Camera bag Buying Guide – 12 Weeks of Christmas

Carry your gear in comfort, without the need for a sherpa.

If you’re loved one has hinted that they are running out of room in their bag, or unable to carry all they want, then nothing could be more perfect than a new bag. You are about to enter a veritable mine field. Luckily we’re here to help, and slim down those choices.

‘I need to carry more gear.’

It’s a common one. Photographers get so excited for every shoot they must have every single piece of equipment packed. It’ll cause you no end of misery when you watch them leave almost everything in their bag, so make sure you don’t end up carrying it.

More gear means more space, more weight and the need for more support. You’ll find their are some incredibly large shoulder bags like the Tamrac Ultra Pro 13, or Tamrac Pro-bag 12, perfect if you don’t do a lot of carrying or want super quick access.

If you’re travelling or walking any great distance then the weight is going to be easier to shift in a backpack. Not all backpacks are made equal. Choose something that offers extra protection like the Lowepro Vertex 200AW, or Tamrac Adventure 9 grey, which use both chest and waist straps to keep the load stable and close.

Click to view our full range of backpacks.

‘I just want a day bag for my camera and one lens’

This is a common one, if  you buy a DSLR package with a few lenses, maybe a flash, then you soon realise that you don’t want to take it all out all the time. Holster bags solve the problem in one easy go. Big enough to carry a digital SLR and a single lens attached you’d think it’s super easy to pick one up. You’ll still need to consider a few things.

For smaller DSLR cameras, such as the Canon EOS 1100D or Nikon D5100, you can use smaller bags like the Lowepro Adventura TLZ25, or Tamrac Adventure Zoom 3. For bigger DSLRs like the Sony Alpha 77 or Nikon D800 you’ll need something with a bit more depth, something more like the Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW, or Tamrac Pro-Digital Zoom 5. If your photographer is shooting sports or wildlife photography then a holster that will accommodate a large zoom lens is in order, going for the Lowepro Toploader Zoom 55 AW, black will provide adequate room.

For a real snug fit OpTech provide some great neoprene ever-ready cases. Perfect for braving the elements these cases are effectively wetsuits for your camera.

Click to view our full range of holster cases.

‘I want something that doesn’t look like a camera bag.’

When travelling or even just going out for dinner, sometimes you don’t want to scream LOOK AT MY CAMERA. Shoulder bags are an excellent way to keep camera gear discreet by looking more like a satchel or messenger bag.

The Tamrac Rally series of bags are brilliantly made, weather resistant and quick to access, they also appear less ‘camera’ and more ‘lifestyle’. As you browse the range you’ll notice the different sizes accommodate different needs, the Tamrac Rally 2 is for smaller cameras and just a few extras whilst the Tamrac Rally 7 will offer a whole range of kit to be stored. Perfect, if you shoot from the boot of your car a lot.

Offerings from Lowepro include their Lowepro Exchange Messenger, which comes in some interesting colour ways and is definitely suited if your camera is your second thought. Try their Classified range if you’re after more city styling to your photography.

Click to view our full range of shoulder bags.

‘These are all great, but I’m a female and don’t want to carry a blokes bag!’

Here we have the Tamrac Aria series of bags. Designed for Women in an aesthetic that looks like a bag that would actually be worn by a woman. The Aria comes in 2 sizes, the Aria 3 and Aria 6 that offer a solution for nearly any amount of kit short of needing a Vivian Westwood suitcase.

The Aria 3 can hold a DSLR, extra lens and flash gun quite comfortably, just enough for those portrait sessions or getting out for some landscape shots. If you’re taking advantage of Compact System cameras then you’re going to be able to fit even more in, with some careful juggling of the insides you’ll be fitting almost everything you could possible need inside.

The Aria 6 is a bit more serious. You’ll be fitting more gear in and the added size lets you slip in an iPad or small netbook for some on-the-go downloading and editing. You’ll be able to fit bigger lenses and more accessories into this bag. If you’ve got smaller reflectors and bits and bobs, then you’ll be slipping all these in too.

Both bags come in 3 colours; a sort of camo-esque green, an autumnal brown and a pretty standard black. The finish is smooth, water-resistant, nylon fabric that does actually feel a lot like silk. The exterior is pleated and finished with a metallic clasp with only a little embroidered Tamrac logo on the front to indicate that it’s a camera bag. Both sizes come complete with zippered front pocket for your valuables and 2 side pockets that will easily fit your phone and iPod.

Click to view all our Tamrac Aria bags.

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