Choosing a Day Bag For Your Camera - Digital Photography School

Choosing a Day Bag For Your Camera

Last week we asked readers to tell us about the digital camera bags that they use – today Peter Carey gives some tips on how to select the right camera bag for you.

In this post I’ll take a look at smaller day trip camera bags. In a future post I’ll include the larger, multi-day or multiple camera bags but for now, let’s keep it small and simple. Rather than tell you which kind of bag to pick (as that would be nearly impossible with as many readers of this blog as there are), I’ll ask some useful questions and point out helpful features to help narrow the very wide field of possibilities. And let me state for the record I enjoy having a bag for different uses, be it a long trip, weekend outing or just walking around town.

Camera-Bag.pngBackpack or front pack?

Let’s start off with where you will be carrying the bag. I’d put forth that the comfort of a camera bag is paramount and thus, where you carry it is equally important. Some people prefer the backpack only, some like something that can clip on a belt and others prefer something in between, like a messenger bag over one shoulder. If you’re not sure, find a friend or two with the different bags and try them out. Load them down with about 4lbs of weight to get a realistic idea. Another option is an over the shoulder bag, meant to be worn on one side or the other. An example would be the Crumpler bag pictured to the right, with enough room for camera, one lens and a flash.

Camera-Bag-1.pngIs speed of access important to you?

This question points to how you plan to use your camera. Will you be making a lot of birding trips where quick access while hiking long distances is important? Do you take it a bit slower and shoot a lot of scenics where stopping often and removing a pack is likely? If the former, a front pack is probably your best bet. A lot of people don’t like to wear their camera around their neck for long periods of time due to strain. This is where the front pack comes in handy. And yet, it may be a bit bulky on your waist so try many different styles on before deciding. Many, like the Lowe Pro bag pictured here, which comes with a shoulder strap as an alternate option to the waist belt. Make sure the strap is comfortable and adjusts to your proper height.

Also, if you get a front pack, it is very handy to have the lid open AWAY from your body. If the lid opens towards you, it tends to get in the way of removing the camera as the lid can not open fully.

Camera-Bag-2.pngWhat else are you carrying?

On this point I’d caution you to keep the load to a minimum. If you can’t live without 3 lenses and a camera then you’ll have to expand a bit. But if you can keep your daybag to only include a good all around lens and maybe an external flash, the space and weight saved will be worth it. Check out the pockets of the pack and make sure there is ample organization for what you plan on carrying (flash cards, batteries, notebook, snack, etc…). One large pocket is not the best use of space and will add more wear and tear to your gear. Most bags now a days have handy pockets for flash cards and batteries, such as the Tamrac bag shown here with its quick access pocket for cards. Use this chance to examine what you carry and if it’s really necessary for a quick trip around town or the woods.

Camera-Bag-3.pngSlingbags…the wave of the future?

Slingbags might be called the hybrids of the backpack and front pack. The idea is to wear the bag on your back and when a camera is needed, you simply sling the bag around to the front using just one strap. The LowePro bag featured here has a side opening with a panel that opens away from the body to make access to your gear even easier.

Comfortable and quick, the bags are a good mix if you desire a backpack and want quick access.

Some features to look for in any pack:

  • Zipper pulls … These are the little tags on the end of a zipper. Without them you will be fumbling around more than you wish when the weather outside might be chill. Some have bits of reflective tape on them which is always a good idea (most bags are black)
  • See thru pockets … If there is more than one pocket, it’s great to be able to spot the contents from the outside. Just make sure the plastic these pockets are made of is sturdy and built to last.
  • Padding … Padding can be tricky. There shouldn’t be too much as to make the bag too bulky. Yet, it should provide ample protection in the right areas. Especially make sure the padding on the bottom is up to the beating it will take. Often the front of the lens is here so don’t be afraid to add in your own to help protect your investment.
  • Quality buckles and snaps … Check out the buckles and see if they look thin or flimsy. I also like to figure out how hard it’ll be to replace a broken buckle in the future. Some are sewn in hard and fast and require an experienced seamstress to repair. Others can be fixed with a 10 minute visit to an outdoor or camera shop.
  • Removable parts … A lot of bags have panels attached with velcro. These are great for customizing or simply removing when you want more space.

Some features to avoid

  • Built in rain cover … I’ll admit, this one can go either way. Personally, I prefer to carry a separate rain cover that will fit other packs, than spend the extra money on a bag with a cover integrated.
  • Too many loops or straps … If there are too many attachment loops or straps, you’re bound to get them caught some place at the wrong moment. Airport security checkpoints comes to mind. Also, loops can catch on objects when passing by, such as in a crowded market. Keep the bag lean and sleek to make movement easier
  • Plastic zippers … Look for high quality zippers that move easily.
  • Mesh pockets … Mesh tends to catch things and make items hard to remove from pockets. It’s also hard to clean after a couple months on the road.

The choices for a daybag are nearly endless. Hopefully some of the pointers here will help steer you to a bag that is right for you. And that’s one of the most important aspects; make sure the bag is right for you no matter how fashionable or hip it is. If a $5 tote from a street vendor works, use it! If you’re looking for a few more features, I hope this post will get your creative and decision making juices flowing so you may pick the best bag for yourself.

Previously at DPS we asked What Camera Bag Do You Use? and the response was phenomenal. I’d like to ask a similar question: If you have a daybag for your camera, what are the features you love or hate about the bag that others should know about?

Peter and his wife Kim are avid photographers who enjoy travel, portraiture and wildlife photography. They are getting the bulk of their images online, which can be viewed at Hidden Creek Photo. A travel related blog of their past and current shenanigans can be found at The Carey Adventures.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Andy H

    I am using the Think Tank Urban Disguise 3. Great Bag, yes it has a built-in rain cover which really comes in handy.

    NJTrout

  • Gizmo

    Some other (unpopular to mention but nevertheless important) things to consider:
    – How does its look? Cool?
    – Speaking of looks: dependent of where you shoot it could be a good idea if the bag doesn’t look like it contained a camera.
    – Can you take it as carry-on-baggage when you airtravel?
    – Costs

  • Farkled

    I am building a love/hate relationship with my Lowepro 300 AW – the large slingbag.

    What I like about it is that it large enough to carry a load of stuff if I want. It’s sleek and well made and can carry large/long lens mounted to the camera.

    My dislikes are somewhat more numerous. I’m not sure that the sling design makes sense for the most common of my longer day trips which is taking the grandkids to the zoo. On these trip, I tend to carry the camera on my shoulder – pretty much at the ready. If the camera is already out, then a backpack with two straps makes more sense. The single strap tends to ride up on my neck.

    The sling design works for hiking when the camera is not carried out and at the ready. Access is not all that quick though. The waist straps must be undone before the bag can be shifted to the front. Clearly, it would be nice if one could focus on one style of trip.

    Specific niggles:

    * Strap buckles slip, often and a lot.
    * Zipper pulls tend to fall inside and be difficult to find
    * No provision for carrying mono/tri-pod
    * No place or way to stow waist straps when not used

  • http://www.trishussey.com Tris Hussey

    I have the LowePro 200 sling bag and love it. Yes, the clip to undo when secured delays things, but I’ve found it extremely comfortable to wear for hikes and walks. I can even fit in (through various pockets) extra battery, two extra lenses, chargers, compact HD video camera, external mic, and point and shoot camera (my backup).

