I recently bought two Slide straps from Peak Design and thought I’d provide a quick review of these straps today having now used them extensively for the last couple of months.
More and more of my workshop participants have been turning up using the Peak Design Slide camera strap system, so I’d had my eyes on this for a while, and then met a listener earlier this year at Canon’s headquarters, to see my exhibition there, and he had one of these straps on his camera, so I took a good look at it. I was impressed with the flexibility of use and the quality of the product, so I decided to change my camera straps for the first time in around eight years.
In the Slide package, you get the strap, obviously, and a total of four Anchor Links, and a small Anchor Mount, that you can attach to a tripod mount screw on the bottom of the camera, and there’s a hex key to help with that. There is also a nice pouch to put the strap in, which I thought was unnecessary at first, but because there are metal parts on the strap, I actually used these to store the straps in my bag, to stop the metal from rubbing against my camera and lenses, so I decided this was a nice addition.
I didn’t include it in this photo, but when you remove that piece of white card with Find Your Peak written on it from the packaging, there is more helpful information on the various configurations of the strap etc. so I felt that the packaging is very well thought out. By the way, this is my black strap, but I bought a grey on at the same time, as you can see in this next image (below). I sometimes use two straps at the same time, and I figured it would be nice to have a choice of color.
As we proceed, I’m going to talk about the points that have made this my new strap of choice in the order of importance to me. This might not be the same order that you’d chose, but bear with me, as we will cover everything that I believe is important to talk about.
Anchor Link System
The most impressive thing about this system is the Anchor Links. These work incredibly well, enabling us to quickly attach or remove the camera strap by simply pushing down on the button shaped disk on the Anchor, and then slide it out of the connector housing. Of course, attaching a strap is even easier; you just have to drop the disk into the housing and pull on the strap until it snaps into place.
I’m a firm believer in using gear that works with us, not against us. Everything I use in my photography helps me to work smoothly, rather than get in the way. I take my camera straps off a lot while shooting. For example, if I’m working on a tripod with a bit of a breeze, with the strap attached to the camera it can move around in the wind and introduce camera shake, especially if it starts to bang against the tripod legs. Because of this I generally remove the strap when using a tripod, but then I put it back on again as I move to another location, so literally, for me, a camera strap might be attached and detached some twenty or thirty times a day, so it needs to be a quick and easy operation.
As you can see from this next image (below) I have attached an Anchor to both the top left and right side strap loops on my camera, as well as to the loop on the bottom right side of my battery grip. Attaching one end of the strap to the battery grip like this allows the camera to swing down at a such an angle that my hand goes straight to the right side grip, with my finger falling naturally on the shutter button as I raise the camera to my eye.
If I attach the strap to the top left and right loops, I can of course simply use the Slide as a regular camera strap. To make this strap work as a sling and to stop it from sliding around when in use as a regular camera strap, the Peak Design team have ingeniously added two strips of silicon on just one side of the strap, so you use the smooth side when you are using the strap as a sling, and when you want it to stay put, just flip the strap over so that the silicone grip is in contact with your clothing. This works really well!
I don’t always use my camera with the battery grip, sometimes preferring to just take it off and shoot with a lower profile camera, so the addition of the Anchor Mount is really useful too. As you can see in this photo (below) it screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera, giving you an optional position to attach the strap if you want to use it in a sling configuration, but you don’t have the battery grip with the third loop. Of course, when I’m working like this, I am not using a tripod, so the Mount generally stays on like this until I put my battery grip with the Really Right Stuff L-Bracket back on to the camera.
Replacing my Old Sling System
In addition to my old camera straps, I sometimes used a camera sling system for my long lenses, but that requires that I take along both straps when I travel, and I find it a bit annoying to have to attach the special ring that they provide to the lens foot, especially as I have to then detach it again to use the lens on a tripod. That slows me down, and I always like to find ways to maintain my flow rather than interrupting it. With the Peak Design Slide strap, I was able to simply attach one of the Anchor Loops to the front of my lens foot from Really Right Stuff, and attach one end of that strap to that, while leaving the other end attached to the camera body. The camera then hung down by my side as a sling strap, and I could easily swing it up to eye-level to shoot whenever necessary.
Another thing that I like about this method of using the Slide strap as a sling, is that I have the strap connected to both the lens and the camera. My old sling only attached to one ring, usually on the lens, and that allows the camera to rotate and come away from the lens in certain situations. To prevent the camera from dropping to the floor I used to feed the shorter straps left after taking my main strap off the camera back through the sling strap. With the Slide though, because the camera and lens are both being supported, it’s much less likely that the lens would work loose, so I don’t feel as though I need a safety leash now, and that is once again less weight to travel with.
