the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2
the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2
cases fit loads more than backpacks, and tend to keep your gear super safe. Tunisian Air dropped my case while loading it on the plane, as I watched from afar when it fell off the belt. The corner of my case is still chipped as of today, but fortunately there was no damage on the Zeiss CP2 lens set that was safely stored inside it, so it did its job.
Rolling a case
The two most obvious differences between backpacks and (flight)cases are the outer material and the way you transport the gear. Rolling a case in an airport is amazing, and saves the weight on your shoulders. But when you have to wander some less than well-paved streets, a different carry solution might be preferable. Some brands feature backpack straps for their rollers, which in certain situations can be amazing. You don’t want to be carrying 50kg of gear over a 2km beach front.
7 Nanuk 935
Wheeled Protective Case | €259 / $224
Nanuk (pronounced na-nuuk) builds its cases for unforgiving environments, protecting your essentials while on set, or underway. Their cases have increased in popularity whilst facing fierce competition from the likes of PeliCase. Nanuk seems to be having the upper hand when it comes to camera cases, with broad colorways, inserts and custom options.
Crush, Dust, and Waterproof
Dimensions: 52.1 x 28.7 x 19.1cm (55.9cm 35.6cm 22.9cm)
Airline check-in approved
Available in seven different colors
8 Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader
Switch-55 Backpack/Roller | €419 / $429
My first tripod was a Manfrotto, a 055XPROB that I thought about replacing often, but never seemed to. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know Manfrotto as a reliable supplier of, well, almost any camera accessory I can think of. I might have been hesitant about an ‘accessory manufacturer’ making a backpack, but I could not have been more wrong.
I always dreamed of a way to comfortably carry my flight cases, and Manfrotto delivers with this hybrid system. The Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55 is a well designed rolling backpack hybrid, with added features you’d expect from a roller / case. It comfortably fits two camera bodies alongside a wide variety of accessories, lenses, batteries, etc. In addition, you can store a 15-inch laptop and a tablet.
Want to jump to the full review we did before? Click here (link: https://www.diyphotography.net/i-found-the-perfect-roller-backpack-hybrid-the-manfrotto-reloader-pro-switch-55/)
2-in-1 roller bag plus camera backpack hybrid
Strong, lightweight construction for lasting performance
Internal dimensions: 32 x 18 x 47 cm (external: 35.5 x 23 x 55 cm)
Weight: 4 kg
Fits international carry-on sizes
9 Bonus item
Adicam Standard Camera Cart €1100 $1200
The Adicam might be a lesser known player in the camera cart world, but it definitely earned its stripes over the past few years in the capable hands of many aspiring content creators. These carts are compact, movable and fully customizable workplaces on location. If you have the right car, it drives right in without even folding it. Its fair weight of 38 kilogram might not sound inviting, but what if I tell you that you can carry up to 200kg of gear on it? I did once haul 80kg in a camera backpack, but will never repeat that stunt.
Foldable double-deck model
Lightweight aluminum (38kg, without accessories)
Capacity of max 200kg
Folded cart dimensions: 175mm x 630mm x 1045mm
Assembled cart dimensions: height 1025mm x width 630mm x length 1045mm
9″ Pneumatic wheels with two brakes
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND
When shopping a bag
No matter if it's your first, second or potentially the next bag you buy, it won't be an easy pick. But here are some things you might want to ask yourself to help with this decision:
* What do I want to bring - what does it need to fit, and, if this changes from day to day, should my bag be able to change with it?
* In which situations / conditions do I want to bring my bag - all weather, plane, or mostly in the back of the car?
* What am I willing to spend? - a lot of bags come with 10, 20 or even a lifetime warranty. Is this something that interests you, does this make it easier to go for a slightly more expensive option? This falls together with “how long do I want my bag to last?”
* How are the ergonomics? Maybe the most important of them all; please go to a store or maybe a friend who has the bag you’re looking for, and try it on. I've seen stores where they have actual camera-plus-accessories size weights so you can try on the bag with some weight in it. Another, more straightforward option is to bring your gear to a store, and check if it all fits.
* What will my future bring? No, I don’t mean “will I be pretty, will I be rich?”, but if you’re on the verge of getting a decently sized, heavy tripod or looking to expand your lens set, it might be wise to think of the future when shopping for a bag.
* How often will I use it - this seems silly, but a studio based photographer might not need a 60L outdoor camera backpack, and they might be happy with a trolley and a daypack. Consider the type of shoots you’ll be doing in the foreseeable future and think, does this bag have the features I need for that? Will you bring the same bag for a weekend trip abroad? If so, you might consider something customizable.
* Does it come with a Camera Cube / ICU or will I have to buy one separately? Having to purchase optional—but very much needed—parts for your bag can get expensive quite fast. Make sure to check out if the bag comes with a raincover, and see what a camera cube might set you back. Being able to get yourself a secondary cube for, say, flash accessories, next to one with, say, a drone kit might be amazing though, and save you a lot of hassle on repacking your bag.
* Accessibility is a thing to consider. If you’re just moving your stuff from A to B, you don’t need quick camera access. If you’re just going from your house to the car to the studio, you might not need a handy H2O bladder or IcePick mounts.
A happy creator
No two photographers nor gear-needs are the same. I’m happy to see a lot of different options in backpacks across the field, both in terms of specs, colorways and even environmental choices. Though the market seems saturated in carry solutions, there are always companies who come up with amazing new features, designs and innovations.
Getting a bag that suits your creative needs will make you a happy creator. When I secured my first serious gig, I got myself a brand new hard-case, which was a horrible thing to lug to the other side of an unknown city, by foot. Knowing what gear to bring, and what to leave at home is a whole other skill.