Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lowepro Camera Bags for all Sizes

I can't remember ever using a regular camera bag since the digital age started. It seems like every digital camera is a different size and shape. The ones I've been using always seem to be a big fatter than the norm. So I end up making something else fit, like an Eagle Creek pouch meant for something else or a small purse-type thing purchased from a Maya woman in a mercado.

When a Canadian chipmunk-looking squirrel started licking my old camera bag during a hike in Alberta's Banff National Park, I decided that maybe it was time to look harder for a real camera bag that wasn't crusted with 10 years of dust and grime. So when the Lowepro people offered to let me try out one of their many camera cases, I was able to find the one that fits my Kodak model.

The Kodak superzoom models (like the Z1012) are more compact than some of the others, like the Panasonic Lumix or the 20X Casio model I'll be reviewing in a few days. So this Apex 60 model is just right. Snug, but with room to spare for memory cards and batteries. There's only one zipper on this model: a flap inside separates the camera itself from the accessories. The accessories section is further separated with a Velcro-closed pocket and a mesh pocket. The Apex 60 comes with a basic carrying strap and a Velcro loop on the back for attaching it to a belt or daypack.

The cushioning all around protects the camera, which would have come in handy when I dropped mine a while back and the video option stopped functioning. It's water resistant on its own, but also comes with a cool waterproof cover that tucks underneath when not in use, as with a hiking daypack. So you can feel safer in a sudden downpour or touring Victoria Falls. Despite all this, it only weighs four ounces.

The Apex 60 lists for $24, but you may save a few bucks buying it online.

Lowepro sells a wide variety of camera bags, from ones fitting the smallest compact cameras to sophisticated bags for pro photographers with bags of lenses and tripods. There is a compatibility chart that allows you to match your camera to the right bag and there's even one for "stealth photographers" who need to stay incognito. They back even the cheapest pouches up with a lifetime warranty. To see the whole line of bags, go to the Lowepro site.

If you're a flashpacker with an SLR, a few lenses, and a laptop, check out the Lowepro CompuDaypack review from a while back.

Search Lowepro camera bags at Amazon.

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