As you may know, I’d been using my phone to take pictures documenting our hikes until Spring this year. Well, after 4 years of service and 2 years since the battery change under warranty, the new battery decided to die too – signalling its exit with lowered capacity and voltage, cutting out under energy intense conditions like filming.

Part of the reason I kept that HTC 10 for so long is that I’m trying not to waste resources. The other is that I did not like any of the flagship phones offered by any of the brands for the past two to four years. HTC is all but nonexistent, Apple has huge ethical issues attached (as do most brands), and Fairphone is just so… bleh. I’d pay them flagship prices if they made a fair, but also good phone.

Then you’ve got these inconvenient and uncomfortable glass backs on almost all phones nowadays. I don’t want to have to use a plastic, made in China cover to hide my $1000 phone in just so it won’t break when dropping it from a slight height, because they decided the screen should not be the only weak point anymore. I also don’t like the feel of plastic (or glass) in my hands. I want a metal body.

As such, I decided that for the first time in ten years, I’m not going to buy a flagship phone with a good camera, but rather a cheap phone with an aluminum body (Nokia 6.1), and with the saved money: A real camera. Enter my new Fujitsu X-T30 (After a lot of research, I decided to go with a mirrorless model as a modern, lightweight step up from a heavy old school DSLR, and with Fujifilm because they seem to take great, realistic images).

New Problems

Of course I would have to learn to handle this piece of high tech equipment, as well as learn some low tech terms like “aperture”, “ISO”, and “exposure”, among others, and that would take time. But a more immediate problem was how to take this camera along for hikes.

I certainly wasn’t going to have it dangle from my neck for hours on end. Uncomfortable, annoying, and unsafe for the camera. Not to mention all the sweat and sunscreen that would undoubtedly accumulate. Egh.

I was also not too keen on having an extra shoulder bag in addition to my backpack. Again, the dangling and bulkiness of it all.

A camera backpack was out of the question. I have more stuff to bring on hikes than just my camera and usually my 35 liter backpack is pretty full. That also disqualifies camera inlets for generic backpacks.

Anyway, I wanted to have my camera ready and not have to get it out of a bag for every picture.

Peak Design Capture Clip… Eh.

So I did some research and came across the Capture Clip by Peak Design (a thing you mount on straps, belts or similar, that you can then click your camera into for safe keeping). I found mention of it wherever I looked for solutions, so I ordered one and tried it out on this hike. Here it is, as taken by my new phone, and I think you can immediately see the problem:

Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack's strap.
Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack’s strap, blocking my left arm.

Well, the only comfortable and convenient place to mount it was around the middle of my shoulder strap, and yes, it’s a convenient place in terms of accessibility of the camera, but now the camera is blocking my arm from moving forward and inward. Great.

Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack's strap, blocking my left arm.
Fujifilm X-T30 holstered in a capture clip mounted to the middle of my backpack’s strap, blocking my left arm.

‘Bonfol, Km 0’ was the first hike I tried my new camera on – See the pictures here.

Since that hike, I’ve moved the clip up a bit, closer to the shoulder, and while that is more convenient for arm movement, it creates a pressure point that starts to hurt (a lot) after a few hours. Sooner if the backpack is heavy.

Please let me know if you have any better suggestions for taking your camera along on hikes. I’d really love to try alternatives to this.

New Opportunities

Now that I finally have a real camera instead of an older cell phone to take pictures of our hikes, you can expect quite a boost in quality. If you liked my photos before, you’re in for a treat 🙂

Give me some time to adjust though. The learning curve is quite steep when you take the camera out of auto mode.

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