    For a tripod I use the loop on the side for my compact tripod. For my larger one it’s just gonna have to be a luggable affair.

  • Shawn

    I mountain bike a lot and was looking for a “mountain bike camera bag” that could be accessed easily, perhaps mounted on the handle bars. Anyone know where I could find such a thing (or if it exists?)?

    Thanks!

  • http://shutter.antisoc.net D. T. North

    Using a Tamrac Velocity 6 (which has been recently reworked, I have the old type). It’s a sling-style pack. Great for my camera with lens attached and a few accessories.

    The things I like:
    – Sling is an awesome way to go with day bags. Rotate around to access, nothing dumps, easy access.
    – I have a 135mm lens, and it fits in there fine attached to camera.
    – there are places to add on accessory packs if I need to.

    Things I don’t like:
    Mine opens on the front which means it opens toward the body. This causes three problems: 1) I don’t feel it’s as secure. 2) The accessory pouch within the lid isn’t easily accessible while worn (fortunately I only keep cables, etc, in there). 3) The clip folds over the front accessory pocket which means I have to open the whole back to access it. Please note, the reworked version has greatly improved upon this with the flap opening away from the body and the front accessory pouch is always available without opening the main compartment.

  • http://gataddzone.net/gzphotographs/ Glen

    I have a Tamrac bag (not sure which model) but tend to leave it behind because it gives me a backache by the end of the day. I like to travel very light: camera and, in my pocket, extra batteries, memory card, lens cleaning cloth.

  • http://usr-bin-mom.com Michelle Potter

    I just bought the Signature Jacquard Diaper Bag, Chino by George and I’m loving it. (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5823398) Yes, it’s a diaper bag, and IMO it’s perfect for amateur photographers who are also moms. (There are a lot of us these days!)

    I have spent months looking for a bag that would hold diapers, purse items, and my Canon Rebel so that I could be ready to change a baby or take a great photo at any moment. It had to be a shoulder bag since my 1 year old was likely to be already occupying the space on my back.

    This bag is better than a typical diaper bag, and not just because it’s stylish (looks more like a large purse than a diaper bag). Instead of the standard one big compartment with maybe a small zipper pocket and a couple of bottle pockets on the outside, this bag has three main compartments and lots of pockets in various sizes. Plus it has bottle pockets on the inside, which are just the right size for a small lens. Of course you do need to be sure to add some padding around your lenses and camera since it’s not designed to protect your equipment. I wrap my camera in my soft baby carrier when I’m not using it.

    IMO, this is a great daybag for moms who have to carry diapers and want to carry their DSLR. Just to be sure not to stick wet diapers in with the camera!

  • Marcos

    I prefer slim messenger bags like the Domke 803. The Domke is really slim, doesn’t look like a bulging camera bag, allows quick access to gear, and shifts with you as you maneuver in crowds — just like messenger bags tend to do. They are also easily adapted to carry other things as necessary.

    I hate sling bags because if I’m going to put something on my back, it might as well have two straps. It still takes a while to maneuver the bag to your front, unzip it, and fumble around for your gear (since the bag is typically riding higher on your chest than a shoulder bag would); might as well get a camera backpack that can carry more weight, evenly distributed on two shoulders. If it’s a light sling bag, might as well have gone with the messenger bag.

    Top loading holster are also really nice. Especially if you can attach them to a belt, but, they scream out that they contain camera gear — the bigger the gear, the bigger and more obvious the holster bag.

  • Patty

    I haven’t found my perfect day bag yet. And I travel a lot, so initially take all my lenses and flash and some cords and cards, and I need to take my Mac laptop too. And for travel I end up taking a rolly bag the size of a fat briefcase, wrapping the lenses in protective covers and packing my Shootsac in the checked bag.

    But I have found I am not even carrying the Shootsac on day trips- I put the lenses in my pockets (or my husband’s) and feel much lighter and freer generally.

    It is frustrating. I can put my 6 Mil Crumpler in the car for shooting where I have access to the car. I hate wearing it – the strap stinks and it is heavy for me when loaded.

    I like the Speed Demon a lot – but only when I need only a few lenses since it is small. It is very comfortable on the shoulder, though, and can go on the waist (if your waist is over 30″ maybe – mine is 24″). And it has a rain cover (which only covers fully if it is on your waist!).

    I bought a small National Geographic backpack for travel and day shooting – with the Mac in it I can’t lift it onto my shoulders. Without it – it is wonderful.

    I have been not too satisfied with most of the bags I own, so go back and forth and back and forth…

    Not sure I want to go to a diaper bag, but you never know! I am anxious to see what everyone else has found useful.

  • http://www.mariasphoto.com mariasphoto

    I have received a Tamrac 5546 Adventure as a bday present from my brother and i must say i’m in love with this backpack. It’s great for my Nikon D50 camera. To occupy the space it takes the Nikon D50 (body+ one lense) and other 4 lenses and there will still remain some space for filters.

  • Puplet

    You forgot “discreteness”: bags that don’t scream camera are a must-have in certain situations.

  • Dotita

    This is my first time blogging, ever… And it is the first thread I can write an opinion of something I ACTUALLY KNOW!!! :)

    I´m getting a Rebel XTi, TOMORROW! (I´m counting the seconds…) and I wondered how was I gonna carry my camera around. I want to use it everyday, make it an extension of me, like my make up. But I´m very paranoid about it, because I always think someone is going to see it, and grab it and run away!! hehehehe… too paranoid??

    So, I bought a bag, that it isn´t a camera bag, is one of those bags you strap around your waist… it has cushion (I hope that´s the word for it) and the camera, a medium sized flash, several filters fit perfectly.

    I´ll let you know about how it fit. I´ll have my camera tomorrow.

    Dotita

  • http://www.onesaint88.deviantart.com Kim S.

    i went out while the survey was going on adn purchased a crumpler 6 mil bag. my brief case is a crumpler as well. i like that its a little more incognito.

    lowenpro seems to screams “steal me”. i pack a nikon D300, 80-200 (big & heavy), 24-120, and a 60 on the camera. i also pack filters, batteries, strap, and all sorts of extras in it. it does well.

  • Bruce Smith

    I use a Quantaray Pro backpack style for a day bag. I used a large Tenba Shoulder Bag for years, and made sure I had the backpack harness for it as it allowed freedom for my hands and arms AND was easier on the old body after a days worth of shooting, so I am sold on a backpack model. The Quantaray I use is just the right size for a day’s outing, flash, spard cards, camers, spare lens’ and so on. I find it to be reasonably priced and very comfortable to say the least…

  • Bob H

    At this point, I have more bags than my wife does. My preferences are the Kata backpack for hikes and jobs where I need several lenses/flashes/whatever, and the Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home for walkabout.

    Here’s why: I do several types of shooting: commercial/industrial (my day job), and editorial for the local community papers (my weekend job) and I don’t get to do as much walking around or location shooting (personal stuff) as I’d like.

