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Review: Capture Clip Holster System

by Peter Walkowiak on 07/10/2012

“Hey what is that?” I was at a birthday party and my friend was inquiring about the device that held my camera to my waist. I gave him a demo and let him know that it was the Capture Clip.

When Peak Design launched their Kickstarter campaign last year they set out with a goal of $10,000. That amount is laughable in comparison to their closing amount raised. The company raised just under $365,000. Do I have your attention yet? The Capture Clip was obviously a wanted necessity to the photo community. It’s been on my radar since the launch and when the opportunity came for me to review it, I jumped at the chance. It’s definitely one of those devices that you seem to want to “try before you buy”. The two most pressing questions are: does it actually work well and how does it feel? Read on for the review and a code for 10% off!

Ergonomics/Product Tour

Build Quality

Solid. Metal. The Capture Clip is very tough, so tough it makes me feel manly when I wear a camera on my waist. You could say its a clip that an action hero would wear. Joking aside, the clip along with the Arca Swiss mount are very well made and dependable.

“The Test”

For the Capture Clip, I actually went out and bought a Think Tank Pro Speed Belt to mount it to (which they recommend). I knew the clip worked great, and I already prefer it to a neckstrap, but how would the clip feel after a full days shoot? I know what kind of pain the sling type bag carrying my gear can be but I wanted to know how it compared.

I took a walk here in my hometown of San Diego and I took my time. I walked about 10 miles over a period of 6 or so hours shooting random things. I changed lenses with the camera attached to the clip and had the camera clipped to my waist when I wasn’t actively shooting. The camera was a Nikon D800 without a grip and the new 85mm f1.8 G lens. On my hip, it was comfortable most of the time and when it wasn’t, I just readjusted the waist strap and it felt fresh again. This says a lot more about how I had the weight positioned on my waist than the clip causing pain. It felt great to handle my phone and food with two hands while I walked without the camera bumping around around my neck. In the end my feet hurt and my waist felt as if I hadn’t walked at all. This is all coming from someone who is used to carrying 30-60 pounds on his back when traveling. I am no stranger to hauling gear for miles and I know after this I will never carry a camera in a spare bag again.

Style

I’m not sure this needs its own section but in combination with the Think Tank belt I am able to carry small film cameras on my waist without a strap around my neck screaming that I’m a tourist. Some people take a small camera with them when they go out because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of a larger camera. Using the clip on the go takes this to the next level, the clip even paired with a normal belt can make bringing along a camera much more comfortable.

Have I not mentioned how this makes me feel like a secret agent when I’m “out on patrol”? It’s a nice feeling to see something, release the camera, shoot and then mount your camera back into its holster.

I have also used the clip along with my Eye-Fi card. This allowed me to mount the camera out of the way and enjoy viewing the photos on my phone as they came through.

Trust

It’s a big issue and I feel I will answer a few of your questions here regarding trusting the Capture Clip. I have had both my Nikon D700 and D800 mounted, but most of the time, it was my brand new hard to find D800 strapped to the clip. I have had lenses from my 16-35mm and 70-300mm lenses mounted when attached to the clip. With these “larger” lenses I have jumped off objects that range up to 6 feet high and the clip stays put. It also stays put when I have walked the camera directly into a large rock. In that instance, I wish the clip would swing to the back! After a bit of jumping around rocks while hiking, the Arca Swiss mount came a little loose on my camera but with a twist of a coin I was back in business.

In Use

When using the clip I feel confident that when I hear the click of the locking mechanism, the camera isn’t going anywhere. The questionable part of using the clip is that when I am trying to release the camera, I sometimes struggle to find the red button to free the camera. I know with time I will know exactly where the button is, but when a scene requires your eyes to stay locked you have to be able to remove the camera by instinct. Once the button is found it easily slides out after a couple of wiggles. Maybe an easier to find button may equal to the camera being released too easy and falling out. I’m not sure but I know that after a period of time I will be able to do it every time and not just when I get lucky.

Negatives

Despite all of these positive attributes, I do have to talk about the one problem I had with the clip. After a good amount of general use and wiggling around on my waist the clip would slowly become loose. I’m no stranger to loose tripod mounts because generally I carry my big cameras on a tripod over my shoulder. It just happens over time. I mentioned it in the video review and I was told it was okay to mention it. They are coming out with a D-Ring version of the mount. The new mount would allow you to hand tighten the clip every few hours or when it became loose. That’s it though. I really didn’t find myself missing any potential photos but I am sure that will happen with time. I would suggest getting to know the system before using it for a serious gig.

Edit: As of late 2012 the new version of the capture plate is now available. These have the D-ring and other features that allow a more secure connection to your camera.

Conclusion

I am happy with my new waist system and without the Capture Clip, I would still be stuffing cameras into a bag around my neck. From storing a small film camera around my waist or my second camera on a professional job the clip does what its supposed to. My clip already has a well worn brassed metal look and I’m sure with time I will wear off all the black coloring.

To sum it all up the capture clip is an amazing accessory that has turned into an everyday tool for me. I feel at its current price it’s a tool that people will want to test first with their own hands to feel secure using. I don’t think I can tell people how many cameras I used or which large lenses were tested and have them feel comfortable. Although when it comes to a clip that holds your expensive purchase to your waist, the Capture Clip gets a stamp of approval and a smiley face from me.

You can find more information about the system on the Peak Design site here. They have a great page on usage tips and a list of compatible tripods as well.

Want 10% off?

If you would like a sweet discount on the capture clip system use “phoblog” (without quotes) as a coupon on the checkout page. Doing this will get you 10% off the capture clip as well as helping us out here at The Phoblographer.

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