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Bag and Case Buyer’s Guide

Finding the right bag or case for your gear can be challenging.
Finding the right bag or case for your gear can be challenging.Discovering the fitting bag or case on your gear could be difficult.

Normally, a “one size fits all” buying strategy for baggage and instances will in all probability depart you disenchanted. I personal greater than a dozen luggage and instances that I exploit regularly. Why so many? The bag for my camcorder is totally different than the backpack for my DSLR. Likewise, I wouldn’t transport a drone in a case designed for a cinema digital camera. Sometimes, I’ll swap out gear if I’m wanting a case for a selected exercise, however the gear must be comparable, like exchanging luggage between my DSLR and my Micro 4 Thirds (MFT) cameras. Think about your distinctive circumstances when selecting a bag or case, reminiscent of how you plan to make use of it, the quantity of drugs you may be carrying within the bag, the standard of its craftsmanship, and the sum of money you’ve gotten out there to spend.

To start out, there are two primary varieties of instances– arduous and delicate. Every has its personal advantages in addition to its personal disadvantages. Initially, narrowing down your buying determination to a tough or mushy case might prevent lots of time as you seek for the case that’s best for you and your gear.

Arduous Instances

The primary apparent benefit to exhausting instances is that they’re crush proof; nevertheless, instances are solely influence immune to a sure diploma. Some producers will embrace influence resistance info of their specs. Most of the bigger onerous instances have telescoping handles and wheels for straightforward transport. Onerous instances are nice for storing and transporting gear as a result of they provide extra sturdiness and extra safety in difficult environments resembling snow, water, mud and sand. Additionally they are typically stackable, which is nice for storing plenty of gear in actually small areas.

Onerous instances are sometimes constructed from high-impact plastic polymers, that are lighter in weight than wooden or metallic, however nonetheless extremely sturdy. Many instances have a strategy to connect a padlock with out compromising their hermetic integrity. When purchasing for a case, sturdy latches and hinges ought to be a precedence. Some arduous instances are outfitted with o-rings (a rubber or neoprene gasket that strains the opening of the case) to allow them to float or be submerged in water for a brief time period. Arduous instances also can have a purge valve for fast equalization after modifications in atmospheric strain. That is necessary as a result of, with out it, a vacuum might be created making the case extraordinarily troublesome to open.

Many cases have a way to attach a padlock without compromising their airtight integrity.Many instances have a option to connect a padlock with out compromising their hermetic integrity.

Arduous instances typically come unlined, however there are straightforward methods to pad your case with both pic foam or customized minimize foam. Padding a case your self versus shopping for a pre-padded case often is set by a number of elements, similar to the power to customise your padding, availability and the price of the case.

Pic Foam vs Customized Foam

Pic foam is available in blocks. You simply tear off the little cubes till your gear matches in snugly. Customized reduce foam might be the most effective at defending gear, nevertheless it does value a bit greater than different options. With that stated, there are fairly a couple of drone instances available on the market that function pre-cut customized foam at very affordable costs.

Sadly, foam just isn’t endlessly. Over time it can begin to break down and even dry-rot, turning into troublesome mud. Foam additionally doesn’t truthful nicely when it will get hit by water, mud or sand. Typically, the froth could be vacuumed or got down to dry, however typically it have to be changed. The excellent news about pic foam is that it’s comparatively cheap to purchase a brand new block and begin over. Pic foam may even be a alternative for customized minimize foam when you want a extra economical choice.

Mushy Instances

All some great benefits of arduous instances create disadvantages when it comes to portability. Despite the fact that many arduous instances have wheels and/or carry straps, they are often very heavy. Having your digital camera in a backpack, holster or in a bag slung over your shoulder is extremely handy for cinematographers who need the power to shortly pull out their cameras and begin capturing. Delicate casing varies within the quantity of padding, water resistance, weight and sturdiness of the supplies based mostly on a producer’s design and specs. You might discover a bag design that you simply actually like which might finally dictate the selection of shell supplies for the case.

Gear dividers in soft cases can be flexible or rigid and are often padded; typically, they are included with your soft-sided bag purchase.Gear dividers in gentle instances might be versatile or inflexible and are sometimes padded; sometimes, they’re included together with your soft-sided bag buy.

Gear dividers for gentle instances sometimes consist of cloth that may be wiped down with a humid material when crucial. Dividers could be versatile or inflexible and are sometimes padded; sometimes, they’re included together with your soft-sided bag buy. Dividers are extra sturdy than foam, however they lack the identical degree of safety. Many bag producers have their very own divider system that may even embrace pockets or pouches to raised manage and shield your gear.

