Recently, J and I both got new camera bags (him for his birthday and me for Christmas) and we've now tested them out during international trips. It takes me a while to decide if a bag works for me, particularly when traveling internationally. Now that we've both had time to take our bags for a spin I thought that we'd share our opinions in case you are looking to purchase a new camera bag for yourself. I've listed our gear below so you can see if your equipment would fit into either of these bags.
J: Nikon D-200, Roillei (film camera)
Me: iPhone 3 (I think?), GoPro Hero, Olympus Pen Mini
J: J’s old LowPro bag was slowly on the way out as the zipper started to break, so I decided a new bag would be a perfect gift. I thought about going with the same bag he used to have, but selfishly decided to pick him out a slightly larger bag, so that I wouldn’t have to carry his extra cameras or a book (a frequent occurrence). After much back and forth I decided on LowPro Passport Sling because of its great reviews and its large but not huge size. The bag has a shock-resistent insert that fits his Nikon and plentiful outer pockets to fit an umbrella or a waterbottle. J likes that it doesn’t scream camera bag and that he is able to easily access his cameras.
Me: I’ve never really been one for a proper camera bag. I always just throw my camera gear into whatever bag I happen to be carrying and go. My parents absolutely kept this in mind when they gave me a Pompidoo bag. It has a padded compartment to keep my Olympus safe, space for my other cameras and a few other items (e.g., a wallet, change purse, lipstick, keys), and even has a little lock and key in case theft is a concern. I find the bag very comfortable and practical to carry, though I do wish it was bigger so that I could fit a book (a travel essential for me). My other critique is that the strap is too long for me, and I wish it was adjustable so I could create the perfect fit.
What do you look for in a camera bag?