Camera bag and accessory manufacturer, Peak Design, first became famous for their quick release Capture Clip which I have previously reviewed on this site. The Capture Clip is a very useful way to carry a camera on a belt or backpack strap, giving you fast and easy access to it all day long. The only potential problem is that you might be hiking in poor weather, or a dusty environment, and having to put the camera in the pack all the time to combat that, would really negate the usage of the QR system in the first place. This is there the Peak Design Shell camera covers come in.
The Shell covers are designed to work with the Capture Clip system, giving your camera some protection from the elements without getting in the way of the quick release plate and clip mechanism on the bottom of the camera. They can also be used as a soft cover to give scratch protection to your camera when it’s packed into a regular backpack amongst day-to-day items.
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Features and Usage Experience
As a complimentary product to the Capture Clip system, the Shell covers work quite well. There’s an elastic cinch around the front of the lens, and another at the back of the cover which secures the cover to the camera pretty tightly. There’s also an elastic strap which attaches to your Capture Clip or bag so that you can just let go of the cover when you grab your camera, and then the Shell stays tethered to you or the bag. This all works well, and as you can see in the video, the process of removing the cover is very quick. When you’re not using the cover at all, it folds up into it’s own pocket as you can see in the photo below.
If you’re using the Shell in this way, paired with the Capture Clip, then it’s a good solution.
Where the usefulness of the cover falls down though, is using it on a camera that you are not carrying on a Capture Clip. The Shell has holes in the cored to pass Peak Design’s quick-release strap anchors through, but they are annoyingly fiddly to manoeuvre and I can’t see anyone bothering with it more than once. Once you do get it onto your strap in this way, the cover is kept on the camera pretty tightly because Anchor Links are short, so it really gets in the way of you trying to take a photo. Since the cover covers the lens barrel, you have to adjust the zoom and focus rings by blindly grabbing them through the cover, so it makes fine adjustment very tricky. It’s less important with a zoom ring, but if you like to focus manually then I wouldn’t recommend it it all. Without a viewfinder hole in the back of the Shell, it also means you have to peel back the cover to get to the viewfinder and camera controls, and the whole thing feels cumbersome and restrictive. Peeling back the cover to get to the camera also means you expose the camera to the weather that you were hiding it from in the first place.
Essentially, the Shell works as a cover to protect the camera when you are carrying it externally, but it doesn’t work as a cover that allows you to continue to use it during that bad weather. This is distinct from camera rain covers such as the excellent Aquatceh Sports Shields, which allow you to keep shooting in a torrential downpour. Something like the Sports Shield is considerably more expensive though, so you have to factor in the fact that the Shell is a pretty cheap accessory. If you understand its limitations, and use a Capture Clip regularly, you’ll be fine, just don’t expect it to be a full on rainproofing solution to keep you shooting through a downpour.
I definitely think that for this product to be a worthwhile purchase, you need to be using the Peak Design Capture Clip. If you’re not using the Capture Clip then there are much better weather protection options for your camera, such as the ultralight Storm Jacket rain covers (previously reviewed), or the fully featured Aquatech Sports Shield. If you are using the Capture Clip though, the Shell is a well made solution to protect your camera while you carry it. Whilst you could technically use this cover when you have the camera on a shoulder strap, I found it clumsy to do so, and pretty pointless since you have to expose the camera to the weather in order to take a photo. A niche product then, but the Capture Clip is a wonderful accessory for getting quick access to a camera whilst hiking, so this combination of Clip and Shell might just be for you if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Where to Buy + Special Offer
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