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04-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #1
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Camera Bags - the good, the bag, the spendy, the cheap

For quite some time I've owned a pretty nice smaller-sized Lowepro shoulder sling bag that I use pretty much only if I'm doing an incredibly dedicated photo shoot... It's a very useful bag, but I find it useless for any other purpose so most of it's time is spent as a glorified storage container. Even if I'm taking more stuff, I will far more often take my everyday Osprey messenger style bag, or a much smaller canvas shoulder bag I bought in Amsterdam for cheap if I'm just wanting something to hold a cam with a small to mid-size lens mounted and a couple other things. If I am just out and about, those are the two I usually (pretty much always) use simply because they're more versatile and they also don't scream "I HAVE A NICE CAMERA WITH ME!" like dedicated camera bags do.

I came across this line of bags by ONA (dont' remember how) and while they're nice because they're tastefully made and much more non-descript (avoiding the "i'm a camera bag!" problem), they're almost ridiculously expensive. I nearly picked on up anyhow. They are reviewed very well and seem well made, disregarding the unavoidable "hipster chic" thing they have going on, even in their marketing. B&H carries them and you can check'm out here:

ONA | Shop

And then, I went on the Bay and started browsing around.... there are so many bags (such as this one below) that you could buy 10 of for the same price.

Casual Vintage Canvas Cross Body Messenger Bookbag Shoulder Bag School Men Women | eBay

I'm all for quality workmanship, but the difference is just ridiculous and unwarranted IMO.


Last edited by chickentender; 04-04-2014 at 12:59 PM. Reason: i cant spel
04-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #2
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I also dislike camera bags that look like camera bags (except for work of course). " months ago I bought this Swiss Gear "The Zinc" camera bag at best buy. It is discounted now at U$40 I think it is veeery good deal.
The quality is really nice and the size is great for a camera with 2 or 3 more lenses. I carry the K-5 with limiteds and a flash in main compartment just fine. Bad side is that you canīt fit A4 notebooks
SwissGear ZINC Messenger Digital SLR Camera Bag GA-7866-02F00 - Best Buy
04-04-2014, 01:45 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I love my Tenba backpack style bag. Not cheap, but not the price of a small car either. Ballistics nylon and the zippers are sealed, so I feel very comfortable around water.

I have the mid-size and just bought the small for my GF. She loves it.

Most importantly, for the longer hikes, they balance very well on our backs.
04-04-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
I also dislike camera bags that look like camera bags (except for work of course). " months ago I bought this Swiss Gear "The Zinc" camera bag at best buy. It is discounted now at U$40 I think it is veeery good deal.
The quality is really nice and the size is great for a camera with 2 or 3 more lenses. I carry the K-5 with limiteds and a flash in main compartment just fine. Bad side is that you canīt fit A4 notebooks
SwissGear ZINC Messenger Digital SLR Camera Bag GA-7866-02F00 - Best Buy
That Swissgear looks like it'd do the job for certain. Yeah I think I'm going to sell my Lowepro, I just never take it out for due to the advertising it does. I've been finding a pretty large number of bags from manufacturers like Koolertron and Derkang that seem to be extremely well made and nicely put together for a FRACTION of the cost of those ONA bags (I actually just had a silly exchange facebook exchange with them after looking at their meager 1-year warranty. Can't believe the customer service stories I found on Amazon over camera bags that cost as much as theirs. Just ridiculous.)... and of course there are all those Ebay specials, which truth-be-told, could still be a great bang-for-you-buck. Army-Navy Surplus sites are great as well and I found a nice padded compartment for essentially creating your own "camera bag" out of a bag of your choice (assuming fit) and their padding.
Surplus site: Military Messenger Bags - Army Navy Store
BBP padding insert: Amazon.com: BBP DSLR Camera Insert, Make Your Own Camera Bag - Orange: Camera & Photo

And a nice looking Koolertron for $60USD: Amazon.com: Koolertron BBK6 Canvas DSLR Camera Bag Messenger Shoulder Bag For Nikon Sony Canon Olympus: Camera & Photo

I actually wound up buying one of these (which is awsome because I always wanted to strut like Will Smith:
Canvas Leather Military x Large 15 Laptop Shoulder Messenger Bag | eBay

I think I'll try to pull some padding out of a much older camera bag I've had laying around for years. My bet is it'll work great. And if it doesn't... hehe, I've still spent hardly anything in comparison.

