I’m terrified at the prospect of choosing a purse for the woman in my life. But I have great confidence when it comes to selecting a camera bag for a fellow photographer. Why? Because the Lowepro 2012 Holiday Gift Guide helps me find and purchase exactly the right item.
First, I begin by choosing “type of photographer”: Outdoor & Adventure, Street Scene & Events, Travel Internationally, or Capture Family Memories. Once I match the category to my gift recipient, I have 3-5 different bags to select from, complete with multiple views of the bag, specs for what it will hold, and background information about its intended use. If I see something I like, I can purchase it right on the spot.
As you’re perusing the gift guide, I have a few additional tips to ensure the perfect selection.
- Personal Space vs Camera Space – Some bags are designed to maximize space for camera gear while others allow for more personal item storage. Think about how your photographer works, and shop accordingly. For example, a DSLR Video Fastpack 250 AW has an entire top area dedicated to personal space. Whereas the Urban Photo Sling is more for camera gear and tablet (both found under Travel Internationally).
- iPad Storage – Speaking of tablets, if your recipient loves the iPad or equivalent tablet, then make sure there’s a dedicated space for it. The Photo Hatchback 22L AW for example (illustrated here) includes a dedicated tablet sleeve, whereas the outdoorsy Photo Sport 200 AW does not.
- Color is Important – Some photographers insist on black for their bags while others enjoy a splash of color. Take a look at the travel gear your shooter uses, and try to find a solution that complements.
- All Weather or Fair Weather – Rainstorms are calling cards for outdoorsy types. But your photographer my be more of a fair weather artist. If rain is in the forecast, then make sure the bag has an All Weather (AW) cover.
- One Shoulder or Two – Backpacks distribute the weight across both shoulders, but have slower access, while sling and messenger bags rest on one shoulder with quicker access. Think about how your photographer typically works.
With a few minutes of exploration, you should be able to determine the perfect camera bag as a gift. Good luck, and happy holidays!
Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro.