Is there ever such a thing as a perfect camera bag? I don’t think so, and I’ve got a cupboard full of ‘nearly perfect’ bags at home to prove my point. My little Fuji X100S camera has been interesting from that perspective – its small enough to be handy for street and candid photos, but too big to go in a coat pocket. The Kata and Billingham bags I have tried for it are fair enough – adequate protection, and room for extras like batteries and filters, but somehow they are ‘awkward’ to use. The Billingham Hadley Digital looks like a camera bag, and its not the easiest to slip the camera in and out of, and the Kata doesn’t hold the camera securely unless it’s all zipped up, so a compromise between accessibility and security.
Along came the Lowepro Streamline 150, and this is proving to be interesting – it looks like a Messenger or ‘man-bag’ but has plenty of room for the X100S, WCL converter and spare batteries etc. Crucially there is also room for a phone, keys, a notebook, and other odds and ends, so it’s a take anywhere bag that just happens to double up as a great camera bag. Brilliantly the camera just slips into its place – secure enough anyway in its foam padding, but with the option to close the zip fastener on the front of the bag for extra safety.
Time will tell how it works out, but for now I’m happy to carry a lightweight shoulder/messenger bag with my camera safely ensconced, but available at a moment’s notice for that elusive shot.
EDIT: The bag is still going strong! Its become my ‘carry-everywhere’ bag, and the X100S is always in it ‘ready to go’, with a fully charged battery, a spare battery and memory card, and everything set to Auto and ISO auto 3200. I’ve sold the WCL converter as I was never bothered to use it – if I want different lenses I just take my other camera. For ‘occasional’ use the camera just has a wrist strap fitted, or for longer sessions I put a neck strap on. My iPad mini fits in the bag for days out too.
EDIT:EDIT Almost a year on, and the bag is still in use! The X100S has given way to a Fuji X-E2, which with a 27mm lens is my ‘carry-everywhere’ camera. It will just about go with an 18mm lens, but too tight with a 35mm or with a grip fitted. For that I use a larger bag…