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12-11-2014, 12:21 AM   #1
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Looking for camera bag suggestions.

Hello,

I am looking for a small to medium backpack to carry a DSLR (Pentax K-3), couple of lenses (nothing too bog here. Sigma 17-50 and Rokinon 14mm), a 15inch laptop and a tripod, plus accessories and chargers. I would like this to be my go to bag when I am flying or going on a hike or even for any travel. I could put the tripod in my carry-on bag when I am flying but a backpack ability to carry it with me during other times is a plus.

I did a google search and found a few that would fit all the above but they need to be taken off the shoulders in order to remove the camera. Is there any backpack where the camera pouch is on the side so I can simply remove one shoulder strap and remove the camera out of the bag? or a semi slingshot type backpack? Any input is highly appreciated.

Thanks.

12-11-2014, 01:44 AM   #2
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Hi, I travel a lot for my work/holidays, and went through the same exercise for a K-3, lenses, and a 13" Macbook Pro. I like to take my camera for photography out of work hours and when I am on holiday.

I had an extensive look at backpacks, and also was looking for ease of getting the camera out. I ended up with a Think Tank ShapeShifter, which I have found to be an excellent backpack. There is a good review here:


There are a few things I really like about it from a travel combined laptop/work/camera backpack. These are:

1. K3 and a Limited Prime fits very nicely into the top pocket, making it quick and easy to get out (or 18-55 zoom)
2. With the backpack extended I carry 6 lenses when I want to - 18-55WR, 55-300WR, DA15, DA21, DA40, DA 70 Limited (all small lenses) and my Zeiss ZK 35mm - I can swap out lenses with other primes as the planned photography requires. My 16-50 fits just fine too when I need it (swap out the 18-55)
3. The bag fits in the OH lockers of small regional turboprops (ATR72, Q300 size) and also easily under seat - so no issues with airlines. Earlier this year I travelled through the USA and UK with the above lens set and laptop. No issue with the airlines or airport security.
4. There are heaps of compartments for batteries, filters, cards, blowers, chargers etc - so no issues there either
5. It is a very comfortable bag to carry - even when fully loaded up, lots of padding where it matters
6. The back padding is comfortable enough to use as a good pillow - tested when I slept in the open during 3 days on a boat to Tokelau in the Pacific earlier this year
7. When you are travelling light you can pull it down and have a very small, light profile, which is very useful
8. Plenty of padding for the laptop - I have no concerns there
9. The laptop is very accessible and easy to get out quickly for airport security - also a plus

The only mod I have made to the backpack has been to put some bubblewrap under the bottom lens pouches to provide some more protection to the bottom most lenses when putting the pack down.

I am very happy with the Shapeshifter - the are not the cheapest bag on the market, but the quality, usability and comfort is top notch.

With the K-3 and smaller Pentax lenses, I think the pack works much better than with a bigger FF camera, in that you can have a lens mounted on the K-3 in the top pouch, ready for quick pull out and go. This is one of the functional criticisms of the Shapeshifter from the FF Canon and Nikon users - it doesn't apply to Pentax as the bodies and lenses are of course smaller.

All the best with your backpack search.

Ross
12-11-2014, 01:48 AM   #3
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Should include the ability to carry a bottle of water and some lunch if you intend to hike around. Also, make sure any bag you get is top loading, so that the camera won't fall out when you open it. Really, you have to look in store and bring everything with you to try it in the bag. There isn't a perfect bag, as it depends on the occasion. I have a one big and one small crumpler bag, but I also have a lowe pro sling that carries a dslr with one lens plus has room for other travel junk.

--- Edit
Problem with those brands I mentioned is that they look like camera bags. Which is usually OK where I travel, but Karen Nakamura recommends using 'diaper change bags' when travelling as thieves avoid them -a dirty nappy may be inside! :-)
http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/camerabags.html
12-11-2014, 01:58 AM   #4
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lowepro now has the protactic series. I saw them at the photokina, and they do look very good. And they can be very customized. They have place for a laptop, and also have side acces. Lowepro | ProTactic Professional Camera Backpack

or the F-stop kenti. i has also side acces. Kenti - Backpacks - Mountain - Products

And the new clik elite probody sport has sort of side acces. Clik Elite ProBody Sport Backpack with Computer Sleeve CE738BK

12-11-2014, 02:58 AM   #5
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Is the look important? Here is a list of camera bags I find looking pretty sweet

Synth-etico: 9 - Beautiful Vintage Camera Bags manufactures you should have look at
12-11-2014, 04:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
Hello,

I am looking for a small to medium backpack to carry a DSLR (Pentax K-3), couple of lenses (nothing too bog here. Sigma 17-50 and Rokinon 14mm), a 15inch laptop and a tripod, plus accessories and chargers. I would like this to be my go to bag when I am flying or going on a hike or even for any travel. I could put the tripod in my carry-on bag when I am flying but a backpack ability to carry it with me during other times is a plus.

