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Thread: The perfect camera bag::::

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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    The perfect camera bag::::

    ....does not exist. And probably never will.

    I have come to this conclusion after many days and nights of wandering through the jungle that is Google, going over review after review, photo after photo and making the trips to several shops to do my own research.

    I've come to accept the fact that you need a different bag for different occasions- and trying to find one that does it all well simply will not work.

    You may remember a short time ago I wrote up a review on the Naneu Pro K3L photo backpack. A great bag for what it does and value dollar for dollar. Unfortunately for me, it was just a tad too big to take as carry on on flights. So it was back to the drawing board in search of a good holiday bag.

    Not wanting to dethrone Paul from his illustrious bag-##### status :P, I set on a search with the following criteria in order of importance:

    1. Comfort - I was going to be hauling this bag around Europe for 4 weeks. Through airports, train stations, U-Bahns, S-Bahns and any other Bahns you could think of. Not to mention the odd 2hr trek through forest in order to satisfy my fiancee's lust for any place with the word "castle" in it.
    2. International airline carry-on compatible size - Mostbags will fit this criteria, its the weight that becomes an issue. We will split the load between us going through airport checkpoints so not too worried about weight.
    3. Accesibility - Now I don't see myself changing lenses every half hour - I'd ideally plan on doing more sightseeing and relaxing than turning this into a serious photo holiday. Nonetheless, I have this fantastic gear with me, and helll we probably won't be coming back to this place for a lonng time, if ever. So I want to capture the moment and some creative shots as well. Not to mention my fiancee, who is the delegated videographer will constantly be asking for, then later handing back, the camcorder - as we will only have the one bag between us. Hence I needed a packt hat didn't take 2 mintues to unload and reload.
    4. Capacity - Needed to fit a D90 with up to 70-2002.8 lens attached, plus 2-3 primes, flash, filters, small misc stuff, water bottles, snacks, book, maps, airline tickets, light sweater, poncho. Tripod holding capapbility. Laptop compartment handy but not crucial. I also have a seperate bag for that and it will be left in hotel each day anyway, only carted around from city to city. Space would still be handy for A4 documents though.
    5. Security - I need some accesibility but at the same time I don't want 28 fast access panels that lead straight into my main kit. Some bags have lockable zippers, others that don't can usually still fit a small wire cable combo lock through. No match for a boxcutter but a good preventitive for oppurtunistic thieves. Obviously my equipment will be insured. Nevertheless still not a process I'd like to go through.
    6. Durability and backed by a decent warranty/customer service. That means good, oversized zippers, good workmanship, durable fabrics. As for customer service - the ones that shine seem to be Crumpler and Think Tank Photo. Both their quality and customer service rate highly. I'm sure other brands out such as Lowepro, Tamrac, Kata, Tenba, Mountainsmith have comparable quality, just haven't had any dealing with their customer service.

    So onto my crusade I went and these are what made it onto my shortlist:

    Lowepro Flipside 400 AW
    Think Tank Streetwalker Pro
    Think Tank Urban Disguise 60
    Tenba Shootout Day pack
    Crumpler Karachi Outpost
    Booq Python SLR pack


    Can you pick the odd one out? The Think Tank Urban disguise is the only shoulder bag in the line-up.Yes, I know, comfort is the number one priority, but this bag had so many excellent features and in its defence you can get an optional, if not tacky, harness attachment that lets you wear it as a back pack. http://www.taschenfreak.de/TASCHEN/T...se60/index.htm
    http://www.taschenfreak.de/TASCHEN/T...ness/index.htm



    The Lowepro seems to ticks all the boxes . There is the Fastpack if I really wanted a dedicated lappy compartment, but I wasn't won over by the quality of the zippers compared to some of the other offerings. http://www.taschenfreak.de/TASCHEN/L...e400/index.htm

    The Streetwalker Pro will fit my stuff, appears to have a decent harness system, lockable zippers, raincover and good quality workmanship. Quick access may be an issue, with a pack like this it'd be hugely advantageous to have a single pouch on ur waist to keep your most swapped over/accessed item/s.
    http://www.taschenfreak.de/TASCHEN/T...rive/index.htm

    The Crumpler Karachi outpost is their largest backpack offering. It sure gets the tick for comfort, quality, security. Again not sure how access would be, I will have to go into the shop again and test whether its possible to swing the bag around and access the rear panel. http://atpeaz.placidthoughts.com/ind...st-Review.html

