Have you spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in camera equipment?
and yet you still can’t find the best camera bag as a street photographer
Then you carelessly ruined it by just accidentally dropping it or made heavy impacts because you had to carry it around.
Camera bags are designed to house your gear safely to avoid damage. But did you know that camera bags are not created equal? Some bags are suited for photographing your kid’s baseball games, shooting photos while hiking up a mountain, walking on sidewalks and streets in a big city or taking your cameras on vacation.
The wrong bag can become uncomfortable and heavy after a few hours of walking and you’ll probably realize that it would be better to evaluate your needs and get one good camera bag.
5 Best Camera Bags for Street Photography
These are the things that you have to put in mind before getting a camera bag:
- PROTECTION – You’ve invested in a camera and maybe some lenses and tripods so be sure to protect your investment. The level of padding and protection you need depends on where you’re shooting the photographs, what are your means of travel and so forth.
It’s best to get a sturdy camera bag even if you’re just walking around city streets to avoid your equipment being damaged from falling or being banged against a building. Padded interior partitions are important to keep your camera, lenses and other equipment from being banged around and scratching each other. Water resistant fabric, zippers and rain covers is important if you are shooting on a rainy day.
- COMFORT – street camera backpack can become heavy fast. Some lenses, a couple of batteries, a flash, and maybe a computer or tablet may all be light on their own, but put them together and it can feel like you are hauling a ton of bricks. It’s important that the bag can distribute the weight to make it easier to carry. Straps need to be padded and non-slip. Backpacks with hip support can take the weight off your shoulders.
- DURABILITY – A well-built camera bag should be made of material that won’t rip. The zippers should be sealed from rain and the buckles should be sturdy and made of material that won’t break. And most importantly, the shoulder straps or handles shouldn’t rip at the seams when the bag gets heavy.
- CONVENIENCE – If you can’t get your camera out quickly, you’ll miss decent photos, and if you want those good-look photos for your travel Instagram channel you must take it in time. That is really frustrating. Handy compartments and fast release clips will make it easier.
- DESIGN – If you are shooting at a wedding or some other event, or in the city, you don’t want some ugly-looking camera bag that makes it look like you’re carrying junk.
Choosing a camera bag is personal and it depends on where you will be taking photos and what camera equipment you want to carry, in particular, street photographers need their camera bags to be low profile and not attract any attention towards them.
They need to blend in as much as they can but they also need to be able to move quickly and need quick access to their gear.
Although moving quickly can depend on the photographer’s own speed, they certainly will be able to move faster if they are carrying less weight. With that being said, a street photographer needs a small, lightweight and easy to carry bag that can definitely help them blend in and move at ease at the same time.
Reviews of 5 Top Camer Backpacks For Street Photography
You’re probably itching to know the right camera bag for your needs as a street photographer. Well, here are the top 3 camera bag brands that we’re going to recommend to you along with a short review.
Take a look at this comparison table that we’ve made for you:
|Product name||Price (approx.)||Specifications|
|Think tank retrospective 30||$$||16 x 10.5 x 7.5 inches|
|Tenba Messenger DNA 15||$||16 x 11.5 x 9 inches|
|ONA Union Street||$$$||16.5 x 11 x 5 inches|
|BAGSMART Camera Backpack||$||12.2 x 17.9 x 7.1 inch|
|AmazonBasics Large DSLR Gadget Bag||$||12.2 x 17.9 x 7.1 inch|
1. THINK TANK RESTROSPECTIVE 30 – ”Old-school” style bag
- Two front pockets to carry pro size DSLRs
- Minimalist outer appearance
- Soft, adjustable shoulder strap with non-slip pad
- Removable short carrying handle for convenience
- Organizer pocket built into main compartment
- Wider size to fit a 70-200 f2.8 attached to DSLR facing sideways
- Can accommodate 2-4 lenses in main compartment with 2 DSLR bodies in front pockets
The Retrospective Shoulder Bag is a very simple bag that is made to carry one pro DSLR that has a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom that attached to camera. And, with its wider size, the camera and lens combo can be stored sideways within the bag. Or, it can accommodate two DSLRs. The disparity between the Retrospective 30 and the other models of the same bag lays on the expandable pockets. The smaller versions only have one. However, the interior dividers are still customizable to accommodate the gear you carry on any given day.
