KIT CHECK: PEAK DESIGN CAPTUREPRO® + PROplate™ + PROpad™ + CLUTCH™
I want to give a bit of an insight into my set-up when I am working as I know a lot of pro and hobbyist photographers are curious as to how others do it. In my very early days of photography, one of my mentors taught me to always have the camera ready to go. Never miss a shot. Peak Design products play a crucial part in making sure I am always ready. To find out why, read on ...
As a photographer who is constantly on the move, for example, scrambling up cliffs to shoot hiking, hanging on a rope a couple of hundred feet up off the ground shooting climbers, sprinting alongside IRONMAN competitors by a resevoir, or exploring the streets of Beirut shooting the nightlife, there are times when it is crucial to be ‘hands free’. Over the years I have experimented with bags, straps, carabiners, clips and all sorts … all of which were barely adequate solutions and never finding a system that I could really rely on. The simple, 'hang it off your neck' system being most unsuitable of all - at least if I wanted my camera in one piece at the end of the day,
Enter the CAPTUREPRO® CAMERA CLIP from PEAK DESIGN. For me, first impressions are key in all walks of life. The hardware looks sleek, professional and robust. In fact, it looks flipping cool. Every time I have I have used it so far, someone (be that a fellow photographer or member public) has commented on it and how rad it looks. PEAK DESIGN made a very simple and very cool video of how it's used, which explains it far better than I ever could.
Looks aside, it is more important that the function is there.
I flip between keeping the clip on my belt, backed up with the PROpad™ for comfort; or on an attachment point at the top of my rucksack straps, level with the chest strap. Both positions work incredibly well, even with a heavy pro DSLR body and grip AND beefy 70-200mm lens attached.
The PROplate™ that I mount on the camera body has never slipped or shifted, this is down to having the ability to tighten it onto the body with the included allen key. I fid that it clips in and out of the CAPTURE with absolute ease, making it easy to be sorting equipment or hiking one second, and shooting pictures in the next. The PROpad™ works brilliantly for distributing the load of the camera on the hip (when worn with a belt) - I wear mine for several hours at a time, always loading and unloading the camera and it is always comfortable.
One thing I was initially concerned about when first using the CAPTUREPRO® was the accidental unclipping (and then dropping, smashing and subsequent crying) that may occur with the clip. Of course, PEAK DESIGN were well ahead of me. The CAPTUREPRO® CAMERA CLIP has a super neat, twist lock function on the release button - so that it doesn’t go anywhere. On top of that, they also include a screw/twist tightening wheel for when you want maximum stability or maximum security, ensuring there is no rattle or movement between the plate and the camera. It's TOTALLY secure and steady when it is in the clip. Is there anything they didn’t think of?
As well as the CAPTUREPRO® CAMERA CLIP and the PROpad™, I also use the CLUTCH™. Doing away with a standard cumbersome neck strap, replacing it with this slick, sturdy and simple hand strap massively improves my workflow. The attachment point itself is simple, fitting to the PROplate™ I was using with the handy clips, like a lanyard/larks foot. I particularly like that I can use these clips, referred to by Peak Design as Quick Release Anchors with any of the other product in their range.
For me, the hand strap is a great alternative when moving around at the base of the wall while shooting and on a rope too. It means that the camera is securely attached to my hand while I'm trying to squeeze between judges and brushers and scaffolding etc to get the shot and I'm ready to shoot as soon as I lift my hand. Before using Peak Design products I would normally have the standard neck-strap wrapped around my wrist while shooting, which means I'm always using my fingers to hold the camera ... using the CLUTCH™, therefore without a strap, means nothing is in the way AND you can give your fingers a rest (yes ... let go of the camera). It's also worth pointing out that it makes working with the camera held out in front of you (arms extended), for example shooting in LV mode and also when reviewing images, super comfortable and secure.
It has to be said ... whilst the CLUTCH™ works incredibly well ... I still like to use a neck-strap. Especially when shooting street photography or commercial work. Sometimes there really isn't a replacement for having the camera hanging across your body. Coincidentally, PEAK DESIGN make these too and as you may have gathered from my experiences with the CLUTCH™ etc, they are incredibly well thought out pieces of kit. Stay tuned for the lowdown on the SLIDE™ and the LEASH™ ...
TO SUMMARISE: If you are looking for a secure and sturdy system to allow easy handling and carrying of your camera when out shooting, and if you want to look cool as hell when everybody else is trying to come up with a solution … then I would highly recommend giving the system from PEAK DESIGN a try. LL
NB Big thank you to Steve Crane for the pics of me at work during the British Bouldering Champs 2015