Perfect bag? Well, this is where I have my greatest challenge. I am a petite photographer, so camera bags are so hard to find that fit me well enough to be supportive. You want something that will carry your gear but that will not give you all kinds of aches and pains when you reach your destination. I have a collection of backpacks, shoulder bags, daypacks, and travel bags. I really like bags. The problem is that there is not one bag that can do it all, especially for photography.
I have decided to try a new method for myself. That is, I am using a traditional hiking/backpacking bag where I can easily access the main compartment. This way I can use a camera insert unit to organize my cameras and lenses. The bag still has room for water bottles/snacks, jacket, tripod, and other essential camera equipment. The bag is specifically fitted for my torso size and it has an aluminum internal frame to keep it close to my body while offering superb support for my back! We shall see, in May 2017, I will be taking it for its first trial run. I will let you know how this venture turns out…
But, on to the bag system I currently use:
- Pelican Air 1535. I use this carry-on case for transport of camera equipment on my travels. It is a hard case but super light. Offers great protection and small enough to “carry on” on most airplanes. On the smaller aircraft, I can lock the case and gate check it.
- Think Tank Airport Essentials Backpack. This was one of my first camera bags. I still really like this bag and use it often. I bring this along if I am only carrying one system (either the Olympus or Canon) and I am not going to do any hiking. Although very comfortable, hiking with this bag gets tiresome because the hip belt is not padded and really not intended for long hikes.
- Gura Gear Uinta backpack. This is a great bag and really light. Unfortunately this bag in just too long for my torso. It sits in the corner, very sad, so I will find it a new home…
- Think tank Turnstyle 10 Sling. This is a great run around the city bag. The Turnstyle 10 is a medium, so I can carry the Canon 5D III with a 16-35mm, 90mm, or 50mm lens and with the Olympus system, there is enough room for a camera and 3-4 lenses. It has a front zipper for extra batteries, memory cards, cleaning cloth and field notes book.
- Gregory Amber 60 Backpack. This is the newest addition to my collection. It is a dedicated backpacking pack so it is pretty light. I will put a camera insert unit in the main compartment which I can access via main body zipper or top loading access. It has many great pockets for the rest of my gear. The best part is that this pack fits my torso perfectly. I have great support for my back and I hope to find out that I can walk miles without returning home with major back issues…. fingers crossed!
And that is my gear list as of today. Like I have mentioned previously, GAS is contagious and it is so tempting to buy more and more gear. But, if you are just starting your own photography journey, my honest advise is to first learn the basics about photography and really learn the gear you own now.
Learning how to make great photographic art with any gear is essential. Then as you start to realize what kind of photography you want to pursue acquiring the right gear is so much fun. New and improved equipment seems to be coming out at least twice a year now that it is really hard to keep up sometimes. So, don’t fret too much, you still have time.
Have any questions about any of this gear? Let me know in the comments –