by Tim Fok | 21st November 2016
“My name is Tim Fok, and I’m a bag-aholic”, says every filmmaker ever (bar the quirky second name). My vice is camera bags that don’t look like camera bags, and after seeing the latest release of the Manfrotto Windsor line, I was inspired to make a list of my favourite trendy camera bags. You’ve all seen it before: the guy that walks around with the Lowepro bag strapped around his waist, Berghaus and/or NorthFace-clad with the Merrells. Despite my dabble in NorthFace jackets, I’m not that guy. I like to be a little more discreet (wannabe trendy), and my casual kit bags of choice usually revolve around the not so obvious camera bags (definitely a wannabe trendy). Aside from trying to look cool, subtle kit bags can be great for security: they don’t necessarily scream “Take me, I’m full of expensive camera gear.” But let’s cut the faff. Here’s a list of camera bags you may like, that don’t look like camera bags. Manfrotto Windsor The Windsor collection is quite an admirable venture for Manfrotto. Their bold red branding usually finds its way into their bag designs, ending up with something quite garish and reeking of that camera-carrying device stench that unscrupulous types flock towards. The Windsor line is something different, featuring a subtle two tone grey with brown and tartan detailing. You can guarantee function with Manfrotto bags, and the Windsor line is no exception. The Messenger bags feature an easy access zipper to the divided compartment, and the larger Reporter bag sports stylish leather loops that allow for carrying a tripod. The same straps can be found on the backpack version, which is based on a double compartment design for both personal items and camera kit. A side zipper ensures easy access to kit, and the reverse side offers a pocket suitable for your water bottle. All Windsor bags have shock absorbing padded divider compartments made of water repellent materials, and can carry laptops of varying sizes. Manfrotto Windsor Messenger Bag Small Manfrotto Windsor Messenger Bag Medium Manfrotto Windsor Reporter Manfrotto Windsor Laptop Backpack Tenba Messengers Tenba offers a host of Messenger bags, ranging from the more obvious camera-style DNA line (which we’ll skip), to the inconspicuous single leather-look flap of the Switch line. In between these two sits the Cooper range: functional Messengers with a flap-over, single-zip design. There are 4 sizes, ranging from small single mirrorless setups to decent sized DSLR setup and 15” laptop. The padded dividers in all Coopers can be completely removed for full customisation, and the material on the back of the larger versions is useful for connecting up with roller bags when travelling. The Switch series are smaller with a choice of two sizes – the Switch 8 or Switch 10. These are designed primarily for casual mirrorless shooters with a tablet, but not a laptop. The fold down front pocket of the Switch bags is very useful for storing personal items. Unique to the Switch line is the ability to ‘Switch out’ (figure the name) the front flap to a variety of colours and designs. Both Tenba lines feature water repellant materials of differing sorts, as well as complete fold over WeatherWraps for full rain protection. Tenba Cooper 8 Tenba Cooper 15 Tenba Switch 8 Tenba Switch 10 Think Tank Retrospective Aside from producing great rollers, Think Tank is known for their vast array of Messenger bags. Looking at them from a camera bag that-doesn’t-look-like a camera bag perspective, the Retrospective Line is the one you’d pick. Although their established look would probably now be a tell tale sign of a camera bag for anyone with a keen eye, no camera bag article would be the same without a mention to the classic Retrospectives. Now, there’s quite a few, depending on the camera and lens configuration, and all sport a similar vintage look. There’s even a leather series. I own the Lens Changer, which I find to be incredibly useful. It has a separate compartment for each lens, with an organizer pocket at the rear. Silent options for the Velcro points are a great touch for ultimate discretion. The full Retrospective line offers more conventional features for a Messenger bag. The single digit versions are designed for smaller DSLR and mirrorless setups, while double digits bags get your larger lens compatibility and laptop compartments. Think Tank Retrospective 5 Think Tank Retrospective 20 Think Thank Retrospective 50 Think Tank Retrospective Changer Peak Design A recent successful Kickstarter campaign, Peak Design offers a complete range of bags from Messengers, to backpacks to totes. Peak Design offers a variety of colours per bag style, with a design that screams innovation. These will look great with your fixed gear bike in the Bay area. Modern in design, they give