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on March 1, 2011
Alot of reviewers have complained about the padding in this bag. The negative reviews made me a bit nervous but I went ahead and purchased this bag regardless. After opening it and playing around with the adjustable pads inside I found nothing to complain about. This is a perfect bag for a novice/amateur photographer. This bag is lightweight, stylish, small, discreet, able to hold personal items.....basically everything I wanted in a bag. This bag will be perfect for me as I travel around Europe for the next couple of years. This is not a DSLR backpack with lots of compartments and loads of padding. I am not entirely sure what the other reviewers were expecting but this bag fits all of my needs.
0Comment28 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 13, 2010
Nothing drags down an outing faster than a heavy kit of camera gear. My d700 is an anchor, but it's indispensable, so I've been working on lightening up the rest my gear. Big zooms have their place, but not on casual outings, so I leave them home in favor of a few manual focus primes, and pack an sb-400 flash instead of one of my sb800s. That leaves the bag as the last target for weight reduction. I have a half dozen bags, ranging from a Lowepro Mini-trekker (too big and too heavy/padded) to a Domke f-3x (too big) to a Crumpler $6M Home (too heavy/padded). The Exchange Messenger bag caught my eye, and once I tried packing it, I was hooked. I was able to configure the interior compartment to hold the d700/lens, two additional lenses, and my flash, and load the outer pockets with my wallet, cellphone, and camera supplies. And it molded itself to my side, just like my big Domke. I wonder if all the folks complaining about lack of padding realize they can add as much as they'd like? The only drawback I found was the lack of a Velcro fastener for the front flap... but I can always add it. I won't take this bag on holiday, but I'll use it as my primary bag for local outings.
0Comment29 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 16, 2010
The good: compact, comfortable, fits just enough for a day of shooting, stylish

The bad: padding, padding, and less padding (doesn't offer much protection for your expensive gear)

I already own a sling style backpack so i was in the market for more of an everyday type bag. I wanted something that i could throw my D90, extra lens, and some accessories in and walk around for the day.

As far as what i was looking for this camera bag is great! It doesn't look like a regular old camera bag. This is handy when going to places like Disney with the kids. I don't like to stick out and make myself a target for theft. It's also very narrow. The width of the bag is probably the best feature. The other shoulder/messenger style bags that i tried were just too wide and bulky to comfortably carry around on my shoulder. I throw this one over my head so the strap goes across my chest and it fits great! It doesn't stick out a mile. With the others i was constantly bumping into things and people with them because they were so wide.

Now for the bad part. As others have stated, this bag is lacking in the padding department. Most of the other bags are more of a rigid construction that holds its shape even when empty and absorb a lot of the shock when bumped. This one has very thin padding so it doesn't keep it's shape which helps it to conform to your hip or back BUT it doesn't provide as much protection. When you bump something with this bag you hear the impact on your items inside. I really wish that there was a bit more padding on the outside.

So i think i will keep my eyes open for another alternative. My perfect bag would be the same dimensions as this one with the same style but MORE padding. Until i find that bag i will happily continue to use this one and just be very careful about not banging it around.

UPDATE: Ok, after using this bag for a couple of weeks it HAD to go back. I just couldn't get over the lack of padding. I reduced the star rating based on that one factor. I purchased a Domke F-5xb in place of this one and have to say that i am very satisfied so far. The padding is much better, the size is still just right for my needs, and it doesn't scream "camera bag". Look for a full review soon under that product!
88 comments23 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 14, 2010
Before purchasing this bag, I read several reviews. It is true that there is not much padding, so I was already expecting it to be only minimally padded. Compared to just tossing my DSLR and a few lenses into my backpack carry-on and shoving it under a plane seat, the padding seemed like a luxury to my poor, abused gear.
I wanted a bag which looked like any old bag/purse/thing that a traveler or student might be carting around. I wanted something to fit my gear plus my wallet, sunglasses, and a few odds and ends. I wanted accessibility to all of it. This bag perfectly fit my needs.
The bag has 2 removable and adjustable sectionals inside, creating 3 spaces. The sectional padding is attached to the sides by velcro along the bottom and the top. I have a Canon Rebel XTi DSLR from a few years back. I have a 35-80 lens, a 10-20 lens, and a 75-300 lens. I could comfortably arrange the 3 lenses and body in the bag, with any lens attached, plus have room for extra stuff.
The way the bag hung at my side was comfortable for walking around all day in Dublin. Because of the weight, my shoulder did get sore sometimes, but that would be the case with any messenger bag. The nature of the bag being at my side made my lenses readily accessible, so i could swap out lenses constantly with ease. It was glorious.
One complaint I have is that there is no zipper or other closure besides the snap down front flap, so if the bag is somehow turned over, stuff could fall out. Also, it is more easily accessed by pick-pockets. I never did lose anything, and being that the bag hangs at my side, i was able to keep an arm over it and never got robbed.
A couple construction complaints: The snap-in closures for the flap are too flexible, so it is hard to close it w/o using two hands. The strap has no padding. There is no handle on the bag itself other than a tiny loop (to hang it up maybe?) and the shoulder strap.
Overall I highly recommend this bag. You can add more padding if need be. For professionals, it is probably too minimal. But if you are a professional, you probably don't really care about hauling around a ton of gear in an obvious camera bag.
0Comment8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2011
I have this bag and love it. I started out years ago with a Domke bag, thanks to the encouragement of some photojournalists I worked with, so I've been of the minimalist mindset ever since. I hate heavy, thickly-padded bags for day-to-day shooting. I stumbled onto this bag decided to gave it a try because of the minimalist/low profile design and because the price was right. Tested it out on a trip to Okinawa and it worked great as a day bag, with room for wallet and extras as long as I didn't carry too much equipment.

