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Old Mar 1, 2011, 3:03 PM   #1
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Default Please help me find camera bag

Hello All,

I am the proud new owner of a Nikon D3100. I am looking for a nice camera bag that is both comfortable and will protect my gear. A friend recommended the Lowpro 202 AW. I looked this up on Amazon and it's about $70, it looks like a nice bag / sling. I would prefer to stay in this price range, $70 to less than $100. I don't think I'll ever carry my laptop with me, so I doubt I need a larger sling like the 303.

So far I only have the following camera gear, with hopes to buy more stuff as time goes on:

D3100
18-55mm lens
55-200mm lens
Will purchase extra battery and flash soon

I'm sure I'll buy more stuff as time goes on but for now, will this be a good bag / sling for me?

Thanks in Advance,
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Old Mar 1, 2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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Look at the Lowepro Nova 170 AW. I have the older 3AW version before they made some minor changes and renumbered it. A very well padded bag that stays in the trunk of my car 24-7-365 unless I am out shooting or riding in the fire engine with it. Takes all the bumps etc. Had it for over 2 years (got in December 2008)

I carry a Fuji HS10, Olympus SW1050, several sets of AA batteries, hot shoe flash, memory card reader, business cards/press badge, pens, small memo pad and a hard shell memory card holder that holds 4 SDHC cards. Would see it holding all the stuff you listed plus you new flash without a problem.

I like the shoulder style vs sling style. I have even been able to carry it on a plane 2 years in a row as my second carry-on piece of luggage. Also it costs less than your budget and is well padded.

dave
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 8:53 AM   #3
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I came very close to getting the 202 as I recently upgraded from the 170 size. That is actually what I went into the store for, but they were out of stock on that particular model. While I ended up getting a completely different brand and style (Domke F6) would suggest the 202 over the 170. The 170 held the D40 (and later D90) with the 18-55 kit lens and 55-200, plus had some spac for a small item like a battery, when I got an SB600, I had to drape it on the outside, attaching the SB600 case to the strap. Likewise did the same thing on the other side with a Sigma 10-20. You can see why I needed the larger case. While may not need the space of the 202 at present, it does give you room to grow.

The hardest part is to decide if you want a backpack, sling, or shoulder bag. On a weekday (forget weekends as too busy) you may want to take your gear into a camera store, putting them in bags - noting where future planned purchase will go - and see how accessable they are. As an example, when I tried a Tamrac sling, I found that my equipment would be layerd 2 deep, requiring me to take one out to get to another.
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 9:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'll go down to the local camera store(s) this weekend and check out the bag, try them on and see how they feel before making my decision.

Thanks again,
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 9:51 PM   #5
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I have the older Lowepro Slingshot 200 - it works really well. I turned the dividers so I could get at all 4 lenses in the lower compartment through the side opening without stacking them. It looked to me that you could do the same thing with the Tamrac sling (not the Velocity line).

There's two strategies for buying a camera bag. First one is to buy a small bag that works for right now but that you know you'll outgrow fairly quickly - you can continue to use it for going light when you buy a bigger bag and don't want to haul around all your junk. The other way to go about it is to buy a bag that's bigger than you need right now - it's amazing how quickly you accumulate other things (accessories).
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Old Mar 3, 2011, 12:03 AM   #6
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I agree with the last post that you may want two bags...... The first camera bag I had which was also a lowepro quickly became overloaded and was replaced within a year of buying it so that all my equipment I need to carry for work would fit in one bag. However I have not used the smaller camera bag I had since the day I switched over to the larger camera bag because it was too small for the way I work.......

dave
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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Hello All, thanks for the recommendations. I went down to the local big box electronic store and "borrowed" the Lowpro 200 AW (they didn't have the 202AW). The first thing my wife said when I brought it home was how big it is. I completely agree, this bag is huge and is being returned today in favor of something smaller, well another test drive for something smaller. Of course I’ll make my final purchase online!

I agree with the two bag rationale, I really don't need a bag as large as the 202AW right now, it seems to be overkill for the time being and I'd just end up carrying around a half empty bag.

I’m leaning towards something like the Lowpro Nova 170 as mentioned above or something similar, like the CaseLogic SLRC – 202 or 203. Something smaller and less expensive. I’m planning to “borrow” one of these bags this evening and try out for a few days to see if I like this type of bag better.

Thanks again for your help, I’ll let you know what I decide on,
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