Camera bags are an item much loved by photographers, with many having a whole cupboard full of them!
So, how do you go about selecting the most suitable camera bag for your needs? When selecting a camera bag, you need to bear several points in mind.
|The Billingham Fstop f1.4 is just one of hundreds of bags and cases available at Park Cameras|
Will your chosen bag be flexible enough to accommodate what you might require? Remember to allow for expansion - it’s always best to have a little extra space in case you add to your outfit at a later stage.
Does it need waterproofing? If you are going to be using your camera bag in poor weather, then weather sealing and/or a weatherproof cover should be an important consideration.
What environment are you going to be shooting in? For street photography, a brightly coloured bag might not be the best idea and something which blends in - like a messenger camera bag - could be a better choice.
Once all these criteria have been considered, you can choose from a variety of bag categories - all of which have their individual uses.
|The Manfrotto BeFree Messenger is designed to complement their Messenger tripod range|
These can be split into two types - the traditional design with dividers and exterior pockets, and the more modern messenger style that can be worn across the chest or on the shoulder. Many messenger bags have moveable inserts to accommodate your camera gear, and some also offer dedicated space for a laptop, tablet, or often both. The Manfrotto BeFree Messenger is one such bag - with space for a tablet, plus the brilliant addition of a pocket to store a Manfrotto BeFree Tripod.
The shoulder bag is a good choice for working from - they enable you to have a camera and lens on one shoulder and your bag on the other. They're not so great if you have heavy equipment however, as all the weight is concentrated on one side.
Belt Bags and Camera Pouch Bags
|Belt bags are modular systems, letting you modify your belt's contents for your situation|
|The Canon Holster HL100 supplements your Canon DSLR and lens perfectly!|
Toploaders are designed to hold your camera with the lens of your choice attached. They are especially good for when you want to use your camera with a large lens on, and have easy access to it without having to attach the lens first. Toploaders - such as the Canon HL100 Holster - generally facilitate the quick grab photography approach, making them a good option for street photographers, but also limit the amount of lenses you can take with you.
|The Vanguard VEO 42 Backpack has a useful tripod-friendly side pocket|
Camera backpacks are the bag of choice for most photographers, as they enable lots of gear to be carried easily and with the weight evenly distributed. Many pro photographers work with a backpack and then two camera bodies - one over each shoulder with different lenses on. The range of backpacks is huge, with varying capacities and protection levels available. The Vanguard VEO 42 Backpack can carry a vast array of equipment in a relatively small package, and has a particularly useful tripod pocket and front-facing camera/lens pocket for quick access to your gear.
|The Lowepro Streetline SL40 is a modern solution to camera storage problems|
Sling bags offer a compromise solution between a shoulder bag and a backpack. Most are designed to be ‘slung’ across your back and can then be twisted round to the front or side to allow easy access to your equipment. These are a good choice for flexibility, easy carrying, and access to your equipment. The Lowepro Streetline SL140 is a good example of a contemporary sling bag, with design considerations tailored to fit mirrorless camera setups.
|The Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 70 - ideal for transporting lots of camera equipment!|
These are designed for easy transport of heavy equipment - ideal for moving equipment from location to location. They can then be used as an equipment store during a shoot. Hard cases are designed to be the ultimate protection for your equipment, so are ideal if you are travelling in harsh conditions or where your equipment has to go in an aircraft hold for instance.
The Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 70 is a good looking piece of luggage, capable of transporting a huge amount of equipment and designed to hold a couple of cameras, a plethora of lenses, and a lot of extra gear - including laptops, tablets, and tripods!
The choices don't end here though. Once you've decided upon a style, you may have a preferred brand you wish to consider. Park Cameras has a great stock portfolio, split across numerous camera bag brands for you to choose from!
|The Lowepro Photo Classic BP 300 AW in Mica|
|Manfrotto RedBee 210|
|The Urban Disguise Classic 60 V3|
|The VEO 37 shoulder bag|
|Billingham 335 in Imperial Blue & Tan|
|Peak Design Everyday Messenger in Heritage Tan|
|Domke F-803 Camera Satchel - Ruggedwear|
|The Tamrac T0601 Stratus 6 Shoulder Bag|
These are just some of the bag and cases brands - camera brands themselves also tout bags and cases to complement their equipment. Canon, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Leica, and Fujifilm are just some of the brands who want you to match their hardware with their accessories!
So, if you are still undecided on which bag to choose, a visit to either our Burgess Hill or London stores would be well worthwhile, as they both offer some of the widest selections of pro camera bags in the UK - in stock and on display - as well as expert advice. Why not bring along the kit you want to house and try out the bags you are interested in, prior to purchase?
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