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Sew-sew camera bag
To transport my camera around the Mediterranean, I need a camera bag. There are tons of bags out there and most of them are over-priced and have mixed reviews. I researched them on various sites and even visited camera stores in St. Louis and Chicago. The first tip is to buy on-line. The prices at camera stores are incredible (anywhere from 50%-200% higher than on-line) and sometimes I wonder how they stay in business.

I finally settled on a Canon back pack at Amazon. I wanted a back pack so that my shoulders wouldn't get too tired. I also wanted configurable padding and space for packing other items and for future expansion. And of course I wanted a reasonable price.

The Canon bag can be found for $35-45 on-line which is a pretty good price. Overall the reviews were pretty good for the bag, but there was one major issue: The zippers on the bag aren't very heavy duty and aren't very tight, making them too easy to unzip.

The problem is that the camera is held at the top of the bag so the weight could actually cause the zippers to unzip and dump the contents of the bag on the ground. That's a significant risk but it is easily mitigated.

Some people got around this by sealing the zippers with a carabiner but I decided to try another solution. As some reviewers noted, the bag needs a strap that wraps around the front to prevent it from opening all the way. This would make it easy to access the camera at the top of the bag while preventing it from opening all the way.

The interesting thins is that the bag has two extra straps on the sides that aren't very useful but are an excellent place to mount such a front strap. The question is where to get the strap.

When I received the bag, I found that it came with a buckle on the shoulder straps that clips across the chest in addition to a waist belt. The cross-chest strap seemed unnecessary to me so I decided to use those to build a front strap.

After cutting the stitches and removing the side straps, I reconfigured the cross-chest strap to anchor to the sides of the bag and wrap around the front. Once this was done I re-stitched the straps (note the blue stitches in the pictures).

I'm quite pleased with the result. The new front strap is perfectly positioned to allow quick access to the camera while keeping the rest of the bag secure but the clip is easy to release when needed. But, for security, I did end up buying a locking carabiner...
Posted 09/12/2008 10:06 PM in DIY, Geek Stuff, Pictures, Travel | Total Comments: (0)
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