Talking about weight, if you are wondering out much weight this system can carry, apparently, the Anchor Link System is rated up to 200 pounds or 90 kilograms. On the packaging, it says that if the red core starts to show through on the line anchor thread, it’s time to change them. For their thickness, it’s surprising, but so far I have felt very safe and had no issues with my large DSLR and battery grip, as well as when using with my 100-400mm, which is a relatively hefty setup.
[UPDATE: It seems that due to a very small number of failures in the in v3 Anchors Peak Design are now replacing these with v4 Anchors. Check this page for details. Well done Peak Design for identifying and attending to this issue! And thanks to Barry Schleicher for pointing this out to me.]
Quick Adjusters Both Good and Bad
The last thing that I want to talk about, has both good and bad aspects. To easily adjust the length there is a Quick Adjuster on either end of the strap. You pull the metal clasp out and can then easily shorten or lengthen the strap. As long as there is some tension or downward pull on the strap, these adjusters are rock solid and work great.
However, if for example, you have the camera on your lap, as mine often was as we traveled around Namibia in June, if you even slightly nudge the adjusters, they slide down very easily, even when the clasp is in the locked position. This meant that a number of times I found the camera hanging down much lower than I had originally set it, and I’d found that the Quick Adjusters had worked their way almost to the full extent of the strap. Of course, because they are Quick Adjusters, it only takes a second to shorten them again, but I can’t help thinking that once they are locked, they should do a better job of maintaining the user’s chosen length for the strap. That is the only gripe, and it’s a very small gripe rather than a problem.
All-in-all I’ve been very happy with my decision to switch to the Peak Design Slide strap and can fully recommend them if you are looking for a new or better way to carry your camera. I love it when a piece of gear helps me to overcome issues or makes my shooting workflow smoother, and these straps definitely do that. This review has not been sponsored in any way. I’m just sharing information on a product that works for me, in the hope that it might help you with your photography too. You can find the Slide strap and all of their other great products over on the Peak Design website at peakdesign.com, and if you want to help support the Podcast and blog, you can also use our B&H affiliate link which is mbp.ac/pdslide.
A number of months ago, I backed a Kickstarter project, to help a company called Peak Design bring the version 2 of their Capture camera clip system to market. After the team spent a little more time than they expected to iron out some international shipping logistics, my order with my backing, containing two CapturePRO clips and a PROpad arrived recently, so today I’m going to walk you through this great system and how it will work into my overall camera support strategy.
The key component of this system is the Capture camera clip, which comes in two flavors; the standard Capture and the CapturePRO. The advantage of the PRO version is that it comes with your choice of Pro Plate, which has an anti-rotation rubber surface and a D-Ring so that you can attach a sling style strap like the Black Rapid, which we’ll look at later. It also has a screw thread in the base so you can use it as a quick release clamp if necessary too. As you can see from this photo (below) the packaging for the CapturePRO is pretty good, especially for a company still relatively young.
NOTE: After releasing this Podcast, the Peak Design Team sent us an Affiliate Link that saves you 10% of all purchases! Please use this link https://mbp.ac/pd10 to apply the coupon or enter mbp10 on checkout.
Peak Design CapturePRO with ARCAplate
Both Capture and CapturePRO clips come with a microfiber pouch to store the clip in, and a 4mm hex key. This is a very small detail, but I love the fact that the hex key has a ring on it, so I could tie this to something, or even attach it to a camera strap or the key clip in my camera bag. The Peak Design team also probably made a conscious decision to go with the 14mm size because this is the same size that Really Right Stuff use for their clamps, so we don’t have to carry multiple hex keys around.
Peak Design CapturePRO and PROpad
I also chose a PROpad, which is an accessory that enables you to attach the clip more comfortably to a belt or ruck sack strap, especially if you are going to be carrying large cameras around. We’ll take a look at this in more detail soon too. First, here’s a photo (below) of the CapturePRO attached to my Gura Gear Bataflae backpack camera bag.
CapturePRO on a Gura Gear Bataflae Camera Bag
This is the first clip system I’ve used, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to clip the camera into the CapturePRO clip. There’s a nice reassuring click as the safety catch locks into place, and to remove the camera, you have to push the red button, which you can see in the earlier photos.
For extra safety, you can turn the plate lock screw on the top right of the clip, to lock the camera plate firmly into the clip, so it won’t come out if you accidentally push the red button.
Another great safety feature though, is if you rotate the red button 90 degrees, you can no longer push it in to remove the camera. This gives you an extra level of reassurance.
Peak Design have also created a leash, simply called Leash, and a wrist strap they called the Cuff. I will consider picking up the Leash at some point as I really see how this system fits into my shooting workflow, but to start with, I’m using the clip without the leash, and so far have not had any issues.
In addition to attaching the clip to the shoulder straps of a rucksack, you can also attach it to the strap of a shoulder bag, or directly to your belt in a vertical position. Because the safety catch clicks in as you drop the camera into the clip, it doesn’t need to be oriented horizontally as I show it here, although I must admit the paranoid safety freak in me feels a little less anxious using the clip horizontally.
