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the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

Generally speaking,

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.

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

Rolling a case

The differences

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.

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

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.

Features

Crush, Dust, and Waterproof
Polyurethane wheels
Lifetime warranty
Dimensions: 52.1 x 28.7 x 19.1cm (55.9cm 35.6cm 22.9cm)
Weight: 5kg
Airline check-in approved
Available in seven different colors

Camera Accessibility

The lid opens up to a systematic, well organized 52.1 x 28.7 x 19.1cm compartment for your gear, protected by Nanuks locking and latching system.

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

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/)

Features:

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

Camera Accessibility

I can already picture myself rolling this bag around with a huge smile on my face, popping it open and instantly seeing everything I brought.

BONUS SECTION - THE CAMERA CART

A good camera cart is fully collapsible, fully adjustable and tool-free. It folds down to a compact size that fits in the car, with wheels tucked inside. A camera cart serves not only as the monster truck that moves your gear, it’s simultaneously a holding for your crew and a visible spot on location or set.

A cart safely transports your material to your work location, on arrival it provides a working-height, clean workspace which, after the shoot, folds up nicely into your car. It’s rumored that some seasoned users are able to set it up in under 60 seconds (link: https://youtu.be/1cJRe0pDjUE ).

Even when packed with a 120cm slider, as a camera assistant I’ve been able to wheel these Gargantuas into most tight spaces and elevators, transporting my gear to the upper floors.

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

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.

Features:

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

Camera Accessibility

If I could, I’d always have a camera cart with me. The easily and clearly accessible, well organized shelves are a great and safe way to store, clean, and prep your gear. Optional, though more expensive, cart accessories make it even easier to store cables, light stands, video tripod-heads and gimbals.

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

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.

the best camera bag bang for buck - part 2

Ender

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.

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