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What to Look out for when Buying a D-SLR Camera Bag

Updated on November 7, 2012
Lowepro Flipside 200 -- an example of a low profile backpack that is easy to carry around.
Lowepro Flipside 200 -- an example of a low profile backpack that is easy to carry around. | Source

After investing hundreds, even thousands of dollars into putting together your Digital SLR Kit you definitely need a suitable carrying bag of some sort. Not just any bag will suit you, because it all boils down to an individual photographer’s particular needs and intentions.

We’ll discuss basic pointers that you should consider when deciding on which kind of camera bag you need. You may end up needing more than one, but you can always start off with a carrying case that best suits your immediate needs.

What kind of carrying case/bag do you need?

There are several types that exist, but generally speaking there exists backpacks and shoulder bags.

Shoulder bags are best for when you’re not carrying around a lot of stuff. Depending on the type of photography you do, you can even get more specific. For instance, if you’re into concert photography, a shoulder bag that may do you well is one that isn't too bulky, because you’ll need to be moving around in tight spaces. You wouldn't want to be bumping your stuff into other photographers while you're shifting around to get images of a performance. Shoulder bags are definitely for minimal equipment.

Backpacks are practically better for your body as they tend to be designed to spread the weight of your equipment evenly across your shoulders and back. There are tons of different sizes and styles among manufacturers. Of course it’s best to purchase backpacks that are specially suited for your gear with compartments for your camera bodies, lenses, flashguns and other accessories. It’s recommended that travel photographers, nature photographers and other adventure type photographers carry around a camera backpack or rucksack.

Comfort is King

By all means, with your narrowing down of camera bags or cases make sure that it is comfortable on you. It’s probably best to go to your local electronic store, and sample the bags that you like. Carry your equipment with you too! Put them in the bag and walk around with it. Take your time and make a good decision. In the case of a backpack, check if the straps are well padded and if the bag has additional support straps to keep it on you snug. Try not to get carried away with how much stuff a camera bag can carry. Just because it can carry a lot of stuff ...well means that it can get awfully heavy -- not fun if you’re going to be walking for a while.

Features you may need

Does it have a water bottle holder? ...or an easily accessible compartment to grab your D-SLR quickly and safely? Does it have a rain covering? Can I insert a trolley into it? I’d like to carry my laptop in the bag!

All these are just some examples of features that may not be significant to you at the moment, but they may turn out to be very important to you. Also, you may want to check that you can rearrange compartments to hold specialist lenses... Some lenses are rather on the lengthy side, and they may not all fit... Even the basic 70-200mm f/2.8 ‘Prince’ may not fit into certain bags -- so check it out.

A low profile is not a bad idea!

Finally, you may want to purchase a bag that suits your personality but at the same time doesn't scream out, “Hey! I am a photographer with over 3000K worth of photographic stuffs!” Less is more as they say eh?

When you are shooting, you shouldn't even be too conscious that you have on a bag unless you need something from it.

Function, comfort and a little style -- not bad. Choose your camera bag with those three keys, and you should be good to go. Oh, and remember to check out the warranty coverage!


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