I’m Trying Out Peak Design’s Brilliant New Camera Straps – SlideLITE & Slide Summit Edition – And I’m Loving Them.

by Karin Gottschalk1 Comment

I was introduced to the world of Peak Design after being asked to cover their Kickstarter campaign for the Everyday Messenger camera bag. That campaign closed in September after raising a record-breaking US $4,869,472 in pledges from an amazing 17,029 backers from all around the planet.

I was impressed by what I learned about the Peak Design team and their attitude to creating, promoting and selling new products. I did not make my own pledge for an Everyday Messenger though.

A damaged spine and too many ultimately disappointing shoulder bags and backpacks stored away here already mitigated against it. But if Peak Design were to come up with the perfect truly versatile daily backpack to suit all my needs, I would be ecstatic.

Or at least almost as impressed as I am with some of Peak Design’s other products. While awaiting the arrival of Peak Design’s two latest camera straps, I ordered two of their earlier ones, Clutch and Cuff.

planetMitch note: Peak Design sent me several items earlier this year and the clutch and it is basically permanently attached to my Canon EOS 5D Mark III – love it! 

Neither has been detached from my prime moviemaking camera since and I will be adding more of each as well as a couple of other Peak Design items soon, budget permitting. I am glad I chose both – they work brilliantly in tandem and take up very little room in the undersized shoulder bag in which I most often carry that particular camera.

Clutch gives me an easily adjusted improved grip on it while Cuff acts as a safety leash that I can detach and clip into itself, like a bracelet. My next Peak Design purchase will include a Capture Pro Camera Clip and a Leash, the clip to attach a camera to a belt or backpack strap and the leash to act as a safety strap similarly to how Clutch plus Cuff works.

Not quite an unboxing shot. Boxed Peak Design Slide Summit Edition camera strap in Tallac blue, Peak Design SLideLITE box and the SLideLITE camera strap itself with Arca-Swiss-compatible plate attached. Photographed on the venerable Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 24-105mmm f/4 kit zoom lens, processed with DxO Optics Pro, DxO FilmPack and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

Not quite an unboxing shot. Boxed Peak Design Slide Summit Edition camera strap in Tallac blue, Peak Design SLideLITE box and the SlideLITE camera strap itself with Arca-Swiss-compatible plate attached. Photographed on the venerable Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 24-105mmm f/4 kit zoom lens, processed with DxO Optics Pro, DxO FilmPack and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

Peak Design's products have introduced me to the benefits of the Arca-Swiss camera plate system, one not in local evidence several years ago when I was investing in tripods and monopods for digital stills photography and moviemaking. I had read vague mention of Arca-Swiss but had no firsthand exposure to it. Now I have courtesy of the plates that come with Peak Design products.

Using compact hybrid stills/video cameras made me take a good hard look at the various plate and head systems in use on my tripods and monopods. Video tripods and monopods evolved in tandem with long-bodied camcorders and cinema cameras needing long mounting plates and heads. The most popular maker of camera support devices, Manfrotto, also came up with its own smaller quick release plates more suited to stills cameras’ smaller form factor.

That was then, and in my opinion it is past time for a more evolved system that takes hybrid cameras into account. I am no position to trade my tripods and monopods in, so I am currently looking for some affordable, well-made Arca-Swiss plate adapters for my existing support devices. In the meantime, I picked up a Ballhead X for my Joby Gorillapod Focus and I am loving it.

Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lens equipped with Peak Design SLideLITE camera strap attached at left, Peak Design Clutch and Cuff attached at right. Mounted on a Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ballhead X. This combo makes for a very effective, affordable, portable, handheld rig.

Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lens equipped with Peak Design SLideLITE camera strap attached at left, Peak Design Clutch and Cuff attached at right. Mounted on a Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ballhead X. This combo makes for a very effective, affordable, portable, handheld rig.

The Ballhead X replaces the small Manfrotto ballhead I bought with my Focus – the Ballhead X was not available at the time. I had intended to use the combination as a sort of handheld rig for my previous video go-to camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The whole thing proved a little too unwieldy for me though so I set it aside. Big DSLRs need way bigger rigs to properly support them. Mirrorless hybrid cameras are a whole other ball game. The Ballhead X has given the Gorillapod Focus a whole new lease of life, especially combined with Clutch, Cuff and SlideLITE attached to my GH4.