2. TENBA MESSENGER DNA 15 – Spacious and convenient for travel
- Holds DSLR with 70-200mm Attached
- Holds 2-3 Lenses, Flash, Accessories
- Holds Laptop up to 15″
- Reversible WeatherWrap Rain Cover
- Removable, Padded Insert with Dividers
- Adjustable Security Strap
- Quick-Access Zipper
- Non-Slip Shoulder Pad
- Rear Padded Sleeve for Tablet or Laptop
- Water-Repellent Exterior Coating
DNA 15 of Tenba is a flexible messenger bag that is made to carry a professional DSLR that has 2-3 lenses. The tapered flap covers the main compartment, providing protection from the elements, and closes via hook-and-loop closures as well as magnetic clips. When the insert is removed, the bag is quickly converted from a camera bag to a general-purpose bag that can be used for carrying books, clothes, business documents, and more.
3. ONA UNION STREET – Good camera bags for travel
- Holds DSLR, 3 Lenses, and Accessories
- Removable Compartment for 15″ Laptop
- Waxed Canvas with Leather Accents
- Soft-Lined Interior Protects Gear
- Five Removable Internal Dividers
- Leather Detail on Base for Durability
- Dual Front Buckles
- Adjustable Padded Shoulder Strap
- Top Grab Handle
- Antique Brass Hardware
The Union Street Messenger Bag created by ONA is made to carry a 15″ laptop in separate, flexible compartment that has a security strap and 3 lenses DSLR.
It is made from a durable cotton canvas that has been treated with a special wax that will stand up to the demands of the photographer who spends much time outdoors. The bag is accented with antique brass hardware to give it an even classier, old-world feeling. Carry it with its adjustable strap that has wide pads, or on the top grab handle. As functional as it is elegant, The Union Street Messenger Bag is the ideal companion for the modern photographer, enabling you to carry your gear in comfort and style.
We hope you found this article helpful. While articles like these provides you some useful tips that can really help you select the perfect camera bag for you, at the end you are the one making the decision because you’re the person who knows and understands what you really needed most. Anyway, here’s my best pick among the 3 brands that we’ve recommended…
- Three zipper compartments (2 fronts, 1 large back, and 2 sides)
- Movable bag divider
- Hidden tripod/monopod pocket
- Sufficient padded inserts and dividers for DSLR body, 3-4 lenses, 14” laptop and more
- Waterproof rain cover
- Secured with durable magnetic snaps, buckles, and straps
BAGSMART’s tagline is to ‘make carrying smarter’ and upon seeing this backpack, you will immediately understand why. This bag becomes one of the most sought-after camera bags because it is secured, durable, and organized.
The interior of this camera bag is divided into two parts: the upper and lower part. The upper part is great for safely keeping your camera’s accessories; while on the lower part, you can safely store your camera and its lenses.
The streets sometimes can’t be forgiving. It is accident-prone. But you have nothing to worry about because this camera bag is made with the shockproof and waterproof material. It also has an anti-scratch feature that makes it more durable.
The good advantage of this camera bag is its usage versatility. If you don’t have work or you need to travel, you can turn this bag into your easy-to-go travel bag. You can do this by removing all the dividers and foam inside the bag and place all your clothes in.
- The bag can hold 1 DSLR body and 3 camera lenses (maximum)
- One interior slot for the smartphone or other electronic devices
- Removable interior divider
- Loaded with comfortable and heavily padded
On this camera bag list, AmazonBasics large DSLR gadget bag is the cheapest option. But don’t worry the only cheap on this bag is its price ($25.95) and not its quality.
The exterior of the camera bag contains 2 side pouches, 4ft. long adjustable carrying strap, and one large pouch (front). When it comes to protection, it may not have shockproof feature but with its heavily padded exterior and rubber feet on the base part, it can protect your camera gear well.
The interior of this camera bag contains a four cushion-type divider, one slot for electronic device or accessories, and a mesh zippered-pouch at the camera bag’s top. This mesh zippered-pouch is a great storage unit for cables, memory cards, and screen wipes.
AmazonBasics large DSLR gadget bag is an ideal option for everyone who is just starting up their street photography.
Which Is The Best Overall Camera Bag?
Tenba is a leading marketer of camera bags. They have a huge collection of camera bags and equipment aside from the DNA 15. For me, this particular brand has many things to offer. From external design, durability, comfort and quality they have it all. So, if you’re looking for a camera bag to protect your precious camera equipment, this particular brand is worth checking out.