choosing a professional camera carry bag
Having valuable, hard-to-replace or incredibly rare camera equipment can lead to you taking great photographs, but you need to make sure that all of your tools are safe. Like all hobby equipment, there are companies that produce the extras you need to protect your camera gear from harm, but actually choosing the best camera backpack can be a tricky job. It isn’t just like buying a regular backpack – you’re getting one specifically for equipment that you probably can’t risk losing or damaging.

Shoulder Bags

An over-the-shoulder bag can be a great tool for professional photography. It keeps your camera within arm’s reach at all times, provides a decent amount of protection from bad weather, and doesn’t usually take much effort to carry around. Even a small shoulder bag could carry a camera, a small tripod and a lens or two, which is great for taking photos on the move or keeping your camera at the ready ‘just in case’.

A small bag is also very easy to move around with, especially if it fits under the arm (since it won’t stick out like a backpack would). This makes it far easier to use if you’re in small spaces, including woodland areas or cramped rooms in a smaller home. Keep in mind that this might also make it easier to lose track of, and they won’t be able to support very much weight on their own relative to larger bags.

Hip Bags and Satchels

Most bags that go over your hip will be able to support a decent amount of weight, especially if they’re made with tougher materials. Like shoulder bags, they aren’t usually that big, but they’ll be at waist level in a way that can make them difficult to get used to. Once you do, though, they’re a great option in terms of accessibility. If you want your camera out, you can just unzip or unbutton the top and pull it out without even having to take the bag off.

shoulder bags
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Over-the-hip bags are also much harder to lose, and thieves won’t have any luck trying to steal from them since they’ll be right next to your hands. If you get one that’s large enough, you can even use them to store all of your camera equipment, meaning that you can prepare it in advance, then just slip it on and head out to start taking photos at a moment’s notice.


A full backpack is great for professional photography fans and hobbyists, letting you carry a massive amount of equipment while leaving both of your hands free. You’ll need to take the backpack off to grab anything from it, but this only takes a moment, and it’s much harder for the bag to get stolen if you aren’t paying attention as long as it’s around even one of your arms. Speaking of which, if the bag is still light enough afterward, you can wear it around one arm for extra mobility.

Backpacks often also have extra side pockets that can hold smaller objects, or split your items into two groups. This is good for separating your camera equipment from the rest of the items you might carry with you: for example, food, which you wouldn’t want to have near your valuable equipment in case something breaks and your gear is damaged with crumbs, water, etc.  Keep in mind that they’re often quite bulky, especially if you fill them with heavy camera gear and photography equipment.

Does it matter?

hip bags and satchels
While it might seem like a minor detail, having proper storage for your photography tools is extremely important. If you let something get damaged, it can set you back a lot of money (especially if you’re using professional-level gear, or something that’s no longer being produced normally), and there’s almost no reason not ignore having better carrying methods if you can find them. While you might prefer to keep all of your gear in a car or safely tucked away at home until they’re needed, even just bringing a basic camera in a normal shoulder bag can open up dozens of new opportunities for amazing photos, especially if you travel often and end up in locations where you can take some great pictures.

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