The Best Camera Bags for Virtually Every Kind of Photographer
No matter what you like to photograph, there’s a camera bag that’s ideally suited for you. That’s certainly true when you take a look at the breadth and depth of inventory of camera bags from the likes of Herschel, Peak Design, Think Tank, Vanguard, Holdfast, and other top brands. But for the purposes of this article, I want to zero in on one brand – Holdfast – to show that you can find a camera bag for just about any purpose from just one company. I also really, really like my Holdfast bag, and have been more than impressed with the products these guys put out. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best camera bags for virtually every kind of photographer.
Top Mirrorless Camera Bag – Holdfast Fundy Streetwise Bag
The Holdfast Fundy Streetwise Bag is an ideal companion for shooters with mirrorless systems because of its small form factor. The sheepskin-lined interior cradles your gear in whatever combination you bring. The flexible layout allows you to carry one camera body with various accessories or double up on the camera bodies. Better still, the bag is flexible in terms of how you carry it – as a shoulder bag or you can carry it using Holdfast’s impeccable MoneyMaker dual camera strap.
Since the bag is small, lightweight, and easy to carry, it should be on your radar if you’re a street photographer, travel photographer, or otherwise spend your time on the go from one shoot location to the next. And since it has a waxed canvas exterior that’s weather resistant, it should also be considered by nature and landscape photographers that need a small bag for quick jaunts that might be met with wind, rain, snow, and other elements. Best for: Mirrorless shooters that specialize in street photography or travel photography. Landscape and nature photographers should also consider it as a perfect bag for a quick trip.
Best DSLR Camera Bag – Holdfast Sightseer
For shooters with a DSLR system and multiple lenses, it’s tough to beat the Holdfast Sightseer. Like it’s smaller Streetwise cousin, the Sightseer is built to last with a combination of waxed canvas and American Bison Leather on its exterior to ensure not only that the bag is weather resistant, but beautiful as well. Inside, you’ll find an Aztec fleece lining that keeps your gear safe and snug. And this thing can haul a lot of gear, too.
Bring two or three DSLR bodies or mix and match one or two bodies with up to three 70-200mm lenses. To aid in carrying more gear, you can dedicate the bag to your DSLR cameras and add lens pouches (sold separately) to the outside of the bag.
In addition to your cameras and lenses, the Sightseer has space for up to a 13-inch laptop and includes three pockets for smaller items like batteries or your phone. And since this bag is modular, you again have multiple options for carrying it.
Use the included shoulder strap to carry it as a shoulder bag, use the integrated handles, or attach it to a MoneyMaker to make carrying your gear a total breeze. Best for: DSLR shooters that need a lot of gear for things like wedding and portrait photography, landscape photography, or sports photography.
Best Camera Backpack – Holdfast Sightseer Backpack
As good as the traditional Sightseer bag is, I think the Sightseer Backpack is even better. That’s because I tend to shoot landscapes, so having a backpack to carry my gear fits my workflow a little better. Not only does this backpack stay nice and stable on your back with two cushy, padded shoulder straps to make it a comfortable experience, but it’s also designed to allow you to get into the back quickly when you need to grab your gear and take a photo.
The zippered front panel opens completely to reveal the organized, padded interior compartment that sports the same Aztec fleece lining as the Sightseer Bag. Inside, there are various compartments and cubbies for carrying mirrorless or DSLR cameras, lenses, flashes, and other accessories, as well as a pocket for up to a 15-inch laptop.
That’s not all though. This bad boy has a dedicated compartment for your tripod, another for a change of clothes, with room left for storing batteries, cables, earphones, car keys, and the like. And since it’s part of the modular Sightseer collection, this backpack’s carrying capacity can be expanded with lens pouches and other Sightseer add-ons. Best for: This bag is ideal for landscape and adventure photographers that have tons of gear and need a bag in which to carry it comfortably.
Best Professional Camera Bag – Holdfast Roamographer
Last, but certainly not least, is what I think is the best professional camera bag on the market – the Holdfast Roamographer. I have a Roamographer and it has proven to be an outstanding all-around camera bag. But this rig has all sorts of tricks up its sleeve that make it much more than a stylish and durable camera bag. That’s because the camera insert is removable, so when you need to use the back as an overnight bag or a carry-on, you can do so.
What’s more, the Roamographer can be carried with the MoneyMaker, making it an even more versatile bag for photographers. Though it might seem like carrying such a big back on a camera harness would be uncomfortable or unwieldy, I can speak from experience that it’s not. Instead, it’s actually a very comfortable carrying experience because the MoneyMaker molds to your frame over time, resulting in a soft, supple, and custom fit.
Back to the Roamographer, though…
With exterior carrier straps, you have an easy way to carry your tripod. Add to that big, chunky leather handles, and picking up the bag and carrying it in your hand is a breeze as well. You can also use the shearling-lined shoulder strap to carry the Roamographer. And doing so allows you to carry a mirrorless camera or other small camera on the strap for taking quick snaps. With room for up to a 15-inch laptop in the large version and an iPad in the small version, multiple pockets and compartments, and the ability to carry either DSLR gear (large) or mirrorless or rangefinder gear (small), this is truly a totally customizable bag for any kind of professional photographer!
Best for: Professional shooters that need flexibility in how to carry the bag and how to organize the gear inside. This is an especially useful bag for portrait and wedding photographers where form and function are important.