If you’re reading this article right now, chances are you are an adventurer like me. Whether it’s wilderness that calls to you, or travel and culture that inspires you, adventure is most often at the forefront of your mind. Perhaps you are a creator, or someone who is always looking for new ways to bring your adventures and your ideas together. Most likely, you also have an intense passion for photography.
Well, I’d like to introduce you to Peak Design. The company began in 2010 in San Fransisco. Crowdfunding played a key role in getting their product concepts off the ground. Today, Peak Design has funded 20 new products through five Kickstarter Campaigns and has grown into one of the great outdoor gear teams. “Gear for creative, adventurous people” is their slogan, and it perfectly sums up their concept. These guys are here to support and enable people to pursue their passions in the outdoors and in life.
If you are the outdoorsy type, Peak Design has created two particular products that will revolutionize the way you adventure. The CapturePro Clip, and the Peak Design Camera Shell Cover. They are must haves for any outdoor photographer. These two products work flawlessly together, and give hikers a solution to a huge problem… protecting and carrying your gear in a safe and accessible manner.
Every time I set out for a backpacking trip, or even a day hike, I look at my pack and the items I’m going to be bringing. What always stands out, is my giant DSLR camera. Not only does it take up a lot of space, but what’s worse is that it adds a heck of a lot of weight to my pack. There I find myself in a reoccurring dilemma… a slight reluctance to bring my camera along.
For me, photography is a huge part of what drives me to hike to the tops of those fourteeners, or break my back on a 20 mile round trip excursion to a natural hot spring. Even just imagining going on an epic adventure and not having my camera with me makes me uneasy. So I always opt to carry the weight.
Keeping track of the necessities in nature is something that you must always be on top of. This can be a task in of itself. At times it can even become a matter of life and death. Now, throw in that heavy and expensive piece of equipment like your camera… It can seem quite frankly, insane. It can also be extremely daunting at times. Juggling the camera while hiking, constantly pulling it in and out of your pack, or unraveling the strap from around your neck is not only a hassle, but it can be potentially dangerous for your precious gear.
Peak Design has changed all of that. The CapturePro Clip attaches to any belt or strap, holds any type of camera — full frame, crop sensor, point and shoots, as well as mirrorless systems. Its sleek design and aluminum build makes this clip weatherproof and ready for extreme conditions. It will turn your heavy, inconvenient DSLR into a quick-fire shutter release machine.
The CapturePro Clip
Here’s how it works…
Each CapturePro Clip has two essential parts. The Pro Plate and the Clip. The quick release plate attaches to the bottom of your camera, and slides into ARCA type tripods as well as most Manfrotto Tripods. The plate slides right into the clip, which attaches to your preferred strap (backpack, belt etc…).
To attach the clip to your choice of strap, you simply unscrew the two black dials. This separates the clip into two pieces. One goes on the back of your strap, and the other screws in on the front. Make sure to tighten the dials so that the clip holds as tight at possible. This will prevent the clip from slipping up or down the strap.
Looking at the clip, you’ll notice that there is a smaller black knob on the left side. This controls the tightness of the clip to the plate on your camera. You can adjust this easily. I find that while I’m hiking for a continuous stretch of trail, I’ll tighten it just to make sure that if I run into a scramble, climb, or boulder fields, my camera stays safe and snug in its clip while I’m navigating the rugged terrain. If you try and push the release button while this knob is tightened, you’ll find yourself tugging at your camera trying to remove it from the clip. Simply twist the knob to loosen it when your ready to take a shot.
To remove your camera from the clip, push the little red button and slide the camera out. The Pro clip also features an extra security measure, a lock on the release button. All you have to do is turn the red button one click and it will lock the release, ensuring that nothing could accidentally push the button and release your camera to the ground.
Your camera can lock into the clip in multiple directions which gives you the ability to easily switch lenses while the clip holds your camera body in place. Just as well, you don’t need to worry about unscrewing or adjusting your tripod plate on your camera as the clip adapts to most tripods.
Peak Design has most definitely changed the game with this product, and they offer a handful of other products that work together to improve the way you go about photographing the world around you. There are bags, clips, and straps to help keep your gear organized and accessible.
The Camera Cover
The Peak Design Camera Cover is also an extra measure of security that most outdoor photographers should be interested in. It is an ultra lightweight microfiber sleeve that slips over your camera, providing protection against water, snow, and dirt. It was designed to be completely compatible with your camera clip and comes in a variety of sizes for different styles of cameras.
I had a chance to put the cover to the test on a recent snowshoe excursion in the Front Range. It protected my camera from the snow I was kicking up as I trudged through the powder, as well as the snow falling during the hike.
Nature can be very unpredictable, and I was surprised to even see the ways that the cover came in handy that I wouldn’t have foreseen — like when a massive gust of wind blew all of the snow hanging on the trees down on me from above. Or even just switching out lenses and realizing that my gloves were wet with snow. Handling my camera in the deep snow was a breeze with the cover.
The cover tightly protects the body and the lens of your camera. I typically shoot with an ultra wide angle lens when I’m out in the backcountry. The cover is longer in the front, with a hood that protects the front of your lens from snow and dirt. It almost looks like a sock for your camera. It packs light and small into your pack so that you can have it on you at all times.
To use your camera while the cover is on, all have to do is lift and pull the bottom of the cover up to expose all of your dials and settings as well as the view finder.
The only downside that I noticed while using the cover was a bit of difficulty when it came to adjusting the zoom on my wide angle lens. It was hard to turn the lens while the cover was on, so most of the time I just kept the lens on its widest setting, I could crop later. Perhaps that’s just due to the size of my lens. If I was using a fixed lens, there may not have been an issue.
But when it comes to camera covers, as far as I can tell, this is the standard design. Unless you plan on taking your DSLR underwater, in which case you’d need an underwater hard body cover, the Peak Design Cover is as good as it gets — and for a great price. The extra security it provides for protecting my camera from the elements is worth the small hassle if it means I can still get that epic rainstorm or snow day shot.
Peak Design Camera Cover
- Pros: Keeps your camera well protected from the elements. Is lightweight and durable.
- Cons: Can be difficult to operate your camera while it’s on depending on the lens you use.
- Best For: Outdoor activities and harsher weather conditions.
- MSRP: $49.95
Overall, Peak Design has really changed the way I shoot landscapes. It’s changed the way I adventure, and it’s allowed me to more easily create in the outdoors. Peak Design gets me out in nature while managing my gear in a safe and accessible way. The CapturePro Clip and Cover help me continue to pursue trail writing, landscape photography, and gear reviews just like this.