BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Susan Quigley

Camera Bags

So I'm camera bag shopping for a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag. I came across this site but wasn't sure if anyone else had used her bags before? Can anyone advise? Or suggest other bag sites?

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6/20/2011 3:01:26 PM

Lynn R. Powers   I took a look a the site and am not happy with what I saw. First the bags were waaay to expensive for what you get.
They looked more like expensive handbags that a thief would love to steal and get your credit cards. Although there are pockets for extra cards, batteries, filters, remote releases and a small flash the main compartment for camera and lenses has virtually no protection for them. They totally lack any deviders to protect the items in the main pouch from one another. They are not very practical.

I recommend that you go to a good camera store and take a look at what is available that doesn't cost $200. But if you run around with the Paris Hilton crowd they would look chic.

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6/21/2011 12:51:08 PM

Susan Quigley   Haha. I do not fortunately run around with Paris Hilton. :)

Thanks for the input! I will take a trip to a camera shop near here and look around.

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6/21/2011 1:16:01 PM

Chuck Bruton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/2/2007
  ........For the last ten years I have been using a foam zip lunch bag that I carried around with me at work while driving a handicap bus. I left the bag sitting in the bus, ( film camera at time),and I guess everyone thought it was my lunch.

I continued to use the bag on short excursions until last week when I thought I'd buy a new small bag for father's day.

In the lunch bag I had a layer of foam on top and bottom that I cut out the form of camera, lens, and filter.

I usually carried a wide angle on the camera, telephoto, 70-300mm and a polarized filter, sometimes I could squeeze in an extra medium lens, or flash.

My new bag is a ProMaster equipped for one camera, flash, several lenses plush pockets for filters, batteries etc. I carried it on vacation last week, and I almost decided that my home made case was simpler and lighter, so I keep the old lunch bag handy.
.....but now don't tell the wife

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6/23/2011 12:08:17 PM

doug Nelson   Chuck makes sense here. You don't want this bag to advertise "expensive camera/lenses". Consider lens cases and velco-closing wraps and carry you gear in a beat up military surplus bag. I know a Leica fan who uses tacky pastel-colored baby paraphernalia bags. Also, your camera strap should not advertise your camera's maker. We pay enough for this gear without providing free advertising. I use Chinese cheapie hand straps, carrying my camera with my right hand in the strap and having it handy to reach for in the camera bag.

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6/28/2011 9:10:17 AM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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Carlton's Gallery
  Hi Susan,
I have several bags, backpacks & holsters and my favorites are made by LowePro. I have the Vertex 300 backpack which will fit just about everything including a 17" laptop and is very heavy when full and I usually use this bag for flying & long trips since I NEVER check my camera gear but for everyday use and hikes that I only need a camera and 2 or 3 lenses, I use a Flipside 300. Both bags have tripod straps/carrier and they are not obvious camera bags and would fool most people (unless you have a tripod attached) but a knowledgeable thief most likely would know as well.
Check out Lowepro dot com
my .02,

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6/28/2011 8:48:20 PM

Tom R. Fleeman   I also go with LowePro I have used mine for a year and no problems at all. I have a large sling backpack and even when I have full with camera, four lenses, charger batteries etc. it is very comfortable to wear.

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8/17/2011 4:54:19 AM

doug Nelson   I just got the Tenba Photo Messenger because of its reputation among photogs. It is well padded, has zipper access from the top, has just the space I need, and looks more like a bicycle courier messenger bag than a camera bag. I will black out the Tenba logo with a black marker. I am not following my own previous advice here, but this bag was too good to pass up.

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8/17/2011 8:44:49 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I personally, still use an old generic back-pack to transport my gear...and I always make a conscious effort to "dress down" when I'm venturing about with my expensive cameras and equipment.
Once at a red light, while crossing a busy street to get to one of of my favorite bug meadows, frightened folks were hurriedly rushing to lock their car doors as they observed this "weird-o" crossing in front of them in tattered rain pants, L.L. Bean Pac Boots, a homemade hiking staff and an old, fully stuffed backpack from Sunny's Surplus.
Watching their instinctive reactions not only brought a smile to my face, but it negated any possible fears of someone hitting me on the head and attempting to steal the thousands of dollars worth of gear I was carrying.

So it pays to be discrete...and be safe!

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8/17/2011 2:59:01 PM

Mary Iacofano
  check this out...

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8/20/2011 11:46:29 AM

Kevin Kopchynski   If you are inclined to follow the advice of Chuck and Bob, see if you have an Army/Navy surplus store nearby.

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8/23/2011 5:53:37 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/24/2005
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Amy's Gallery
  Here is a link to a blog I found....

I have the "ONA" black leather bag... I love the way it looks but it is heavy and too bulky feeling.

I also have an "Epiphanie" camera bag. I really like it... much lighter. But it was not made to carry a lot of heavy gear. Although I can fit a lot in the bag!

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8/23/2011 10:05:20 PM

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