Due to the various number of soft-sided luggage, closure mechanisms differ tremendously. Velcro, zippers, and buckles are typically probably the most prevalent with many luggage incorporating multiple of those methods for added safety.

Water Resistant vs Waterproof vs Submersible

Whereas each you and I can simply deduce the meanings of those phrases, the business has a really technical view. Many waterproof luggage gained’t shield your gear from a heavy downpour. Some luggage function a further rain jacket that you would be able to place over the bag for this actual purpose. On the other finish of the spectrum, a number of producers of waterproof and watertight onerous instances have technical specs on how deep their instances may be submerged or how lengthy a few of these instances will float on water.

A Bag for Each Event

In lots of situations, the choice of exhausting versus mushy instances won’t solely be affected by the kind of gear you’re carrying however how and the place you propose on utilizing that gear.

Gear on the Transfer

Transportation of your gear typically dictates the kind of case you want. Gear being transported within the cargo space of an airplane, ship, or practice wants the durability, padding, and locking capabilities of a tough case. Baggage-styled instances designed to suit right into a aircraft’s overhead bin are often soft-sided because of the weight restrictions of a keep on bag; nevertheless, they nonetheless want ample padding. A bag design that permits you to simply take away your digital camera whenever you undergo airport safety can also be an enormous plus.

Having discreet digital camera luggage whereas touring can typically be a sensible selection.

Luggage being transported on public transportation similar to a bus or practice may current their very own issues. Having discreet digital camera luggage whereas touring can typically be a clever selection. When you could be thrilled that you simply lastly acquired your first Canon digital camera and need to put on that gear bag that claims “Canon” with satisfaction, that creepy man following you from the practice station down the darkish streets of a wierd, unfamiliar metropolis may additionally wish to have his first Canon digital camera, courtesy of you.

Whereas luggage being transported in your automotive might not necessitate a selected design, extreme strolling together with your gear may make you strongly contemplate light-weight luggage like a backpack, shoulder bag or sling. In case you are transporting lots of gear on a truck, the stacking capacity of onerous instances might be essential.

Walking with your gear might make you strongly consider lightweight bags like a backpack, shoulder bag or sling.Strolling together with your gear may make you strongly contemplate light-weight luggage like a backpack, shoulder bag or sling.

Think about a tough case when bringing gear to places with excessive environmental elements reminiscent of extreme warmth or chilly. Places that expose your gear to torrential rain or blowing sand might additionally profit from storage in a tough case.

Designs for Straightforward Entry

Prime-loading holsters sometimes have a really small type issue and present fast, quick access to your digital camera; many could be worn on a belt, as a belt or as a sling. Typically, shoulder luggage can even supply fast entry to your digital camera, lenses and filters. Backpacks are likely to distribute weight on each of your shoulders, which I discover to be an enormous profit when carrying heavy gear on an extended shoot; a top-loading digital camera compartment on a backpack is a superb selection for shoot-and-go actions.

First Impressions

Identical to a job interview, shoppers will typically base their opinions of you as knowledgeable not solely by the gear you deliver to a shoot, but in addition by what you deliver it in. Due to this, these luggage and instances not solely arrange, shield and carry your gear, additionally they make a press release. You need these first impressions to be constructive. They’ll assist set the tone on your shoot and typically your entire venture.

For Your Consideration: Producers and Fashions of Luggage and Instances

With many of those producers, it was arduous to pick only one bag or case, notably when fascinated by defending all varieties of manufacturing gear. In some situations, we’ll notice a number of gadgets from the identical producer; nevertheless, we did attempt to choose one merchandise to spotlight that was distinctive or had fascinating options.

Thule Legend GoPro Backpack

That is the last word backpack for any GoPro shooter with two GoPro mounts built-in onto the backpack for 2 totally different digital camera views. It has a crush-proof outer compartment that may maintain as much as three GoPro cameras, LCD Contact BacPac, distant management, additional batteries and/or SD playing cards. Designed for the outside fanatic, it has detachable foam pad cushioning for straightforward cleansing of the pack. It additionally has a devoted pouch for a hydration reservoir. The inside pouch of the backpack supplies loads of area for a laptop computer or pill and different outside necessities like meals, sunscreen, and a jacket. Two further outer pouches that sit waist-level present fast entry on your telephone and energy bars. Retailing for $200, the Legend Backpack has a restricted lifetime guarantee.