    I want to be able to carry my camera pretty much anywhere. My 5D is my primary camera, and like anything you are best at what you train with regularly, so I want to have that camera with me at all times. Since I carry it to work even when I know I won’t be shooting, and around the zoo with kids or to the beach or on long, run-on sentences, I need something light.

    The crumpler is built to be a sling-type bag. In other words, you put it over your head and wear it over the other shoulder, like a sling. This allows you to push the bag around to your backside a bit when you are shooting and gets it out of your way. Carrying it just over the shoulder works, but the strap is clearly angled for sling carrying and you’ll notice that it doesn’t lie right on the same-side shoulder. I like that. Shoulder bags after a while hurt the shoulder you are carrying it on. The sling-pouch in my opinion is a better ergonomic choice for a light walkabout bag. I camera, (no battery grip), up to a 70-200 on camera, 1 extra lens, and a flash can be carried this way.

    For serious walking or hiking, or when I want to take more equipment on a walkabout, weight becomes an issue. At 40+, the decisions about how to carry that weight are important. A well-designed backpack is essential.

    Some people think Kata bags are an off-brand (meaning that because they may not have heard of it before it can’t be good). Well, let me tell you – they have been making pro video bags for a while. And pro video equipment is a lot heavier than even pro photo equipment. Kata knows how to design ergonomic, well-protected bags. They design body armor and tactical carrying gear for the Israeli military. (Check out their site). My backpack has a nice bright orange interior so I can find stuff quickly. It has well-padded backpack compartment. And an excellent use of space. I’ll never use anyting else.

    Bigger than that, its all pelican cases.

    Hope this helps.

  • http://www.petelanglois.net Pete Langlois

    I have all my gear stuffed into a Lowepro Rover II AW. It works great. I haven’t used the AW cover yet and finding it was a bit of a challenge initially (it’s really well hidden). I can strap my tripod to the back of the pack and it keeps my hands free. It has a top pocket for snacks and other goodies as well.

    http://products.lowepro.com/product/Rover-AW-II,2024,14.htm

    http://www.petelanglois.net

  • bill c

    I carry the smallest LowePro sling, the 100. I’ve travelled across the country with it on planes of all sizes with no problems. The main compartment holds my K10d with 16-45mm attached, a 135, 21, and 75mm primes plus two sets of batteries, and multiple cards. The small top picket usually holds my one quart bag if I’m flying or a Lensbaby if I’m not. I have hiked Civil War battlefields, zoos, and mountains and found it readily accessible and always secure. Because it is the smaller sling bag, I don’t use the chest strap so it is pretty fast to bring the camera up.

    If it had a rear pocket to stuff a magazine or boarding pass, it would be perfect for my needs.

  • http://www.photojournalista.com Kerri

    I agree with Bill, the LowePro Sling 100 is the greatest.
    I removed the Lowepro badges to make it look less like a camera bag (just unpick the stitching). I’ve found it excellent as an airline carry-on bag and all around travel bag, used instead of a handbag. I carry my Nikon D40x with 18-135mm lens, PSP, wallet, passport etc.
    I have a collection of expensive bags that are now unused, just kept buying them and finding they didn’t do all I needed.

  • Kent

    Discretion is my key bag feature. For many years I used Army surplus bags, They were about 6″ square at the top, and about 9″ deep. The top had a simple latch. They don’t look like camera bags. I could leave them in the car, and not worry about someone breaking the windows to get them. Alas, they are all falling apart, so I have had to replace them.
    Instead of the multiple large packs I once carried, I use a compact camera, a Canon A650. I can go from tele to macro with it, and I have a low distortion wide-angle add-on lens.
    I use several “bags” with various items. I use a fanny pack for the camera and accessories and spare batteries. I use a bag that was sold as a womens’ purse for a mini-tripod and my panorama jig. It is a vertical rectangular multi-pocket bag. I use pockets too. I have used a fisherman’s vest back in the days of film and filters.
    So my point is that you may not need or want a “camera bag”. Be creative. Most of these bags remind me of the joggers at the park with fancy “athletic clothes” getting passed by runners in cut off jeans.

  • Chester

    Most bags have a black interior. There may have been some value in this in the days of film but today it just makes finding anything difficult. In poor lighting, it is like looking into a great black void. Bag interiors should be some colour like yellow.

  • http://www.abovethegwb.blogspot.com Jordi Waggoner

    I am a photographer who carries a purse. I don’t want to carry a purse AND a camera bag. Currently I do most of my shooting with a tiny Canon, so I hang it off my purse strap and move on, but using a DSLR means that the bag also has to have a place to put at least my wallet, my Metrocard, a comb/lipstick/whatever.. in otherwords the pockets have to be FLEXIBLE. If the pockets are too “monopurpose” and I can’t stuff my wallet into one of them then I won’t buy the bag.

  • http://www.sclc.net Chris Reed

    I’ve got a Lowerpro Compudaypack. I love the bag. It’s got room for your camera (with lens attached), three other lenses, and a flash. Not to mention that the bag also has two additional main chambers; one for a notebook, and one for various things like flashcards, filters, and whathaveyou. I love the versatility this bag has, and how comfortable it is on your back when it’s fully loaded. The padding on your back is very ergonomic and comfortable. I’d recommend this bag to anybody who wants to go on a photographic adventure =).

  • http://www.devanwhitsonphotography.com Devan Whitson

    I have a medium Jill-e bag and I absolutely love it. It holds tons of equipment, is great quality and looks like a designer handbag, not a camera bag. I use a Shootsac for carrying an extra body, lenses and odds and ends while shooting. They’re a beautiful pair. :)

  • http://www.julienmcroberts.com Julien

    I have found a bag that I am so happy with and it is perfect for a day shoot and it is made by KATA. It is super lightweight, durable, good protection and even has pockets for i-pods and cell phones – they have thought of everything. It holds so much stuff if I need it to including a 17 inch laptop but it can get a bit heavy if loaded down and you have to schlup all day. I wish they made a version a bit larger and with wheels for long out of town trips. I never did find one I liked so I got a really cool duffle bag with wheels and ordered a variety of foam inserts to suit my needs and it works perfect as a carry on.

  • bluehz

    I carry a LowePro Sling 200 AW and I love it. NIkon D50, 2 extra lenses, flash unit, sometimes compact video camera. Its packed to the gills and I really need to upgrade to next size. I have one complaint about it though – it must be slung over the left shoulder or its very cumbersome.. what if I wanted to sling it over my right shoulder… doesn’t seem to work that way. Other than that its fantastic – the quality is TOP NOTCH. You can feel it in the construction – its just well made – made to take abuse and survive.

    I have always wondered what the outside loops are for though. The wide, almost elastic like loops. Never have found a good use for them except to pick up the bag with two fingers. As well designed as this bag is I am SURE there must be some thought out reason for those loops but maybe I just haven’t hit it yet. All in all – I would gladly spend the money and more on another LowePro.

