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Posts about writing, travel, fashion, and my life.

Cute camera bags

I picked up a new DSLR over the weekend.  Actually, it's my first DSLR -- I've previously only done "real" camera work with film.  But I've been thinking about buying a DSLR for awhile now, and since I'm heading to Paris in a couple of weeks, this seemed like as good a time as any!

But, of course, with new electronics come the age-old question: How do I carry it without looking like a fool?

Generally speaking, I like to carry my expensive electronic equipment in a bag that doesn't scream "I'm carrying expensive electronic equipment! PLS ROB ME, THX!"  Plus, I like my outfits to be at least somewhat cohesive, and let's face it -- black nylon and mesh isn't exactly a fashion statement.

Anyway, that means I have two choices: I can either buy a small camera case that will fit inside my purse, or I can buy a cute camera bag that will double as a purse.  My main issue with the first option is that...let's just say I'm not a fan of big bags.  And thus, most of my purses are barely big enough to fit my phone (to be fair, my phone is a Note 2, so it's kinda big), let alone a DSLR in a case.  So if I go with option #1, I'll also have to buy a reasonably large purse to put that case inside. 

So I might as well go for option #2, am I right?  Did some hunting around the web, and here's what I found (haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning toward the first one):

Epiphanie Charlotte in Metallic Chevron
Epiphanie Charlotte bag in Metallic Chevron
Price: $154.99

It looks like Epiphanie is one of the main purveyors of "camera bags that don't look like camera bags" on the 'net.  For some reason the chevron pattern on their Charlotte bag really appeals to me...not sure if it's the combination of silver and navy, or if it's just the fact that it's a bold pattern that still seems to remain relatively neutral.  I also like that it's a messenger-style bag rather than a large purse, since I think large purses are ridiculous but I can get on board with a normal-sized messenger bag.  According to the description, this bag holds a camera with attached lens, a long lens, a short lens, random accessories, and an iPad.  That's cool; I have an iPad.  I'd rather it hold my 11-inch MacBook Air, though. 

The main drawback I'm seeing with this bag is that it's faux leather rather than real leather, and I hate paying over $100 for faux leather.  Oh yeah, also it's kind of expensive.  But I do feel like I'd get a decent amount of wear out of it, even if I wasn't toting my camera around.

ONA The Palma in Cognac
ONA The Palma bag in Cognac
Price: $319

ONA was the first hit I got when I typed "stylish camera bags" into Google.  Way to SEO, guys!  Anyway, this bag is so...gorgeous...  Seriously, it's just beautiful, and even though I probably wouldn't consider it if I weren't looking for a camera bag, I still love it.  Unfortunately, it's backordered at the moment, which means it's not a viable option for me (I really need to have a bag by the time I leave for Paris).

According to the description, the Palma bag can hold a DSLR and up to two lenses.  However, when I look at this photo:

Well, that seems like a stretch.  It looks like the Palma can hold a DSLR (no lens attached) and maybe two lenses, if you don't put anything else inside it.  Which is fine for me, since I hate large purses anyway, but maybe not fine for me + my photography equipment.  So the biggest drawback here is size, and, obviously, price.  And it does seem to fit an iPad, albeit an iPad 2 or later -- maybe not the chunkier first generation (which is what I have).

Kelly Moore B-Hobo in Almost Black
Kelly Moore B-Hobo bag in Almost Black
Price: $169

In my one day of bag-hunting, I've heard (er...read) the name Kelly Moore bandied about quite a bit.  And honestly...I'm not terribly impressed.  For the most part the bags seem uninspired, like a $40 off-brand purse I might pick up at the Filene's Basement in Union Square (NYC Union Square, not SF Union Square...obviously).  But I don't hate the B-Hobo bag -- mainly because the hobo style in general seems to lend itself to carrying a lot of equipment (without looking like you're carrying a lot of equipment). 

According to the photos on the website, this bag looks like it can carry a DSLR with lens attached and up to two extra lenses.  Like all camera bags (apparently), there's also an iPad divider.  iPads are great and all, but I'd prefer that bag makers think just a tiny bit larger so I could slip my MBA in there.  Drawbacks on this one: not real leather, a bit pricey, and not the sexiest design I've ever seen.

Leather DSLR bag from Etsy
Leather DSLR bag from Etsy
Price: $119

A couple of Etsy sellers are selling this cute leather DSLR case.  I love it -- it's small, compact, probably fits my camera (and that's it), and it's leather!  Woohoo!  But there are, as always, some issues.  First of all, it's not an option for me since it ships from China -- and we all know cheap shipping from China usually takes at least two weeks, if not longer, to hit the U.S.  Second...it's just not big enough.  Unfortunately!  As much as I would love to trot around Paris carrying only my camera, realistically I'll probably have to carry other things (like...I don't know...money and credit cards and maybe one of my many phones).  So this isn't a great solution in the short term (Paris) or in the long term, when I'll have multiple lenses.

Still, it's adorable and I love it.

Camera Cube insert from Etsy
Camera Cube insert for DSLR
Price: $20

So this is my other option -- the option that doesn't involve me buying a camera bag, just a camera bag insert.  This camera cube foam insert is just $20 on Etsy, and it's custom-made to fit your camera.  I love it, since you can just pop it into your bag/tote/backpack/whatever -- it's like a laptop sleeve, but for your camera! 

Of course, the issue is that you need a bag large enough to fit your camera.  For me, that would mean I'd have to go out and buy the $1450 Jimmy Choo Solar bag that I've been lusting over for a couple of months now.  What a sacrifice!
Jimmy Choo Solar L in Gold Metallic
P.S. You can also get a camera "wrap," which is like the cube but with a cover, for $25.