Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2

    Laptop/camera bag with flexibility

    Hi,

    I'm looking for the perfect laptop/camera bag. Before I say what I think would make it perfect, I'll mention some bags I've used before.

    Before I went digital and wanted to carry a laptop as well, I used first a LowePro MiniTrekker, and then a LowePro NatureTrekker AW. Once I went digital, I switched to a LowePro CompuTrekker AW. These bags all did overseas trips of 3 to 6 weeks, and served me fairly well.

    The most annoying thing about these bags is that they're more suited to the "stop for 5 minutes for a photo" person than the "stop for 10 seconds for a photo" person. It's possible to remove a camera while still walking along, but it's not convenient. (I'll leave aside the question of whether I should be stopping for more than 10 seconds for a photo.) It's almost impossible to remove the camera and change lenses without stopping and putting the bag down on something.

    As a result of this annoyance, I'm looking at moving to a belt-based system, with individual holsters and cases for cameras and lenses. (I'm thinking in particular of the Kinesis system.)

    Where does that leave the bag? Well, since I'll have individual padded cases for the camera gear, the bag no longer needs to be padded, except for the laptop. But it will need to be big enough to carry all the gear when I'm not wearing it on the belt. But when I am wearing the camera gear, the bag should be able to compress down, so it's more convenient and not so bulky. (I'll still want to carry the bag for lunch, raingear, etc., and possibly a tripod.)

    So, finally, what's this perfect bag going to look like? Strangely enough, almost exactly like a Brain Bag! The main difference is that instead of having two equal-size main compartments, the back compartment should be only just thick enough to fit a Brain Cell, and the front compartment should get the extra thickness to allow room for all the camera gear in padded cases. So instead of two compartments of about 4" each (I think that's right -- I don't have Brain Bag yet to measure!), one would be about 2", and the other 6".

    The bigger compartment would then fit cases such as the Kinesis V090 (http://kgear.com/p/V090.html), a top-loading case, as well as holster a case (http://kgear.com/c/C380C382.html) and some lens cases (http://kgear.com/e/). Of course, if Tom Bihn wanted to make his own line of cases and pouches, that would be fine as well, but the Kinesis gear is already fairly well known and liked.

    Until Tom decides to make this bag, I'm going to try the standard Brain Bag. With a size 6 Brain Cell at the bottom of the rear compartment, I think I'll just be able to fit the holster case on top, although it will be tight. And since I don't have any huge lenses needing the larger lens pouches, I should be able to fit a few small lens pouches into the front compartment. A lightweight tripod can be strapped on vertically outside.

    Anyone else like this idea? Are there requirements or drawbacks I haven't thought of?

    What do you think, Tom?

    (BTW, thanks for providing a place to make and discuss product suggestions -- I'm not even a customer yet, and I'm already feeling that my needs are being taken care of.)

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    235

    Need For a Hybrid Camera + Laptop Bag

    I know this topic came up before in another thread and since I carry my Camera + Laptop everywhere I can comfortably suggest the Super Ego as a great Hybrid contents solution.
    http://www.imagometrics.com/GoBags/TB_Sprego.htm
    It can manage the laptop plus a compact Digicam plus an accesory lens and a flash unit. The Camera rides loose for a quick grab and the extra lens( Usually a Wide-Angle) and flash are pouched. For more camera gear I really prefer a dedicated case ( I use Tamracs ) . For 10 Second Grab shots I deploy from my Maxpedition Fatboy-S Jumbo- as it can swing from rear to front quickly.I've timed myself at around 12 seconds from grab camera to compose image! For a daypack Photo solution- the Brain Bag beats all hands down IMHO.I like the two side outer pockets for lenses and as you can see, My Velbon tripod rides very happily in the center channel
    http://www.imagometrics.com/GoBags/TB_BrnBg.htm
    I've also been looking into some of the higher end Photo/Video Vests. They are pricey but may be a good alternative to waist carry rigs. It would help to know what your shooting context is- since that makes a difference.

    Link to Fatboy-S Review ( scroll to bottom for 'Jumbo' picture)
    http://www.imagometrics.com/GoBags/BB_S.htm
    Last edited by Zephyrnoid; 08-14-2006 at 11:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for your comments, Zephyrnoid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid
    I know this topic came up before in another thread and since I carry my Camera + Laptop everywhere I can comfortably suggest the Super Ego as a great Hybrid contents solution.
    I'm not a fan of messenger bags for this application, as I want the weight shared between shoulders and the waist belt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid
    For 10 Second Grab shots I deploy from my Maxpedition Fatboy-S Jumbo- as it can swing from rear to front quickly.I've timed myself at around 12 seconds from grab camera to compose image!
    That bag wouldn't be big enough for all the gear I'd want to put in it. Besides, I prefer the idea of a holster case attached to a waist belt -- I had my compact digital mounted on my belt for my last trip to Europe, and it was perfect -- accessible in about 3 seconds. Now I want something similar for my DSLR, hence the Kinesis holster and belt system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid
    For a daypack Photo solution- the Brain Bag beats all hands down IMHO.I like the two side outer pockets for lenses and as you can see, My Velbon tripod rides very happily in the center channel
    http://www.imagometrics.com/GoBags/TB_BrnBg.htm
    Your review with photos was one of a number I've read to get more info about the Brain Bag -- it was very helpful, in particular the photo of the bag fully compressed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid
    I've also been looking into some of the higher end Photo/Video Vests. They are pricey but may be a good alternative to waist carry rigs. It would help to know what your shooting context is- since that makes a difference.
    Photo vests scream photographer a little too much for me, and besides, I prefer the waist systems since they keep the weight off your shoulders while being very accessible.

    The shooting I'm mainly interested in is two different activities. First is walking around cities (European, in particular), with two or three lenses. Compressing the bag is important here, but so is the ability to put the waistbelt and gear back into the bag. Trying not to stand out too much as a phographer is also important.

    The other is day hiking, where the bag will need to carry food, water, clothing, etc., while the photo gear can stay on the belt the whole time. I'd probably have a tripod on the pack, and don't care so much about looking like a photographer, as there aren't as many muggers a 3 hour hike from the nearest car park.

    In both of these cases, I'd probably leave the laptop back at the hotel (or whereever I'm staying). But I want to use the same bag with laptop and camera gear all inside for whatever flights I'm taking.

    I hope this gives a better idea of the sort of flexibility I'm looking for. As I said in the original post, the Brain Bag is almost perfect for this, but splitting the main compartment space 70/30 instead of 50/50 would make it even better for this application.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    235
    The Kinesis holster and belt system looks cool and would be very effective for Pro still & video shoots especially on sets or location- but you don't feel having a pair of these around your waist would scream "Photographer" or worse...?
    Safari Vests are so ubiquitous you could be anything- pro/amatuer shooter, foreign correspondent, body guard or tourist pretending to be any of the above.
    It's a tough call. But of all solutions nothing could be less obtrusive or more practical than The Brain Bag.
    I walk and shoot cities a lot on holiday- but I've gotten too lazy to carry more than the P&S + a Lens and a table tripod. Too many years of schlepping the kitchen sinks!


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0