Camera Bags

Bit of help please! As I expand my range of camera equipment, and prepare for some possible traveling again in the near future, I have found my mind wandering off in the direction of camera bags.

This is something that I haven’t ever considered before and my mind has been somewhat frazzled by the amazing array of options that exist these days – certainly come a long way since I bought a bag in the 1980’s!!!

Now I need to declare a hidden agenda here (which makes it a plain agenda now I guess) in that I am considering expanding the blog a little more in the direction of camera equipment reviews. So as ever your excellent and insightful comments and suggestions will be most welcome, and may go some way to helping me persuade a few companies to let me have some stuff to review.

To get the ball rolling take a look over at Tamrac, they have an amazing selection of bags!!

Basically I am after two things:

1. What do you use,
2. What would you suggest.


21 thoughts on “Camera Bags

  1. Dunks

    I’ve only used the smaller bags for point and shoot size cameras but I’ve always like Lowe Alpine kit. Their camera stuff is called Lowe Pro.

    From my climbing/mountaineering side of life I have used their rucsacs (various sizes) for a while and found them to be very good and tough. What I’ve heard from friends using the larger Lowe Pro bags has always been positive. I see a lot of their kit being used out in the wilds by folks.

  2. Andie

    i have a crumpler brazillion $ home for travel….and for everyday walk around i just ordered a shootsac because i tried a 4 million $ crumpler, and tamrac backback..neither cut it for me

  3. Robert

    I have two crumpler bags and they are really awesome! I’ve had one for over two years now and still no signs of wear. (this is my go-to-school-notebook-bag). Plus they give lifetime warranty on the complete bag! (plus their website is soooo awesome!)

  4. John

    I also use Lowepro, currently the Slingshot found here:

    Loads of nice touches like a screen protector/cleaning cloth, a hidden waterproof cover, loads of useful pockets/compartments, and the sling makes it totally secure when trekking, scrambling and so on. Bulletproof construction too. Perfect size for my D40 and various bits.

    Highly recommended and much more available than Tamrac in Europe.

  5. Gary

    1) I bought the LowePro Micro Trekker 200 when I began buying additional lenses last year. It was okay, but I wasn’t entirely happy with it at the time. I saw the SlingShot John mentioned and thought that was a really neat concept and ended up buying one of them – just a month or two after buying the Micro Trekker.

    Long story short, I’ve gone back to the Micro Trekker and haven’t used the SlingShot since then. A significant reason was that it won’t accommodate my body plus my three lenses. That aside, it’s okay as long as you don’t want to change lenses while you’re out in the field. Maybe literally in a field, given that my interest is in landscape photography. 🙂 If you have to open it up “fully” (say you want to change lenses or use a filter that’s tucked away), it’s not really any better than a conventional bag. Last time I used it, I seem to recall thinking “great idea, shame about the implementation”. YMMV.

    2) I’d certainly say look at the Lowepro range if they’re accessable to you. I’d love to take a look at the Tamrac range myself (I vaguely recall seeing that they also have a sling-style bag). Unfortunately, they’re not available around Glasgow, that I’m aware of.

    I would look at Crumpler too if they weren’t quite so expensive for the sort of size I require. (I’m lucky to have several branches of Jessops, including quite a large one, in Glasgow – and they do both Lowepro and Crumpler.)

    One thing to be warned of is that if you buy a really big bag that can accommodate all your current gear and then a few more bits and pieces and you go off out for the day, you’re going to have to carry it all – all day. It’s not difficult to load it up and find that it becomes pretty darned heavy. And don’t forget that you’re also going to have to buy a tripod (sooner or later) and carry that too. A decent one has to be sturdy/robust and that means weight. Unless you can afford/justify the reaaally expensive carbon fibre mountaineering ones. (I’m particularly thinking of your new 135-400 when used at the long end. Mind you, I tend to use the tripod where possible, even with 10-20 at the short end…) Of course, if you’ve got an “assistant”, one of an assistant’s traditional roles is carrying the master’s bags…

    Maybe your followup post should be “Tripods – Bit of help please!”… 😉

    And then looking to the future, at the risk of being accused of getting carried away (who, me?), “Sensor cleaners – Bit of help please!”… (Start changing lenses and you have to be very careful about keeping dust/grit/sand/cat hairs/etc out the camera.)

    There is definitely something to be said for simply sticking with a good point-and-shot – your scope/need for buying accessories is greatly restricted. In spite of that, don’t ask me to go back!!! 😆 🙄

  6. Mac Sokulski

    Personally I use this LowePro product: Compact AW DV
    Yes it’s pretty big, it’s the only one that would accomodate my 100-400mm canon lens and the rest of my stuff. Since my trips are usually unplanned, I like to have everything with me. I hate to miss a shot, because I didn’t pack something. This bag packs everything I need. I tried different backpacks, but I find them too clumsy, and hard to use. It not really fashionable, but it serves it’s purpose very well.

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    Thanks!!! This is exactly why I love blogging, great, thoughtful and detailed comments. Appreciate you taking the time to contribute.

    I will now go and research them, see if I can get any to review and no doubt end up spending yet more money 🙂

    @Gary – I actually have a tripod!!! I have had a for years now and although it probably doesn’t register with you guys as a ‘proper’ pod I like it 🙂

    I also like the suggestions you made for follow up posts as well, so again thanks!!!

  8. Gary

    An ‘improper’ tripod – sometimes aka a cheap tripod – /may/ not give you the rigidity/stabilty you require when you’ve got your new long lens on it. If it does, great. If it don’t, you’ve got another article! 🙂

  9. John

    @Gary – I agree that the Slingshot isn’t the best if you are really chopping and changing filters/lenses etc but I find it a great out-and-about bag because it’s just the right size for my D40 plus filters plus flash plus bits, and you can leap about and it stays totally secure.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that everyone’s needs are different! I am saving my pennies for the Nikon 18-200 VR and hoping for a fast Nikkor prime sometime soon. Then I will need a bigger case, if for no other reason than any long lens simply won’t fit across the bag.

    Would deffo like to see a tripods post. Knick-knacks post would be good too, all the little things to be recommended but which don’t merit a whole post to themselves!

  10. Chris Marshall Post author

    All suggestions noted for future posts!!!

    I would certainly favour the more ‘casual’ type of bag, and something that was pretty rugged as I have a tendancy to end uo in bars when I go out to take photographs!!

  11. John

    So are you a photographer with a drink problem or a drinker with a photography problem?

    If you often work in crowds the advantage of a sling-type bag (equally the Tamrac Velocity or Lowepro Slingshot) is that it is virtually impossible for someone to rip it off your shoulder and do a runner, which might happen with a traditional shoulder bag.

  12. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well on the basis that I was looking at tripods that were big and sturdy enough to rest a bottle of wine on ……….

    I am pretty safe from the crowd issue here in Almerimar 🙂

  13. John

    Almerimar sounds nice then…plenty of crowd issues most places I used to live in Spain (chronologically Gib, Sotogrande, near Casares, Marbella, Banus). Actually pretty sure I stopped off near you (maybe Almeria, can’t quite remember) when cruising to the Balearics. Man I miss tapas, seafood and especially my local unpretentious ventas.

  14. darren rolfe

    Lowe Pro, has out lasted 2 of my cameras! Now it’s home to my Lumix FMC-10.

    They seem to be very well made. Still no sign of wear and tear.

  15. Chris Marshall Post author

    Not sure about a sturdier tripod, but having just unpacked my 135-400mm Sigma F4.5 – 5.6 APO DG I think I may need to go and build up my arms, and poor Sands nearly tilted right over when I handed it to her 🙂

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