Peak Design Capture V3 – Review

I’ve been a fan of Peak Design products since purchasing the clutch hand strap a couple of years ago. When Peak Design launched their kickstarter campaign for the V3, I decided it was time to give one a try.

For a while my go-to camera strap has been the BlackRapid series of straps, in particular the BlackRapid RS Sport strap (this has since been replaced with the Sport Breathe strap). I’ve used this for carrying my Nikon D500 with anything from a 35mm prime lens all the way up to my 150-600mm Sigma.

When out photographing wildlife, the BlackRapid takes the weight of the Sigma 150-600mm and makes it comfortable to carry for extended periods of time. The problem I find with the BlackRapid strap is that it doesn’t play nice with a backpack. When I’m out shooting wildlife, I’m not normally wearing a backpack and any accessories I needs are in my pockets or a belt pouch.  However, the majority of the time I’m out with my camera I am either shooting landscapes or I’m out for the day doing touristy stuff  and for this I find a backpack essential.

I’ve tried wearing the BlackRapid strap under the backpack straps and after a while, the buckle on the back of the strap becomes very noticeable against my shoulder blade, especially if my backpack is particularly heavy with gear. This means I either need to keep the camera tucked away in the backpack, or in my hand while walking/hiking (not recommended over rough terrain). If it’s in the backpack, I often pass by photo opportunities, simply because I can’t be bothered to take off the backpack to get the camera out.

Capture V3

Enter the Capture V3.

This looked like the ideal solution for keeping my camera handy while hiking but also safe and secure. I signed up and pledged my cash to the kickstarter campaign.

When the Capture V3 arrived, I quickly unpacked it and set about attaching it to my main backpack which at the time was the Lowepro Pro Runner 350 AW. The first thing I found was that the Lowepro straps were both too wide and too thick for the capture clip. It is possible to squeeze the strap enough to get the clip around but the padding on the straps are too thick and the retaining screws for the capture clip are not long enough to secure it. I’ve since purchased a Peak Design Everyday Backpack, mainly to use as a day-pack and to replace my Lowepro slingshot sling pack (which just wasn’t big enough to fit all I needed any more.

I really like the design of the Everyday Backpack (you can read my review here) and it’s now my main day-pack when I’m not carrying too much gear or hiking too far. I figured since both were made by the same company they would work well together so I attached my capture to the backpack ready for a day out in Birmingham.

The destination was the museum. Dippy the diplodocus was touring around the UK and stopping off in Birmingham for a couple of days. For the trip there my camera stayed in my backpack. Once at the museum I took out the camera to take some shots and when I’d finished I put the camera in the capture clip and carried on walking around.

My main camera as I mentioned previously is the Nikon D500 and for this trip I was using the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lens. The combined weight of these is around 1.3kg a little bigger and heavier than most camera combinations but given the demo video used  Canon 5D MkIV and a 24-70 I figured it would be ok.

The first thing I noticed while wearing the backpack with the capture clip was that I could feel the clip pressing in to my chest and also chaffing at my arm as it moved back and forth while walking. When the camera was attached to the clip, this became noticeably worse. I also felt that the camera was uncomfortably close to my chin 

I had the clip mounted on the left shoulder strap just under the attachment loop. In retrospect, this may have been a little too high. After doing a bit of internet research and reading other reviews of the capture clip and peak design backpack, other users have found that attaching the clip lower down the strap. The common consensus seems to be to attache the sternum strap at the lowest position and then attach the capture clip immediately above that. Others also recommend purchasing the pro pad and using this to spread the force exerted on the chest from the clip and the attached camera.

I have since purchased the pro pad and intend to give it a try. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, I have not had time to do so. I do intend to give the capture clip another try, but I have also purchased the BlackRapid Backpack Breathe camera strap which is specifically designed to be used with a backpack. You can also read my full review of the Backpack Breathe strap.

I’ll update the review once I’ve tried the suggestions above with the Capture 3.

Have a good one…