Before continuing, I really recommend watching the video below first. It’s pretty entertaining!
What to look for in a Bag…
When looking at an equipment bag/case, there are four main considerations:
Hard vs Soft Enclosure … Both have their own merits. A hard case, especially a water/weather-proofed case, will probably provide the best security for your gear. The downside is added weight and lack of flexibility. A soft case, on the other hand, is very mobile but not as protective.
Size … This will be dictated by what gear you plan on carrying and how mobile you want to be. With gear ever decreasing in size, it is now possible to have a full load out – camera, lenses, support, and then some, all in a single case!
Oganization … How gear will be organized inside your bag is also very important. Being to able to secure pre-built rigs can save much time onset or on location.
Cost … Dedicated bags/cases marketed to the video/photo market can get quite expensive but offer the confidence of R&D and the support of a manufacturer.
Often times it is difficult to find a single design that does everything you want. Do you research, ‘try on a few for size’, and see what best fits your needs.
Before we get into the bag itself, here is what I was looking for in a bag:
- Mobility was a primary requirement for me as I often need to travel with my kit. I needed a bag that was highly portable, light, and met Airline Carry-on requirements.
- Modularity was the next requirement as I often need to change my load-out depending on the shoot. Sometimes it’s a small DSLR/Mirrorless load-out, while other times, it could a production load-out with a larger camera. I also wanted a bag that had easy access, a clamshell or doctor’s bag ‘style’ design.
- Lastly, it had to be Cost-Effective. It’s true that this bag would contain some very expensive items, but I still did not want to spend an exorbitant amount of monies on a bag.
I looked at a few manufacturers, I really liked the Orca 22/24 series, but in the end I just couldn’t find something that met all my requirements. That’s why I opted to create my own system! Let’s take a look…
My Camera Bag…
My first and second requirements dictated a bag that needed to be very portable. So, instead of a hard case, I opted for a soft case. Additionally, I wanted something that could be carried on my person easily and effectively, thus I went with a backpack as opposed to a rigid or rolling case. With those in mind, I based my bag off this MOLLE style backpack/duffle.
For internal organization, I’ve really enjoyed working with TrekPak organizers in the past. They make modular organizers for hard-shell cases. However, since this was a DIY project, I had to devise something on my own. I created a shell and organization system constructed from Cora-Plast. This material is similar to corrugated cardboard but made with more durable plastic. The Cora-Plast also provided much needed rigidity, and to some level, protection of my gear. I was able to cut this to size, allowing me to customize the shell and dividers.
The system discussed here was designed for my personal use and commercial work requiring travel or a small footprint. For larger projects, I still go with the standard ‘Pelican’ style hard cases. Hope this short overview gave you some ideas for your ‘Camera Bag’!