Capture Camera Clip System: How to Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Seconds
Hey, Smuggers! Today’s guest post features one of our newest partners, Peak Design, the creators of a new and ingenious solution to the too-much-gear-no-hands-free problem. It’s called the Capture Camera Clip System, and you may have heard about when it raised a whopping $364,698 on crowdsourcing funding platform, Kickstarter. The Capture Clip System is an accessory that rigidly secures your camera to the gear you already own. Heck, life is full of great moments and incredible adventures; we didn’t want to miss a moment of it pawing through our camera bags, and neither should you. Keep on reading for the story of how the Capture Camera Clip System came to life – straight from creator Peter Dering. Plus, at the end of the post, you’ll find info on how to win your own:
By Peter Dering
I’ll tell you why so many SLR cameras are sold – it’s because humans like beauty, our brains can only hold so much of it, and most of us are crappy painters.
Call me a sap, call me a romantic, but I get deeply moved when I see the rolling green landscapes of Cambodia, or gleaming snow-covered back-country bowl in Yosemite, or my 6-month old daughter drooling on our ottoman. The world abounds with unfathomable beauty, and I want to capture it, but what is the point of taking a fancy camera to the fringe of civilization if it’s squirreled away in a Pelican Case? Have you ever tried to wear a Baby Bjorn with a full-frame camera around your neck? Likewise, what’s the point of having a fancy camera swinging around your neck if it can be destroyed with one foul swing into harm’s (or drool’s) way? Like many photographers, I struggled to get off the shots I wanted because my hands and neck were always tied up.
I got serious about photography in 2007 when I traded in my Canon Powershot G1 (3.34 megapixels) for a Nikon D80 and an 18-200 Nikkor lens. That setup (along with a 50mm 1.8) became my beard. Although it never once struck me as “convenient,” it was with me all the time. It was only a matter of time before the photography bug got the best of me, and I decided I needed to do it full time. I took a leave of absence from my job, and in June of 2008, landed in Hong Kong with a backpack, a camera, a few lenses, a laptop, and that’s about it. Through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia, I traveled by motorcycle, scooter, and foot, with a pack on my back and a camera swinging precariously around my neck.
It seemed crazy to me that no one had invented a way of rigidly attaching a camera to a backpack strap. Needless to say, that’s when the mental creation of Capture started taking place.
The seed of the idea crystalized in February of 2010, while I was backcountry skiing in Yosemite. The beauty of the park was stunning, yet I was completely hamstrung. When you have to ski with 50 pounds of gear on your back and poles in your hands, you can’t have a camera swinging around your neck, and you can’t use a sling bag in conjunction with a backpack. The only way to take pictures was to stop, plant my poles, undo my backpack straps, hoist it down, take out the camera, get my shots, and then reverse the operation. When you have to travel 9 miles on the snow before the setting sun erases the path in front of you, this process gets burdensome fast.
How It Works
I designed, prototyped and field tested numerous creations over the next several months and yakked the ears off of countless photographers. By the Fall of 2010 I had a design I was ready to run with — a simple, metal clip that allows photographers to secure any camera to their backpack strap or belt. It was small, lightweight and strong – something I could trust to keep my SLR secure and accessible no matter what I was doing. It held my camera rigidly to prevent swinging and swaying, and it had a quick-release button so I could take the perfect shot when it presented itself, not 10 minutes later. This was the device that would help me capture all that beauty, and that’s why I called it Capture. The graphic below shows the different parts of the system:
A Dream Come True
I found Capture a manufacturer, used my retirement funds to pay for tooling, got a job as a busboy to get me through the winter, and crossed my fingers that this plan would work. I launched Capture on Kickstarter in May of 2011. To my amazement, 5,258 people across the globe put down $364,698 in 75 days towards funding the manufacturing of my system. Three weeks later, each one of those folks had a Capture Camera Clip System in their hands. The reviews came in… the thousands of folks out there who shared my problem were rejoicing in the solution.
Capture was here to stay, I was done with my old career as I knew it, and I could finally afford diapers for my newborn daughter.
Made For Photographers Like You
Today I am doing everything I can to steer Peak Design in a direction that will let photographers all over the world change the way that they interact with their camera to capture the beauty around them. The workload is staggering, but I love it. As often as I can though, I get to do something else I love. I head out on a hike with my daughter, her mother, my D90, and Capture. I am instantly reminded of why I made this product in the first place, and the three of us let out a little squeal of giddiness. And there I am, camera in hand, ready to Capture it. Happy shooting everyone.
Win Your Own Capture System
The Capture Camera Clip System wouldn’t exist today without the support of photographers like you who believed in the system and and backed it with their hard earned money. Now, along with the folks at SmugMug, we’re giving away complete Capture Camera Clip systems to 3 lucky Smuggers. It’s our way of wishing you a lighter, hands-free start to 2012.
To enter, follow these instructions:
- Show us some love! Like SmugMug AND Like Peak Design on Facebook.
- Share some beauty that you’ve captured! On Peak Design’s Facebook page post a link to one of your own shots on SmugMug, and say a little something about it.
- Tweet the deets! Post the following message on Twitter: “Enter to win a Capture Camera Clip System from @SmugMug: http://smu.gs/zs9Ia9 #PeakDesignGiveaway. Please RT.“
Winners will be chosen based on your photo entry on the Peak Design Facebook page.
The winners will get:
- First Place: 1 Capture Camera Clip System, plus 1 free year of SmugMug Pro
- Second Place: 1 Capture Camera Clip System, plus Smuggy Swag
- Third PLace: 1 Capture Camera Clip System
Winners will be announced on Friday, January 13. Good luck and enjoy!
P.S. Smuggers will get a discount on their very own Capture Camera Clip System in Club Smug, our dedicated place for deals from partners we love. Stay tuned for details next week!
You came, you read, you posted! Huge thanks to everyone who entered this contest for a chance to get their hands on a Capture Camera Clip System. The good folks at Peak Design have picked 3 winners below:
First Place: Bob Lionel
Sometimes even good friends get into arguments while playing a friendly game of frisbee. This is a shot of two of my dogs. I’d hoped to get an airborne shot of Rook (the border collie) as he caught the frisbee. Instead, Brodie wanted to play too. Rook didn’t agree with him and as dogs will do they had to have a quick test of wills that lasted all of 7 seconds and ended with them both still friends. It is amazing how when you freeze that moment of disagreement how savage it looks…
Second Place: Debbie Webb Clifton
Brotherly Love – Took this silhouette last Easter of my nephew kissing his little brother It was number one for several days in the Daily Photo Gallery on Smugmug
Third Place: Jerry Barton
Getting that “moment” is tough. Changing lenses and getting the other body out of the backpack take too long. Anything to shorten that time (or eliminate it) is great.
All winners will be notified by email. Didn’t win? No worries! Enjoy a Smuggers-only discount on your very own Capture Camera Clip System by logging into your SmugMug account and then going here. Congrats everyone!