I had the opportunity to test the Peak Design Capture System on Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital’s annual Wet Nose Soiree. The event is a “meet & greet” for donors to the nonprofit as well as a silent and live auction for fund raising. I knew there would be lots of walking around, mingling, impromptu group shots, and some on stage speeches; not dissimilar to a wedding reception.
This type of shoot requires you to have quick access to a variety of lenses and be able to change them without setting your equipment down. This is where the Capture came in very handy. I wore Lowepro’s, now discontinued, Orion belt pack to carry my extra lenses; the current PhotoRunner 100 or ThinkTank Speedbelts would also work. I also attached the soft case for my 70-200mm to the belt strap. The capture fit nicely on my left hip while the Orion rested below my lumbar – in true 80’s fanny-pack style. What makes the Capture design unique from other “waist-level” quick releases is that it can be attached and adjusted even after the belt pack is on.
My gear – Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 50mm, 20mm, SB-900. Usually, I use a hand strap rather than a neck strap because I find them getting in my way too often when shooting vertically. The square, “Arca-style”, quick-release plate is design to allow the use of a hand strap, though not with the one I own – as my strap cannot be detached from its base plate. The Capture allows the QR plate to connect in any orientation; meaning I could give my arms a rest and point the lens down or attach the camera lens up for changing. This was the biggest benefit from the device. I never had to set my bag down, find an open table, or kneel on the floor to successfully and quickly change my lens. I just slid the camera into the Capture, lens up, removed the rear cap from the new lens, removed the old lens and put the cap on, then swapped the lenses in my belt pack, and put the new lens on the camera. A quick press of the release button and slide the camera out and back into shooting position.
I did find the weight of my camera/lens combo to be a bit much to carry around on my hip for any length of time. Not that this was any fault of the Capture, nor was it my job to walk around with the camera not in hand. In fact, I felt very confident that the device could hold far more weight than I can from my hip. It also came in handy on several occasions when I was asked to take photos with the guest’s cameras.
At $79.99, the Capture isn’t for everyone. But, as a professional who works enough of this type of event, it was extremely helpful. I recommend the Capture to anyone who photographs reception and events with a belt system.
A quick note:
Although I don’t shoot with a full sized DSLR body or the battery grip, I can say that this would be quite awkward with the Capture as the center of gravity is moved so far out from the body.
The Capture will work with any non-padded strap up to 2 ½” wide.
Kyle Valla is a Purchasing Supervisor at Pro Photo Supply.
You can reach him for question or comment at email@example.com. He also owns K&K Graphics and his work can be seen at www.kk-graphics.com.