Monday, March 11, 2013

Gear Organization Series #2 - Modifying an EDC Bag For Camera Use

We are all looking for that "perfect" camera bag.  Problem is, perfect is a relative term.  Perfect for me is something that I can have my "take everywhere" camera or a "light" DSLR kit.

I did a lot of looking and I just didn't see any camera bags that fit the bill for me.  So I started looking at other bags.  That is when I stumbled across the Maxpedition line of bags.  Maxpedition builds their bags for outdoor enthusiasts.  They do have some unique options like the  Jumbo Versipak.  This is a sling/cross body style of bag that has a low foot print, but can hold quite a bit of gear.
The bags are also built to rugged military standard of durability.  So believe me when I say that this thing will last you for quite some time.  It is also coated in a Teflon water resistance, so handling the wet elements is also a bonus feature!

As you can see there is a padded shoulder strap, and a waist strap to add more security and to keep the bag from sliding about.  There are also quite a few molle straps and velcro sections for adding on expansion pouches if you need the extra room.

While this is a nice bag, it definitely was not made with camera gear in mind.  What does that mean?  Well, it is not padded on the sides or the bottom of the main pouch.  Easy solution - I have quite a few pieces of padded dividers from my Tamrac and Lowepro bags, so I re-purposed them!!

I lined the inside of the main compartment(bottom and sides) with the padded dividers.

The main compartment can hold my Fuji X-E1 with 18mm lens attached, the Fuji 35mm lens and still have room for many kinds of extra stuff - like more lenses, wallet, etc.

The main compartment also has a built in rain fly, so if the weather gets extra dicey, you know your gear has added protection from the elements!!

It also has many zippered pockets.

In front of the main compartment you'll find a medium size pocket.  Currently, I have 2 filters, cables, extra batteries and memory cards.  When I had my Fuji X10, it was small enough to inside this pouch.  You could fit a similar sized small compact camera in there, leaving the main compartment wide open.  Great for a day hike where you might want to bring some food, water, first aid kit or similar items along with a compact camera system.

To the righ of the main compartment is a smaller zippered side pouch.  I keep my pens, sharpie, pocket knife, leatherman and flashlight here.

To the left of the main compartment is a pocket originally designed for holding a Nalgene water bottle.    I find this useful for carrying extra lenses or additional cables that you might need.  A flash unit also fits in here nicely.

On top of the bag is another zippered pouch.  I keep first aid stuff and smaller electronics in here - radio triggers(Radio Popper or RF-602 type one should fit fine), BlueTooth headset.

Finally, just behind the main compartment is a zippered pocket that can fit a 7" tablet or similar size device.  I keep my Google Nexus 7 in there.  It would also be a good spot for camera manuals, model released, business cards.