Monday, November 22, 2010

In search of a non-hideous camera bag.


Remember how I doused my camera in a full bottle of essential-oil air freshener after it leaked in my purse? Also, remember how I still haven't learned my lesson? It's been a month and I'm still playing Russian Roulette with my DSLR, as it's protected from the dangers of my purse contents by only a thin layer of permeable cotton. AND, I carried home a bottle of hot sauce in said camera-containing bag today.

I am the worst.

I'm taking a photography class on Saturday mornings. I loooove the class, and I think I'm ready to finally invest in a good flash (now that I know a little more about lighting). So, since the value of my equipment will be going up, I should PROBABLY finally get a decent camera bag. Problem? Most of them are butt-freakin'-ugly. I have no interest in carrying a ripstop nylon and webbing bag around with me everywhere. I might as well just give up, fashion-wise, right?

A tad dramatic, OK. But it is especially important that my new camera bag be versatile enough that I can wear it for an event/show without totally bringing down the rest of my outfit. Otherwise, I won't actually use it.

So here I go. My quest to find the perfect non-ugly camera bag:

  • as small and light as possible (min dimensions of interior 4x7x7")
  • more purse-like (leather preferred)
  • crossbody strap
  • a neutral colour like caramel, navy or mushroom (not black or brown - too limiting)
  • padded or having the ability to be padded (I'm crafty)
  • attractive!
  • price under $75
It took some digging but people, there are options!

1. An actual vintage camera bag. Ebay, starting bid $9.99
Pros: price, protection, colour, size. 
Cons: interior is a bit sketchy due to vintage-ness, boxy, strap too short?

 2. Emera Camera Bags $169
Pros: way-chic, padded protection, sections 
Cons: no crossbody strap, price, too large

3. Vintage Vinyl Camera bag, via kingdogvintage on Etsy $25
Pros: Protection, size, price 
Cons: A tad too Sporty, vinyl

3. InCase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag $199
Pros: protective, sections, comfortable, colour, style 
Cons: Price, maybe a bit too sporty

4. Lucky Brand bag $150
Pros: style, size, colour 
Cons: non-protective, a bit small, price

5. Chanel-esque purse, via Modcloth $65
Pros: Style, padding, size, price OK 
Cons: uncomfortable strap, colour

6. Rachel Roy/Jessica Stam Bucket bag $199
Pros: Size, style, colour  - i LOVE  this bag
Cons: Price, way cuter than my actual purse - I'd probably end up using it as a purse and would be back where I started!

6.  Brown Purse/camera bag, via Yesstyle $70
Pros: good size, nice compromise between cam bag and purse, price OK
Cons: I despise faux-leather, colour is a bit boring

7. Purse, via Yesstyle $116
Pros: style, colour options, size, crossbody strap, leather
Cons: may be too small? price, protection

Looks like my best bets are #1 and #7. Much thinking to do! I think I'll check out some of the vintage shops around town, too. Plus I'm planning a day of vintage thrift shopping with mom and Meredith when I'm in Ottawa. Yay! 


Props/honourable mentions to the following bags, too. Although not really what I'm looking for, they deserve to be recognized for going outside of the typical/ugly zone in the world of camera bags. These Acme and National Geographic bags are all available at Downtown Camera (from $45):


  1. 1. Great price, and if it doesn't work out, you can always wear it as a purse.

  2. Incredibly behind the times but potentially useful?!