As always, any comments or opinions here are solely my own and not a reflection of the opinions of the U.S. Marine Corps or Department of Defense. This is an unsolicited review done completely of my own volition.
In February, my life changed.
That’s right, my whole life.
I found something so beautiful, so amazing, that from the first time I used it I was a customer forever.
That thing? The Capture Camera Clip System, by Peak Design.
I had actually been researching a camera holster system for a while prior to this deployment. I was not willing to go through what my last deployment involved – full combat load, a rifle sling, a backpack, and a camera strap flying around on top of it. Hanging around my neck the strap would dig into my neck and the camera was cumbersome to access and difficult to hold on to when moving fast from location to location, or getting off a helicopter, or climbing a ladder well inside the ship. Or…Well, doing pretty much anything.
Not this time, I said!
Originally I had looked into the Spider Holster System but there was one problem: I’m cheap. I wanted two, and with the current price of the system (105 for the holster, plate, and pin), I just couldn’t force myself to spend that much money. I was also concerned about it being able to incorporate with my flak jacket system.
So through additional research I found the Capture, and at a reasonably priced 80 bucks I could justify getting two for myself, which proved to be critical to how I operate. It looks like it was originally a Kickstarter and proved to be fairly successful. I wish I could have gotten in on the ground floor of it.
I’m currently assigned as the photographer for the Commanding General of Regional Command (Southwest), so we tend to go a lot of places by helicopter and car. Trust me on this, moving in and out of vehicles in full combat gear is not all that easy. It feels like a bulky, heavy, tactical, permanent hug. Sometimes I have difficulty fitting through doors. The last thing I want to worry about is a camera strap getting caught on something.
I use one plate and two holsters. One goes on my flak jacket, and one goes on my patrol belt. When I remove my flak jacket the camera gets transferred from my jacket to my belt in a matter of seconds and I’m on my way. Done. The camera feels tight and secure, but comes off with just one quick motion. It doesn’t move around crazily when I’m walking, or bang against my side, or fall forward when I’m leaning over.
Oh, I need to climb this ladder? No problem.
What’s that, Sir? A photo on top of a tank? I’ll be right there.
Time for chow? BAM. Two hands. It’s Taco day.
I’m not often utterly astounded by a product. But when I snapped my camera into this thing for the first time it was like the skies parted and the angels sang. I looked to the heavens and said, “What have I been doing with my life?!”
I will never, ever operate without one of these ever again. I will buy 20 of them. I will buy 100 of them and use 100 cameras at one time. I will buy them for my shop when I’m “da boss.” I will defend their honor in a battle to the death. I will marry my Capture and have little babies who’ll grow into resentful teenagers who smoke and get tattoos.
There are only two things I did not like, and one isn’t really their fault. The holster the way it is does not integrate immediately into my flak jacket as the straps are too small to fit the holster through. This was quickly modified by snipping some stitching and making two horizontal straps into a larger one. A quick fix.
The second is that these things are being used constantly in a filthy environment and on my last shoot the locking mechanism stuck and took some messing with to reset back to normal use. I’m slightly concerned about long term use as I probably holster my camera some number of uncountable times throughout an event. This has only happened once as of yet, and you’ve really got to consider that the environment and workload we put on our equipment doesn’t really resemble anything in the states – eventually, this place destroys everything.
All in all, I’m hooked. Or should I say, Captured?
Plus I look like a badass wearing it.
Here’s two photos of my rig when I travel using the Capture system.
If you’re looking at picking up one of these puppies, you can do so here: Peak Design LTD
Tammy Hineline is currently deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines. To follow her work check out these other websites:
Tammy Hineline on 500px
Tammy Hineline on Flickr