If you have a digital camera, especially an DSLR, then having a good camera bag is a great way to protect and transport your investment. Below are some tips and suggestions to keep in mind when buying a camera bag.
Determine What You Need
Before going out and buying a bag, first decide what you need in terms of size, style, etc. If you have a few cameras, several lenses, a bunch of filters, etc., you are going to need a bag that can handle all of that gear. If you plan on doing some nature photography and are going to be hiking to your locations, you will likely need some type of bag that is easier to transport.
Types of Bags
Below are the most common types of camera bags available.
A holster is a small bag designed to fit a single DSLR and lens. These bags usually include a few small side pockets for memory cards, batteries, etc. These are great starter bags, and they are great if you have minimal camera gear.
Belt packs are worn at the waist, and they usually include enough space for a camera, several lenses, and other accessories like filters, etc. If you plan on covering a lot of distance (hiking, walking through the city, etc.) and you want to be able to easily access your gear, then a belt pack is a great choice. The only real disadvantage to a belt back is that if you do have a lot of equipment in your pack, sitting could become somewhat difficult.
Shoulder bags resemble messenger bags. These bags vary in terms of size. Some are designed to carry a single camera and a few accessories, while some can hold all of your equipment, including lenses, filters, laptop, etc. The best thing about a shoulder bag is it allows you to be more mobile and frees up your hands. The disadvantage to a shoulder bag is that you have to usually remove the bag to access your gear.
A great shoulder bag is the Case Logic SLRC-202. This bag includes plenty of room and is very durable.
A sling bag is somewhat of a cross between a shoulder bag and belt pack. You wear it somewhat like a shoulder bag, but it is designed to allow you to simply rotate the bag around when you want to remove gear. This is a great bag if you want to be able to keep your hands free most of the time, but you don’t want to have to remove your bag to get your gear.
Backpacks are designed to allow a photographer to comfortably carry a lot of gear. Backpacks vary in size, but most are able to hold a camera, several medium-sized lenses, and other accessories like filters and batteries. Some backpacks can even hold laptops, tripods, and other heavier equipment. If you plan on doing a lot of hiking or walking, and you need to bring a lot of gear, a backpack is probably the best way to go.
One of the best backpacks out there is the Case Logic SLRC-206 laptop backpack. This bag has plenty room for all of your gear and accessories, and it can also hold a laptop as well.
There are so many different bags out there, so my recommendation would be to first assess your current situation, and then find the bag that best meets your needs.