What you put your camera in is vital for it to be safe and secure. Duncan Evans looks at one that offers old school charm for your modern marvel.
The Hadley features a loop and buckle front strap.
A camera bag isn't usually the most fashionable thing to cart around over your shoulder, but the new Hadley Digital from Billingham aims to put that straight, albeit in a tweeds and gundog stylee. Yes, this is a retro-style camera bag that purports to carry your digital SLR and a lens in comfort. Except it doesn't. The Pentax *st DL with a 18-55mm wide angle zoom is hardly a big SLR and that doesn't fit in properly – it causes a bulge in the side. If your intention is to draw admiring stares from the ladies who might ask if that's a digital SLR in there or are you just glad to see them, then you'll succeed. Otherwise, you'll simply bang it against things. Obviously anything with a telephoto lens wont go in, but neither would my D200 with a wide angle lens either. Really, you're talking about either something with a small footprint like an Olympus E-400, or a large compact/prosumer camera. And an apple. Yes, it does look like a 1950s public schoolboy's satchel.
There's only really room for a small DSLR or a compact and an apple.
The retro look comes in a range of brown/green shades with an army-issue shoulder strap. At least the buckles are solid and well made. On the front you can either unloop the restraining strap or unbuckle it. Inside there's two internal dividers with velcro – not needed if you can actually fit your SLR in there, but otherwise, good for dividing the compact from the sandwhiches. There's an internal, padded separator that folds over the top of the camera compartment, but crucially, it doesn't have a velcro tab so it just flaps about. If the bag comes open and is tilted over, the interior lid does nothing to stop the valuable contents heading for the concrete like digital lemmings.
Finally, there's a front compartment, ostensibly for batteries and memory cards, but it doesn't come with any webbing, so your batteries will be left to fight it out with the cards, like kids on a school bus. By the time you get to the destination, the 5th year batteries are likely to have pummelled the first year memory cards.
Old school charm, but with a modern price tag.
- Internal dimensions: 19cm x 18cm x 11cm
- Shoulder strap
- Metal buckles
- Two internal dividers
- Padded internal lid
- Front compartment
- Buckle or loop fastening
At a penny under £75, what you're talking about here is a triumph of styling over functionality. And that's if you actually want your state of the art digital SLR to be carried around in something so middle-class you're consciously inviting the unwashed proletariat to come and have a look. It even smells like a 1950s department store. Fine, for the compact user with a large house in the country, otherwise, perhaps not.
Too small for a DSLR
Internal lid doesn't fix down
Front compartment not suitable
Retriever dog not included in price