The novel photographer who gladly wears their newest and best camera around their neck may take a little while to realise it, but a camera bag comes in very handy somewhere down the line, along the path to developing your photography craft. Not only does it make all your gear easier to carry around, but it also offers the required protection for your camera, particularly for some of those sensitive parts such as the integrated lens or any additional lenses you may keep for use in specific scenarios.
So how do you pick out the right camera bag then?
Four general consideration factors come to mind to set you along your way as it can make for a rather challenging set of factors to weigh-up against each other, which will often be the case (weighing the features up against each other) as you’ll come to notice. These general consideration factors include size, type, functionality and extensibility.
In addition to one or more of the different types of cameras you might want to carry in your camera bag, you’ll definitely want to fit all your other equipment in, such as a flashgun, tripod, additional specialised lenses, etc. Just because it’s called a ‘camera bag’ that doesn’t mean it’s designed only for your camera. So that brings into focus the size of the camera bag as size does indeed matter. All you really want is to be able to fit everything in securely so that all the equipment is protected in addition to all of it having a place, so if for instance you’re busy shooting some photographs with the very camera that was in the bag with all the other equipment, you’ll want the other equipment to still fit snugly and securely.
That’s why camera bags are rather specialised and even though their design profile may resemble those of other ordinary types of bags, it’s how specialised it is to handle camera equipment that counts. So a camera bag that looks like a regular backpack for instance may have less space inside because of all the compartments and attachments which are perhaps built-into the design to hold specialised equipment.
So I’ve already touched on a backpack type design for a camera bag and this is what it says on the tin – a backpack to house your camera and your other equipment. This is great for landscape photographers and the likes because it offers great comfort for carrying your equipment over long distances. The other type of camera bag is that of a shoulder bag, which offers quicker access to your gear and is preferred by current-affairs type photographers who need to capture some fast moving action.
Functionality and Extensibility
As far as functionality and extensibility go, this simply refers to any special features you might require of your camera bag, such as perhaps a waterproof cover, split compartments to house specialised equipment, tripod attachments that are situated on the outside of the bag or perhaps even a hybrid camera bag which is a cross between a shoulder camera bag and a camera equipment backpack.