  • Jenny

    I had a Tamrac backpack style bag that fit two lenses, my Rebel XT, a notebook and various other odds and ends but I HATED it. If I was hiking, I couldn’t fit a water bottle in it and the way things were attached made getting my camera in and out a real pain in the tail. I recently purchased a National Geographic messenger style bag for travel and general use. It is perfect for when I want to carry my lenses, a notebook, a laptop, a reading book and wallet on those days when I am working at the coffee shop or traveling. My bag for traveling light, such as on day trips or walks with my dog is a North Face lumbar pack. I can fit my camera, one lens, water bottles in the side mesh pockets, extra cards, a snack and a small notebook easily. It doesn’t have much padding but I usually carry extra socks and those work great to pad the bottom. The strap is great and there is a fantastic waist belt to ease the load. The only bag I need now is a backpack for my dog so she can carry some of her own water on hikes.

  • http://thepoetryoflight.net janet

    after trying 6 or 7 bags and not liking any of them, i finally settled on a canon backpack to keep all my gear corralled( but i hate backpacks to use to take my stuff to shoot) and a tamrac system 3 to take with me…it holds 1 body, my largest lens( 70-200 L)a fisheye, 50mm, 28-135mm & teleconverter which is really all i need usually lens wise and has pockets for batteries, etc, i got a filter wallet to attach to the strap for cps etc and there is room for my cokin filters in another of the 3 zipping pockets. it has nice removable partitioners so you can really totally customize the inside. i have some lenses on the bottom and have room for the body with lens on top but all protected by partitions( i am neurotic about my stuff getting scuffed up)

    the thing i like most is the strap is very comfortable but it also has a piggyback pocket deal so you can put it over a suitcase( in my case husband’s rolling art bag) so you don’t always have to lug it.
    the thing i like least is it still weighs a lot because it’s big enough for me to stuff to much junk in it.

  • maique

    more than 90% of the pros i know work with domke bags.
    they can take abuse, have a perfect fit when fully loaded and when empty, look good when older, available in a lot of different models, don’t shout ‘photographer’.

    first time i saw domke mentioned on the article ? in a comment. great.

  • Paul

    After decades of working professionally and semi- pro I have to tell you that I have finally found camera bag heaven!!

    Think Tank Rotation 360. http://www.rotation360.com/

    It’s versatile, excellent design and an absolute pleasure to use. Check this thing out. The beauty of this system is that you can add to it and adapt it to each situation.

    20+ years of searching and now finally…

  • Jim

    I use a cooler as a camera bag (not the hard kind, I keep that in my car). This protects the camera from extreme heat and cold and allows some stealth from people who might snap up my Canon 20d but not a couple of cans of soda.

  • Warren

    I have a Tamrac Digital 5405 which easily holds my Nikon D50, spare lens, extra memory & batteries, charger base/cord, remote control, a few filters, and still room for sunglasses and cell phone. I clipped a small umbrella and water bottle holder and humped it two weeks through France and Italy and it worked pretty well as camera/man bag. It’s a little bulky under the arm when strapped across my chest, but can be swung around back. Some type of quick/secure closure of the main compartment would be nice when walking in crowds.

  • http://www.wilyness.com/blog Daniel

    FWIW, I have a Domke F-6 “little bit smaller”, which fits everything I need, while having a nice canvas, non-technical look. It’s a shoulder bag, which means it’s a little tiresome to wear all day, but I love the classic look. Check it out at a camera store.

    I have a small Lowe Pro bag that fits my SLR+medium-sized lens (and a few rolls of film) for the times when I need to be more mobile.

  • Andy T

    I have the Domke F6 too. I absolutely love it, although it feels a little vunerable in the city due to the lid being easily accessible even when the bag is closed.
    I think I’ll use something else for City breaks or tourist areas where the risk of theft is greater. Otherwise, the look, feel and functionality of this bag are all top notch in my opinion.
    Stayed away from a back pack as i don’t want to be constantly taking it off my back to access gear, but agree they are the most comfortable for hiking in to a remote site or a day in the hills.
    Horses for courses, as they say – maybe the perfect bag doesn’t exist a all…

  • http://www.ilovetattooedbassplayers.com Joey K

    I have a Timbuktu messenger bag – medium sized – the kind with the waterproof inside lining. For camera padding, I bought a small “camcorder” bag at Radio Shack and lopped off the cover, so I basically have a 3-sided padded case inside my waterproof bag. The catch is that the Timbuktu bag has buckles instead of a zipper, so for inclement weather emergencies, I also keep a rolled up “watertight” bag purchased from a camping store. It’s not convenient for shooting, but if I get caught in a downpour, I know my gear will be safe until I get inside.

    The small pockets of the messenger bag are minimal, and there’s not a lot of room in the bag for other stuff, but Timbuktus have these great quick-adjust straps that make it super easy to go from wearing your bag tight (more comfortable for your back) to loose (so you can get your camera out easily).

    Best of all – nobody knows I’ve got an expensive camera in there, so it’s less likely to be ripped off!

  • Jo (England)

    I can’t get hold of the Jill-e bag in the colour I want in the UK, So did loads of research on the internet and read great reviews for the Ortlieb camera bags – fantastic for on bikes, but the full thing was still out of my price range. So I have ordered the Ortlieb Camera Insert kit for Ultimate Barbags – OF94 (I bought mine in Uk from http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=5824 although there were loads of suppliers in the US). I then bought a suitable girlie lime green bag from ebags.com big enough to fit the insert and now i have a real girlie camera bag that can be used for other things or use the insert in either other messenger style camera bags or in other bags (they don’t have to be girlie!). The insert is big enough for a DSLR and a lense or two.

  • Deirdre

    My requirements for a bag are that it needs to be comfortable if I’m walking all day, whether in the city or on the trail, and it needs to look good enough that I’m not embarrassed to carry it in the city. I also need to be able to carry my keys and wallet.

    I own the Yellowstone 511 from M-Rock (http://www.m-rock.com/), and I LOVE it. It fits all my needs.

    Things I like about it:
    – it was far more affordable than most of the bags that interested me.
    – the cover opens toward me, which makes it easy for me to access the camera but also makes it more confusing and difficult for potential thieves.
    – it can be either a shoulder bag or a backpack, and I can buy a special strap to make it a waist pack.
    – I can buy extra small bags to add on if I need to carry around extra accessories.
    – it fits my keys, wallet, and cell phone.
    – I haven’t tried it in a serious rainstorm yet, but I am confident that it is quite rain resistant and it also comes with a built-in extra light-weight bag to put around the main bag in bad weather conditions.
    – I like the way it looks, but my husband isn’t embarrassed to carry it either.

  • Chris D.

    After scouring the web and brick and mortar camera stores for a cheap low-key camera bag I concluded that such a thing doesn’t exist, so I decided to put one together. For those of you out there on a modest budget like myself maybe this might help you in the way of a cheap day bag:
    – go to an army surplus store or search the net for a messenger sling bag (I found an old U.S. ration shoulder bag for $13 USD)
    – these bags are usually already broken in and do not draw attention
    – buy a suitable insert, Domke has a decent range for reasonable prices, I got a Tenba Messenger insert for $20
    – I added an extra thin sheet of foam (inexpensive at any hardware/home store) to the bottom of the insert using good old duct tape
    There you have it, a nice stealthy day bag for around $40 USD!

