body designed specifically for POS or 4/3 cameras like my GF2. By all means keep a larger version too, but offer a smaller version for those that don’t need to hang 30lbs of camera on their shoulders.

I found that over long hikes the two outer points of the clamping screws began to dig into my shoulder because they protrude wider than the shoulder straps. I also found it a little tricky to put my backpack on after taking it off because the capture mount kept getting snagged on my arm or clothing even though I had remove my camera. It’s not a major problem but did cause me to adjust how I put my pack on.

That’s it! I wouldn’t change very much about this clever gadget to be honest. Maybe smaller or lighter and the twist-lock is totally redundant in my opinion so that could go. Other than that this is a fantastic way to carry a camera so that it is always available at a moments notice. I found that I took a lot more photos carrying my GF2 this way simply because it was easily accessible.

I field tested the Capture camera clip system during my recent hike of Mt. Whitney and got a lot of questions about it from curious hikers – they seemed to really like it and I’m betting quite a few will be buying one based on the quick demos that I gave.

Special Offer for My Readers
Adam at Peak Design has very graciously offered to give a 10% discount to any of my readers that want to purchase a Capture Camera Clip System online. To redeem the offer, simply click on the link below and enter the discount code “bgreen” at checkout – EASY!.

Purchase a Capture Camera Clip System online >>

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Disclosure: Peak Design provided Brian’s Backpacking Blog with a complementary Capture Clip System for the purpose of this test.

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  • http://sectionhiker.com/ Philip Werner

    I just put my LX5 into the hip belt pocket of my Gossamer Gear pack. I use the same belt interchangeably on my Gorilla and Mariposa+. Works great and keeps the camera safe and handy for quick shots.

  • http://sectionhiker.com/ Philip Werner

    I just put my LX5 into the hip belt pocket of my Gossamer Gear pack. I use the same belt interchangeably on my Gorilla and Mariposa+. Works great and keeps the camera safe and handy for quick shots.

  • Andrew Downie

    Regarding the digging in of the base, maybe add some sugru to disperse the pressure across a wider area and prevent digging?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Ha! Great minds think alike. I was going to hack something to fix this but knowing that I was testing an earlier version of the Capture I fully expect Peak Design to have worked this out in their next release. BTW – I do not have the digging issue when I where the Capture clip on my GORUCK GR1 because it doesn’t go all the way around the shoulder strap.

  • Andrew Downie

    Regarding the digging in of the base, maybe add some sugru to disperse the pressure across a wider area and prevent digging?

  • http://twitter.com/jalford Jason Alford

    For those that have a stickpic, throw in a mini-biner for an easy way to carry a point & shoot.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Wouldn’t that just hang loosely and flop around all over the place? It’s a great way of clipping it on to your pack, but I don’t think it’s even close to being in the same league as this for a carry solution – and I have the StickPic.

  • http://twitter.com/jalford Jason Alford

    For those that have a stickpic, throw in a mini-biner for an easy way to carry a point & shoot.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Ha! Great minds think alike. I was going to hack something to fix this but knowing that I was testing an earlier version of the Capture I fully expect Peak Design to have worked this out in their next release. BTW – I do not have the digging issue when I where the Capture clip on my GORUCK GR1 because it doesn’t go all the way around the shoulder strap.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Wouldn’t that just hang loosely and flop around all over the place? It’s a great way of clipping it on to your pack, but I don’t think it’s even close to being in the same league as this for a carry solution – and I have the StickPic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnpavoncello John Pavoncello

    I’d be concerned about damage to the camera with the way it sticks out like that. As a pro photog, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to carry a camera while backpacking and the solution i’ve come up with is to A) Like Brian, use a high quality P&S instead of my DSLR and B) I use a chest pouch (Hill People Gear) that not only carries my camera safely but all of my emergency gear (first aid, water, fire etc).

