Callum McInerney-Riley reviews six of the best camera bags for compact system cameras
Billingham Hadley Digital
Price: Around £120
The ultra-stylish Billingham Hadley Digital is the bag of choice for many Leica M users, as it offers enough space for a large mirrorless camera and a couple of lenses.
The internal dimensions are 180x100x170mm, which means it sits in the middle of all the bags on test here. The FibreNyte material is 10% lighter and harder wearing than the canvas version of the Hadley Digital, with the added advantage that the colour doesn’t fade over time.
The FibreNyte bags come in khaki or sage with a tan or chocolate leather trim, while the canvas bags are available in khaki or black with a tan or black leather trim.
At around £120, this bag is one of the most expensive on test, but it is justified by its quality. The seams are well stitched, the protection is great, the material is hard-wearing and the bag looks amazing.
Recommended by Amateur Photographer
Expensive, but worth the money
Benro Hyacinth 20
New to the Benro bag range are two Hyacinth shoulder bags. The Hyacinth 10 is a similar size to the Nest bag (see below), while the Hyacinth 20 is designed for larger compact system camera kit. With inner dimensions of 250x90x150mm, the Hyacinth 20 holds a large-sized compact system camera with a lens attached, plus two small lenses or one big lens. Its inconspicuous styling does not advertise the expensive contents within, which makes it a good choice for security reasons. The bag is available in pink, blue, black and grey. Memory cards can be stored in a small zip-up compartment on the front flap, while also on the front is a large zip-up compartment that is ideal for keys, mobile phone and battery chargers, among other things.
Nest Athena S10
For those photographers who want an ultra-lightweight bag, the Nest Athena S10 is a good option. With internal dimensions of 140x60x115mm, the S10 will carry a small-sized compact system camera, such as a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 or a Sony NEX model. There is also just enough space to nestle a charger or a small pancake lens alongside the camera. There are two small pouches for memory cards in the top compartment. Pictured (right) is the metallic white version, but this bag is also available in black and brown. The Nest Athena S10 is made from a 750D waterproof twill with a 210D nylon interior, and boasts a respectable 10mm of padding. At the rear of the bag is a small flap allowing users to wear the Nest bag on their belt.
Booq Python mirrorless
Price: Around £65
Made from a ballistic nylon, the Booq Python mirrorless looks like no other bag on the market. This material is water-resistant, as are the zips. With internal dimensions of 230x150x100mm, there’s plenty of space in the main compartment for a large compact system camera and lens. There are two dividers inside, one of which runs horizontally across the bag allowing for the storage of chargers, card readers and other gadgets without the risk of them making contact with your camera. There is a small flap inside the main compartment that is designed to fit an iPad Mini or similar-sized tablet. Additional storage is available via two side pouches, which are ideal for storing keys, memory cards and headphones. The small pockets on the top and on the back of
the bag that are perfect sizes for notepads and phones.
Tamrac Apache 2
Price: Around £60
Made from a brown weather-protected sailcloth, the Tamrac Apache series is very durable and stylish. Three different sizes of bag are available in the series, with the Apache 2 designed for a compact DSLR or compact system camera kit. With internal dimensions of 200x100x160mm, the bag will hold a CSC and an attached lens of up to 9cm, plus two large lenses and a flash. The underside of the bag is made from a Hypatex material that is resistant to abrasions and will prevent the bottom of the bag from wearing out. With foam padding throughout, and two large and two small dividers, the Apache 2 will ensure that your camera is well protected.
Recommended by Amateur Photographer
A fine balance between style and protection – great value for money
The classic-looking Domke Trekker is brand new to the Domke bag line-up and is due to be released in July. Specifically designed for smaller cameras, at 140x102x127mm internally the Trekker will hold a large compact system camera with kit lens and either one large extra lens or two small ones. Interestingly, the strap of the Trekker can be removed and, using its double belt strap, the bag can be worn at the hip instead of carried over the shoulder. The Nest bag (left) also features this functionality, but the Trekker is slightly bigger. The material used to make the bag is Domke’s own RuggedWear all-cotton waxed fabric. This is extremely hard-wearing and is treated with waxes and oils to make it water-resistant. A small amount of storage is offered on the underside of the top flap, and the front of the bag has a fair-sized pouch that is ideal for cable releases and spare batteries.