Thule Legend GoPro BackpackThule Legend GoPro Backpack

Tamrac Anvil Tremendous 25 Backpack

Tamrac has quite a lot of backpacks and luggage, together with some sling fashion packs. The Anvil collection of backpacks is particularly interesting due to its removable belt system. Whereas this supplies additional stability when used with the pack, many shooters will typically detach the belt and use it as a stand-alone product. Tamrac’s use of an ARC system permits you to add or subtract numerous sized pouches. The Tamrac Anvil Tremendous 25 is designed to hold a DSLR with as much as an 800mm lens or as much as a 500mm lens when the digital camera is hooked up to a battery grip. Cushioned straps and a rain cowl are different good options. Tamrac presents quite a lot of equipment for his or her Anvil collection that may be bought individually, together with further ARC pouches. The Anvil Tremendous 25 retails for $192.

Tamrac Anvil Super 25 BackpackTamrac Anvil Tremendous 25 Backpack

Lowepro Drone Guard BP 200

Lowepro has an enormous line of economical luggage beginning as low cost as $15. Additionally they have some very nice skilled luggage, comparable to their Toploader Professional 75 AW II. Designed for DSLRs and MFTs and retailing for $105, this prime loader holster could be worn in 4 alternative ways whereas nonetheless offering prompt entry to your digital camera. A rain bag can also be included.

Lowepro’s Photograph Sport BP 300 AW II can also be a very good purchase since this backpack offers each prime load and sideload entry to your digital camera. This pack can maintain a DSLR or MFT digital camera with an hooked up lens and two additional lenses (or a flash), whereas nonetheless having area for a 2L hydration reservoir, a jacket, and even a compact tripod. Retailing for $160, a built-in rain cowl can also be included.

Lowepro’s Drone Guard collection is a crown jewel. These backpacks are designed to help the whole lot from Phantoms and 3DR Solos to a lot smaller quadcopters. In case you personal a DJI Mavic Professional, the Drone Guard BP 200 is perhaps the bag for you. Along with holding the Mavic, the Drone Guard BP 200 may also maintain a transmitter and as much as 4 batteries. This soft-sided pack options adjustable cushioned straps and a moisture-wicking again. It additionally has a pocket designed to carry a 2L hydration reservoir. Economically priced at $100, you possibly can’t go incorrect with this pack.

In fact, it might be a disservice to drone shooters to not point out Lowepro’s Drone Guard Package — a sturdy, padded pull-out organizer system for drone instances. The stand-alone Drone Guard Package retails for $70.

Lowepro Drone Guard BP 200Lowepro Drone Guard BP 200

CasePro Drone Instances

CasePro makes wheeled onerous instances for drones, particularly fashions with hard-to-find pre-cut customized foam like Yuneec’s Hurricane, Autel’s X-Star, or 3DR’s Solo. Costs vary from $120 – $550.

CasePro Drone CasesCasePro Drone Instances

Sachtler Dr. Bag-5

Sachtler has a fantastic status for making robust, sturdy tripods, however additionally they supply soft-sided luggage for digital camera gear, audio gear, lighting and, in fact, tripods. Sachtler’s Dr. Luggage are a few of my private favorites, particularly for camcorders. They function an additional large opening with options like customizable inflexible dividers and inner LED lighting. Whereas the Dr. Bag is available in a number of sizes, the Dr. Bag-5 is the most important measurement with an inner size of 25.6 inches. Constructed to suit an ENG or cinema digital camera rig, together with matte field, battery, and microphone, with out the necessity to detach something, it lets you shortly seize your digital camera out of the bag and begin capturing. It retails for $368. For these heavier digital camera rigs, the non-compulsory Sachtler Snaplock Wheel and Trolley system can supply some a lot wanted shoulder aid; it retails for $77.

Sachtler Dr. Bag-5Sachtler Dr. Bag-5

Vanguard Alta Fly 55T

Vanguard VEO 37 is a messenger type bag that may match a DSLR with the lens hooked up in addition to two further lenses and a skinny 11 inch laptop computer or pill. The distinctive function of this bag is a separate backside compartment that may home and conceal a compact tripod or monopod. Retailing at $50, it’s undoubtedly one to think about if you wish to journey as a shooter incognito.

Vanguard’s Alta collection additionally gives some good choices for vacationers, most notably the Alta Fly 55T. This 4 wheeled trolley bag, full with telescopic handles, complies with airline measurement restrictions for keep on baggage. It is going to match two DSLRs with 4 or 5 lenses (as much as 300mm f/four), a flash unit, a 14-inch laptop computer, a pill, a tripod, and different equipment. Further options embrace a detachable padded divider system, a rain cowl and padded straps that let you additionally carry the bag as a backpack. An excellent choice for the shooter-commuter, this bag retails for $280.

