Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life


My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Capturing my Camera

On Friday afternoon, the 20th of September, I got an e-mail saying a package was on its way to me. Unlike most such e-mails, this was not from some wealthy widow trying to sneak her late husband's millions out of her country or a free sample of the latest weight-loss/penis-enlarging/heart-healthy herbal remedy but an exciting new camera accessory, the Capture Camera Clip. It's a two-part system intended to make carrying your camera and, more importantly, taking photos easier and more convenient. I saw it on Kickstarter when they were planning version 2 and backed it.

I honestly didn't think I'd see my capture before the following Monday but, to my surprise, there was a thick, padded envelope in the mail Saturday. That was a rather hectic day as the older two had a theatre rehearsal all afternoon while Ezra had a birthday party in Half Moon Bay to go to at the same time. After the party, we had to rush back to the City so I could take Sara to her Girl Scout camping trip, already in progress south of where the birthday party was. So when I saw the envelope, I threw it in the back of the Land Rover along with the sleeping bags and pancake mix and, of course, my camera. I thought that maybe, after the kids went to sleep, I might have a moment to open it up and take a quick look.

As it turned out, we arrived just as s'mores were being made and an ad hoc talent show was getting underway. Sara would as likely pass up an opportunity to perform as a Tea Partier would a chance to denigrate Obama, so she was happy. I set up one of our camping chairs by the fire to watch and opened my package. There were two boxes inside, one with the Capture and its matching ProPlate and the other containing a "Pro Pad," a holster for the Capture which offers more support and padding when carrying larger SLR cameras. I set the ProPad aside and proceeded to examine the contents of the Capture box, poring over the small manual. The manual is short and sweet -- really, there's not a lot about the product that isn't pretty obvious.

The next day, I decided to try it out. I put the Capture on my belt and attached the ProPlate to my camera. It was, indeed, straightforward. I found that getting the camera into the Capture was going to require a little practice -- more a function of my prodigious paunch than of the Capture system itself. Once loaded, though, the camera felt comfortable, although I could tell that with my big lens on an already big camera, the Pro Pad was a wise investment. We took a hike that morning with all the girls and when I wasn't taking pictures, the camera was on my waist in the Capture. I found myself keeping one hand on the camera at all times because I wasn't convinced that the Capture would really hold it securely, but I needn't have worried -- the camera wasn't going anywhere.

Getting the camera out of the Capture was smooth and fast -- a piece of cake. I found that I didn't end up with the pain in my shoulder and neck that comes with a shoulder strap; the weight of the camera was, instead, on my hips where it belonged. It also wasn't swinging around as I climbed up and down the trails, stepping on or over logs, rocks, and branches. I only took a few hundred photos that morning but not for lack of access to my camera.

The CapturePro, which I got, is a clamp that you attach to your belt, backpack strap, or just about anything else flat. It also has a standard threaded hole on the bottom so it can be mounted on a tripod or monopod. On the top, there is a slot where the ProPlate clips in. The ProPlate attaches to the tripod hole on the bottom of your camera. To remove the camera, you press a button and slide the camera out. The button is lockable so if you don't need instant access, you can tighten it down to ensure it won't come out, but I didn't find that necessary. The ProPlate has loops for a wrist or shoulder strap and uses a thumbscrew to attach to the camera -- for extra security, a hex wrench will really tighten it down.

To sum up, I love this thing. It worked fine on my rather thin belt (a military-style web belt) but given the size of my camera and lens, I think the Pro Pad will be a nice addition. With the Capture, my camera is secure and always at hand. My only regret about this purchase is that I wish I'd gotten a second one so as to be able to quickly switch between handheld and on the monopod. If you're an active photographer, this is definitely worth checking out.

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