  • Cielo Sides

    I might consider a sling bag ….has anyone seen a belt bag type for SLR? Drop me a note..thanks.
    Your tips have always been so great!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/amazonsandimages/ KeithT

    The problems with many day bags/pouches is that they tend to have either too many pockets, or none at all.
    The ideal day bag for me would be one that had very little clutter to it, was top centre-zip opening, took an EOS 5d on its heel (no motor drive) with standard lens and reversed hood attached, and had room for an extra small zoom, or wide angle lens with reversed hood. All other bits and pieces would go into the pockets of my photo vest. The bag needs to be light above all else. If I wanted clutter and all my gear with me, I would carry my Tamrac System 6. But that bag is useless to work with from the shoulder. All openings need to be away from the body. An ideal bag/pouch for the avid Street photographer.

  • Julie

    I finally decided on the Tamrac 3537 Express 7 Messenger Style Bag Camera Bag. I’m not thrilled with it but I like it. The feature I discovered that I really like is that there is movable padding that velcros below the camera and side lens/flash areas. This means that they never touch the bottom of the bag/ground. And, I found I could tuck other goodies underneath that for no wasted space. (Like battery chargers, cables, etc.) I carry my D5000 and 55-200 lens with plenty of room to spare for my incidentals including P&S. Only complaint is that the padding on the shoulder strap doesn’t move and it’s just not pretty…. May end out making my own.

  • http://www.atomicon.com.au Cooler Bags

    Great post on Choosing a day bag for camera, i Commonly Carry a bag with camera in it because i dont want to get huge luggage with me to lift all the day. Anyway ur post makes me to think to select a nice bag for my camera.

  • http://www.surgesuppressors.info Makayla Gonzalez

    sometimes i get backaches due to long hours of working at computers.:”

  • Fred Seaver

    Instead of day bag; How about a camera vest, plenty of pockets

  • http://www.informatico.pt/ Gillison

    Parab?ns pelo blog. Por favor continuem assim. O artigo foi-me muito util. Obrigado blog

  • Fred Seaver

    The Adorama SLINGER works just great for me!!!

  • http://invalid-dream.com/modules.php?name=Profile&mode=viewprofile&u=6581 kliknij

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog.

    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility
    issues? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my
    website not operating correctly in Explorer
    but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

Some older comments

  • kliknij

    May 30, 2013 01:15 pm

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog.

    Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility
    issues? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my
    website not operating correctly in Explorer
    but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  • Fred Seaver

    August 23, 2012 03:00 am

    The Adorama SLINGER works just great for me!!!

  • Gillison

    August 21, 2012 02:05 am

    Parab?ns pelo blog. Por favor continuem assim. O artigo foi-me muito util. Obrigado blog

  • Fred Seaver

    January 20, 2012 02:50 am

    Instead of day bag; How about a camera vest, plenty of pockets

  • Makayla Gonzalez

    June 29, 2010 03:15 am

    sometimes i get backaches due to long hours of working at computers.:''

  • Cooler Bags

    June 13, 2010 01:17 pm

    Great post on Choosing a day bag for camera, i Commonly Carry a bag with camera in it because i dont want to get huge luggage with me to lift all the day. Anyway ur post makes me to think to select a nice bag for my camera.

  • Julie

    February 16, 2010 01:23 am

    I finally decided on the Tamrac 3537 Express 7 Messenger Style Bag Camera Bag. I'm not thrilled with it but I like it. The feature I discovered that I really like is that there is movable padding that velcros below the camera and side lens/flash areas. This means that they never touch the bottom of the bag/ground. And, I found I could tuck other goodies underneath that for no wasted space. (Like battery chargers, cables, etc.) I carry my D5000 and 55-200 lens with plenty of room to spare for my incidentals including P&S. Only complaint is that the padding on the shoulder strap doesn't move and it's just not pretty.... May end out making my own.

  • KeithT

    December 19, 2009 09:39 pm

    The problems with many day bags/pouches is that they tend to have either too many pockets, or none at all.
    The ideal day bag for me would be one that had very little clutter to it, was top centre-zip opening, took an EOS 5d on its heel (no motor drive) with standard lens and reversed hood attached, and had room for an extra small zoom, or wide angle lens with reversed hood. All other bits and pieces would go into the pockets of my photo vest. The bag needs to be light above all else. If I wanted clutter and all my gear with me, I would carry my Tamrac System 6. But that bag is useless to work with from the shoulder. All openings need to be away from the body. An ideal bag/pouch for the avid Street photographer.

  • Cielo Sides

    April 23, 2009 09:28 pm

    I might consider a sling bag ....has anyone seen a belt bag type for SLR? Drop me a note..thanks.
    Your tips have always been so great!!

  • Chris D.

    January 29, 2009 02:21 am

    After scouring the web and brick and mortar camera stores for a cheap low-key camera bag I concluded that such a thing doesn't exist, so I decided to put one together. For those of you out there on a modest budget like myself maybe this might help you in the way of a cheap day bag:
    - go to an army surplus store or search the net for a messenger sling bag (I found an old U.S. ration shoulder bag for $13 USD)
    - these bags are usually already broken in and do not draw attention
    - buy a suitable insert, Domke has a decent range for reasonable prices, I got a Tenba Messenger insert for $20
    - I added an extra thin sheet of foam (inexpensive at any hardware/home store) to the bottom of the insert using good old duct tape
    There you have it, a nice stealthy day bag for around $40 USD!

  • Deirdre

    June 29, 2008 03:56 pm

    My requirements for a bag are that it needs to be comfortable if I'm walking all day, whether in the city or on the trail, and it needs to look good enough that I'm not embarrassed to carry it in the city. I also need to be able to carry my keys and wallet.

    I own the Yellowstone 511 from M-Rock (http://www.m-rock.com/), and I LOVE it. It fits all my needs.

    Things I like about it:
    - it was far more affordable than most of the bags that interested me.
    - the cover opens toward me, which makes it easy for me to access the camera but also makes it more confusing and difficult for potential thieves.
    - it can be either a shoulder bag or a backpack, and I can buy a special strap to make it a waist pack.
    - I can buy extra small bags to add on if I need to carry around extra accessories.
    - it fits my keys, wallet, and cell phone.
    - I haven't tried it in a serious rainstorm yet, but I am confident that it is quite rain resistant and it also comes with a built-in extra light-weight bag to put around the main bag in bad weather conditions.
    - I like the way it looks, but my husband isn't embarrassed to carry it either.

  • Jo (England)

    May 3, 2008 04:52 pm

    I can't get hold of the Jill-e bag in the colour I want in the UK, So did loads of research on the internet and read great reviews for the Ortlieb camera bags - fantastic for on bikes, but the full thing was still out of my price range. So I have ordered the Ortlieb Camera Insert kit for Ultimate Barbags - OF94 (I bought mine in Uk from www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=5824 although there were loads of suppliers in the US). I then bought a suitable girlie lime green bag from ebags.com big enough to fit the insert and now i have a real girlie camera bag that can be used for other things or use the insert in either other messenger style camera bags or in other bags (they don't have to be girlie!). The insert is big enough for a DSLR and a lense or two.

