The Perfect Camera Bag for the Female Street Photographer

The Perfect Camera Bag for the Female Street Photographer

A review by Marianne Gilhuus.

For the first time ever I have a camera bag that does not make me look like a photo geek! (Or, to be honest, for the first time in my life I have a real camera bag, with room for more than just one camera)!

It is a beautiful leather bag (available in several beautiful different colours), which can be used/worn at any occasion. A great bag for combining shopping or having a coffee with friends, and photo shooting. And as the bag won’t give away that you are carrying a camera, it is ideal for a female street photographer!

For me it is a small drawback that the strap is too short to carry it across my chest. However, that is what makes it look more like a purse than a camera bag. I did not think much about the missing strap whilst photographing, but when doing longer photo walks it got quite tiring on the shoulder (not being able to ”distribute” the wight across my back). It does help, though, that the zipper can be opened from both sides of the bag, making it possible to alternate the carrying between the shoulders. One thing I love about this bag is its ability to stand on the ground without falling over, having four ”legs” underneath. It makes it easy to place beside me, being on the train or in a cafè

The bag has inner padding, and three removable dividers making it easy to adjust. For me it has the ideal amount of space: I have room for my camera Nikon D90 with a 18-105 mm lens attached, and an extra nikkor 50 mm, my wallet and my keys (i love the extra small pocket). And still there is room if I want to bring a flash or my Canon G7. As I have just moved to Melbourne, where the weather is changing all the time, it is perfect to have additional space for a scarf, an umbrella or even a small rain coat! For those with the need of room for several lenses and flashes etc, this bag might be a bit too small, though. Extra pockets on the outside of the bag are ideal for an iPhone or your lens cover, filters, batteries or memory cards. The back pocket has room for more, but filling it up might be felt against your body whilst carrying the bag. For me, though, being a stranger in the city, this was the perfect place for a map of Melbourne!

Check out the Pompidoo range at

Marianne Gilhuus

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Sime (aka #gtvone) is the customer support manager for dPS, and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, and please feel free to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Some Older Comments

  • Kim February 23, 2012 10:39 am

    Cute bag, but after using my Kelly Moore B-Hobo bag for the past 6 months (, I don't think I'll ever be able to use anything else. It's perfect for travel and discreet carrying of camera, it's a great size as an everyday purse too, and I love that I no longer have to carry both a purse and a separate camera bag on the plane. So handy!

  • Marcus Davis February 19, 2012 04:08 am

    When I first read the title for this article, I thought, Lowepro, Tamrac, etc. I thought that it would be designed as a smaller more portable camera bag, so I clicked on the article, thinking that even if it's designed for women, it would probably work for a man as well.

    Once I saw the picture, I realized I was wrong in that thought. lol However the concept is sound and it is a nice looking bag. I think a potential theif would be less likely to target a purse that may or may not have money in it than an obvious camera bag with potentially thousands of dollars worth of gear inside.

  • Sunhee February 14, 2012 02:31 pm

    Just wanted to contribute, but has anyone seen these kelley moore bags? So beautiful. Kelly Moore herself personally gives a video tour through the design of each bag. She has an impressive line-up and a variety of different styles. Every bag has different colors and functions fashionably and can hold multiple camera's and lenses depending on the bad

    A little pricey, but from the customer reviews i have read, each bag is worth every penny. Can't wait to buy one myself!!

  • Jaina February 14, 2012 02:28 am

    I treated myself to a Kelly Moore bag last year. The b-hobo. It's perfect. I can comfortably carry it under my shoulder, or cross-body. Fits D5000, 2 lenses and all my other usual handbag bits and bobs. I bought myself an ephiphanie before the Kelly Moore one, but it proved a little too big for the every day carryings.

    This bag does look adorable though - love the colours, but the price is a bit steep. Compared to Kelly Moore's selection.

  • Arturomar February 14, 2012 02:25 am

    I'm a man and I found difficult to carry a bag hanging from a shoulder like in your photo.

    It gives a lot of freedom to the body movements when the strap is passed over the head to the opposite shoulder.

  • Meredith February 13, 2012 01:14 pm

    I have a Kelly Moore bag, and the quality and functionality are great. It's a large bag, most suitable for travel. For everyday, I just ordered the Bossi bag by THEIT.

  • Cherie February 12, 2012 04:32 pm

    There is a new Australian company now selling natural leather camera bags.

  • OzMercan February 10, 2012 10:12 am

    Sheesh! Cannot believe all these so called photography (read expensive hobby) people crying poor. I've got three camera bags - neither of which is "perfect".
    When I pointed out Kelly | Moore to the wife, she liked them so much I ordered two - most come with an optional adjustable chest strap in addition to the detachable shoulder strap.

    And before you cast a stone, as a pensioner, I have no commercial interest in the company.