Peak Design's new SlideLITE allows me to safely suspend the whole rig by my side when needing to rest.

Clutch plus Cuff gives me extra grip and stability on a GH4 plus battery pack that is still relatively light compared to the video cameras and DSLRs of yesteryear.

Ballhead X gives me two easy-to-grip adjustment locks. And the Gorillapod Focus provides legs and rubberised feet I can bend into all sorts of absurd but supportive shapes. The whole rig, broken down, goes easily into a general-purpose daypack and can be reassembled quickly.

At the moment I have yet to put the larger, wider Slide Summit Edition into heavy use but that is coming soon. I took my 5D Mark II out of semi-hibernation, attached the attractively blue-colored Slide strap onto it and it is seeing new life capturing product shots. Soon I hope to take the 5D Mark II plus sexy blue Slide Summit Edition out into the field with me, to try out some newly released full frame lenses.

Meanwhile I can report that the Slide Summit Edition-equipped 5D Mark II is now a lot easier to carry and handle, and I feel much more secure doing that. It drapes comfortably over my shoulder, softly around my damaged spinal column, and moves smoothly over my clothing.

As with camera bags and backpacks, I have a small closet overstuffed with camera straps. I really need to put them all onto eBay or give them away. None of them show the high quality design and manufacturing standards of Peak Design’s straps and all of them are, frankly, annoying to use with their long, thin dangling straps and clashing plastic hardware.

Some are just way too thick or wide and can’t be packed down neatly or small enough. Others, the older ones particularly, are too rough and hard for my hands and shoulders, as if they were made for someone wearing armor. Twentieth century stuff. By comparison, the hardware, webbing and attachment systems used in Peak Design products show twenty-first century thinking.

This is just the beginning of my relationship with Peak Design products and I am enjoying every moment of it. There will be plenty more to come. Thank you for thinking, designing and making different, Peak Design.

Trying out Peak Design’s new camera straps - SlideLITE & Slide Summit Edition – and loving them. Click To Tweet

Slide Camera Sling by Peak Design – Product Overview Video

Slide by Peak Design – What makes Slide so great?

Slide / Summit Edition

Via Peak Design:

Slide™ Summit Edition pays homage to the beautiful landscape of our native California with two bold new styles of our flagship camera strap, Slide. Choose from 2 color schemes voted on by our customers: Tallac (navy strap with tan leather) or Lassen (red strap with tan leather).

Slide Summit Edition photos

Tallac: Keep Tahoe Blue. Inspired by Mount Tallac in South Lake Tahoe, this color palette mixes a classic navy strap with silver anodized hardware and caramel tan leather accents.

Lassen: Liquid hot magma. Lassen Peak is one of two volcanoes that erupted in the continental US in the 20th century – the other is Mount St. Helens. Lassen features a red strap, silver anodized hardware and caramel tan leather accents.

Both of these straps feature the same features and specs as our classic black Slide strap:

  • Works with any camera: attaches to any camera's strap loops or tripod socket using included ARCA-compatible tripod plate.
  • Ultra versatile: wearable as a sling strap, shoulder strap or neck strap.
  • Quick-connecting: attach and detach with one hand using our patent-pending Anchor Link™ connection system.
  • Grip or no grip: smooth on one side and grippy on the other, and instantly reversible depending on your preference.
  • Ridiculously comfy: Internally-padded webbing is low-profile and comfortable even with the heaviest of pro cameras.
  • Tripod compatible: compatible with most ARCA-type tripod heads.
  • Quick-adjusting: quickly adjustable with durable aluminum quick-adjusters.
  • Super strong: strong enough to hold the heaviest of pro cameras/lenses/accessories.
  • Use with Capture®: works stand-alone or with the Capture® Camera Clip.
  • Lifetime warranty on all parts

Check out other products from Peak Design.

(cover photo credit: snap from Peak Design)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

Comments

  1. hi
    waiting for preordered gh5 and got slidelite for this camera.
    Wonder if I should get a bigger slide version instead of lite.
    Looking at your photo it seems to be quite ok (strap size compared to gh4) – but gh5 is 20% heavier..

    What you think?

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