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How To Choose The Ideal Camera Bag: 4 Simple But Essential Questions Answered

Here are a few things you need to consider the next time you're buying a camera bag which includes what you'll be using it for, what kit you'll be carrying and what type of photography you enjoy.

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How To Choose The Ideal Camera Bag: 4 Simple But Essential Questions Answered : Crumpler bags


When it comes to picking a bag to carry your camera and other bits of kit around in, it can take a while to come to a final decision as there's plenty of top brands and styles to choose from. Some photographers will have a go-to bag for all occasions while others will choose to have a few different designs that have different uses.

To help you decide what camera bag is perfect for you, we've put together a few tips on what to look out for and we'll also be asking questions you'll probably be thinking about next time you're shopping for a camera bag.

1. What Type Of Photography Do You Enjoy?

By thinking about the above question, you should be able to narrow down your choices. For example, a landscape photographer will find a backpack style more appropriate than a shoulder bag but someone who travels on planes a lot may want a roller case they can use as hand luggage but will pack a smaller bag inside it which they can use when they arrive at their destination. 


2. What Will You Be Carrying?

For the majority of shooters, it's important to keep the weight of your bag to a minimum, even more so if you're heading off on a long walk in a National Park. A Body and two or three good all-around lenses should be fine for most but if you do need to carry more, make sure there's plenty of dividers in your bag to keep your gear snug and safe. Look for pockets that are easy to access so you can quickly grab memory cards, spare batteries etc. and a tablet/laptop pocket is a feature more and more of us are needing in our camera bags, too. 



How To Choose The Ideal Camera Bag: 4 Simple But Essential Questions Answered : Cullmann bag


3. How Quickly Will You Need To Access Gear? 

A good camera bag will allow you to access your camera gear quickly and easily. If you're shooting in busy locations where you don't want to have your camera out around your neck constantly, such as in popular tourist locations or in towns and cities, a sling design may be better than a rucksack as they're easier to swing around to your front so you can access equipment without removing your bag. Shoulder bags can also be accessed easily while on the move but do take care not to overload this style of bag if carrying it on one shoulder.


How To Choose The Ideal Camera Bag: 4 Simple But Essential Questions Answered : Billingham shoulder bag



4. What Features Should You Look Out For?


1. Comfort

No matter what your planned shoot for the day is, be it a long photo walk or a short trip to the local park, your camera bag needs to be comfortable as you don't want to injure yourself and if something's annoying you, it can distract you from your photography as well as irritate you. If possible, try your bag out before you buy it to test where straps sit etc. 


2. Material 

You want your bag to last so look for models made from hard-wearing fabrics and pay attention to how the bag is sealed. Waterproof covers can be very useful and many bags now come with them built-in. It's also important to pay attention to small details such as zippers as plastic ones can be less durable than those made from metal.


How To Choose The Ideal Camera Bag: 4 Simple But Essential Questions Answered : Cullmann bag


3. Internal Dividers 

Having a bag that allows you to customise the interior will give you more flexibility when it comes to the gear you carry and how you carry it. Some bags feature inserts that can be removed when not needed, giving the user a bag that reverts to everyday use which is useful when travelling on planes when weight is limited so taking two bags may not be an option. 


4. Protection

Your bag doesn't want too much padding so it's bulky but you do want to make sure there's enough to provide protection for your gear in the right places. Make sure you pay attention to the bottom of the bag to see if feet or a protective layer are provided. 

For more information on camera bags, take a look at ePHOTOzine's guide to camera bag types

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steveb127 Avatar
steveb127 5 1 United Kingdom
2 May 2020 10:09AM
The '0' question - 'What's my realistic budget'.

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