  • Gianna February 10, 2012 09:27 am

    the best thing ever made was the inserts! I can turn any of my bags into a camera bag without the hefty price. I have a Coach tote I use with an insert and if Im not shooting....I still have my Coach bag!

  • Bea February 10, 2012 04:43 am

    I went to Plato's Closet (resale shop for teens/women) and bought two amazing bags -- one for keeping all my gear and everything in and one for On The Go photography kit. They had a whole wall of bag options -- every size, shape and color imaginable. My only requirements were Roomy enough & sturdy Zipper. Together = less than $20, and both colorful & luxurious. I love that the On The Go bag I found has a outer pocket for my little point and shoot camera - grab, click, back in pocket. I can't even imagine splurging on a posh-posh designer label for a bag when classy, useful, thrifty treasures abound.

  • ksw February 10, 2012 04:37 am

    Thanks so much for posting this. I especially appreciate your photos showing its dimensions and you carrying it. Fantastic option. I have not every found a good bag - I am always on the hunt for a good one. Thanks!

  • Chassidy Garner February 10, 2012 02:47 am

    I've got a stella from & also a livy bag from cheeky lime. Always looking for something smaller then stella for smaller shoots also :)

  • Jocelyn Harrold February 9, 2012 01:21 pm

    The LowePro Passport sling was not that expensive, considering all the money I have spent on bags that just do not work for me. I have several that just fill up a shelf.

  • Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography Blog February 9, 2012 11:45 am

    I treated myself to a Kelly Moore last year and it was the best investment I've made. I love it and no one has a clue that it's a camera bag until I open it up. It is huge, but people just assume I carry around a lot of stuff - fine by me!

    I work in DT Seattle and sometimes bring my camera in to work for street photography; I was followed for several blocks one day when I had a regular camera bag. That made me a little paranoid - maybe the gal loved my shoes :)

  • SaraJean February 9, 2012 11:43 am

    I'd love a purse like bag for easier travel.
    I'm using a vintage bag, and I love it, but for walking it's heavy, large, and too boxy. Now to find a nice bag like the ones above in a students price range!

  • MikeC366 February 9, 2012 05:37 am

    If I was a woman, perfect. But I'm not... However my other half is :-)

  • ursulakatariina February 8, 2012 09:40 pm

    Nice looking bag, but I would never put so much money for a handbag... I'm very happy going round with my little Lowepro what ever it is don't remember and showing the world I enjoy my hobby.

  • Astarta February 8, 2012 09:04 pm

    Wow! It's from natural leather that's because it's pricey...but sooo chic! I love it :)

  • Annie February 8, 2012 06:03 pm

    I am familiar with all of these women's camera bags mentioned above, but I have to tell you about my all-time FAVORITE one! It's called The Bossi bag by THEIT. It actually looks like a hip, modern purse. I kid you not, I use this bag even when I don't have a camera in it!!! It's THAT hip! It fits a ton of things, like a DSLR, a 2nd lens, your regular purse belongings (wallet, keys, lipstick, tissue) AND an iPad!

    Here's my review on it, if you want to hear more and see my product shots of it:

    Here's their website:


  • Eva February 8, 2012 02:45 pm

    These bags are gorgeous, but they are a bit pricey.

    One of the neat little things I found is this "any bag" insert. I can fit it into a nice Coach or Kate Spade bag, or just a everyday bag that's a little more inconspicuous.

  • Angel February 8, 2012 02:35 pm

    Another overpriced "designer bag" posing as a camera bag.

  • Jen February 8, 2012 01:16 pm

    +1 on the LowePro Passport Sling - doesn't look like a camera bag and easy to carry.

  • Lisa February 8, 2012 11:20 am

    HA! Those prices are ridiculous! My Jo Jo Tote was far more cost effective than the pompidoo and epiphanie bags and is really awesome for toting my camera/random daily stuff around.

  • Jocelyn Harrold February 8, 2012 10:56 am

    Lowepro Passport Sling

  • Jocelyn Harrold February 8, 2012 10:53 am

    Three months ago I bought a Lowepro messenger style bag, that I wear across my chest, carries my Nikon D90 with 70 - 300 lens, an extra lens, cell phone, wallet, and a few extras, it also has the ability to unzip for a bit more space. For me, this bag is perfect. It has some outside pockets as well. The ONLY drawback is that the space for the extra lens is not padded. I solved that by using some padding from other camera bags.

  • Jen W February 8, 2012 07:21 am

    I love my Lowepro Passport Sling, it's much cheaper - perfect for students.

    These bags - pompidoo and epiphanie - look really, really great.
    Aah, now I want one of these :D
    But I don't have the money.

  • April February 8, 2012 06:24 am

    There are several lines of bags that do this well. I am very impressed with my epiphanie bag ( I've had it over a year and love it. Stylish, lots of compartments, durable and a great price. Look around, there are a lot of choices for women photographers now.