Whether it’s with my old point-and-shoot, the new D-SLR, or my iPhone, I snap countless photos of new food, people, and places when I travel. Every few days (or at day’s end, depending on my patience), I transfer the photos to my netbook, review them in Picasa and upload them to Flickr. If I’ve taken them on the iPhone, it’s likely that I share one or two immediately on Twitter or Facebook. Like many of you, I capture and remember special times on the road with photos (and their stories) that I publish on a blog.
With photography playing such an important part in our travels, it’s necessary to care for and protect one of the most valuable items on our packing lists. If you own a Digital SLR, you know the size and financial value of the equipment requires a different bag than one you would choose for a smaller point-and-shoot or phone with a built-in camera. I purchased the entry-level Nikon D3000 six months before I left for Australia and immediately began looking for a camera bag that would suit my needs and style. I found the perfect match for me, and along the way I discovered other styles that could be the best match for you.
D-SLR camera bag styles
A student/school sized backpack designed for electronics
Imagine the backpack that you took to school or the daypack you travel with when you leave the hostel. Using a similar size, D-SLR backpacks are designed with padded compartments that fit the camera body and lens perfectly. Padded shoulder straps add comfort and a spare pocket or two may help fit in a couple of non-camera related personal items.
>> Buy DSLR Backpacks on Amazon
- There may also be a compartment designed for a laptop, with an additional small pocket or two for a few personal items you would normally carry with you.
- The well-padded camera compartments are designed specifically to fit a D-SLR camera body (with lens attached) and additional lens.
- Two shoulder straps equal a more even weight distribution than traditional bags with one strap.
- Most are not flashy in appearance, making it more difficult for others to guess the financial value of its contents.
- If you pack it to capacity with equipment, the size and weight could prove problematic on a long travel day.
- Traveling with this pack could prohibit you from also carrying a day pack with water, sunscreen, a cardigan for when the sun sets, and all the other items you stash in your day pack.
- You must bring it from your back to your front or side to access the camera compartment.
A bag that looks like a camera bag
A fellow Nikon user suggested I buy the company’s D-SLR bag, and for a moment I was tempted. It looked sturdy and well-padded. It also looked like a camera bag, with the Nikon logo on the front and various buckles and snaps that I soon found common on “traditional” camera bags.
- The brands behind these bags have designed them for a while and have likely incorporated feedback over the years to provide a solid product.
- Would-be camera snatchers can assume they know your bag’s contents.
- It’s likely that you will also need to pack a daypack or a purse as this style bag does not easily serve as a backup for either one.
A bag that does not look like a camera bag
When I was searching for a bag, one of the most important priorities was to find one that didn’t look like a camera bag. Online searches yielded no results until a friend suggested I look on Etsy. Type “camera dslr bag” into Etsy’s search box, and you’ll find a variety of camera bags that are feminine, stylish, and designed to fit a D-SLR perfectly.
>> Read about Heather’s DSLR Camera Bag
Etsy isn’t the only place to find stylish camera bags that more closely resemble purses. A simple search for “dslr camera bag for women” now results in beautiful bags for a variety of budgets.
- It may be more difficult for others to know its contents, perhaps making it a less likely target for camera theft.
- It can double as a purse, saving you from having to pack another bag.
- It’s very lightweight when empty, yet slightly padded to help protect a camera and lens.
- It’s relatively small but can carry a camera body with lens attached and two additional lenses.
- This style may have less padding than other camera bags.
- Depending on the materials used in the bag, it may pick up some odors from restaurants, public transport, or city air and need to be cleaned more often.
How do you travel with your D-SLR? If you’ve found the perfect bag, we want to know!