    The Tenba Shootout Daypack has a lot of things to like. Good comfort, raincover, good capacity with the nifty expandable section. It has 2 quick access panels on the side for getting ur most used lenses etc. Call me paranoid but they only have 1 zipper so arent lockable - and when I've got my eye to a the viewfinder or am in a metro train stuffed in like sardines, I could see this panel being accessed a little to easily. www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjYHh3S3RAQ

    The Booq Python was the real suprise package. No reviews to be found anywhere, I found this pack on www.rushfaster.com.au

    At the moment its sold out and won't be available until mid April.
    It appears to be made using the good quality stuff, the interior organiszation is nice and the comofort/harness look top notch. The nifty thing about this one is the removable camera pouch. Now I alway told myself I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a bum bag. Either my shame as dissappeared or I simply don't care anymore, because combined with a pack it really looks like the only happy medium to quick access AND comfort. The bag can be worn around the wasit and supposadley fits a "DSLR and 2 lenses. OK so it doesn't have much capacity, but I can see it's usefulness for holding a body and lens. You could always chuck a Domke or similar insert in the main top section of the bag to hold your other stuff.
    It has lots of outside pockets which can be a good or bad thing. Unless I can put a wire cable lock through these and somehow cinch it up it won'tbe useful for carrying stuff that can't e lost - memory cards, camera batteries, ext HDDs etc..

    http://www.booqbags.com/Laptop-Backpacks/Python-pack

    Well there you have it for now. There are a multitude of other options out there that I could consider but these are what I have shortlisted for now. Like I said at the beginning - one bag can't do everything well and there will always be some sort of compromise. I think the key is to have different bags for different occasions. Just like shoes. That's what I tell the missus anyway when she glares at me for getting another camera bag hehe
    Nikon D750
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    My SmugMug

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    That makes a very interesting read and good luck finding what bag will suit you best.

    As for me being a bag #####, well I have had the fastpack 250 since November and I can't see myself getting rid of it any time soon

    Paul

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    Just to throw it out there...i have a Dakine Sequence pack and really like it...not many people know of them for camera bags but look it up if you are interested.

    Ash
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash233 View Post
    Just to throw it out there...i have a Dakine Sequence pack and really like it...not many people know of them for camera bags but look it up if you are interested.

    Ash
    I just had a look at them online Ash, looks great.

    Paul

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    I have the Lowepro Mini Trekker AW its wicked such a great bag.....

    You might need to get one a bit bigger than this....

    You can get this model also with a place to hold your laptop....

    Best thing is to go to a camera shop and see all the bags.....

    Also get a bag that is waterproof or at least water resistant with a rain jacket
    Canon 7D with various lenses...

    Zoom In With Eden Photography http://zoominwitheden.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by ash233 View Post
    Just to throw it out there...i have a Dakine Sequence pack and really like it...
    Dakine gear is great .. all my luggage is Dakine. I have a wheelie bag for my snowboards, a day hydration pack for when im out riding them, and a split roller travel bag .. I take it everywhere. Love Dakine

    For my camera gear, I have a Lowepro Nova AW200 shoulder bag for quick trips out and about and a Lowepro AW300 Slingshot for when im gonna be out for hours .. much easier to carry on my back than the Nova on my shoulder all day ..
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 18-03-2009 at 2:32pm.
    Hi Im Darren

    www.darrengrayphotography.com

    SONY A850 (FF)] + GRIP | SONY A350 (APS-C) + GRIP | SONY NEX-5 +16 2.8 + 18-55 E-MOUNT LENSES | CZ 85 1.4 | 50 1.4 | 28-75 2.8 | 70-200 2.8 | 2 x 42AMs | 24" imac | LR | CS4 | + loads of other junk


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    Quote Originally Posted by ash233 View Post
    Just to throw it out there...i have a Dakine Sequence pack and really like it...not many people know of them for camera bags but look it up if you are interested.

    Ash
    Funny you mention it i was just looking at it Ash
    Rare as hens balls to find though...ringing around to all the Ski shops to see if I can source it locally

    Edit: Seems to be out of stock everywhere - apparently A lot of Dakine stuff is back ordered because they've been bought out by Billabong. No estimated arrival date
    I can source it in the States but most places are asking $120 shipping
    That brings it up to $320.
    Last edited by kaiser; 18-03-2009 at 2:57pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    Funny you mention it i was just looking at it Ash
    Rare as hens balls to find though...ringing around to all the Ski shops to see if I can source it locally

    Edit: Seems to be out of stock everywhere - apparently A lot of Dakine stuff is back ordered because they've been bought out by Billabong. No estimated arrival date
    I can source it in the States but most places are asking $120 shipping
    That brings it up to $320.
    These guys are Australian Importer/Distributor for Dakine .. they should be able to source anything you need. Theyve helped me out in the past..

