I thought I would share my recent camera bag experience for those that may want or need something similar.
For summer, I needed an inconspicuous camera bag to carry my Canon T2i/550d w/15-85 + backup Canon G10 around SE Asia while doing my thesis research. I had several requirements for a camera bag.
- It should to be lightweight.
- I didn’t want something that looks like an obvious camera bag.
- Has to be tight against my body for when on the run - back of motorcycle taxis, hopping in and out of buses/taxis. Also safer in tight spaces.
- No noisy velcro and clanky metal buckles/hinges.
- No flaps, easy access.
- A soft liner, no abrasive nylon.
- And most importantly... the bag’s gotta be looking good enough to pass through the hip metros of Bangkok, while not marking me as a vulnerable rich westerner in the disgruntled southern provinces. (^_^)
I searched far and wide, finally coming to the conclusion that I just needed to be a little creative... or not be so stinking picky ; ) A while back, I purchased the very nice and lightweight Tom Bihn Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in Dynamo Steel, but really hadn’t found much of a use for it since I use the Medium Cafe Bag most of the time. So I decided this would make the perfect shell, now I just needed to find the ideal insert. After searching here and there for several weeks, I found a padded insert that was spot-on perfect for dimensions, and met every-other requirement above. The only problem was that it’s pretty expensive (made in England). Ah, but I got lucky and found a used one off Craigslist, and off I go ✈✈✈✈
The insert is called the Billingham Small Hadley Insert, I’m pretty sure B&H Photo as well as others carry it. The quality is excellent and fit’s into the Tom Bihn PCS Bag like they were made for each other. Overall, I think the combination is a complete success!
Here’s a few photos -