Camera bags are generally a must have for anything larger than a smartphone or one of the premium compacts, something akin to the new Sony ZV-1 or the RX100 series. You get the idea, if it doesn’t fit in the pocket you will probably need a bag.
This is where things can get complicated very quickly. If you are going to get a bag, what sort should it be? I personally prefer the shoulder style bag and thats what we will look at in this article. I should note that I do have a LowePro Slingshot 200. I dont use this bag as a camera bag anymore, it sees duty as my work bag and serves that purpose very well. I stopped using the LowePro bag as it tended to get too heavy with a load of gear in it. But for those wanting something between a shoulder bag and a backpack and you are happy to tote a bit of weight around, its a good option.
The New Bag…
As I’ve gotten older and my photography requirements have changed I want to carry around less gear and in a more compact way. Theres a huge range to choose from and its not easy to always tell what a bag is like from a set of images on a website. Ordinarily the large OMP camera bag retails between $80.00 to $90 NZD at most camera outlets. I bought mine off TradeMe for $22.00 NZD as a clearance item. Whether this is actually a clearance item or just sales speak I dont know. I do know a bargain when I see one so after looking at dozens of new and used bags I took a punt and grabbed one of the large bags.
Now large is a rather subjective term and the quoted size is for the internal space in the bag. What I was looking for was a bag big enough to fit my 700D with the 18-55 attached and enough space for either one of the following. Canon EF-s 18-135 STM, Canon EF-S 55 – 250 STM or the Tamron 18-270 VC lens. I haven’t yet decided as to which of these telephoto lenses will be going in the bag.
To test out this requirement I grabbed my 28-300 mm Tamron off my Pentax camera as well as a 28-90 Sigma. Both as you can see fit quite happily in the bag. I like to store my camera lens up. Fortunately the Canon 700D has the flippy screen so its protected. The bag comes with four Velcro compartment dividers. Two small and two large dividers. I put the two small ones side by side on the floor of the bag giving a nice well padded bottom for the camera to sit on. You can see them in place in the following photo.
The bottom of the bag is reasonably well padded but having the extra padding under the camera brings piece of mind.
In addition to a well appointed interior space the bag has a zippered internal pocket in the top flap which can carry a range of extras, like filters and other flat pieces of equipment.The top flap has two zips so that access can be fully or partially open when needed.
At either end of the bag is another pocket suitable for things like smartphones, small books or maps, these pockets would also accommodate other lenses up to the size of the EF 70-300 mm, a flash unit or spare batteries and charger, or even a small table top tripod. For a smallish bag its capable or carrying quite a bit of gear. On the outer surfaces of both the end pockets you have semi stretch pockets that would easily take a small water bottle or can of compressed air.
But wait we are not done just yet. On the back of the bag is an open top sleeve that would take a 10 inch tablet or small netbook for on the go editing. While on the front is a vertical zip that allows access to a pocket that would take a wallet or smartphone. This pocket is neatly set under the OMP logo on the front of the bag. The bag comes with a detachable ( one side only ) hand strap with a pleasing soft cover that makes it very easy to carry. The full padded shoulder strap is attached to metal rings at each end of the bag with carabiner style swivel clips. Both the attachment rings and clips are solid metal units.
I have the shoulder strap stowed in the tablet pouch at the back of the bag. This pouch has a central Velcro tab to keep it closed so whatever is in the pouch stays put. Very handy for storing the strap.
On the front of the bag two sets of nylon loops can be seen. These came with two short adjustable straps attached which I have stored in the front wallet pocket. They are used for attaching a lightweight tripod to the bag.
Overall construction of the bag is excellent, the only thing it lacks is a pull out wet weather cover like my LowePro bag has. This really isn’t an issue as I dont intend to be getting wet doing adventure style photography. The bag is more than capable of shielding the gear inside from a passing shower and that is all I require it to do.
I’ve had other shoulder bags in the past, both large and small and its fair to say than none of the have come as well equipped for the enthusiast photographer as this particular bag. At the current price you cant go wrong and even paying more for the bag would still leave you feeling that it was money well spent. The only real niggle I have with the bag is the the handle does sometimes impede ease of access to equipment, but its only one click and the handle is out of the way. I usually have the top handle stowed in a pocket when I’m using the shoulder strap so this really is a bit of a non issue.
- Internal Dimensions:250×180×130mm
- External Dimensions: 300×215×150mm