I have a Canon Digital Rebel SLR (an old guy, the original) that I absolutely love... but it's so heavy. I might have a low tolerance or something, but I just feel like I'm so weighted down by it and bag straps cut into my shoulders. I was hoping to be able to take just my little point and shoot on my trip to Spain, but while it does great outside, I am probably going to be doing a lot of shots inside without the flash (palaces, churches), and the Rebel blows it out of the water for that.
Is there a bag out there that will be easy to carry, padded so that it doesn't kill my shoulder, and easy to get the camera in and out of (that's important). I'm also worried about thieves, I see a lot of talk about that. How do you protect your camera when you have it out all the time taking pictures?
Edited to say: I bought a bag for my Italy trip a couple years ago that was touted as being the most secure bag ever... it had all these security features including steel cable in the strap so a thief couldn't cut, but the bag was heavy even empty, so with the camera it was unbearable.
This is a really tough topic because bags and straps are very much personal choices. I can tell you what I do and what I think but that's about as far as I can take it.
First, my philosophy on camera carrying and security as a pro who has been through 43 countries on 5 continents. I carry over $15K us worth of camera equipment with me on every trip I take. I obviously take security very seriously. A) Insure your equipment so that you don't have to worry too much about it. B) I only stay at safe hotels and never leave my gear sitting around in a hostel C) When out in town or shooting during a day I carry one camera and one or two lenses with me and leave the remainder of my gear in my safe room. C) Always be aware of people around you so that you know what is happening around you D) I use an across body camera strap which is tough to cut and impossible to snatch off my body (more about that in a second) E) I never carry a camera over one shoulder, in one hand or over my neck.
In my case I use a large camera bag that I use as a plane carry on and as a backpack. When traveling by train I always have at least one body part wrapped through the carry straps at all times. The pack I used can carry two camera bodies and up to six lenses. This will be overkill for you but the bag I use can be looked at here: Moose Peterson MP-3c
As I said above, I don't carry a whole bag of gear with me unless absolutely necessary. Instead I carry my camera on an aftermarket, across body strap that is well padded. My Nikon D700 with batter grip and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lense weighs more than 10 pounds and is very heavy after a whole day of carrying it around. I've found this strap is easy to use and allows me to take my hands off the camera while leaving tha camera securely wrapped around my body. Black Rapid Strap
The camera bag is overkill for you but the strap may help you our considerably. Check out the website and watch the videos.
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we've found our Katabag quite handy. we bought one of the newer versions that has a pocket for our laptop!! has room for our camera, 4 extra lenses, and has a compartment on the top for extras (wallet, extra batteries, passports, etc). there are different sizes though.
forgot to mention, the reason Scott likes the bag so much is the versatility with the straps, you can move them around so it's a regular backpack, or so it has a strap that slings across your body, and works well to put in front of your body to access equipment without taking the bag off your body. not sure about how the straps are enforced, but I know that there are sort of pockets that the straps tuck into so they aren't easily acccessible.
Kata bags website
Thanks for the input, I will check those out...
Hey Scott and Kristy,
Just checked out the Kata website and am very impressed indeed... Which model do you have/recommend? Also do you feel it's secure enough when it's all on your back (against thieves)?
I've currently just got a Quicksilver Skateboard/Laptop backpack, which also has a huge internal compartment. This I fill with all the separate camera/lens cases, so is a complete Pain to get into. All the zips are capable of being locked though, so it's suits me for now, but it's a few years old and starting to wear out, so for our next big trip I'd like a suitable replacement.
I am using the 3N1-22, I must say its a little bulky to wear for day walks with one camera and one lens. The primary use of this bag for me at the moment is to store my electronic equipment when we travel, its very well padded and i can trust my laptop and camera is safe. If you are afraid of thievery while you are wearing it just wear it in front or to your side.
Kata bag 3N1-22
I use the Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW, it is roomy and I normally carry, the Canon 7D, and three lenses including the 70-300mm and 28-135mm both of which are big. I still have space for batteries, cables etc.
Also the bag has easy access to the camera by sliding the bag slightly to one side.
Thanks for the input everyone! At this point I think I have decided to go "custom" and have my mom make one for me! She made me a tote bag once before and I use it all the time, it's the perfect size, but it has to be carried on my shoulder, so she is going to make another one just like it with a longer strap so I can carry it across my body, and then she can pad the strap as much as I need.
having just been to europe and usa over christmas, my slr is housed in a Lowepro micro trekker. Its small enough to carry around the entire day, but being a backpack means you can carry it really comfortably as well as other things to get you through the day. Its also well padded, which was a bonus considering my son got me on some stupid log ride in Hong Kong, and needless to say we were both drowned but having my bag with me, the contents remained safe and dry 😊
Having carried cameras around the world since I was a kid, I know this is a complicated issue.
I think the most important thing is the paradox between carrying a bag that does not scream CAMERA - versus carrying a camera so it's ready at a moment's notice.
Whatever one does, the advice of being aware of one's surroundings and putting unused items in a safe is very sound advice.
I trust Kata brand of camera bags from Israel. They have hard PU padding and yellow lining inside to help you see the camera or lens in the dark. Very innovative designs too. However, on a long air travel or train journey, I prefer to carry my equipment in a Pelican case, if I have to check it in.
I like Crumpler Bags - they are solid with good padding and strong zips. The two I have has the zipper against my back instead of facing outwards so harder for other people to access when it is on my back. It is a combined camera/laptop bag and I've never had any problems with it.