Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Introduction to Camera Bags

Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera or DSLR camera and a half dozen lenses, you’re probably looking at camera bags to protect your gear. Part of the reason is because the camera bags that are included with most cameras are notoriously flimsy or aren’t practical for daily use. Fortunately you can order a camera bag that suits your needs and fits your price range if you know which type of bag will fit your equipment and your lifestyle. Belt Pack Camera Bags attach around the waist with a padded belt and usually feature a simple snap-lock for easy removal. These bags are generally large enough to hold your camera plus a few lenses, a memory chip and perhaps a flash. If you’ll be moving around a lot, a belt pack bag can be very handy for keeping your camera within reach and ready to use. You’ll also be able to easily get to any of your gear without having to dig down into the bag since belt pack camera bags are usually fairly shallow. The main drawback is the same thing that makes it handy – the fact that it sits at your waist. If you’re leaning forward or want to sit down, the belt pack can be cumbersome and get in your way. Holster Camera Bags are very popular with photographers who want to streamline what they’re carrying. These generally hold a camera, some extra batteries and perhaps a few other small accessories. These fasten on as a shoulder harness, which gives you easy access without the camera bag blocking the front of you in any way. If you’ll be hiking or climbing, these camera bags give you full range of motion and don’t interfere with the use of your arms in front of your body. If you want to carry extra lenses and an external flash, a holster bag will probably be too small. You’re sacrificing some storage room for comfort and ease of use with a holster bag. Shoulder Camera Bags are simply slung over the shoulder with a wide strap. You’ll find an amazing array of sizes and styles when you shop for shoulder camera bags. These can hold a couple of cameras, some extra lenses and memory chips. Depending on the size, you can even fit a tripod into some shoulder bags. If you need to maintain your balance, though, shoulder strap camera bags can be clumsy. You’re carrying all of your gear weight on one side, and it can slide down your arm if you aren’t careful. You also have to be vigilant when setting your camera bag down, which you’ll have to do any time you want to open it up to get your gear out. Backpack Camera Bags are by far the largest and most versatile style of camera bags. These give you maximum capacity for hauling multiple cameras, lenses, a tripod and even a laptop computer if needed. Backpack camera bags are also the most comfortable style because they distribute the weight of your gear evenly across both shoulders and your back. Most feature generously padded shoulder straps and some also have a belt for stabilizing the load at your waist. If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking or climbing, you’ll like the way these camera bags keep your hands free. Look for styles that open from the side or bottom instead of the top for easy access if you don’t want to have to take it on and off very often. Sling-Bag Camera Bags are a variation on the typical backpack bag. It usually opens from the side and has a single strap that goes diagonally across your body from one shoulder to the opposite hip. These give you quicker, easier access to your gear at a moment’s notice, but they aren’t quite as comfortable as a standard backpack style. You may want to try a few different styles of camera bags before you purchase one to see which style best fits your needs. Take into consideration how much you’ll be moving, the positions you’ll be in and how much gear you need to carry to narrow your choices down to a few great camera bags. Buy the one that gives you the most value and versatility for your money.

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