Verdict 5 stars ★★★★★: How can something so small be so useful? The Capture Clip V3 lets you carry a camera securely from any belt or strap, releases it in an instant and clamps it tight when you’ve finished shooting. It can hold up to 90kg, apparently, and the Arca-style camera plate will slide straight into any Arca-compatible tripod head. Brilliant.
How many different ways can there possibly be to carry a camera? We don’t know, but for sure there are always times when none of them are quite right. A shoulder bag is a nuisance if you’ve just got one camera, one lens and you just want to hold it in your hand and shoot with it. A strap is great if you like straps, but it’s like having a great heavy weight on a pendulum when you’re running or clambering about and the strap pulls off your spectacles/RayBans/hat when you take it off, while a waist pouch looks like something you should have stopped wearing in the 1980s.
Tough, isn’t it? Which is why there’s always scope for accessory makers to come up with new ways to carry a camera, and why gadget mad photographers like us are just going to keep on looking for them.
Which is why the Peak Design Capture Clip V3 has caught our eye. Peak Design is a San Francisco based company that specialises in smart ideas and smart design, and the Capture Clip is a metal buckle that clips to a belt, a bag strap or anything else that it can clamp its jaws around and holds a quick release plate that attaches to your camera’s tripod socket.
It’s not very big, but it is very effective. It takes a minute or so to attach it firmly to a belt/strap and tighten up the two locking knobs. They have wide, knurled shape and they spin nicely as you loosen them or take up the slack.
The plate attaches to your camera just like a tripod quick release plate, though here’s the slightly annoying part – you can tighten up the locking screw by hand, sort of, because it has a knurled edge, but really you need to use a hex key. You probably don’t want to carry one of these around all day, right? Well you could tighten up the plate before you leave your house/hotel/office, but what if it works loose during the day or you want to take it off? Hmm.
But the mechanism itself works brilliantly. You slide the camera in from the side and the retaining catch springs shut with a reassuring click. To release the camera, you press a button on the top and slide the camera out – simple as that.
The best thing of all, though – the absolute best thing – is that the camera plate is Arca Swiss compatible. So if you suddenly decide you want to put your camera on a tripod, and the head uses the Arca Swiss fitting, you can just slide it in and clamp it on. You don’t need to change the plate. That is just brilliant.
The Capture Clip is great to wear, too. The weight of the camera does drag down on your trouser belt a little, if that’s where you’re wearing it, but it’s a whole lot better than having your camera swinging around on a strap, and your camera’s right by your hip so that you can give it a reassuring pat now and again. If you’re carrying a camera bag or shoulder bag anyway, you can fix the Capture Clip to the shoulder strap and the camera will then be at about chest height and even more out of the way.
For a little extra security, you could also attach Peak Design’s neat little adjustable Cuff, one of a range of Peak Design straps and leashes. It slides over your hand and around your wrist for when you’re carrying your camera in your hand.
The Capture Clip V3 costs £70/$70, which for some folk might seem a lot for a few bits of metal, screws and springs, but it’s slim, highly portable (it even comes with its own soft pouch and hex key), beautifully made and works beautifully too. You could probably find something cheaper and worse on Amazon if that’s the way you want to go.
We don’t know what happened to the Capture Clip V1 and V2, but Peak Design says the Capture Clip V3 is “way smaller, way lighter, all-metal build, ultra-smooth machined/anodized finish, hella comfy ergonomic design”. It also holds a claimed 90kg. Yes, you read that right.