  • Joey K

    April 8, 2008 05:08 am

    I have a Timbuktu messenger bag - medium sized - the kind with the waterproof inside lining. For camera padding, I bought a small "camcorder" bag at Radio Shack and lopped off the cover, so I basically have a 3-sided padded case inside my waterproof bag. The catch is that the Timbuktu bag has buckles instead of a zipper, so for inclement weather emergencies, I also keep a rolled up "watertight" bag purchased from a camping store. It's not convenient for shooting, but if I get caught in a downpour, I know my gear will be safe until I get inside.

    The small pockets of the messenger bag are minimal, and there's not a lot of room in the bag for other stuff, but Timbuktus have these great quick-adjust straps that make it super easy to go from wearing your bag tight (more comfortable for your back) to loose (so you can get your camera out easily).

    Best of all - nobody knows I've got an expensive camera in there, so it's less likely to be ripped off!

  • Andy T

    April 6, 2008 07:14 am

    I have the Domke F6 too. I absolutely love it, although it feels a little vunerable in the city due to the lid being easily accessible even when the bag is closed.
    I think I'll use something else for City breaks or tourist areas where the risk of theft is greater. Otherwise, the look, feel and functionality of this bag are all top notch in my opinion.
    Stayed away from a back pack as i don't want to be constantly taking it off my back to access gear, but agree they are the most comfortable for hiking in to a remote site or a day in the hills.
    Horses for courses, as they say - maybe the perfect bag doesn't exist a all...

  • Daniel

    April 5, 2008 10:29 am

    FWIW, I have a Domke F-6 "little bit smaller", which fits everything I need, while having a nice canvas, non-technical look. It's a shoulder bag, which means it's a little tiresome to wear all day, but I love the classic look. Check it out at a camera store.

    I have a small Lowe Pro bag that fits my SLR+medium-sized lens (and a few rolls of film) for the times when I need to be more mobile.

  • Warren

    April 5, 2008 07:28 am

    I have a Tamrac Digital 5405 which easily holds my Nikon D50, spare lens, extra memory & batteries, charger base/cord, remote control, a few filters, and still room for sunglasses and cell phone. I clipped a small umbrella and water bottle holder and humped it two weeks through France and Italy and it worked pretty well as camera/man bag. It's a little bulky under the arm when strapped across my chest, but can be swung around back. Some type of quick/secure closure of the main compartment would be nice when walking in crowds.

  • Jim

    April 5, 2008 01:09 am

    I use a cooler as a camera bag (not the hard kind, I keep that in my car). This protects the camera from extreme heat and cold and allows some stealth from people who might snap up my Canon 20d but not a couple of cans of soda.

  • Paul

    April 4, 2008 12:09 pm

    After decades of working professionally and semi- pro I have to tell you that I have finally found camera bag heaven!!

    Think Tank Rotation 360. http://www.rotation360.com/

    It's versatile, excellent design and an absolute pleasure to use. Check this thing out. The beauty of this system is that you can add to it and adapt it to each situation.

    20+ years of searching and now finally...

  • maique

    April 4, 2008 08:03 am

    more than 90% of the pros i know work with domke bags.
    they can take abuse, have a perfect fit when fully loaded and when empty, look good when older, available in a lot of different models, don't shout 'photographer'.

    first time i saw domke mentioned on the article ? in a comment. great.

  • janet

    April 4, 2008 05:13 am

    after trying 6 or 7 bags and not liking any of them, i finally settled on a canon backpack to keep all my gear corralled( but i hate backpacks to use to take my stuff to shoot) and a tamrac system 3 to take with me...it holds 1 body, my largest lens( 70-200 L)a fisheye, 50mm, 28-135mm & teleconverter which is really all i need usually lens wise and has pockets for batteries, etc, i got a filter wallet to attach to the strap for cps etc and there is room for my cokin filters in another of the 3 zipping pockets. it has nice removable partitioners so you can really totally customize the inside. i have some lenses on the bottom and have room for the body with lens on top but all protected by partitions( i am neurotic about my stuff getting scuffed up)

    the thing i like most is the strap is very comfortable but it also has a piggyback pocket deal so you can put it over a suitcase( in my case husband's rolling art bag) so you don't always have to lug it.
    the thing i like least is it still weighs a lot because it's big enough for me to stuff to much junk in it.

  • Jenny

    April 4, 2008 04:33 am

    I had a Tamrac backpack style bag that fit two lenses, my Rebel XT, a notebook and various other odds and ends but I HATED it. If I was hiking, I couldn't fit a water bottle in it and the way things were attached made getting my camera in and out a real pain in the tail. I recently purchased a National Geographic messenger style bag for travel and general use. It is perfect for when I want to carry my lenses, a notebook, a laptop, a reading book and wallet on those days when I am working at the coffee shop or traveling. My bag for traveling light, such as on day trips or walks with my dog is a North Face lumbar pack. I can fit my camera, one lens, water bottles in the side mesh pockets, extra cards, a snack and a small notebook easily. It doesn't have much padding but I usually carry extra socks and those work great to pad the bottom. The strap is great and there is a fantastic waist belt to ease the load. The only bag I need now is a backpack for my dog so she can carry some of her own water on hikes.

  • bluehz

    April 4, 2008 04:21 am

    I carry a LowePro Sling 200 AW and I love it. NIkon D50, 2 extra lenses, flash unit, sometimes compact video camera. Its packed to the gills and I really need to upgrade to next size. I have one complaint about it though - it must be slung over the left shoulder or its very cumbersome.. what if I wanted to sling it over my right shoulder... doesn't seem to work that way. Other than that its fantastic - the quality is TOP NOTCH. You can feel it in the construction - its just well made - made to take abuse and survive.

    I have always wondered what the outside loops are for though. The wide, almost elastic like loops. Never have found a good use for them except to pick up the bag with two fingers. As well designed as this bag is I am SURE there must be some thought out reason for those loops but maybe I just haven't hit it yet. All in all - I would gladly spend the money and more on another LowePro.

  • Julien

    April 4, 2008 02:15 am

    I have found a bag that I am so happy with and it is perfect for a day shoot and it is made by KATA. It is super lightweight, durable, good protection and even has pockets for i-pods and cell phones - they have thought of everything. It holds so much stuff if I need it to including a 17 inch laptop but it can get a bit heavy if loaded down and you have to schlup all day. I wish they made a version a bit larger and with wheels for long out of town trips. I never did find one I liked so I got a really cool duffle bag with wheels and ordered a variety of foam inserts to suit my needs and it works perfect as a carry on.

  • Devan Whitson

    April 4, 2008 01:22 am

    I have a medium Jill-e bag and I absolutely love it. It holds tons of equipment, is great quality and looks like a designer handbag, not a camera bag. I use a Shootsac for carrying an extra body, lenses and odds and ends while shooting. They're a beautiful pair. :)

  • Chris Reed

    April 4, 2008 01:16 am

    I've got a Lowerpro Compudaypack. I love the bag. It's got room for your camera (with lens attached), three other lenses, and a flash. Not to mention that the bag also has two additional main chambers; one for a notebook, and one for various things like flashcards, filters, and whathaveyou. I love the versatility this bag has, and how comfortable it is on your back when it's fully loaded. The padding on your back is very ergonomic and comfortable. I'd recommend this bag to anybody who wants to go on a photographic adventure =).