    • adam m

      John, I’ve got a capture and use a smallish dSLR with it (pentax k-x). It’s great and I love it. It does stick out in front of you, but that’s generally a pretty safe area (exceptions include rock climbing, tree climbing and alpine self-arrests). The accessibility can only be beaten by actually having the camera in your hands the whole time, and that’s what sold me on it.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      John, did you just call my Lumix GF2 4/3 camera a point-and-shoot? Blasphemy! :-]

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnpavoncello John Pavoncello

    I’d be concerned about damage to the camera with the way it sticks out like that. As a pro photog, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to carry a camera while backpacking and the solution i’ve come up with is to A) Like Brian, use a high quality P&S instead of my DSLR and B) I use a chest pouch (Hill People Gear) that not only carries my camera safely but all of my emergency gear (first aid, water, fire etc).

  • adam m

    John, I’ve got a capture and use a smallish dSLR with it (pentax k-x). It’s great and I love it. It does stick out in front of you, but that’s generally a pretty safe area (exceptions include rock climbing, tree climbing and alpine self-arrests). The accessibility can only be beaten by actually having the camera in your hands the whole time, and that’s what sold me on it.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    John, did you just call my Lumix GF2 4/3 camera a point-and-shoot? Blasphemy! :-]

  • http://twitter.com/JillianLaura Jillian Bejtlich

    I’d definitely be curious to give it a try with a heavier camera. I use a Nikon D40x with either an 18-55mm lense or my much preferred 35mm lense. It’s not the heaviest camera, but it’s not small by any means and it definitely flops around enough when it’s on a neck strap.

    Did you have a chance to test it with any larger camera bodies? I just can’t be happy with P&S cameras and really want my DSLR with me!

  • http://twitter.com/JillianLaura Jillian Bejtlich

    I’d definitely be curious to give it a try with a heavier camera. I use a Nikon D40x with either an 18-55mm lense or my much preferred 35mm lense. It’s not the heaviest camera, but it’s not small by any means and it definitely flops around enough when it’s on a neck strap.

    Did you have a chance to test it with any larger camera bodies? I just can’t be happy with P&S cameras and really want my DSLR with me!

  • Miguel Reznicek

    The only flaw I see is that it doesn’t use a Manfrotto compatible baseplate.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Did you miss the part about the Manfrotto baseplate that Peak Design is releasing shortly? They now have one!

  • Miguel Reznicek

    The only flaw I see is that it doesn’t use a Manfrotto compatible baseplate.

  • Luke

    I have a pocket sized point and shoot. My favorite way to carry it — dare I say the BEST way to carry it? — is in my pants pocket, without a case — but with one important addition. I add a lanyard of doubled p-cord (or preferably something smaller diameter) about 24″ long. One end girth hitches to the camera’s wrist strap, and the other to a belt loop on my pants. When I need the camera, instead of digging in my pocket (especially those incredibly deep pockets on my zip-offs), I just tuck a finger or two under the belt loop, snag the lanyard, and pull. The lanyard slides over my finger as if it were a pulley, and the camera slips out of my pocket and directly into my hand with very little effort (slippery cord as opposed to abrasive cord is better). As you mentioned, I get a lot more pictures than my friends because the camera is so handy. So far I’ve never had the wrist strap blow.

    This even works famously when doing multipitch rockclimbing and mountaineering (i.e. wearing a harness). The camera ends up slipping below the leg loop of the harness, keeping it in the pocket. I just have to pull a little more carefully with my leg straight, and the camera slips right out.

    There’s also NO danger of dropping it off the cliff, though you could swing it into the wall. The lanyard/wrist strap combo is long enough for me to put the camera to my face, but not long enough to hit the ground. The only downside is that without padding sometimes the camera touches
    rock through the pants fabric, so I have to watch for that.

    For specialty shots, like if I need to take an arm’s length self-portrait, or reach over my head to clear a fence, then I have to pull the lanyard off my belt loop. I facilitate this by tying a little overhand knot 1/4″ from the end of the lanyard. This acts like a little handle I can grab when I need to undo the girth hitch — I pull it up about a foot or so, then quickly pass the camera back through the loop, and pull the camera/lanyard free. Total weight = 0.05 oz or something.

  • Luke

    I have a pocket sized point and shoot. My favorite way to carry it — dare I say the BEST way to carry it? — is in my pants pocket, without a case — but with one important addition. I add a lanyard of doubled p-cord (or preferably something smaller diameter) about 24″ long. One end girth hitches to the camera’s wrist strap, and the other to a belt loop on my pants. When I need the camera, instead of digging in my pocket (especially those incredibly deep pockets on my zip-offs), I just tuck a finger or two under the belt loop, snag the lanyard, and pull. The lanyard slides over my finger as if it were a pulley, and the camera slips out of my pocket and directly into my hand with very little effort (slippery cord as opposed to abrasive cord is better). As you mentioned, I get a lot more pictures than my friends because the camera is so handy. So far I’ve never had the wrist strap blow.

