In 2004, the first Cape Epic Mountainbike Race took place, attracting elite professional mountain bikers from around the world. Since then, this eight-day roughly 700 km stage race has become one of the premier MTB stage races in the world.
Yet again this year, my desire for capturing some pure action and endurance took me to the Cape Epic in the Western Cape countryside, South Africa. In preparation for photographing this race, I contacted Peak Design South Africa about testing out two of their products, namely the Capture Pro Camera Clip and the SlideLITE Unpadded Strap to which they graciously agreed.
The Cape Epic requires some careful planning not only from the athletes but also the from the photographers, AKA: me! This includes constant planning and execution like having to drive to the ideal photo spot, then hike out a number of kilometres to the bike route to capture the racers as they keep on pushing on, and then running back to the car to secure my next targeting location before the fast-paced elite racers arrive. On average, I was doing about around 10 km of hiking per day (with gear, snacks and drinks on my back!). For this reason, this #untamed race will always be challenging to capture, but having good gear makes those long days just that bit easier.
Normally, I would shoot with a single body and changes lens when necessary, but with the Cape Epic, I knew that there would be crazy amounts of dust at the race, so I resolved on these two bodies:
- Nikon D750 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
- Nikon D750 with either a fisheye 16mm or 24-70 f/2.8 lens
For this camera set up, I chose to do one body on the Pro Camera Clip attached to my bag, while the other body used the SlideLITE Strap. This combo worked for me – it meant that I could let one camera hang while keeping the other in my hand, or clip the one to my bag while pulling up the other along the strap.
I don’t often use a strap, as I prefer to have my camera on hand and ready to shoot, however the quick-release anchor link system for Peak Design straps is amazing. I could put on or take off the strap within seconds. This came in handy when shooting with two bodies, as I needed the strap when switching between the two bodies.
I also thoroughly enjoyed that all the products are designed to be interchangeable. Yes, indeed they are multi-tripod compatible, but I am talking specifically about the Pro Camera Clip’s base plate that had space for the strap’s latches so that all the products complement one another.
Since the Cape Epic, I have purchased both the Peak Design Pro Camera Clip and the SlideLITE.
Pro Camera Clip VS SlideLITE
Pro Camera Clip:
- can connect to any bag and is simple to use
- is secure and means you don’t have to put your camera back inside your bag while moving
- can be tightened or loosened with great ease, meaning you can pull your camera close to your body while moving, or loosen while shooting
- is also easy to take on and off your camera, which is perfect for someone who wants the option to take the strap off
Pro Camera Clip:
- can be sticky at moments when putting in or out of the clip, but it’s more because I was impatient rather than the clip not working well
- with a camera on the pro clip, it moves about or will move about if you’re running
- the large Slide Padded Strap was a bit too big for me and sometimes got in my way, however, the SlideLITE was a perfect fit