It just irks me the price of things like this, a BAG, by manufactures touting it as something special, then not standing behind it.

---------- Post added 04-04-14 at 03:23 PM ----------

EVER BETTER - 10 bucks!

New Insert Padded Camera DSLR Inner Folding Divider Partition Protect Case Black | eBay

04-04-2014, 03:27 PM   #5
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I'm a huge fan of side access ports on camera backpacks. I was looking for a bag I could take with me on hikes and I came very close to buying this:
New! 2014 Contrejour 40 | Backpacks | Clik Elite


F-Stop makes a few backpacks with rear access like this:
Loka - Backpacks - Mountain - Products


And of course Lowepro has the AW series of bags.




In the end, I bought a regular backpack, and still use it like a side access by using a camera insert.
04-04-2014, 03:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by fazer Quote

In the end, I bought a regular backpack, and still use it like a side access by using a camera insert.
That's what I've done for years, but with a hodge podge of padding inserts. I should just buy one of those actual inserts. Far more versatile and you can pick the bag of your choice, high and low.
04-04-2014, 08:02 PM   #7
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I've used Lowepro stuff for about a decade, then I just happened upon a Case Logic holster bag for super-cheap and couldn't resist. Now, I'm thinking of getting a larger version that can hold some extra lenses, since the holster is really just designed for 1 camera plus attached lens. Has anyone used this medium SLR shoulder bag? I'm curious to know if I can fit a K200/2.5 in one of the side pockets, but since it's only $39 at Amazon, I'll probably just get one anyway.

One other thing I highly recommend, besides replacing any camera bag's shoulder straps with OpTech ones, is to get some of these, particularly if you have a few primes. These are fantastic, and since Pentax primes are so small, it effectively doubles your carrying capacity.
04-04-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack

Amazon.com: Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack (Black): Camera & Photo


Bought one of these after seeing a sale at Fry's posted in the price watch forum for about $50. It came with the holster too. Love it. Really like that it has a hard bottom so you can put it down upright. The inside sling suspension system is the bomb. I can pack an ginormous amount of gear, lenses accessories etc in this thing.

04-05-2014, 01:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddaytona Quote
Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack

Amazon.com: Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack (Black): Camera & Photo


Bought one of these after seeing a sale at Fry's posted in the price watch forum for about $50. It came with the holster too. Love it. Really like that it has a hard bottom so you can put it down upright. The inside sling suspension system is the bomb. I can pack an ginormous amount of gear, lenses accessories etc in this thing.
I'll agree the Case Logic Camera Bag carries a lot of gear, I had one for 2 years. HOWEVER, here are my 2 major complaints and why I switched bags:

1- They use Velcro closures. I have a bunch of dry weave (polyester) golf polos that I wear when hiking because of the moisture wicking, which is awesome on hot days. Velcro DESTROYS them! Also the Velcro tends to be abrasive against the skin. I ended up using a lot of black electrical tape as a wrap around the Velcro to keep it from scratching my exposed skin every time I took it off or put it on.

2- I found the shoulder straps really hampered my arm blood circulation, to the point after a couple miles my hands would start tingling. I'd have to stop just to take the bag off and restore blood flow.

Now the caveat to this might be the WEIGHT of my camera gear. I have 4 rather hefty lenses in my kit. My kit probably exceeded the design capacity of the Case Logic.

So if you don't have a lot of weight, the Case Logic might work because it is a very well designed bag. In fact, if you want one, I'd be willing to sell you mine...lol

Otherwise, If you have a heavier load, I would strongly recommend a bag with a hip/waist support system.
04-05-2014, 02:28 PM   #10
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http://www.vanquest.com/products/javelin-vslinger-right-shoulder-slingpack.html

This is a bag that is touted more for concealed carry, but it actually has velcro compartments for dslr transport. It's a sling style backpack so it's perfect for the side-access. Very heavy duty materials as well.
04-06-2014, 06:49 AM   #11
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Domke makes excellent quality bags that are very easy to live with and work with.
They're a little more expensive than some, but priced far below the luxury brands.

Chris
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