You might have spent a pretty penny on your prized possession which is the camera you use to shoot your professional or leisure pics, and while all new photography enthusiasts go through what seems to be an extended honeymoon period during which you’d be happy to carry your camera around your neck, at some point you’ll need to start thinking seriously about investing in a camera bag. The amount of equipment you have tends to expand rather rapidly as you begin to hone your skills and explore the many growth opportunities that come with your pursuing your craft.
So what should you look out for if you’ve already arrived at that stage where you feel you need to invest in a camera bag to fit all your equipment in?
I specifically mentioned comfort first because that’s pretty much what’s going to determine what your choices are going to be with the remainder of the features one would look for in a camera bag. At the end of the day, your camera bag has to complete its primary function of helping you carry your camera or cameras around if you have more than one perhaps, as well as all the other equipment you might need to take along, such as a tripod or extra lenses perhaps. If you cannot carry all of this around comfortably, you’ll inevitably cut any photography field trip short and not get the full value you might have been aiming for.
So the features which contribute to the comfort of the camera bag would encompass properties such as the size of the bag to a certain degree, but definitely considerations such as the design of the bag, i.e. a shoulder bag or a backpack.
Naturally a backpack would make for the most comfortable manner in which you carry your camera and other photography equipment, but not just any backpack will do. It would have to be a specialised backpack which is specifically designed to carry photography equipment, with some common specialised camera-equipment backpacks distributing some of the weight to your hips in addition to your shoulders. Landscape photographers would perhaps go for backpacks as a day out photographing landscapes is exactly that – a nice long day out during which you’re not worried about things like accessing your gear quickly, which is something a backpack doesn’t really allow you to do.
That’s where the alternative of a shoulder sling camera bag comes into play in that this type of camera bag allows you to access your gear much quicker so if you’re a photographer who’s more interested in capturing current affairs and documentary-type scenes, a shoulder sling camera bag is perhaps the best option for you.
The size issue comes back into focus again because you do indeed want to be able to fit all your equipment in. That’s where it becomes important to not just look for the biggest bag which you think will fit all the equipment you might add in future, in addition to all the equipment you have right now. Go as specialised as possible, perhaps with a camera bag specifically designed to house the specialised equipment of a particular type of photographer.