A new camera accessory product has been launched on Kickstarter by Peak Design. Peak Design’s Micro Clutch is specifically designed for small mirrorless cameras to provide a secure grip in the absence of other straps or support devices. Peak Design already offers a larger clutch for DSLR and SLR bodies. Let’s delve into the product’s details.
The company’s existing and larger clutch strap has been one of its best sellers since arriving on the market in 2014, but there’s one important difference between the two models. Where the original clutch allows the entire hand to be placed inside the strap, the Micro Clutch only has room for a few fingers. But Peak Design is confident that a properly adjusted strap will give you the security to hold the camera and access to the topside controls.
Over-engineered camera hand strap?
The Micro Clutch attaches via a baseplate attached to your camera’s tripod mount. The strap then freely moves horizontally inside the baseplate, allowing it movement while you shoot. However, the baseplate will then cover your battery compartment, and if you’re street shooting or looking to hot-swap your SD card or battery, you will need to undo the baseplate to access it.
The baseplate, as referred to by Peak Design, is described as “an intricate piece of engineering”. That engineering and the use of machined aluminum make it more expensive than the one used on the bigger Peak Design Clutch.
The company emphasizes the ease of removing the baseplate. They’ve added a tool to assist with the process, which is magnetized to the plate, and they say there’s a good reason for this combination of strap and baseplate. This comment is from the product designer: “For a smaller hand strap to be effective on a smaller camera body, the strap needs to rigidly terminate directly below the handgrip. So, to achieve this rigid termination, a baseplate was added.”
It’s fair to ask whether something so simple as a camera hand strap can be over-engineered, when sold separately like this – but from the massive success of the campaign so far, it’s fair to say that a lot of people find it actually very useful. At the time of writing this article, close to €770,000 have been pledged on this strap by over 7,500 backers, with 13 days to go. Impressive.
Two different baseplates
Depending on how much body grip your mirrorless camera has, you choose from two baseplates. One has a more pronounced hand grip for cameras like Sony’s A7 series, and one has a straight plate for cameras like the Fujifilm X100 series. There’s a list of cameras that have been tested to work with the Micro Clutch on the Kickstarter page.
Peak Design has also added compatibility to ARCA quick-release heads with an additional magnetic ARCA plate, so you can use third-party tripods. It ends up being a compromise because, ideally, the ARCA adapter would be part of the baseplate. The company did prototype this idea, but it would have made the base plate far too large, sticking off the front and back of many cameras.
Micro Clutch is also compatible with other Peak Design products like their straps, Capture Clip, and tripods. So you don’t have to remove the clutch to use them.
Peak Design Micro Clutch Kickstarter campaign
Peak Design is back on Kickstarter after three years, and if you invest in the Micro Clutch, there are deals to be had with some of their existing accessories. For instance, pledge $575 or more and you’ll receive the Micro Clutch, Capture Camera Clip, Leash Camera Strap, and their Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod. A $50 pledge will get you 23% off the Micro Clutch itself.
Do you need the Micro Clutch?
The new product seems to be something that you have to live with to see if you need it or not. Having just a few fingers going through the strap seems awkward, but also something that might feel safe and intuitive. Alternatively, you could save money and buy a wrist strap or some third-party accessories, like a thumb grip or attachable hand grip.
Please let us know in the comments below if you can see yourself using the Micro Clutch, or if you have already made your mirrorless camera safe using other accessories or different handling techniques.