Are you getting real tired, real quick of the ol' shoulder strap method of carrying your camera around? Me too, and I've been on a journey to rid myself from it once and for all. In this hands-on review I take a closer look at the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip v3.
Last fall, Peak Design released a redesign of their popular second-generation Capture Camera Clip that’s 20 percent lighter and has a 20 percent smaller profile. Other than seeing them used by others in person, I’ve had no personal experience with the previous model so this review will not be covering any formal comparison. What’s good to know though is that this new Capture v3 is backwards compatible with all previous generation Peak Design quick release plates (except for DUALplate v1).
The Capture Camera Clip v3 is made of weatherproof, rust-resistant aluminum and measures in at 3.3 inches wide and is 3 ounces. Before a camera is added, the clip does add some noticeable weight to the shoulder strap of a backpack compared to the other side, but once I put on the backpack it wasn’t an uncomfortable difference. When real weight of a camera is added, this is where I’d recommend fastening the sternum strap if your backpack has one. Doing this will help distribute the weight difference between sides and place the shoulder strap in a better, more centered position. Likewise, what you may not realize by just looking at photos is that the weight of the gear loaded into the backpack does a lot to help with the vertical balance and comfort while holstering a camera in the Capture.
Of course the Capture Camera Clip is not limited to backpack straps. Any sort of strap that’s no more than around 2.5 inches wide and 0.87 inches thick that would be handy to have a camera mounted to it is fair game (think of all those random “utility” straps you never use on your bag). If strapping this to a belt is something you want to do on a regular basis, Peak Design does make a PROpad that works with the Capture and probably makes that situation a lot more comfortable. I’m almost always wearing a backpack while photographing so it’s not really something I’m personally interested in.
On a related note, the Capture Camera Clip packaging states it works with straps 3 inches wide, but the mounting holes to connect the top and bottom plates of the sandwich are physically 2.5 inches apart. B&H Photo lists the maximum width as 2.5 inches. The truth is somewhere in the middle. I have two backpacks that have straps a little under 3 inches in the location I’d mount the Capture Clip; one doesn’t work because it’s too rigid of a strap, and the other does work because it’s more padded and flexible.
One option I wish the Capture Camera Clip had was the ability to keep the release trigger unlocked. As is, to release the camera from the clip I have to press in a button and pull out the camera at the same time; generally a two-handed job. Obviously this is for safety of the gear and not a bad feature, but there are definitely times where I find a lock more of a burden than a necessity. Going in the opposite train of thought, what the Capture does feature is a way to make the lock even more secure so that pressing in the trigger does not release the camera. This extra measure is good for times when you are being really active such as biking and you certainly wouldn’t intend to be unholstering the camera at any point.
The Arca Swiss-compatible Capture quick release plate that gets screwed into the camera is astonishingly thin. I do happen to have the v2 plate that came with one of the Peak Design straps and it’s about double the stack height of the v3. Looking at it, I would not think of it as being a durable point of contact to the camera. However, the Capture Clip v3 system is rated to withstand forces of over 200 pounds according to Peak Design. The way it also sits inside the Capture holster seems to be designed quite well and there’s no twisting or other form of leveraging that plate to break. When the camera is locked into the Clip, it’s a very sturdy feeling setup.
A couple things that annoy me about the quick release plate is that it doesn’t come with a D-ring screw and requires a tool to take on and off. I even tried swapping out the screw that it came with for a couple of the D-ring screws I had laying around but sadly neither were compatible. For many folks, that’s probably not a big deal, but my Fujifilm X-T1’s battery door gets covered by the plate so it requires removal every time I swap the battery. The bottom design of that camera is an extreme case, however, and most cameras have enough separation between tripod mount and battery door.
The price for the Capture Camera Clip v3 is $69.95 which I think is reasonable considering the well-thought design and being a complete holster system. Some of the higher-quality camera straps can cost just as much and this is a replacement of those altogether if you want it to be. If you’re an owner of the previous generation and want to save a few dollars by not upgrading the plate yet to the lower profile one, they also sell just the v3 Capture Clip for $49.95.
What I Liked
- Low-profile design
- Fair price
- Compatible with Peak Design Anchors for straps.
- Backwards compatible with previous generation Capture plates (except for DUALplate v1).
What I Didn’t Like
- No D-ring screw for camera plate.
- Need to remove quick release plate in order to open the battery door on a small number of cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T1.
- Does not fit on rigid, wide straps.
- Can’t be configured to remain fully unlocked (no release trigger necessary).
The Capture Camera Clip v3 from Peak Design is one of my favorite strap alternatives. If you’re like me and bring a backpack wherever you go to photograph, I’d highly suggest looking into one of these systems and ditch the annoying strap. The incredible low profile of the Capture v3 is about as unobtrusive as it gets before letting the camera go totally naked and you’re stuck just handholding it everywhere.