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Peak Design Clutch review

Colin
July 17, 2018

I am a big fan of Peak Design camera straps. They are comfortable to wear, but the real drawcard for me is their customizability with the quick release system.

Highlights

Using the brand’s Anchor Links you can swap out camera straps or attach them to different parts of the camera quickly yet securely. They are light, small and tough, and I literally have them attached to everything.

The Clutch isn’t a traditional strap per say, but more of a hand strap which utilizes this system.

There are situations where a camera strap is a boon, but sometimes they just get in the way, and especially with one of my most used bags the MindShift rotation 180 Horizon. When I use this bag, I often run strapless, but I am always terrified I’m going to drop my camera, especially when scrambling up a rocky hillside or onto a fallen log to find a vantage point. The Clutch all but alleviates that fear.

I’ve been using Peak Designs nifty hand strap for a few months now and it literally has not left my camera body since.

No drops

First and foremost the Clutch allows you to ditch the strap and provides a sure grip at all times. If you cinch it right down over your hand you don’t even really have to wrap your fingers around the camera.

In use, I prefer the Clutch to be a bit loose as when I cinch it down I struggle to reach the AF-ON button on my 5DMKiii with my thumb. When not shooting you can also use the Clutch as a handle to carry the camera with.

The only real complaint I can muster for the Clutch is that it takes up the attachment point on the right side of the camera, and doesn’t utilize the Anchor Links. When I do use a strap I prefer to have it attached to the top camera anchors, bar when I’m using a long lens, and with the Clutch attached there is no room on for an Anchor Link.

So with this to use the Clutch, I have to remove the Anchor Links from the left attachment point on the body, and replace it in the situations I want to use a strap. While the way the clutch attaches to the body is robust, I can’t help but wonder Peak Design wouldn’t incorporate the Anchor Links here, especially given the bottom of the strap does.

I’ll admit this is a nitpick given that the Clutch also utilizes the Capture plate that’s always on my camera anyway, where a shoulder strap can be attached.

The build quality is top notch and the Clutch’s exterior is made from the same material as whitewater rafts and the hardware is made from Aluminium. It’s survived mud, volcanic dust, rain, snow and plenty of bumps scrapes and still looks exactly the same as the day I pulled it out of the box.

Where to buy

 

 

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Peak Design CapturePro Review

Colin
December 5, 2016

Your camera is no good to you if it’s buried deep in your backpack. Photography is all about capturing a fleeting moment, whether it be a skier just as he/she grabs their ski or the look of focus in a climbers eyes as they survey a problem.

For the most part, pro-DLSR’s are heavy and a little awkward to carry around, especially if you’re walking, climbing, or scrambling over obstacles and up steep inclines using your feet and hands. A camera around your neck or slung over your shoulder will move and swing around and smack into something.

Peak Design has come up with a clever solution to for keeping your camera at hand, the Capture. Basically, the Capture is a tripod plate that connects to the ‘clip’ which can be attached to pretty much any backpack strap, or belt.

The simple dual bolt design allows for your camera to be accessible at all times but mounted sturdy keeping your hands free.

Mounting

There’re a few models of the Capture, rated for different weights and designed to carry different camera systems. I tested the Capture Pro with my Canon 5d MKiii with various lens combos. Rated for up to 200lbs, the Capture Pro should be able to handle any camera and lens combo you’ve got, and 3/8th-inch tripod bolt will probably rip off out of the bottom of your camera body before it disconnects from the clip.

Attaching the clip itself is pretty simple too, undo the bolts, put the clip on your backpack strap or belt, and tighten the bolts. The bolt heads are textured around the edges large enough for you to get a good grip, the trouble is they’re not particularly long.

My main photo backpack is the F-Stop Tilopia BC, a 40-litre pack designed to carry heavy loads. With this comes thick shoulder straps, which proved to be too fat for the bolts included with the Capture Pro. Initially, I ended up mounting the clip on the load adjuster webbing, and to my pleasant surprise provided a sturdy mounting point.

Peak Design does make a long bolt kit, which as you’d imagine are two long bolts. The standard bolts measure 15mm and the long ones 23mm which did allow the Capture to engulf the strap on my bag Tilopa BC.

Utilizing the tripod bolt on your camera or lens shoe, the Capture Pro plate comes with a small alley key ensuring the plate is securely fastened to your camera.

Open Carry

I was hesitant at first to hang thousands of dollars worth of gear from something that costs less than US$100, but as time went on the Capture Pro proved its strength – the interface between the camera and the Capture Pro is unflappable. In fact, it takes some practice to smoothly clip and unclip the camera, in the first couple of weeks in use, I actually had to take my pack off to pull my camera out.

Once you’ve got the hang of it the camera to clip connection is strong, the trouble is what every the clip is attached to may not be. The inherent problem with this mounting system is whatever you’re attaching it to be it a backpack strap, belt or webbing is designed to conform around you in some way, and this flexibility with the right combination of forces pulls the clip out of whack.

I also found the Capture best suited to short zoom lenses. With something longer like my Canon 100-400 ii, there is just a bit too much weight a size to sit sturdy on a soft strap.

When you’re using the Capture Pro it’s also important to think about the weight distribution of your pack. For example, my Canon 5DMKiii with a Canon 24-104 f/4 lens attached weights 1.74kg. If I’ve had the Capture pro mounted on my left backpack strap, to somewhat balance the pack I’m going to want my tripod mounted on the right side of my pack, otherwise, your shoulders and neck will be super sore.

The Capture Pro’s mounting plate also interfaces with a fair few tripods as well, and even though it’s not actually designed to interface with the Pro Master Ball head it still works ans is stable enough for long exposures.

Final thoughts

The Capture Pro is an awesome camera carry option for being outdoors. It holds your camera study leaving your hands free but doesn’t allow for the swing like a standard camera strap. It has its limitations as for longer lenses it challenges the integrity of the mounting surface, but the plate holds strong

This is something I genuinely use almost every time I leave the house and is well worth the money.

Since I am a fan of this product I’ve set up a deal for my readers, use my coupon code ‘clevphoto’ and take 10% off any Peak Design Product.

Click here to buy from Peak Design

Click here to buy from Amazon

 

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