I have received many questions about camera bags over the past few weeks – and one of them keeps coming up – “What is the best camera bag for my compact system camera?“
The short answer is, “It depends.“
What I have found out over many years (and purchasing dozens of bags) is that there is no perfect bag, but there are bags that are perfect for specific applications. Compact system cameras are fantastic as they can dramatically reduce the weight and size of your camera kit whilst maintaining high image quality. And of course, every photographer would like to store their gear in a suitable bag.
There are literally hundreds of camera bags on the market these days and choosing one that is right for you can get somewhat confusing. My goal with this article is to give you a list of bag recommendations – and what you ultimately choose depends on how large your kit is and whether or not you wish to transport a laptop computer as well. I am partial to Think Tank bags and as such, I will recommend the following:
If you have a kit consisting of a camera body and 3-4 lenses (plus accessories) and are looking for a basic, yet functional bag, then I recommend the Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney – it is perfect for the minimalist. It will comfortably store your items plus it can be worn on your shoulder (with the included strap) or on your waist (using Think Tank’s belt system). At about $US 50.00, it is an inexpensive way to transport a compact system camera and lenses. You will not be able to store a laptop or tablet computer in this bag.
If you are looking to transport a camera body and 3-4 lenses (same as above) but in a more stylish bag, my personal favourite is the Think Tank Retrospective 5. It is beautifully made and simply gorgeous to look at – plus it was designed specifically for compact system cameras and lenses. Of course it costs more (about $US 140.00) but IMHO, it is worth it. If you can get to see one in person, do it – I think you will like it.
You will not be able to store a laptop in this bag, however, a 7 inch tablet (like a Samsung Galaxy) will fit in the front pocket.
If you want to carry multiple camera bodies, 3-5 lenses (depending on their size), an 11 inch Macbook Air plus accessories, look no further than the the Think Tank Retrospective 7. It is one of the newest additions to Think Tank’s product line and like the other bags in the Retrospective series, it is absolutely gorgeous. Since I always travel with my Macbook Air, this has become my main bag for use with my Fujifilm X100 and X-Pro1 system.
The bag is not bulky at all, so for those times around town when I don’t need my computer, I will still use this bag. Of course, if you wish to carry an iPad (or similar sized tablet computer) instead of a laptop, this bag can easily accommodate it.
If you wish to transport the same amount of gear as the Retrospective 7, but want to take a larger 13 inch laptop computer too, then the Think Tank Urban Disguise 35 is the bag for you. It does not look like a camera bag (like the Retrospective series) and it is very comfortable to wear. In fact, I used this bag a few months ago during an assignment to China and I was very happy with it.
There you have it… a few camera bag recommendations for compact system cameras. Of course, there are also many other bags on the market and these are my favourite. If you have any other bag recommendations that you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment.
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