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Review: Peak Design Capture PRO Auto-Latching Camera Plate System

The Peak Design Capture PRO system is great for "hybrid" shooters tasked with covering events where you need to have your camera at the ready at all times, such as walking around covering everything that happens at a large event, but still need to be able to quickly put it on the tripod for a speech or talking head.

Wiggle Room

Originally designed as a secondary lock system, there’s a knob on the opposite side of the Capture’s release button that screws down directly onto the side of the Capture camera plate. In the original marketing, it was shown as a safety system for those times when you really, really wanted to make sure the camera didn’t fall out of the plate. In years of using the original system, I never had the camera slip out, so I never used the secondary lock.


Old (top) and New (bottom) Capture systems. The secondary lock knob is on the bottom left of each clip.

More recently, when I started to use the camera on the tripod, I found a new purpose for the lock-down knob. I would zoom into a carefully framed shot, hoping to shoot some time lapse with the camera, and then when I let go of the camera, the camera would move in the Capture clip, changing the shot. The looseness that is essential for easy clipping and release is now a problem because the camera has a couple millimeters of wiggle in the clip. With a long zoom, this is way too much movement.

But by using the secondary lock, I can tighten down on the camera plate and remove all wiggle. While this may seem like exactly what you wouldn't want from an automatic-latching system, it’s actually fine in practice because the camera is already secure in the Capture clip. It’s not going to fall. This tightening down, while an extra step compared to the camera plates used for video (which don’t wiggle), is acceptable because I only needed it for a few shots. The wiggle room proved not that much of a bother in the more than a week of non-stop use I gave it for this test. You can see in the video that accompanies this article; it’s very easy to do.

Quibbles

Yes, there are always a few minor quibbles. And in the case of the Capture PRO, they may seem not very significant but are worth mentioning nonetheless.


You can see on the new lock-down knob (L) that there's more underneath the head, and it all has to go over the hole to fit. The older knob (R) is simpler.

The first one I discovered when I went to use the Capture PRO on my belt. It turns out the refined clamping bolts have a more complex design and are a bit trickier to swing out and then get back into place because they have to clear not only the top, but a small protrusion on the bottom of the knob--something that was not there on the original Capture. I found this issue annoying enough to relegate the Capture PRO to tripod-only use. I used my original Capture everywhere else. Both the old and new Capture camera plates work in the original and new Capture clips.

As I mentioned previously, the camera plate, while striving to be more convenient, with the D-ring, and secure, with the hex key, usually ends up requiring a tool for removal. For these reasons and others, it appears that Peak Design is already planning a D-ring-less new ProPlate. That new screw needs to be implemented across all plates. If there was a way to re-add the 1/4-20 hole in the bottom of camera plate without weakening the design, that would be nice too.

Lastly, I found the Peak Design logo on my Capture PRO to be very sharp-edged. Unlike other areas of the clip that were clearly brushed down, the logo on mine clearly missed this step.

The sharp-edged Peak Design log