I did a google search and found a few that would fit all the above but they need to be taken off the shoulders in order to remove the camera. Is there any backpack where the camera pouch is on the side so I can simply remove one shoulder strap and remove the camera out of the bag? or a semi slingshot type backpack? Any input is highly appreciated.

Thanks.
I can wholeheartedly recommend the Lowepro Prorunner 350 AW. The build quality is top-notch, the padding does an excellent job of protecting the bag contents and your shoulders. It will easily accommodate all the items you listed.
My bag has traveled extensively with me all over the world, and it's as good as new. I'd be wary of bags that open on the side, I may be wrong but I feel that lenses would be more susceptible to accidentally falling out
12-11-2014, 04:31 AM   #7
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The Lowepro AW photo sport series is excellent for what you're describing-- I have a 200, which has a camera quickdraw in which I can fit up to two bodies and three lenses (that's pretty tight though), as well as a water bladder/laptop sleeve, tripod straps on the bottom, and enough volume in the pack for a day of backcountry skiing, so avalanche gear (shovel, probe and bivvy sack, extra layers, skins, lunch, and essentials like map/compass, headlamp and first aid kit

12-11-2014, 05:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
Is there any backpack where the camera pouch is on the side so I can simply remove one shoulder strap and remove the camera out of the bag? or a semi slingshot type backpack? Any input is highly appreciated.
The LowePro FastPack series fits this requirement exactly. There are 4 different sizes available. I have the FastPack 350 and love it.

You can look at user reviews with pictures of the LowePro and most of the other major bag manufacturers.

http://www.cambags.com/bag-type/backpacks/lowepro-backpacks-menu

Tim
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12-11-2014, 08:50 AM   #9
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also evoc has a new line of camerbags with side entry options Photo - EVOC - SPORTS - TRAVEL - PROTECTION
12-13-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
And the new clik elite probody sport has sort of side acces. Clik Elite ProBody Sport Backpack with Computer Sleeve CE738BK
I have this bag and would definitely recommend it, along w/ the matching water pouch designed to fit in the back of it.
12-13-2014, 11:46 PM   #11
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Fastpack 250 Camera bags, backpacks and rolling cases

I love mine
12-16-2014, 01:55 PM   #12
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Thanks a lot guys. I looked at all the suggestions in this forum. Unfortunately I cant find most of them at any of the local stores here. However, I did try out LowPro Fastpack and Transit backpacks. Both of them have pretty much the same design with a few minor differences. I think I will pick one of these two. I liked the LowPro transit as its compact and looks nicer than the Fastpack. But in order to load the camera/lenses the entire front zipper has to be opened which can be a little messy if the top storage compartment is stuffed. Fastpack has its own zipper for camera compartment.

Does any one have any experience with: Amazon.com: Professional Gear Backpack for Digital SLR Canon Cameras , up to 17" Laptops and Device Accessories- Works with Canon EOS Rebel SL1 , T5i , T4i , T3i , T2i , 70D , 100D , 700D , 6D & More DSLR , Micor Four Thirds , Point and Shoot Cameras

It has good reviews and is a lot cheaper.
12-16-2014, 02:09 PM   #13
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I have five Lowepros. On two of them, the main plastic locking clip has broken. Exactly in the same place. A buddy also has experienced the same broken clip on his Lowepro.

I repaired the first one, through a local luggage shop for $ 20. Since it happened a second time, I think I will try a Domke. If the Domke stands up, then I will gradually phase out my Lowepros and replace them with Domkes. Domke has a metal clip...military grade it is advertised...so hopefully this will work better.

To say the least, I'm disappointed in this common flaw in my Lowepro bags. Three bags...two of them mine...same broken clip.

Other than that, I've been pleased with Lowepro. I don't know how a problematic clip got into the design, though.

Last edited by lesmore49; 12-16-2014 at 02:16 PM.
12-17-2014, 08:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by uday029 Quote
Thanks a lot guys. I looked at all the suggestions in this forum. Unfortunately I cant find most of them at any of the local stores here. However, I did try out LowPro Fastpack and Transit backpacks. Both of them have pretty much the same design with a few minor differences. I think I will pick one of these two. I liked the LowPro transit as its compact and looks nicer than the Fastpack. But in order to load the camera/lenses the entire front zipper has to be opened which can be a little messy if the top storage compartment is stuffed. Fastpack has its own zipper for camera compartment.

Does any one have any experience with: Amazon.com: Professional Gear Backpack for Digital SLR Canon Cameras , up to 17" Laptops and Device Accessories- Works with Canon EOS Rebel SL1 , T5i , T4i , T3i , T2i , 70D , 100D , 700D , 6D & More DSLR , Micor Four Thirds , Point and Shoot Cameras

It has good reviews and is a lot cheaper.
Do you have a Costco nearby?
The Tamrac Jazz 83 is only $20.


tamrac | Jazz 83
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