Once you buy a DSLR photo camera with some lenses, you’ll need something the transport them with. Good no problem you think I’ll just buy a bag to hold them. Then you collect more lenses and a tripod, filters, some flash gear….oh dear I need another bag. Pretty soon you have a decent collection and find yourself wanting even more for another specific trip or occasion.
Roughly I have 3 needs for a camera bag.
- Day trip, sports, skiing or mountain biking. So I am just taking the camera and one extra lens, an SD card, filters and spare batteries. This lasts for max 8 hours.
- A large bag that carries pretty much everything except my clothes (North Face Base Camp Duffel XL (120 liters)). Generally this is to transport to the (next) holiday location. Up to 3 weeks.
- When at the holiday location I want a lightweight pack for day trip. Pretty similar to point 1. Except that it needs to be as small and fold-able as possible to fit in my large clothes bag/suitcase.
So here is my current setup:
Purpose: Lugging Camera and Laptop and Ipod and books on a lengthy Holiday trip. (Purpose #2)
- Carries everything I want to lug around, which is an achievement…
- Eco friendly as it has been made of recycled materials.
- Nice looking design (I think).
- Large, it feels even larger as compared to what it can carry. If that makes any sense.
Purpose: Lugging Camera and Laptop and Ipod and books on a (business) trip. (Purpose #2)
- Doesn’t attract much attention
- Fits all I need, Laptop Camera, Lenses, Ipod, phone, video cam, books, chargers, cables.
- Slides onto a roller bag, so good for taking it on business trips and still bring your camera.
- It feels small compared to what it can carry.
- Non so far (I own it for about 3 months)
Purpose: Day out and about in a city, or on the mountain bike (Purpose #1)
- Can be strapped to waist for sports, a rattling bag is terrible while high speed skiing
- Can be carried like a shoulder bag for city trips.
- Can strap tripod underneath it
- Small form factor
- Flexible interior
- Fits Canon 70-200 4L IS lens only with some pressure. Forget about the F2.8 version
- I don’t like the place were they put the sliplocks. I wish one of the side pockets was a sliplock to carry a large lens
Purpose: Day of skiing or mountain biking. (Purpose #1 and #3)
- Can strap it tightly to body for active sports like skiing
- strap around waist and over shoulder so the bag won’t come loose
- 2 sliplocks to attach lens cases to bring extra lenses
- LowePro recently released the Lowepro versapack 200 AW which seems to fit my purpose #3 excellently. It can be folded pretty flat.
Bags I owned but sold:
- LowePro Slingshot 200 AW: Didn’t like the weight pushing on my shoulder muscle over a few hours. But not a bad bag at all.
- LowePro CompuRover AW: Didn’t like the way the camera compartment opened, therefore replaced it with the CompuPrimus.
I have been able to sell used LowePro bags for a good price so it much be said you don’t lose a lot of money when you try one and try to sell them on a local online market place.
If you are searching for information about camera bags I suggest you visit this site Cambags.com
I know there are other great brands like Think Tank, Kata and and I recently discovered F Stop.
One thing that generally bothers me is the pricing difference between Europe and US. LowePro bags are consistently 30-50% cheaper in the US then they are in Europe, I guess they are made in Asia so the shipping cannot account for the difference. So its likely to come down to market pricing…aka what can they get away with. Somehow I understand, somehow that doesn’t feel right. I am not suggesting this is an issue for LowePro only.