The best camera is the one you have with you. Chase Jarvis
Or to put a totally different slant on a deep meaningful quote ….
“Each of us views life through a different lens. What we think is colored by the baggage we carry, and what we think is what we live.”
― Laurie Buchanan, PhD
A problem I’ve run into is how to carry around all this wonderful equipment I’ve acquired so far on my photography journey. For good and bad, the smartphone cameras we all seem to have at our fingertips on a regular basis are easy to carry and quick to access. Keeping a DSLR at the ready can get much more complicated.
For starters, here’s what I try to carry when I travel with my camera:
- DSLR body
- 18-140 mm zoom lens (my walk around lens)
- 35 mm prime lens (because you just never know)
- Spare battery
- Battery charger
- Second memory card
- Polarizing filter
- Lens cleaning wipe
- Assorted lens caps and protectors
- Notebook (I’d like to say for a shot list or tracking images taken but more for the notes I’ve made about how to use my camera).
When I head out for a short walk with my camera, I will opt for the body and zoom lens lest you think me maniacal.
So what to use to carry all this gear.
I first opted for an over-the-shoulder messenger bag Vanguard Up-Rise II 28.
I could wear it cross body and everything fit within. There is a zippered opening at the top for quick camera access. It has moveable Velcro pieces to rearrange compartments to personalize for your own accessories. It even carries my laptop in a squeeze.
On the downside however, it’s heavy and hurts my neck and back.
In advance of my epic South America and Antarctica trip, I purchased a second bag to travel with – a Kinray 43 Sling Bag.
It also holds all my equipment, has easy access to the camera and room for carrying other things you might need on a day trip (water bottles, purchases, dog leads etc). It is also easy to travel with, for example, through airports leaving your hands free for other bags.
As a downside, I was concerned about security. With a bag on your back, you are never really sure whether someone is trying to access the partitions holding your camera. While it doesn’t look like a camera bag necessarily, one can never be too cautious. The straps and compartments also got a little tedious especially when looking to take a shot quickly.
So I don’t know what the ideal solution is. These bags work well for me now. If I expand my lens assortment, I may need yet another bag.
What do you use for your camera gear?
- If you don’t have your camera, the perfect shot will present itself. Guaranteed.
- If you don’t have an item with you (battery, filter etc), the likelihood of needing it rises exponentially.
- Whatever model you have, always make sure it’s zippered lest your lens (ahem) fall out.