Vanguard Alta Fly 55TVanguard Alta Fly 55T

Assume Tank Airport Safety V3.zero Carry On

Assume Tank’s Airport Safety and Airport Journey collection embrace carry-on luggage that meet regulation specs for each nationwide and worldwide airline carriers. Assume Tank has instances in these collection for DSLRs and MFTs in addition to designs for longer our bodies comparable to camcorders and cinema cameras. Their Photograph Airport Safety V3.zero Carry On has a rear wheeled trolley system with two entrance ft and a retractable deal with. The V3.zero Carry On is designed to carry two gripped DSLRs with lenses hooked up, two to 4 further lenses (with a most lens measurement of 500mm f/four indifferent or 400mm f/2.eight hooked up with hood reversed), a 15-inch laptop computer, a 10-inch pill, and associated equipment. The bag was clearly designed by a veteran traveler, with good touches resembling TSA-approved zipper locks for the primary compartment and a high-strength coated cable and mixture lock for the laptop computer compartment that may additionally safe your bag to an immovable object. The V3.zero has a rain cowl, a water bottle pocket, a mount for a tripod and further straps for bigger tripods. In the event you journey incessantly together with your gear, then the Photograph Airport Safety V3.zero Carry On is nicely value its $420 price ticket.

Think Tank Airport Security V3.0 Carry OnAssume Tank Airport Safety V3.zero Carry On

Manfrotto Professional Mild Rolling Organiser LW-99W

Manfrotto makes quite a lot of luggage and backpacks together with soft-sided instances with wheels. Recognized for his or her tripods, it’s no shock that additionally they have some very nice padded tripod luggage that vary in worth from $55 – $140. I like their Professional Mild Rolling Organiser LW-99W, which retails for $395. Designed for skilled mild kits, this straightforward to maneuver rolling bag protects your lighting gear from rain, sand and mud.

Manfrotto Pro Light Rolling Organiser LW-99WManfrotto Professional Mild Rolling Organiser LW-99W

Orca Audio/Mixer Luggage with the OR-40 Sound Bag Harness

Orca has some good luggage together with their OR-14 Video Digital camera Trolley Bag. Designed to guard and transport a video digital camera as much as 25 inches in size, the built-in wheeled trolley system with telescopic deal with additionally has a padded shoulder strap. The inside options LED lighting, a detachable prime tray with a mesh cowl, and a padded divider system. It retails for $482.

Few luggage available on the market give attention to audio gear; due to this, Orca’s most original choices are their Audio/Mixer Luggage. In quite a lot of sizes and some even mixer mannequin particular, these luggage permit the consumer to document and combine with the gear nonetheless in its case. The luggage can be paired with the OR-40 Sound Bag Harness which offers higher distribution of the load of the Mixer Bag, making your shoot far more snug. The harness retails for $152, whereas Orca Audio/Mixer Luggage vary in worth from $125 – $675.

Orca Audio/Mixer BagOrca Audio/Mixer Bag

Pelican Basic-V Collection 5RU Rack Mount Case

In terms of exhausting instances, Pelican has a large providing of merchandise in supplies designed for all makes use of together with industrial, army and even underwater use. Lots of their bigger measurement instances embrace handles and wheels. Moreover, Pelican instances are nice for stacking. Pelican has an amazing status for producing nearly indestructible instances; carrying a lifetime guarantee, a lot of the instances are waterproof, dust-proof and crush-proof. Most of the instances function O-rings in addition to pressurization valves. The specs for every case embrace essential elements resembling weight limits for buoyancy.

Buy choices are often with or with out foam. Foam on the smaller instances is often pic foam, whereas the bigger instances are likely to have customized minimize foam. Pelican even provides choices that let you add your foam specs, and they’ll customized minimize it for you. With all their sizes and totally different onerous case supplies, together with their new light-weight polymer instances, there’s sure to be a case to suit the gear you need to carry or retailer.

Pelican’s most original providing is their assortment of rack mount instances, that are good for editors on the go who have to deliver alongside a strong system and plenty of onerous drives but in addition want additional safety for very delicate gear. With an 80 – 100 pound load capability, the 5RU Rack Mount Case options shock mounts, 4 detachable heavy-duty backside casters, chrome steel handles, and coupling catches for safe stacking. Retailing at $1,850, it has all the things you’d anticipate from a Pelican case and a lot extra.