  • Jordi Waggoner

    April 4, 2008 01:12 am

    I am a photographer who carries a purse. I don't want to carry a purse AND a camera bag. Currently I do most of my shooting with a tiny Canon, so I hang it off my purse strap and move on, but using a DSLR means that the bag also has to have a place to put at least my wallet, my Metrocard, a comb/lipstick/whatever.. in otherwords the pockets have to be FLEXIBLE. If the pockets are too "monopurpose" and I can't stuff my wallet into one of them then I won't buy the bag.

  • Chester

    April 4, 2008 12:54 am

    Most bags have a black interior. There may have been some value in this in the days of film but today it just makes finding anything difficult. In poor lighting, it is like looking into a great black void. Bag interiors should be some colour like yellow.

  • Kent

    April 3, 2008 11:59 pm

    Discretion is my key bag feature. For many years I used Army surplus bags, They were about 6" square at the top, and about 9" deep. The top had a simple latch. They don't look like camera bags. I could leave them in the car, and not worry about someone breaking the windows to get them. Alas, they are all falling apart, so I have had to replace them.
    Instead of the multiple large packs I once carried, I use a compact camera, a Canon A650. I can go from tele to macro with it, and I have a low distortion wide-angle add-on lens.
    I use several "bags" with various items. I use a fanny pack for the camera and accessories and spare batteries. I use a bag that was sold as a womens' purse for a mini-tripod and my panorama jig. It is a vertical rectangular multi-pocket bag. I use pockets too. I have used a fisherman's vest back in the days of film and filters.
    So my point is that you may not need or want a "camera bag". Be creative. Most of these bags remind me of the joggers at the park with fancy "athletic clothes" getting passed by runners in cut off jeans.

  • Kerri

    March 28, 2008 09:26 am

    I agree with Bill, the LowePro Sling 100 is the greatest.
    I removed the Lowepro badges to make it look less like a camera bag (just unpick the stitching). I've found it excellent as an airline carry-on bag and all around travel bag, used instead of a handbag. I carry my Nikon D40x with 18-135mm lens, PSP, wallet, passport etc.
    I have a collection of expensive bags that are now unused, just kept buying them and finding they didn't do all I needed.

  • bill c

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm

    I carry the smallest LowePro sling, the 100. I've travelled across the country with it on planes of all sizes with no problems. The main compartment holds my K10d with 16-45mm attached, a 135, 21, and 75mm primes plus two sets of batteries, and multiple cards. The small top picket usually holds my one quart bag if I'm flying or a Lensbaby if I'm not. I have hiked Civil War battlefields, zoos, and mountains and found it readily accessible and always secure. Because it is the smaller sling bag, I don't use the chest strap so it is pretty fast to bring the camera up.

    If it had a rear pocket to stuff a magazine or boarding pass, it would be perfect for my needs.

  • Pete Langlois

    March 26, 2008 07:10 am

    I have all my gear stuffed into a Lowepro Rover II AW. It works great. I haven't used the AW cover yet and finding it was a bit of a challenge initially (it's really well hidden). I can strap my tripod to the back of the pack and it keeps my hands free. It has a top pocket for snacks and other goodies as well.

    http://products.lowepro.com/product/Rover-AW-II,2024,14.htm

    http://www.petelanglois.net

  • Bob H

    March 26, 2008 04:30 am

    At this point, I have more bags than my wife does. My preferences are the Kata backpack for hikes and jobs where I need several lenses/flashes/whatever, and the Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home for walkabout.

    Here's why: I do several types of shooting: commercial/industrial (my day job), and editorial for the local community papers (my weekend job) and I don't get to do as much walking around or location shooting (personal stuff) as I'd like.

    I want to be able to carry my camera pretty much anywhere. My 5D is my primary camera, and like anything you are best at what you train with regularly, so I want to have that camera with me at all times. Since I carry it to work even when I know I won't be shooting, and around the zoo with kids or to the beach or on long, run-on sentences, I need something light.

    The crumpler is built to be a sling-type bag. In other words, you put it over your head and wear it over the other shoulder, like a sling. This allows you to push the bag around to your backside a bit when you are shooting and gets it out of your way. Carrying it just over the shoulder works, but the strap is clearly angled for sling carrying and you'll notice that it doesn't lie right on the same-side shoulder. I like that. Shoulder bags after a while hurt the shoulder you are carrying it on. The sling-pouch in my opinion is a better ergonomic choice for a light walkabout bag. I camera, (no battery grip), up to a 70-200 on camera, 1 extra lens, and a flash can be carried this way.

    For serious walking or hiking, or when I want to take more equipment on a walkabout, weight becomes an issue. At 40+, the decisions about how to carry that weight are important. A well-designed backpack is essential.

    Some people think Kata bags are an off-brand (meaning that because they may not have heard of it before it can't be good). Well, let me tell you - they have been making pro video bags for a while. And pro video equipment is a lot heavier than even pro photo equipment. Kata knows how to design ergonomic, well-protected bags. They design body armor and tactical carrying gear for the Israeli military. (Check out their site). My backpack has a nice bright orange interior so I can find stuff quickly. It has well-padded backpack compartment. And an excellent use of space. I'll never use anyting else.

    Bigger than that, its all pelican cases.

    Hope this helps.

  • Bruce Smith

    March 26, 2008 02:54 am

    I use a Quantaray Pro backpack style for a day bag. I used a large Tenba Shoulder Bag for years, and made sure I had the backpack harness for it as it allowed freedom for my hands and arms AND was easier on the old body after a days worth of shooting, so I am sold on a backpack model. The Quantaray I use is just the right size for a day's outing, flash, spard cards, camers, spare lens' and so on. I find it to be reasonably priced and very comfortable to say the least...

  • Kim S.

    March 26, 2008 02:50 am

    i went out while the survey was going on adn purchased a crumpler 6 mil bag. my brief case is a crumpler as well. i like that its a little more incognito.

    lowenpro seems to screams "steal me". i pack a nikon D300, 80-200 (big & heavy), 24-120, and a 60 on the camera. i also pack filters, batteries, strap, and all sorts of extras in it. it does well.

  • Dotita

    March 26, 2008 01:50 am

    This is my first time blogging, ever... And it is the first thread I can write an opinion of something I ACTUALLY KNOW!!! :)

    I´m getting a Rebel XTi, TOMORROW! (I´m counting the seconds...) and I wondered how was I gonna carry my camera around. I want to use it everyday, make it an extension of me, like my make up. But I´m very paranoid about it, because I always think someone is going to see it, and grab it and run away!! hehehehe... too paranoid??

    So, I bought a bag, that it isn´t a camera bag, is one of those bags you strap around your waist... it has cushion (I hope that´s the word for it) and the camera, a medium sized flash, several filters fit perfectly.