Here’s a photo of the PROpad attached to my belt (below left). Although you can loop the pad over your belt, I am passing my belt through the loop in the PROpad itself, for extra safety, especially when using the clip with large lenses like the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens that we see in the other shot here (bottom right).
PROpad with CapturePRO on a Belt
CapturePRO with PROpad with 5D and 70-200mm Lens
The PROpad is well padded though, and is very comfortable even when carrying a large lens like this. Note though, if you have a tripod ring with an Arca-Swiss style plate on it, it gets in the way so you can’t easily drop the camera into the clip without rotating the tripod ring moving the plate out of the way, or removing the tripod ring altogether, which is an option if you know that you are not going to be using a tripod.
Attaching a Black Rapid Strap
For me, this system will be most useful when I’m out and about, running and gunning, rather than the more steadily paced landscape photography. It will be most useful for street photography, but also for any photography that I do predominantly hand-held. I can imagine me using this system when I’m out photographing the Snow Monkeys for example, as I always keep two cameras with me, and I have my rucks sack on the entire time.
This is one of the reasons I bought two CapturePRO clips, so that I could put one on my rucksack shoulder strap and then the other on my belt using the PROpad for the longer lens. Also note that at the moment, I’m finding it more comfortable to use this system without the battery grip on my 5D Mark III. It can be used with the battery grip, but then the camera really sticks out from your chest, and just feels a bit awkward, although I’ll probably try and get used to that at some point.
My photography is very varied though, and I don’t see me trying to replace my current workflow entirely with the CapturePRO clip system. For example, the Leash can be used as a sling style camera strap, but despite the claims that it is comfortable even with heavy cameras, I just can’t see how that can be the case, especially when we are talking really heavy gear like a 300mm f/2.8 for example.
I’ll continue to use my Black Rapid straps, which are much wider, and when I’m doing my wildlife photography with much larger lenses, I will continue to use my Black Rapid Double Strap. As I mentioned earlier though, the nice thing about the ARCAplate that I chose with my CapturePRO is that it has a D-Ring as we can see in this photo (above right), that you can clip a Black Rapid strap through too, so the CapturePRO plays well with other systems.
CapturePRO ARCAplate with Really Right Stuff BH-40
For example, because as the name implies the ARCAplate complies with the Arca-Swiss standard, I can attach the camera to my Really Right Stuff quick release plates without having to remove the CapturePRO ARCAplate.
As I say though, this is not going to fully replace my current workflow. There will be times when I want my battery grip on the 5D Mark III or I’m using the 1D X, and in these situations I’ll be using my Really Right Stuff L-Brackets, because I love the freedom to switch between portrait and landscape orientations without flipping the camera over on it’s side.
The 5D Mark III L-Bracket does have a screw thread, so I could attach the ARCAplate to the L-Bracket, but to be honest, once it starts to get that convoluted I lose interest. I want my workflow to work for me, not against me, so as I said earlier, there will be times when I feel that the CapturePRO is the way to go, and there will be times when I put it into its nice little microfiber pouch, and leave it in my camera bag.
That though, is another really nice part about the CapturePRO system, and why I have bought into it. It’s small enough to be able to drop in your bag, and use it when it makes sense, and then not have to worry too much about the additional size and weight when you don’t need it. After all, the CapturePRO clip itself weighs just 110g and the ARCAplate is 30g. Sure, you have to be careful of weight, especially when traveling internationally, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the benefits of the system more than make up for carrying this little extra.
I should also note too that although I’m aware of the Spider Holster system, and I think that the action of clipping the camera into the support is perhaps a little easier with the Spider, at least until you get used to the CapturePRO clip, the reason I have gone with the CapturePRO over the Spider Holster, is the Arca-Swiss compatibility. As I mentioned earlier, I have Really Right Stuff plates on all of my lenses and L-Brackets on my cameras. All of my tripods have Really Right Stuff quick release clamps including my Manfrotto video fluid head, which I mated with an RRS quick release to maintain full compatibility with my system. Although I’ll only be using CapturePRO when it makes sense, it’s important to me to be able to use it with my current range of camera supports, so this was the deciding factor. If you don’t have this consideration to bear in mind, then by all means take a look at the Spider Holster too. My friend Pete Leong swears by it, so I know it’s also a class product.
So, all in all I’m very happy with this new addition to my kit, and my first few ventures out with it have proved it very easy to use. It’s one of those technologies that quickly disappears into the background, so it’s definitely something that I’m happy to recommend with a big thumbs-up!
The Peak Design Team sent us an Affiliate Link that saves you 10% of all purchases! Please use this link https://mbp.ac/pd10 to apply the coupon or enter mbp10 on checkout.