Choosing the Right Camera Bag

It’s Columbus Day in the USA but it’s Thanksgiving Day to all our Canadian friends, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year.

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

When a photographer travels or goes on a location shoot, they need to start packing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re slinging gear into the back of a Land Rover or a baggage handler is stuffing it inside a Airbus, you need bags and cases must protect your gear but what else do you need?

307-L-1Fast set-up. Upon arriving at the location, it’s critical that you easily and conveniently be able to get to everything inside inside the case.

Comfort. Make sure the bag is comfortable when packed. Ergonomic carrying options, such as handles and harnesses, can reduce fatigue when carrying lots of gear. One of the most overlooked features is the shoulder strap. Many are designed to look good but how well do they stay on your shoulder?

Capacity. Some photographers have a habit of overloading cases. That’s why you should check to see exactly how much weight each bag can carry?  Remember you still have to be able to pick it up.

Organization. How many different ways can your case be configured? A photographer should be able to move every divider inside the case to customize the interior.

MM30iPortability. The photographer’s away-from-home base must be mobile. Maybe you need a rolling case?

Details. The decision to purchase a particular bad may boil down to the finishing details. Wedding photographers, for example, need silent zipper pulls, which are great for when everyone is listening and watertight zippers are indispensable for wet locations.

Durability. Many location photographers are hard on their cases. Think sixty pounds of gear, tossed in and out of cars, dragged up and down stairs, and flung on and off airplanes. Tip: When flying, some photographers prefer double duty by packing camera bags inside luggage or hard cases.

Access. Just remember one of Farace’s Laws is that you can never be too organized for a location shoot.