off that traveller feel with metal detailing and strong nylon straps. They all feature water repellant coating, and are packed full of really clever little details, like the neat magnetic clasp found across the top of the Tote bag, or the side attachment plate for quick stow of your camera. The triangular flexi dividers are genius, offering an array of options for stacking, storing and separating gear. Peak Design Everyday Messenger Peak Design Everyday Tote Peak Design Everyday Backpack Peak Design Everyday Sling ONA Bags Whilst ONA bags won’t touch Peak Design in terms of innovation, they are still certainly worth taking a good look at. ONA produces a range of backpacks, briefcases, messenger bags and handbags of the highest quality. Simple in function, they include padded compartments for your kit, and larger options include laptop and tablet storage also. I own the Brixton, and love the form factor and simple design. They’re surprisingly roomy with large front pockets, and the quick release clasps are useful on the flap. The magnetic flat pocket at the rear is great for travel documents. The handbag line is particularly interesting, never has a stylish leather bag looked so practical in the Palma. ONA Brixton Messenger ONA The Palma ONA The Leather Clifton ONA Camps Bay Backpack There are of course hundreds of bags out there, each serving a different purpose. If you have any suggestions of your own to add to the list of camera-bags-that-don’t-look-like-camera-bags, feel free to comment below!Read more
by Fabian Chaundy | 29th July 2016
After the great success of their Kickstarter campaign for their Everyday Messenger bag, Peak Design returns with 4 new bags in their Everyday range. The concept of the Peak Design Everyday Bag seems to be quite simple, really. Expandable, functional and tough camera bags that adapt to the needs and active lifestyles of shooters and muggles alike. Their original Everyday Messenger bag, with its custom made hardware and origami-inspired FlexFold dividers proved to be quite a hit with Kickstarter backers. Now, they are back with another crowdfunding campaign already funded almost 4 times over, and still with a month and a half to go. You can pre-order the Everyday Bags for the prices below. However, Peak Designed has reintroduced limited early bird prices, so you can even knock off another 10 bucks off the price while the early bird offer lasts. The Peak Design campaigns have been very well received by backers on Kickstarter. They certainly have earned the trust of their consumers, offer a lifetime warranty on their products, and are now the most funded active campaign on Kickstarter, so they may be worth a look! Do you own any other Peak Design products? What do you think of them? Let us know in the comments below.Read more
by Olaf von Voss | 29th January 2016
I know, it looks like a bulky version of that elegant Jedi weapon—the lightsabre—but it is a quite genius piece of gear. Everybody who works as a one man band knows the unpleasant situation of having to change a lens while holding another one and the camera body, too. That’s where the CaptureLens comes into its own! Peak Design, a well-known manufacturer of camera accessories—some of them successfully funded via kickstarter—has just released a very useful piece of equipment: the CaptureLens. Announced in summer 2015, it’s now ready for delivery. The idea is to have a lens mount which is capable of having two lenses attached to it at the same time handy—one on the top, one on the bottom. If you want to change lenses, use both of your hands to detach the lens from your camera body, as per usual. Then, attach the lens to one side of the Capture Lens Clip and rotate the whole thing. The now top faced lens is ready to detach with easy one hand operation, and you can attach it to your camera body. Job done! The set consists of two pieces, the CaptureLens and the Lens Kit, which is available for various lens mounts, such as Canon EF, Nikon F or Sony E/EF mount. The CaptureLens device is compatible with the existing clip system by Peak Design, so you can switch back and forth between a broad range of mounting options. The clip part can be attached to any strap up to 3’’ (7 cm), and it is compatible with other Peak Design clips such as the Capture Camera Clip system. Another neat feature is the rotating 4-way locking swivel which ensures a freely rotating device as well as four lock positions for securing your unused lens. Check out the video below. It becomes very simple to understand how it works when watching it in action. Also, make sure to check their product page for more info. I think it’s an ingenious piece of gear—though it might look a little weird on your belt. What is your opinion of such a device?Read more
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