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Tobi Wulff Photography

Home / Essays / 2015 / September / Peak Design Camera Clips and Straps for the Outdoors

Peak Design Camera Clips and Straps for the Outdoors

Ever since I started using my first piece of Peak Design camera accessory, I have become a big fan, and it's getting better and more useful every time I take it with me to an event or on a trip outdoors. It keeps your hands free and your gear secure.

Obvious disclaimer that I'm not affiliated with Peak Design (I wish my blog was that successful) - I just love those products ever since I got them, and a few people have asked me about them so I decided to write it all up. Some links to products in this blog post are Amazon Affiliate links that earn me a few cents or dollars if a reader buys any product on Amazon through this link. The price of the product does not increase so it is a free way to support this site by using the links provided. The main product link goes to Amazon.com and the "(de)" leads to Amazon.de.

Peak Design started making the Capture Camera Clip (de) pictured above in 2010 and has been expanding their product range with new, exciting products ever since. This is a great article on SmugMug that goes over the idea, the history, the people and the Kickstarter campaign behind the clip. I used to have my old camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M5 with kit zoom lens, strapped onto the shoulder strap of my backpack using a Maxpedition Janus. This worked reasonably well as long as I didn't have to jump off boulders or duck under trees that had fallen over onto the track. Given the wrong angle or too much force, the camera and lens could fall out of the bungee cord strap that held it in place. For a small compact camera or a light camera with a fairly long lens I still think that this is a very good and cheap system.

I saw a friend use the Capture Camera clip and decided that it would fit my use case perfectly. It became a necessity when I upgraded to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 since it is bulkier and the zoom lens would no longer fit into the strap I had been using previously. One great feature is that the plate that attaches to the camera's tripod mount can slide into the clip in any 90 degree orientation so you can have the camera facing down, sideways or even up, for instance to change lenses. One thing I don't like so much is that you need a hex key to fasten and loosen the plate. It can be done by rotating the whole plate which is what I do most of the time but after a few times it gets to the skin on your fingers ...

I went for the standard version which is constructed from aluminium as well as "glass-reinforced nylon". So far it seems to be built to last a long time, although I can see how the Pro version that is all metal could have the edge after many years of abuse. The plate that screws onto the camera as well as the parts that hold the plate in place are mostly metal so I'm confident it will always hold the camera securely. The main weak points made out of nylon are the screw holes on either side which maybe could snap one day if I screw it on too tightly to a thick strap or belt. Furthermore, the Pro version comes with a plate that can act as a quick release plate for Arca-style and RC2 tripods.

The Capture clip works great on a backpack shoulder strap (sliding the camera in from above), on a belt at events (sliding the camera in sideways), or the shoulder strap of a messenger bag (works either from the top or the side).

My next purchases from Peak Design were the Cuff (de) wrist strap to secure my camera to my arm or my backpack via a carabiner, and the Anchor Links (de) to convert my original Olympus neck strap into a more useful detachable strap. Right away I have to say what's great about a lot (but not necessarily all) of their accessories is that you get quite a few spare parts: I've only attached one anchor link to the PD plate and one to the right-hand side of my camera, and now I've got 4 (!) anchor links left that can be used once the first two wear out. I'm not sure how fast this will happen but I'm sure it will last me quite a long time.

Another bonus of the clip/unclip system as opposed to a fixed neck strap or something like Blackrapid shoulder strap is that I can quickly change from wrist cuff to safety leash to shoulder strap. When I use my original E-M1 as a shoulder strap with anchor links on the bottom and right-hand side of the camera, I find it sits much more securely and comfortably than if I use a Blackrapid (clone) where the strap only goes through the bottom of the camera. The only disadvantage is that you loose the sliding action up and down the strap but I haven't found that to be a problem yet. I've also heard great things about the slide shoulder strap, however I'm quite happy with the original Olympus strap. From what I can see the Peak Design Slide offers much quicker length adjustments but I can't say that I needed to change the length of my neck or shoulder strap on the fly very much.

Now, they are diving into the realms of camera bags with the Everday Messenger Bag which has been designed together with New Zealands Mr. HDR Landscapes: Trey Ratcliff. While I'm in no need to purchase any more shoulder bags or backpacks at the moment, I'll keep an eye on their developments because I'm sure it will be exciting, functional and very well made.