Kata always bring bags out that look as though they've really thought about it for a long time. ePHOTOzine is excited to know what this one offers.
Kata PR-460 GDC: Specification
Kata PR-460 GDC: Features
- Height: 28cm
- Length: 52cm
- Width: 28cm
- Internal height: 25cm
- Internal length: 34cm
- Internal width: 16cm
- Weight: 1.5kg
- Material: Canvas
Looking like any other shoulder bag from the outside, it's not until you get in a little closer that you start to see the subtle changes in design on the PR-460 such as the single off centre clasp and zip top sunroof for quick access to your gear.
There are two large pouches on each end of the bag, one with a yellow inside and one without which is also not padded. The idea behind the padded one is that if you need to you could stick an extra camera body in it if you need to. Two pouches also adorn the front of the bag and one has a waterproof lining with a pull cord for closing tight to keep the rain out while the other has a simple velcro tab coming over it to keep it shut. Not very security conscious but the main flap will cover over this while you're out and about. The non-waterproof pocket also has a small cord with a clip on the end for fastening keys to.
Internally, you can find storage towards the rear for a 15in laptop while Kata say the main compartment will fit 2-3 DSLR bodies and 4-5 lenses up to 300mm. There are plenty of dividers for changing the layout to suit your own gear and one thing I find a good idea is that the whole padded internal compartment can be removed if you don't want to use it for carrying photographic gear.
To make the bag a little more desirable to look at, the TST (Thermo-Shield Technology) has been added to the insert so you still get the protection of the shock absorbing material but without the ribbed plastic design.
Even the strap has been redesigned for the PR series and has a new shoulder pad which has been designed for more comfort. The strap has clips to attach to the bag and also has slits for threading the strap through if you prefer that type of connectivity. If you don't want that or if you're taking it on an airplane, you can attach it to a trolley for wheeling along the floor.
A waterproof cover has been included for extreme weather and has black on one side and silver on the other. The idea behind it is that the silver side is used in the sun to reflect light and heat keeping your gear cooler. It can also be used as a reflector if you're on a location shoot.
Kata PR-460 GDC: Performance
To test the portability of the Kate PR-460 I took it on a press trip to Berlin for the Olympus E-P1 launch. It had to be able to hold everything from lenses to clothes and I have to say that it managed it. It's not really designed for carrying clothes but I think it shows the diversity of the bag that it can adapt to carry all sorts of things.
I found the pouches were easily accessible at all times so I kept my passport in the waterproof pocket until I left the bag at airport check-in. Kata say that the PR-460 complies with most airline's regulations for carry-on bags. I don't doubt that it was small enough to fit in the overhead storage but I checked it into the hold anyway for my own comfort and I was confident that that the bag was padded enough to keep my lens safe.
After getting to Berlin, the bag was feeling really heavy on my shoulder and when I checked, the new strap that's designed for comfort had left red blood blisters on my shoulder.
Kata PR-460 GDC: Verdict
I think this is a bag for the photo reporter that works from a car or hangs around a lot waiting for a photo opportunity. I don't think that it would work on long distance trips like the one I went on or if you're doing a lot of walking.
Taking the bag to and from a car or on a short walking exercise would be perfect. There's no denying the flexibility and quality of workmanship that has been put into its construction despite the damage it caused me.
Get the strap sorted out and it could be a winner.
Kata PR-460 GDC: Plus points
Fits a massive camera system inside
Kata PR-460 GDC: Minus points
Can get obtrusive
Strap padding left marks on skin
The Kata PR-460 costs around £140 and is available from Warehouse Express here:
Kata PR-460 GDC bag