I don't do bag reviews...


Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
...but I shall make an exception on this occasion :)

When you get to my age :rolleyes: you may find, as I do, that a bag slung over a shoulder does more harm than good. For years I have wandered around with a Billingham or a Safrotto or similar while tramping around looking for a decent shot. Problem is, the old back isn't getting any younger and the need to distribute the load equally is increasing by the day. I have a couple of photo backpacks already - a large Tamrac jobbie that is great for long distance travel and a smaller but ancient and crispy LowePro thing that is half-daypack half-photo backpack and wholly awkward to get in to, requiring full removal and placing on a friendly nearby hard surface to fiddle about in for ten minutes... did I mention missing the shot?

Anyway, I took said LowePro contraption to Bruges a couple of weeks ago. Result, no back pain, but many photo opportunities missed. I decided to search for a replacement - something that could carry one of those new fangled tablet things (or a "lap-top", I believe they are called...) they didn't exist when Mr. Lowe and Mr. Pro did their thing to design my first bag - a camera, a couple of lenses or three and my marmite sandwiches, hip-flask, gloves, hat, guidebook, etc... The other criterion was that the camera had to be easy to access without putting the whole kit'n'kaboodle on the ground. Oh, and I am left-handed... :biggrin:

A little bit of research on the internet and in shops revealed one great truism... LowePro, Tamrac, Kata, Crumpler, etc are behind the times. They make great bags for great big DSLRs and jolly good bags for smaller of same, but try to find something to take a small camera - an M Leica, or a Ricoh, or an Olympus, or Panasonic CSC and you are restricted to either shoulder bags or backpacks in which the smaller form factor will roll about like a pea in a colander. What to do...?

Enter the LowePro Compuday Photo 250... lighter than a feather, built like a small tank, with a jolly clever side-opening compartment that is lined in day-glo orange (in case you are ever stuck on a mountain in which case you can presumably turn it inside-out) The compartment is well-designed - snug enough to take a small to medium-sized but perfectly formed serious compact while still being large and robust enough to afford protection to your pride and joy. Access is quick, but not so easy that a guttersnipe could zip and whip your camera whilst you were otherwise occupied.

Santa brought me one (well, he outsourced the delivery to Mr Amazon) and I must say I am really rather taken with it. Of course it looks like a camera bag, but it is svelte and black and doesn't attract too much attention (unless one is dressed like a Beach Boy in Hawaiian shirt and shorts, in which case one gets all that one deserves).

Have a look - you may like it too. :biggrin:


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
Bill, you can even make a camera bag story interesting reading!:wink: I do like the way you can get at your camera from the side. How did you deal with it though...you wore it but if you wanted to get to your camera or one that was inside the pack, did you have to take it off your back and swing it around?

Since I don't carry all that much - if I do need a bag, I'm still into a cross body style of bag. Plus, being female, mine doubles as a pocketbook though it is very androgynous.:biggrin:


Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Hi BB,

You unship the bag from your right shoulder and rotate it on your left. The side of the bag then presents itself to you to open. No need to put it on the ground, and easily done while walking. BTW, since I wrote this I have invested in an inexpensive "Tamrac Aero 94" - it fits perfectly within the compartment and sub-divides it for use with more than one camera. Magic :cool:


Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
I have awful issues with bags. I HATE the Crumpler 6MDH I bought a couple of years ago. It mostly doubles as the storage bag for keeping lenses or other odds and sods and doesnt often leave the house. I use an ancient (read circa 1979) bag which I used with my Minolta and gear. I like something I can have across body, like BBW (we had this discussion before and she suggested a couple of decent bags at that time)... but I have pretty much settled on getting the Passport Sling. Its not too expensive and not too big. I can't use a backpack any more, frozen shoulders and torn ligaments and all that, but the passport sling will be just fine (and it has a water bottle pocket too, a good thing IMO).
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