Looking for a new DSLR backpack

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dllavaneras, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #1
    Hey everyone;

    After three years of constant use, my current camera backpack is starting to show its age. I'm looking for a replacement that has the following characteristics:

    It must be a backpack. I'm not interested in a messenger bag or shoulder bag. I might consider a sling type backpack, but I prefer one with two shoulder straps.

    It should be large enough to carry the following equipment: Canon 400D with grip, 100mm macro, 50mm f1.4, 10-20mm UWA, 68mm of extension tubes, an external flash and a ring flash. It should also have extra storage room (like a top compartment) to hold assorted things: a light jacket and small lunch, for example.

    It has to be comfortable and durable, and water-resistant. This is very important. I plan to take this hiking (long periods of time) and camping on very rough terrain, and it's going to be used and abused. Having a rain cover would be a great plus.

    It should be discreet. While I value style, I prefer function over form, and dark/subdued colors.

    And finally, price. I would like to spend less than $200 on this bag.

    If you have any recommendations, I'd be very happy to hear them!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #2
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #3
  4. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #4
    I went from a Kata to this Tamrac (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/682171-REG/Tamrac_578885.html) and have been very happy with it.
    It holds my D90 with either a 16-85 or 70-300 in the main compartment and holds my other lenses very well. Those would be a 50mm, either lens above not on the body, all the cords/cables/chargers as well as my Canon HF-S21 camcorder with wide angle lens attached and the biggest battery on there. My Rode Video Mic and the bracket are nice and safe in the top compartment right along with it as are it's accessories and such. If you want a photo of it with all the gear in it just let me know and I can post it tomorrow for you just for an idea sake. I still have two or three areas open for more lenses in the main compartment so it has room to grow. To be honest even if there was a slightly bigger one I feel I made the right choice as it fits really well on hikes and can convert to a sling if need be.
    Good luck :)
     
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #5
    I'm looking at Tamrac, too. How much room is there in the general gear pocket?

    I looked for bags from pack companies and found these folks.

    Click-Elite

    Dale
     
  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #6
    Dale, I'll post a few photo's for everyone with the gear in and out so it gives a good perspective of space and post back.
     
  7. scoami macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    #7
    I use a Dakine Sequence that I bought a few years ago. It holds a Nikon D300s, 70-200mm VR lens, 18-70mm lens, 50mm lens, teleconverter and a few other odds and ends. Like you mentioned, it's got extra space up top for a few things. It's also got a strap on the outside for a tripod or monopod. I really like this bag. Mine is the digital camo, but I don't think thet sell that color anymore. http://www.dakine.com/sport-packs/photo/sequence/
     
  8. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #8
    I'm looking at Tamrac as well, particularly this one. It has room for all my equipment in the bottom compartment, a notebook for my field notes in the laptop compartment and space at the top for other stuff. It also has the side access opening, which seems practical.

    If I get a rain cover, then I'll be set. The one thing I'd like to see is how much room there is in the top compartment.

    Artful Dodger, I'd love to see sample shots of the backpack's capacity.
     
  9. Indydenny macrumors 6502

    Indydenny

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Midwest
    #9
  10. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #10
    I just got back from messing with the Tamrac 85 in your link. The top compartment is quite roomy and the camera compartment will hold pro body camera with medium tele and has room for several other lenses, including a long telephoto.

    It seemed a bit too big for my needs. I want to take my XSi and two lenses on bike rides.

    Dale
     
  11. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #11
    Sorry for the delay everyone, had some wedding video to finnish up. I will post later today my stuff.

    Dale, I did get the larger unit however they make a size smaller than the one I posted with the link but due to my needs of using one bag for gear and not two separate ones I got the larger one. I bought my girl the smaller one since I gave her a D50, 18-200 and the kit lens 18-55 so she is set for a bit.

    dllavaneras, just getting my running around done before Thanksgiving and will post the photos for everyone in a few hours ;)

    Coming from using a Kata bag I wasn't sure if I'd like anything else as my Kata still looks new but to be fair, if the Kata Sling was made as nice as their back packs, I would've bought their Sling but the Tamrac really fit my frame which I should point out here as well. I'm about 5'9" and well have a somewhat big chest/shoulders so getting a bag to fit without the cross straps choking me out or the dreaded padding not fitting well because the straps are adjusted ALL the way out was a big issue. The Tamrac fits nice and really well when wearing a coat (big plus here). My only gripe about either bag was if you have say a 300-400mm lens then you would need to buy an add on compartment of sorts unless you keep your body in the top compartment of the Tamrac bag then you "should" have room for a large zoom/lens. I also keep my tripod separate but both had places to carry a tripod on the bag if needed.

    Not much left to say without posting pics but I'll return in a bit :D
     
  12. jw12345678 macrumors member

    jw12345678

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I have a thinktank one. They are made by photographers, and are very well thought out. The one I have is the shapeshifter which has pouches that hold the equipment upright parallel to your back, meaning the weight is held securely instead of pulling backwards like most camera rucksacks. It also has a slot for a laptop, and compresses if you have less stuff in it. Expensive, but very well made and so far has performed very well.

    http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/shape-shifter-backpack.aspx
     
  13. Artful Dodger, Nov 23, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010

    Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #13
    Hope these turn out ok for everyone. Had to use a P&S which I haven't used since getting a DSLR and the auto wants to do everything including kill the batteries. I just had enough for these…
    I should add that I don't take anything off my video camera such as the mic/light bracket or tripod mount. Everything stays on and I lay the camcorder down on it's side. The side pockets don't hold much other than cards, caps, small cables and a rain cover. That's my only gripe is the side pockets on any bag seem too small but then again it's a good place to store the small stuff I guess. I didn't take a photo of the laptop sleeve area but most are all the same. Now if I didn't have to have my video gear in the top section, that could hold a couple flash units, clamps and whatnot. If I had a full frame camera, maybe the top compartment for that and the rest for lenses and flash units. To note that when the front flap is zipped, I could and have fit two (2) DVD cases on top of each other on my camera gear and haven't had any tight fitting issues fwiw.
    Last, the color of the first photo is the correct color of the bag, sorry about that.
     

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  14. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #14
    I got a lowpro 350 about 4 months ago and really like it. Might be a little big for the gear you listed but they do also have the 300 model which is smaller. It has a spot for a laptop and lots of compartments for little items and accessories. Straps are very very comfortable and although it's only been a few months does seem to be really reliable.

    I put up a review here and a photo of how I pack it.
    http://digitalphotobuzz.com/lowpro-pro-runner-350-photo-backpack-review
     

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