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Discussion in 'Picture Gallery' started by random47, Nov 22, 2010.
Show some cool pictures of the bag you carry your gadgets, cameras, macbooks or other tech gear in.
My Kata DR-467i camera/gadget bag Review
Why the DR-467i: I was looking for a bag that could hold more accessories for long trips or a hike than my Pentax Sling Bag. I don't own many lenses, so I knew I didn't need a bag that could hold a million of them. I also wanted to be able to carry an iPad. I purchased the Kata 3N1-22 ($120) first because it had the convenience of a sling bag that could also be worn as a backpack. However, I found it to be too deep for the compact K-x and regular lenses. My gear was able to jiggle around too much. The top compartment was surprisingly small for such a hefty bag. This was due to an inefficient use of space in the lower compartment, imo. It wasn't very easy to access some things, either. I then decided on the DR-series. I got the DR-467i ($80), in particular, because it could also fit my 17" MBP, and the "i" (improved) version holds a tripod on the side. I've decided this bag is a keeper, so here's my review.
First Impressions: In contrast to the 3N1-22, I was pleasantly surprised at how much storage space this bag has outside of the camera compartment while retaining a slim profile overall. Like any Kata I've handled, the build quality of the bag is exceptional and the brightly-colored interior makes small items easy to find, any debris easy to spot, and is soft, smooth, and protective. The zippers and tabs seem to be durable. It's easy to swing the bag around one shoulder to your chest and not difficult to access your camera from there. The bag also sits freely upright on the ground, so there's no need to lay it in the dirt when you take it off.
Lower compartment: This camera compartment fits 4-5 loose lenses and a body with lens. I don't have that many lenses so I keep the included Kata rain cover in this compartment, as well as spare batteries, charger, and my PS camera. The dividers are, of course, rearrangeable and of nice quality. When fully unzipped, this compartment pulls out far enough to be perpendicular to the bag, safely allowing you to access your camera gear with the bag laying flat, should you choose to. This compartment is also removable, allowing you to transform the bag from a camera bag into a regular one. It fits the K-x nicely, as seen below in the crappy iPhone picture:
Upper Compartment: They top compartment is spacious. You can fit several bottles of water in here! If you don't have that much to carry, the pull straps will compress the bag so that nothing bounces around inside. This compartment has a few organizer pockets, as seen below, and can easily fit an iPad in landscape or portrait.
Middle Compartment and Pockets: There's also a middle compartment that has a good bit of room. This is where I keep my cleaning supplies, including a big rocket blower, and there's room for more. The outer pockets on either side of the zipper for the middle compartment can hold extra batteries, memory cards, and filters. I have a few filters in individual cases in one and my IR remote and extra SD cards in the other. There are no dedicated card or filter holders on the bag, but these pockets work well enough.
Tripod Holder: There's nothing special about the tripod holder, but it is nice that you can conceal it when not in use. The mesh pocket that holds the feet stows away into a zipped pocket, and the strap that holds the top of the tripod is easily removable. I would prefer the strap to have a buckle, but I guess Kata was afraid of it coming off while you're using the tripod if you don't re-buckle it. The mesh pocket can also hold a water bottle when you're not carrying a tripod, however, Kata failed to include this mesh pocket on the other side, which would've allowed you to carry a water bottle AND tripod.
Laptop Compartment: Pretty straightforward. The manufacturer's description indicates that this bag will fit most 15" laptops, however, it does fit my 17" MacBook Pro quite well. The front and back of the compartment is safely padded. You can fit a hydration system in here, too.
The Back of the Bag: The back is comfortable when you're wearing it, although the shoulder straps could use some more padding. I bought some dark-grey sheepskin seatbelt covers to use on them. You might be okay with them, though; my shoulders got ripped up in the Army, so they're more sensitive to packs. The straps have a metal ring on each, made for Kata's Reflex E camera strap. The Reflex E can snap to the rings on the bag so that you don't have to wear the camera around your neck. The back has Kata's trolly loop, too, that they call InserTrolly. The waist strap is simple and effective. I've felt no need to have a padded one. Kata included an elastic strap-keeper on the waist belt but nowhere else. Needless to say, strap-keepers on the rest of the straps would have been nice. This bag is compatible with Kata's EPH system that allows additional bags to be attached to this one. There are four nylon loops on the bottom made for this. I wish Kata had placed these loops further back towards the center on the bottom of the bag, though, because they dig into my back if I don't flip them out first. They're all right if I make sure I flip them back. There's also one of these loops on the top near the carry handle, as pictured below.
Rain Cover: The included rain cover fits very well. It is secured around each shoulder strap by velcro taps. Although these velcro tabs are thin, they appear to do just fine. The cover is easy to get on and off, as well as stow back into itself. I have not tested it in a downpour, but I'm sure it's better than nothing, at least.
Conclusion: With only a few minor shortcomings, this bag's pros heavily outweigh the little cons. For anyone who isn't carrying a boatload of lenses but needs the option of packing for travel, hiking, or a long shoot, including a laptop and tripod, I think you'll be happy with the Kata DR-467i backpack.
Not sure if it qualifies, but here's my camera bag. These are pretty much the only "gadgets" I have minus my phone.
Great review. thanks alot. I have been looking for something like this. I recently got my first dslr, so i only have the standart 18-50mm lens that came with.
Here is Bag I use for when I take the train.
Htc Desire HD