    I´ll let you know about how it fit. I´ll have my camera tomorrow.

    Dotita

  • Puplet

    March 25, 2008 11:18 pm

    You forgot "discreteness": bags that don't scream camera are a must-have in certain situations.

  • mariasphoto

    March 25, 2008 09:06 pm

    I have received a Tamrac 5546 Adventure as a bday present from my brother and i must say i'm in love with this backpack. It's great for my Nikon D50 camera. To occupy the space it takes the Nikon D50 (body+ one lense) and other 4 lenses and there will still remain some space for filters.

  • Patty

    March 25, 2008 11:58 am

    I haven't found my perfect day bag yet. And I travel a lot, so initially take all my lenses and flash and some cords and cards, and I need to take my Mac laptop too. And for travel I end up taking a rolly bag the size of a fat briefcase, wrapping the lenses in protective covers and packing my Shootsac in the checked bag.

    But I have found I am not even carrying the Shootsac on day trips- I put the lenses in my pockets (or my husband's) and feel much lighter and freer generally.

    It is frustrating. I can put my 6 Mil Crumpler in the car for shooting where I have access to the car. I hate wearing it - the strap stinks and it is heavy for me when loaded.

    I like the Speed Demon a lot - but only when I need only a few lenses since it is small. It is very comfortable on the shoulder, though, and can go on the waist (if your waist is over 30" maybe - mine is 24"). And it has a rain cover (which only covers fully if it is on your waist!).

    I bought a small National Geographic backpack for travel and day shooting - with the Mac in it I can't lift it onto my shoulders. Without it - it is wonderful.

    I have been not too satisfied with most of the bags I own, so go back and forth and back and forth...

    Not sure I want to go to a diaper bag, but you never know! I am anxious to see what everyone else has found useful.

  • Marcos

    March 25, 2008 10:18 am

    I prefer slim messenger bags like the Domke 803. The Domke is really slim, doesn't look like a bulging camera bag, allows quick access to gear, and shifts with you as you maneuver in crowds --- just like messenger bags tend to do. They are also easily adapted to carry other things as necessary.

    I hate sling bags because if I'm going to put something on my back, it might as well have two straps. It still takes a while to maneuver the bag to your front, unzip it, and fumble around for your gear (since the bag is typically riding higher on your chest than a shoulder bag would); might as well get a camera backpack that can carry more weight, evenly distributed on two shoulders. If it's a light sling bag, might as well have gone with the messenger bag.

    Top loading holster are also really nice. Especially if you can attach them to a belt, but, they scream out that they contain camera gear --- the bigger the gear, the bigger and more obvious the holster bag.

  • Michelle Potter

    March 25, 2008 09:17 am

    I just bought the Signature Jacquard Diaper Bag, Chino by George and I'm loving it. (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5823398) Yes, it's a diaper bag, and IMO it's perfect for amateur photographers who are also moms. (There are a lot of us these days!)

    I have spent months looking for a bag that would hold diapers, purse items, and my Canon Rebel so that I could be ready to change a baby or take a great photo at any moment. It had to be a shoulder bag since my 1 year old was likely to be already occupying the space on my back.

    This bag is better than a typical diaper bag, and not just because it's stylish (looks more like a large purse than a diaper bag). Instead of the standard one big compartment with maybe a small zipper pocket and a couple of bottle pockets on the outside, this bag has three main compartments and lots of pockets in various sizes. Plus it has bottle pockets on the inside, which are just the right size for a small lens. Of course you do need to be sure to add some padding around your lenses and camera since it's not designed to protect your equipment. I wrap my camera in my soft baby carrier when I'm not using it.

    IMO, this is a great daybag for moms who have to carry diapers and want to carry their DSLR. Just to be sure not to stick wet diapers in with the camera!

  • Glen

    March 25, 2008 09:16 am

    I have a Tamrac bag (not sure which model) but tend to leave it behind because it gives me a backache by the end of the day. I like to travel very light: camera and, in my pocket, extra batteries, memory card, lens cleaning cloth.

  • D. T. North

    March 25, 2008 08:03 am

    Using a Tamrac Velocity 6 (which has been recently reworked, I have the old type). It's a sling-style pack. Great for my camera with lens attached and a few accessories.

    The things I like:
    - Sling is an awesome way to go with day bags. Rotate around to access, nothing dumps, easy access.
    - I have a 135mm lens, and it fits in there fine attached to camera.
    - there are places to add on accessory packs if I need to.

    Things I don't like:
    Mine opens on the front which means it opens toward the body. This causes three problems: 1) I don't feel it's as secure. 2) The accessory pouch within the lid isn't easily accessible while worn (fortunately I only keep cables, etc, in there). 3) The clip folds over the front accessory pocket which means I have to open the whole back to access it. Please note, the reworked version has greatly improved upon this with the flap opening away from the body and the front accessory pouch is always available without opening the main compartment.

  • Shawn

    March 25, 2008 05:55 am

    I mountain bike a lot and was looking for a "mountain bike camera bag" that could be accessed easily, perhaps mounted on the handle bars. Anyone know where I could find such a thing (or if it exists?)?

    Thanks!

  • Tris Hussey

    March 25, 2008 05:40 am

    I have the LowePro 200 sling bag and love it. Yes, the clip to undo when secured delays things, but I've found it extremely comfortable to wear for hikes and walks. I can even fit in (through various pockets) extra battery, two extra lenses, chargers, compact HD video camera, external mic, and point and shoot camera (my backup).

    For a tripod I use the loop on the side for my compact tripod. For my larger one it's just gonna have to be a luggable affair.

  • Farkled

    March 25, 2008 05:22 am

    I am building a love/hate relationship with my Lowepro 300 AW - the large slingbag.

    What I like about it is that it large enough to carry a load of stuff if I want. It's sleek and well made and can carry large/long lens mounted to the camera.

    My dislikes are somewhat more numerous. I'm not sure that the sling design makes sense for the most common of my longer day trips which is taking the grandkids to the zoo. On these trip, I tend to carry the camera on my shoulder - pretty much at the ready. If the camera is already out, then a backpack with two straps makes more sense. The single strap tends to ride up on my neck.

    The sling design works for hiking when the camera is not carried out and at the ready. Access is not all that quick though. The waist straps must be undone before the bag can be shifted to the front. Clearly, it would be nice if one could focus on one style of trip.

    Specific niggles:

    * Strap buckles slip, often and a lot.
    * Zipper pulls tend to fall inside and be difficult to find
    * No provision for carrying mono/tri-pod
    * No place or way to stow waist straps when not used

  • Gizmo

    March 25, 2008 03:32 am

    Some other (unpopular to mention but nevertheless important) things to consider:
    - How does its look? Cool?
    - Speaking of looks: dependent of where you shoot it could be a good idea if the bag doesn't look like it contained a camera.
    - Can you take it as carry-on-baggage when you airtravel?
    - Costs

  • Andy H

    March 25, 2008 01:14 am

    I am using the Think Tank Urban Disguise 3. Great Bag, yes it has a built-in rain cover which really comes in handy.

    NJTrout

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