Melissa Gaston: Find The Light


5 Functional Camera Bags For dSLRs

No, you can't use your kid's backpack to carry your camera.

Let's face it, if you've spent a lot of money accumulating camera gear, you want to make sure that you're carrying and storing it in a safe place. Camera bags are a personal thing. Some photographers like a shoulder bag, others like a backpack. Some only want to carry exactly what they need in that moment, others bring every piece of gear that they own to every shoot. Fortunately, there are solutions for every need and want.

Below are five functional (and in most cases, stylish) camera bags. They're not cheap, but I know that they will protect every piece of equipment that I put in them.

In no particular order:

1. The 2 Sues bag by Kelly Moore. I love this bag, and it's taking all of my willpower to not order it in two more colours. It's exceptionally functional, with plenty of pockets for non-camera stuff. I use this as a regular purse when I'm not carrying camera gear. Kelly Moore makes other beautiful camera bags for men and women, so check out the site.

2. The Ginger bag by Epiphanie Bags. I don't own this one, but have seen it in person and it's beautiful. Like the 2 Sues bag, it is functional and stylish. Epiphanie also has bags for men and women that don't fit the nylon backpack standard, so make sure to check them out.

3. The 6 Million Dollar Home by Crumpler. I bought an older version of this bag eight or nine years ago (maybe even longer), and it's still going strong. It is sturdy and I don't worry about where I put it down—if something gets on it, I just wipe it off and go. There are a series of "Million Dollar Home" bagsthe smaller the number, the smaller the bag. If you don't have a ton of gear, check out one of the smaller versions.

4. The SlingShot by LowePro. This is a one shoulder, cross-body bag. It slides around your body (without coming off) so that you can access your gear. Another plus? When you slide it around to the front to get out your camera or lens, you can also leave the bag in that position to provide a resting place for your elbows if you need to steady your shot. Multiple sizes make this an option for everyone. Mine is almost ten years old now and it looks like new.

5. The StreetWalker by ThinkTank. No question about it, this is the "kitchen sink" gear bag. If you don't know what you're going to need for a shoot, bring this. It's also a safe place to store your camera equipment in your house. It's light, but obviously gets heavy when fully loaded. This is the only option that seems to hold every piece of camera equipment that I own.

Regardless of what camera, lenses, and other accessories you own, use a bag meant for cameras to protect your investment. Keep your gear safe!

Trying to figure out how to use all your new gear? Check out my Photography 101 posts.