Peak Design Capture Clip V3 Review

Yes, you read that right. Peak Design Capture Clip now has grandkids, plural. They now come in silver and black. Gone are the Capture Pro and regular Capture; they've gone back to one unified product just like the original. Now this isn't a product like a new camera with a new sensor, better autofocus, etc. so it's harder to convince someone to upgrade to a new version of a mount that holds your camera. But this accessory isn't like Apple trying to sell you a iPhone 8 when you've already got the iPhone 7; this is a worthy upgrade.

Before I dive deep into how it's better, this is how it's changed on paper. It's all CNC'd anodized aluminum; either a matte silver or a matte black. It's smaller. Way smaller. 30% lighter, 20% narrower, 20% shorter. Redesigned back plate is extra grippy and the smoother design means it won't damage straps by squeezing it like a waffle-iron. The plate lock is gone. Newly designed lower profile standard plate and all new dual plate for the Manfrotto fans. That's what changed, and now on to the good stuff; why all of these changes matter over the previous version.

If you've ever tried to quickly remove the clip from a backpack strap or a belt, you know that you need to constantly twist it out; you can't just flick the head of it and watch it spin out. These new thumb screws are amazing. A quick flick and you can just watch the screw spinning itself out. It's completely effortless. I'm pretty sure I can change the clips location quicker than Jeff Gordon's pit crew could change his tires.

Keeping on the topic of thumb screws, they were tall. They sat above the clip and when using a mirrorless body, it could bang a thick lens and scratch it. It also caused some minor cosmetic damage to camera bodies if you missed the mounting point and banged the thumb screw instead. Well now the thumb screw heads are lower profile so that shouldn't happen. But on top of that, it now comes with hex screws that are extremely low profile and longer in thread length. This means that you can have a more permanent configuration with the hex screws and it won't bang your camera or lens anymore. My one gripe is that I wish the hex screws came in a standard length. I always have my Capture Clip attached to their Everyday Sling 10L, but these new hex bolts are too long and dig into the bag. Maybe it's okay to use, but I worry about the threads wearing into the sling's fabric.

This thing is also narrower and no longer sticks out when attached to a backpack strap. I thought it wasn't a big deal until I put a heavy camera on and realized that it no longer digs into my collarbone. I had no pain after hiking with the clip for about 40 minutes. There was a little discomfort when I paired it with Fujifilm GFX with the zoom lens, but that was an extreme case in weight and size. However I will say that when I used it together with their Pro Pad, the weight was distributed much better and I could use that setup all day long. (But I won't because I look ridiculous.)

The next big improvement is the backplate. Instead of the waffle-iron design that tried to squeeze your bag strap and conform it between it, this one goes for a completely flat design with grippy rubber-like material. I found it holding in place a lot better without tightening it down as much. What that means in the long term and short term is there will be far less damage to the strap I was attaching it too; I didn't have to cross my fingers and hope the strap wasn't permanently squished.

The new plates are worth mentioning as well. The standard plate is a lot lower and sleek; it reduces the overall height quite a bit. It's not compatible with the old Capture Clip because it's just too short and your camera won't clear the thumb screws. The new dual plate is the same height as before to maintain compatibility with Manfrotto tripod heads. This one is backwards compatible since it's still taller than the thumb screws. What I definitely appreciate with the new standard plate is that the screw no longer has to be centered. For people like me with really slim mirrorless cameras, I'm able to shift the plate more towards the lens so it sits a bit more flush on the backside. That helps preventing the plate from snagging on anything, etc. and it doesn't matter how far it sticks out towards the front since the lens sort of blocks everything anyways.

I really think there's enough compelling reasons to upgrade here. Having a collarbone that doesn't hurt should be a big enough reason on it's own. But all the little quirky things like the thumb screw height, straps getting squished, etc. are all gone and there's nothing to annoy me anymore. I've been playing with the silver version and while it's nice, I will say that attached to my bag it does look bright and shiny and expensive. The black version is going to be much more low key and not scream steal this bag as much.

There is one thing that I feel like is a step backwards though, and that involves sliding in a plate. On the Capture Clip V2, the release button could be in the locked position while a plate slides in; it felt like an added level of safety. However with V3, a plate will not slide into the Capture while it's in the locked position. This means I now have to unlock, slide in a plate, and lock again. In Peak Design's defense though, the Capture would most likely be in the unlocked position when you slide something in. (You had to unlock it to get the last plate out.)

One thing I really want to see Peak Design do is offer the standard length bolts with the hex/low profile heads. When attached to their smaller bags like the Field Pouch and Everyday Sling 10L, the bolts are too long and dig into the fabric. I'm worried about wearing holes into the bag but I really want that low profile of the hex bolts. Not a deal breaker by any means since I've still got the thumb screws, but it'd be a lot sleeker with hex bolts.

If you want to upgrade, here's a link to the kickstarter that ends tomorrow, Friday, November 10, 2017, at 11:59PM PST.