August 2, 2014
As I was posting the above photo to social media, it reminded me that I have been meaning to write a review of the Peak Designs Capture Pro Camera Clip (Amazon Link). The picture above was possible because as I was hiking in Nepal I had my camera at the ready on a Capture Pro Clip. I was trekking through a small village on the way to Everest Base Camp. I came upon these two girls playing in front of their home and just unclipped my camera and took the shot. If I my camera had been in my backpack, I never would have dug it out for this quick opportunity.
If you are not familiar, the Capture Pro Camera Clip attaches to the shoulder strap of a backpack and has a mounting plate for your camera. You just clip the mounting plate into the clip on the backpack and your camera is at the ready for quick access. I used the system almost daily for three weeks while trekking in Nepal in May, and for almost a week in June while hiking in Colorado.
Here is the promotional video the company provides for the clip:
You might ask, why not just hang the camera on a strap around your neck. Well for one, the camera (even a micro four thirds camera) gets heavy hanging around your neck all day. The Capture Pro attaches to the backpack shoulder strap, providing more support. Two, the camera bounces on your body on a neck strap, which is not comfortable. The Capture Pro keeps the camera securely anchored to your shoulder strap. Another key advantage of the clip is that the mounting plate doubles as an Arca-Swiss plate for ball heads. I was able to mount the camera to my Really Right Stuff ballhead–even with the lever release model. This was handy, since I didn’t need to take a separate plate to use my tripod.
I was very pleased with the Capture Pro clip over my last two adventures. It solves the problem of quick access to your camera quite handily. Nevertheless, there are a few issues to consider when using the plate.
First, the mounting plate is designed to fit around your backpack shoulder strap, but you may have trouble mounting it on thicker straps. I had no problem with the medium-sized pack I was carrying in Nepal, but the clip won’t fit around the shoulder strap of my larger Eddie Bauer First Ascent pack that I used in Colorado. Luckily, that pack has a thin adjustment webbing on the shoulder strap that I can use for the clip. If your pack has thick straps and no adjustment strap, you may have problems.
Second, the screws that secure the clip to the backpack can come loose over the course of a day of hiking. It pays to check them periodically to avoid a potentially catastrophic situation if the clip becomes too loose.
Finally, the camera is exposed while carrying it on the clip. If you are doing any scrambling over rough terrain, you will still need to put the camera away in your backpack.
Overall, I love the Peak Designs Capture Pro Camera clip and highly recommend it.
Easy access while hiking
Fast, secure clip-in for the mounting plate
Mounting plate is Arca-Swiss compatible (including Really Right Stuff Lever Release models)
May have trouble fitting backpack mount on packs with thicker shoulder straps
Backpack plate mounting screws can become loose over the course of a day of hiking
Camera is exposed and vulnerable when the footing gets tricky or the terrain is rough