Pelican Classic-V Series 5RU Rack Mount CasePelican Basic-V Collection 5RU Rack Mount Case

Nanuk Nano 330

That includes a lifetime guarantee, Nanuk presents a big, colourful line of exhausting instances which might be watertight and rugged; their specs on temperature vary and buoyancy are additionally spectacular. Many Nanuk instances share options just like their principal competitor, Pelican. Personally, I like the varied colours of Nanuk instances; I discover that they’re useful so far as remembering what gear is in what case as an alternative of squinting at illegible handwriting scribbled on board tape.

All of Nanuk’s instances notice TSA journey specs; TSA locks are even out there. Their Wheeled and Lengthy collection instances function strengthened metallic padlock holes to safe your gear when touring. Lots of Nanuk’s smaller instances function each a deal with in addition to a handy shoulder strap. Nanuk has one of the in depth onerous case strains for DJI drones with pre-cut customized foam for fashions such because the Spark, Ronin, Osmo, Phantom, and Mavic. They also have a case to guard your DJI goggles.

Optionally available Nanuk equipment out there embrace pic foam or customized minimize foam, padded dividers, and customized labeling or printing of your organization’s emblem on the edges of your instances. Nanuk presents waterproof aluminum or Lexan panels and a number of of their instances are appropriate for each prime and backside panel mounts for customizing manufacturing gear whereas nonetheless remaining waterproof.

The Nanuk case I like probably the most is their Nano 330. I think about my telephone one of the worthwhile and versatile instruments that I personal. Waterproof and waterproof telephone instances can present plenty of safety; nevertheless, they will’t shield my telephone from excessive parts like very popular or chilly temperatures. Luckily, the Nano collection can! The Nano 330 additionally contains a handy strap, which you need to use to attach the case to your belt or digital camera bag. On-line retail costs differ between $20 – $45 relying on the colour.

Nanuk Nano 330Nanuk Nano 330

The Kelly Moore Weekender

Kelly Moore produces some nice digital camera luggage with a trendy, female contact. Retailing for $299, the handcrafted Weekender is a testomony to this. Every leather-based tote has a two-handle shoulder strap in addition to a big padded, adjustable crossbody strap. The Weekender options an inside custom-made basket with three giant and two medium adjustable padded dividers to accommodate your DSLR or MFT digital camera in addition to a number of lenses and equipment. It’s also possible to carry a 15-inch laptop computer between the physique of the bag and the basket. The basket is detachable so should you’re touring and have restricted area, the digital camera bag can even double as a handbag, which I feel has super worth.

The Kelly Moore WeekenderThe Kelly Moore Weekender

Ona Brixton Digital camera/Laptop computer Messenger Bag

For the fashionable man or gal, Ona’s leather-based Brixton Messenger Bag offers storage on your DSLR, three lenses, equipment, and a 13-inch laptop computer. There are 4 movable inside dividers to configure the bag to accommodate your gear. Twin entrance accent pockets can maintain small, quick-access gadgets corresponding to lens caps, batteries, or filters. There’s a rear open slip pocket that’s giant sufficient for a 10-inch pill. Retailing for $439, this classically styled bag contains a prime seize deal with in addition to an adjustable 54-inch padded shoulder strap.

Ona Brixton Camera/Laptop Messenger BagOna Brixton Digital camera/Laptop computer Messenger Bag

Tenba DNA Messenger 15

Tenba’s DNA collection options mushy sided luggage made from sturdy water repellent material with a water-proof backside. These rugged luggage are nice within the area however are additionally fairly trendy on a company shoot. DNA Messenger luggage are available a number of totally different sizes, colours and widths. Their DNA Messenger 15 has a detachable, padded insert that protects a MFT digital camera system with three to 5 lenses or a DSLR with two to 3 lenses (together with a DSLR with an hooked up 24-70mm 2.eight lens); the bag may also match a 15-inch laptop computer and a pill. The DNA Messenger 15 has a reversible climate wrap that has a silver aspect to mirror the warmth or a black aspect to maintain your gear toasty within the winter. Obtainable for $170, this versatile bag ought to give you choices for quite a lot of capturing events.

Tenba DNA Messenger 15Tenba DNA Messenger 15

Ultimate Ideas

Discovering the fitting bag or case on your gear may be difficult, notably if that is the primary bag or case you’ve ever bought. Attempt to contemplate how and once you’ll be utilizing your gear and what you envision as probably the most handy method to carry all of it. Should you look onerous sufficient, you will discover a mushy sided bag or case to suit virtually any price range. Don’t skimp in your luggage and instances; your whole gear deserves to be protected to make sure it lasts a really very long time!

W. H. Bourne is an award-winning unbiased filmmaker who likes to buy as a lot as she likes to shoot.