Camera Cowboy: Gadget Holsters To Pack Strap Or Belt

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The author tests the CapturePRO with camera strap still attached loosely for backup

After spending 10 years as a newspaper photographer, I’m always on the lookout for innovative ways to carry a camera, especially while backpacking and a neck strap adds one more element to all the stuff lashed to my body.

Clearly I’m not alone; the Peak Design CapturePRO camera clip system raised a whopping $819,000 during its August Kickstarter campaign.

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Peak Design CapturePRO

I tested the clip system during a long afternoon hike over rocky, hilly terrain with the CapturePRO attaching a Nikon D300s with a heavy 24-70mm 2.8 lens to a small Deuter Speed Lite 20 daypack.

The clamp-like system attaches to straps simply; just loosen two screws, swing open the jaws, align on the strap, close and tighten down the screws.

As with many new gizmos there is a learning curve and it took me a few minutes to get the clip attached to the thick straps of the pack. But I eventually got them cinched down tight and in what felt like the right place low on my chest.

I ironed out a few bugs with my setup and headed down the trail.

The clip system is tough and seems secure but I still kept the camera strap around my neck loosely to protect the fragile, expensive electronics and glass in case the clip failed. It never did, but I’m pretty paranoid about camera gear and like a backup strap slung over my neck just in case.

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Camera carried on pack strap with second neck strap slung loosely for security

For three hours, I hopped over rocks and hiked up and down steep hills. The camera remained snug to my body with minimal bouncing or swaying. My pack was pretty light, so the heavy camera tended to pull the strap forward a little, but it was still comfortable. With a heavier pack you’d hardly notice the weight of the camera.

The clip was easy to use once I figured out the two safety locking mechanisms. Camera access was fast enough but slower than having the camera slung around my neck. I suspect with practice the CapturePRO would become a quick holster.

The company touts the use of the clip without a strap, but I found keeping the strap handy to change the carry position and give quick access when a great, fast moving subject shows up.

The design of this device is simple and useful. I doubt I will use it every time I grab my camera, but for long days hiking on the trail it will be a welcome addition to my toolset. —Sean McCoy

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Plate slides into clip on Peak Design CapturePRO

The Gear: Peak Design CapturePRO camera clip system

Price: $79.99

Available: Now

Where To Test It: Any strap you wear on your body. Perfect to attach a camera to shoulder straps on hiking pack or belt on waist.

Who’s It For: Photographers with sore necks and shoulders.

Boring But Important: The clip system consists of two parts, a plate that screws into a camera tripod mount, and a slide-in clip that crimps down on any strap less than about two inches wide. It is a bit tough to fit over really fat foam pack straps.

Important Specs: Holds any DSLR camera with a standard tripod mount. Has two safety mechanisms to avoid accidental release. Made of aluminum.

Made In: China

Killer! Using the clip on a small hiking pack kept my heavy Nikon D300s close to my body and the weight nicely distributed off my neck.

Flaw: It takes a little work to get the camera in and out of the mount if you can’t see it. The double safety system, while good when engaged, could be easily forgotten.

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CapturePRO in closed carry position

First Impressions: A little fussy to set up at first but a great alternative to a camera strap and easy to use once figured out.

Who Should Buy It: Owners of DSLR or other midsize cameras looking for a different way to carry their body and glass.

Contact Brand/More Beta: The CapturePRO is available from Peak Design.

—Sean McCoy is managing editor. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at GearJunkie.com. Photos © Monopoint Media LLC.

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