    FLYING FISH PTY. LTD.
    UNIT 9
    WARRIEWOOD NEW SOUTH WALES 2102
    Phone: 9979-1862

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    Cheers Daz, I tried that number but says its disconnected. Burton (snowboarding Co) make a similar bag called the Zoom - although I've heard 3 accounts of the zippers failing.

    I am liking the Flipside 400 however it is 10" deep and the airline is stipulating 8" depth only. It is smaller in every other dimension. I don't know how #### they are going to be at the airport - I don't wanna risk having to check the bag :/

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    One thing you are missing:-

    Most airlines will allow you to have a fairly reasonable camera bag and a small carry on bag - about 600mm long 300mm wide and high for all your carry on stuff thats not camera ie a light jacket, book to read and your duty free grog.

    I travelled to the UK with BA and home from Paris with Air France change to QANTAS in Singapore (all QANTAS code share) and not once did they question the two bags, but, the camera bag which was a Tamrac Adventurer 9 backpack only had camera gear in it - 2 bodies 3 lenses, a flash plus all the bits and pieces like filters and spare batteries and chargers. That way I can always claim that its only camera gear and should be allowed - and it was . The secret is make it look like what it is - camera gear.

    Where this principle will falls down is if you plan to use any light aircraft where the rules are all thrown out and you allowed virtually nothing. My wife did some domestic flights in Africa and the weight limits were outrageous - 19kg all up . My camera bag weighs nearly this much when fully loaded for bear.

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    agreed the perfect bag does not exists, its a horses for courses affair.
    For myself the almost perfect bag is in the form of a Lowepro Primus AW, great for travel, hiking and heading off piste with my snowboard strapped to it. Also have a Lowepro Deluxe Street and Field waistbelt, which is great on shoots. Was tempted by a Dakine trolly bag for my snowboard but settled on a Bakoda trolly snowboard bag in the end

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    No light aircraft - just 777s at the moment so overheads shouldn't be a problem. Would rather just have to worry about one carry on bag rather than tote 2 around the airports

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    Yea OK just letting you know what really works for me

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    Thanks anyway for the tip

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    i have a lowepro rover s&f and i find it great if i need to pack a bit of gear really comfy, in it i have my e-620 with 25mm f1.4, my 12-60, 50mm macro, flash, 50-150, 8mm fisheye in the bottom. it has a separate section in the top for all your junk and a few pockets and a tripod holder.
    i know what you mean about never having enough bags my other fave is my crumpler 7 mil home which i tend to use when im going to be swapping lenses a bit as i find it easer to work out of a shoulder bag.
    E-620 and to many lenses

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    Checked out the Booq gear and liked it. Hate camera bags that scream "expensive contents" or "camera tosser"!
    Have you looked at Kata? Have a few different bags depending on what I am doing and love them, my fave being the 3N1-30 backpack/sling. They are now readily available in Aus too which helps.

    all and any feedback welcome
    http://www.natsky.com.au

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natsky View Post
    Checked out the Booq gear and liked it. Hate camera bags that scream "expensive contents" or "camera tosser"!
    Have you looked at Kata? Have a few different bags depending on what I am doing and love them, my fave being the 3N1-30 backpack/sling. They are now readily available in Aus too which helps.
    Ditto on those thoughts.......and I have 3 various bags, but find my sling/backpack the most versatile and often used.....and I dare to show my age by admitting one of the best small accessory bags I often have around my waste for small items, or one extra lens is the old "bum bag" or "fanny pack"...bum bags...dont knock 'em they, are a great bonus for photographers.

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    Kaiser, thanks for posting this thread. I have just about the same needs. I am looking for something to take on my UK trip in March. What did you end up buying?
    Mic

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    Quote Originally Posted by etherial View Post
    Kaiser, thanks for posting this thread. I have just about the same needs. I am looking for something to take on my UK trip in March. What did you end up buying?
    I recently recieved my new Lowepro Slingshot 200. It would make a great travel bag, and for less than $80 deliv. was a bargain. Check them out. Paul.

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    Ah the quest for the perfect camera bag!
    .
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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