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Monday, February 23, 2009

Toolbox: Camera Bags

Protect your gear and carry it in comfort with the latest trends & technology in bag design

Labels: Cameras

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Camera-bag makers never run out of new ideas, and that’s fortunate because the way we shoot—and the gear we carry—is changing in the digital age. Twenty-first-century travel restrictions, coupled with an increasing amount of gear (film photographers didn’t need laptops) have spurred a gradual evolution of the traditional camera pack. Popular trends currently lean toward comfortable but roomy backpacks and camera bags that don’t look like camera bags.

All camera bags, backpacks, waist packs and rolling bags differ in the way that they blend six essential characteristics: protection, accessibility, comfort, durability, capacity and cosmetics. There’s a perfect bag for every purpose. The most sensible option is to own more than one style and to match the bag to the situation.

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Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home
Crumpler’s Million Dollar Home Series of under-the-radar camera bags are practical, fashionable and highly functional. They come in seven sizes (up to the 7 Million Dollar Home) and a striking array of contemporary color schemes. All bags are fully padded and feature configurable dividers. The 6 Million Dollar Home measures about 12.5x9.5x7 inches and will comfortably carry an SLR the size of a Canon EOS 50D with zoom, plus two more lenses. List Price: Starts at $25.
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Kata 3N1 Sling/Backpack

The name says it all: The Kata 3N1 Sling/Backpack is truly three-in-one. It’s the first bag on the market that can be configured as a backpack, left-handed sling pack or right-handed sling pack. Photographers no longer must choose between the comfort of a backpack and the quick-draw accessibility of a sling. With the Kata 3N1, you have all three carrying options, and for lefties (and left-eyed, right-handed photographers), the 3N1 is the solution to an ergonomic nightmare. The Kata 3N1 will carry your SLR with a long zoom attached and up to six additional lenses, depending on bag model. The larger two (models 20 and 30) can be attached to a rolling suitcase handle for added versatility. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $79.

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Lowepro Classified AW
When you want to keep your photography profile on the down-low, wear a Lowepro Classified AW. The Classified series of shoulder bags helps conceal your gear with a discreet, slim shape and a subdued yet luxurious appearance. Available in four configurations, ranging from the petite Classified 140 AW (interior dimensions 6.5x6.3x8.9 inches) to the full-sized Classified 250 AW (15x6.3x11 inches), all models feature premium appointments, including leather handles, padded shoulder straps, a removable memory card wallet and a built-in microfiber cloth to protect your camera’s LCD screen. The 250 includes a padded compartment that will hold most 15-inch widescreen notebook PCs. The AW stands for All Weather—Lowepro’s patented All Weather cover, a feature we’ve all come to appreciate. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $135.
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The Parallax backpack from Mountainsmith is ideal for carrying multiple cameras and lenses securely on your shoulders. The Parallax is engineered with an alternate back panel entry to the main compartment, good for added security in the field. A great traveling companion for photographers who regularly hike to remote locations, a tripod also can be attached to the Rapid Access tripod mount on the front. The interior is fleece-lined and padded, and the included dividers are adjustable. There’s a removable waist belt pouch for batteries and memory cards, plus a removable storm cover. The Parallax has two front pockets, including a padded laptop sleeve (12.75x10.25x2.25 inches), and the straps are adjustable and contoured for a comfortable journey. The Parallax is available in black or gray. Estimated Street Price: $169.


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