    This even works famously when doing multipitch rockclimbing and mountaineering (i.e. wearing a harness). The camera ends up slipping below the leg loop of the harness, keeping it in the pocket. I just have to pull a little more carefully with my leg straight, and the camera slips right out.

    There’s also NO danger of dropping it off the cliff, though you could swing it into the wall. The lanyard/wrist strap combo is long enough for me to put the camera to my face, but not long enough to hit the ground. The only downside is that without padding sometimes the camera touches
    rock through the pants fabric, so I have to watch for that.

    For specialty shots, like if I need to take an arm’s length self-portrait, or reach over my head to clear a fence, then I have to pull the lanyard off my belt loop. I facilitate this by tying a little overhand knot 1/4″ from the end of the lanyard. This acts like a little handle I can grab when I need to undo the girth hitch — I pull it up about a foot or so, then quickly pass the camera back through the loop, and pull the camera/lanyard free. Total weight = 0.05 oz or something.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Did you miss the part about the Manfrotto baseplate that Peak Design is releasing shortly? They now have one!

  • http://www.mylifeoutdoors.com/ Steven Smith

    I had a similar dilemma a few years ago when I started hiking with my full size DSLR. I ended up building a MYOG clip that sucures the camera to my strnum strap. I have hiked with it for years…and love it. I have a write up about it if you are intersted.

  • http://www.mylifeoutdoors.com/ Steven Smith

    I had a similar dilemma a few years ago when I started hiking with my full size DSLR. I ended up building a MYOG clip that sucures the camera to my strnum strap. I have hiked with it for years…and love it. I have a write up about it if you are intersted.

  • Josh

    sorry, off topic, but… How do you like the gossamer gear inflatable back insert?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      That is completely off topic! But as you asked, the version I was testing was a beta, so it had some size and fit issues with my medium size GG Gorilla pack. I had some issues with the rather large valve being in the corner, but other than that and some squeaky noise when I was sticky and sweaty it was a rock star. Made for a great sit pad even on ice cold rocks, was very comfortable on my back and provided a lot of rigidity to the pack. They’re definitely onto something and I’ve provided detailed feedback to GG on my testing results and thoughts. Can’t wait to see what version 1.1 will be like :-) What do you think of an inflatable pack frame insert?

      • Josh

        I think it’s a great idea. I would love to use it as a pillow or sit pad. The only worry might be how does it breath. I would think you could almost get rid of the aluminum stay.

        • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

          Josh, you could easily get rid of the aluminum stay and that was part of my advice and feedback to Gossamer Gear – they’ve got a really neat idea with this, now they need to perfect it.

  • Josh

    sorry, off topic, but… How do you like the gossamer gear inflatable back insert?

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    That is completely off topic! But as you asked, the version I was testing was a beta, so it had some size and fit issues with my medium size GG Gorilla pack. I had some issues with the rather large valve being in the corner, but other than that and some squeaky noise when I was sticky and sweaty it was a rock star. Made for a great sit pad even on ice cold rocks, was very comfortable on my back and provided a lot of rigidity to the pack. They’re definitely onto something and I’ve provided detailed feedback to GG on my testing results and thoughts. Can’t wait to see what version 1.1 will be like :-) What do you think of an inflatable pack frame insert?

  • Josh

    I think it’s a great idea. I would love to use it as a pillow or sit pad. The only worry might be how does it breath. I would think you could almost get rid of the aluminum stay.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Josh, you could easily get rid of the aluminum stay and that was part of my advice and feedback to Gossamer Gear – they’ve got a really neat idea with this, now they need to perfect it.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I’m always interested – please share a link!

  • http://www.mylifeoutdoors.com/ Steven Smith
  • Layla

    It looks like you got the standard ARCA plate with it. Do you think it was too big for your camera? I am thinking if I want to get it with the microplate. Any advice for me if I should get it?