The quest for the perfect camera bag can be a tough one. You start with one bag, then you gradually buy more gear or change the old one and you start running out of space. Assignments change and the bag you had before is no longer suited for the current shooting conditions. Let’s not forget that sadly camera bags get stolen along with their contents.
The point is that buying a camera bag is a pretty important investment and you need to know some facts before you go shopping.
Right from the beginning you should make an evaluation of how much gear you have, what future investments you’re going to make and if there’s anything you plan on selling. Don’t buy a camera bag that fits only your current needs. If you’re going to buy a second body, another lens or a second flash, it should fit in the new bag.
They come in all shapes and sizes and this too is a very important decision. Are you more interested in backpacks, slings or shoulder bags? This is all depends on your requirements that are directly related to your shooting style. If you spend a lot of time on the streets and need to have your camera within reach, then a messenger bag is probably one of the best options. If you have to carry a lot of heavy stuff, they healthy way to do it is in a backpack.
You also have to consider your working conditions. If your work takes place in a studio or indoor location, you’re probably safe using a bag made of standard materials. Needless to say that if you’re going on a two week trip through the Amazon rainforest you’re going to need something that can take a lot abuse from the elements.
If your assignments are international and you spend a lot of time in airports, a solid, reliable case than can protect your gear is what you want.
Some photographers care a lot about style or they simply don’t want their bag to scream “I’ve got a Nikon/Canon in here!” Discretion can be achieved with a special kind of bags that have the appearance of normal messenger bag or purse, but everything inside is standard camera bag material. They might be a little more expensive, but they probably won’t attract as much attention.
It’s also a good idea to think about the other, non-camera gear stuff that you need to carry. Laptops, tablets, phones and other personal items should fit in your bag, so make sure you a have a checklist with all the items that need to fit inside.
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