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I’m a huge proponent of spending money to buy a rugged camera bag. As a photographer who is always looking for my next adventure, I think taking stock of my camera bag options and making sure I have the best camera bag for myself is a great way to spend my free time during this pandemic.
Getting a great camera bag allows you to be pain free while shooting, which is of the utmost importance, but it also allows you to keep your gear safe from the elements and thieves. Ideally, if you’re great at examining your camera bag options before you purchase one, your next camera bag will also be the last camera bag you ever need to buy.
A phenomenal camera bag will even save you money in the long run.
Today I’m going to be comparing two camera bag options, one shoulder bag and one backpack. I trust the company that created both of these products: Holdfast.
Most Holdfast products are made of high-quality leather or canvas materials, for that all-important weather-proofing I was talking about. Plus, you can tell each of their products was created by a photographer because they each have every detail you could want.
Holdfast Sightseer Backpack
Before I dive into all of the features of the Holdfast Sightseer Backpack, I want to give a quick overview of the benefits of camera backpacks.
Obviously the biggest pro of backpacks as camera bag options is that they are large, so you can carry just about as much gear as your heart desires. This works out very well for people who are traveling and may need to bring everything with them.
Backpacks are also much more comfortable than even the most comfortable shoulder bag. If you have problems with your back or neck, carrying tons of gear around with you all day is going to exacerbate those issues regardless, but a backpack will at least let you carry that weight evenly across your whole body.
Backpacks are also great because they allow you to be hands free while traveling to or from shoot sites. You just put them on and forget about them until you actually need to use your gear.
However, that pro also doubles as a con because your gear will be more difficult to reach in a moment’s notice if you opt for a backpack.
Now, the Sightseer Backpack is wonderful because it actually combats one of the largest problems with camera backpacks by featuring an integrated slider for your camera so you still have immediate access to it constantly.
This backpack is made of either waxed canvas or leather and is lined with flannel fleece to keep all of your equipment safe. This backpack also comes with a waterproof zipper. It’s seriously waterproof.
It comes in either black, navy, or olive.
If you think this may be the perfect camera backpack for you, you can pick one up from the Holdfast website for $795.
Holdfast Sightseer Camera & Lens Modular System
Once again, before I dive into this particular bag, I want to run over some points about shoulder bags.
Out of all of your camera bag options, shoulder bags allow you to reach your gear fastest, which is of the utmost importance for wildlife photographers, event photographers and photojournalists. If your gear is stuck in a backpack, it’s going to take you precious time to reach it. If it’s in your shoulder bag, it won’t take longer than a moment.
Shoulder bags are also way more appropriate for working in crowds because they take up less space and are constantly in eyesight so you don’t need to worry about any of your gear being lifted off of you.
Depending upon the type of shoulder bag you get, you should also be able to hold a decent amount of gear in it.
But, you won’t be able to carry as much gear as you would be able to with a backpack and, if you’re planning on a long day of shooting, shoulder bags may make you uncomfortable by the end of the day because it will slide around on your shoulder.
Now, let me tell you why the Holdfast Sightseer Camera & Lens Modular System should be one of your camera bag options.
This system is a modular camera bag. It’s large enough for you to be able to carry your 13” MacBook either inside or outside of the bag. It comes with 3 interior pockets for batteries or memory cards, and top entry so you can access your gear as quickly as possible.
Like the Holdfast Sightseer Backpack, this system is made of waxed canvas and leather and is lined with flannel fleece.
If you think this camera shoulder bag may be more your style, Holdfast is currently selling this edition for $495.
All photos by Brandon Burk