When I travel I want a smallish camera bag that I can slip inside a duffel carry-on I have, leaving room for a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, gifts on return, whatever. This worked great. I've not had a problem yet with the minimal padding. That being said, right after I bought the bag I did add two panels from another bag, attaching them to the velcro so that they could line the outer ends of the bag. Not only does this give some added protection, but it gives a little more structure to the bag AND provides two thin places to slide in a filter, lens cap, folded cord or such on the side.

You would be amazed how much you can fit in this bag, and when it is full, this minimizes jostling together of the equipment, holding it in place. I can carry my Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR, Nikon 50mm, Tamron 28-75mm, Nikon SB600 flash (bent), my Nikon charger, a battery charger, close-up filter set in a box case, plus other items such as small SD card folder, lens pen, microfiber clothes, hand lotion/sanitizer, etc.

Suggestions for the bag include the need for a hook or loop somewhere to clip a carabiner to or a card holder so you won't lose it (which I did once with 3 cards full of images shot on St. Simons Island); velcro or zipper to both pockets; velcro on the flap to secure it when you don't have a chance to clip it; or possibly some loop or outer point for strapping on or attaching a water bottle or umbrella or gorilla-pod when you need to.

That being said, the bag rides comfortably at my hip when I wear it cross-body, or even when I cinch up the strap more and carry it as a shoulder bag. It even works well on light day hikes.
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2010
Is lightweight, true. Will fit most DSLR's, yes. -But so will a paper bag with a strap attached to it!
This bag's padding is non-existent except for a slightly stiffened bottom and two interior dividers... It's back, sides, top, all are constructed of very thin material, sort of like what you find in a pair of khaki pants! I would give this thing a ~0~ rating (if they had one) as far as protecting and safely carrying photographic equipment goes!!

And as for portability, yes it is light and does conform to your body, that's true. But it is also so light it crumples and distorts easily.. Also the top has no inner closure and the covering flap bulges out because of crumpling, so this leaves a large open gap at each corner for weather to affect the contents!

IMO not suitable for carrying cameras and/or lenses at all!!

0Comment8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 13, 2011
I am a pro photographer and purchased this bag to hold my backup gear at events. Well, I'm finding that I use it more for everyday use as my main bag. It is minimally padded (really only on the bottom and the dividers) which allow it to hug the body more. I find it to be quite comfortable and holds my Nikon D300 with an 18-55 f2.8 lens attached, a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 lens, and an SB900 flash in the main compartment-though it is very snug. In addition I can carry a few essentials in the front pouches. This is a minimalist type bag- I think perfect for travel or carrying b/u gear at an event to shoot.
1 con would be that the clips are a little tough to open, but I'm hoping they will get easier with use.
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on May 17, 2010
If you are in the travelling situation where you need to walk for miles every day and you want to travel light, discreet and thief-repellent, then this is the perfect choice. It's about 30% cheaper here than buying in the store.
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on January 2, 2011
Bought this for my brother as a gift for his new Canon T2i DSLR. I looked it over in a local store before buying through Amazon, so I knew what I was buying. Well made bag, camera and 2 lens fit great, along with standard accessories. This bag is a good outing bag, where you don't want to haul the "suitcase" camera bag that you store all of you stuff in. Padding is a little on the lighter side, so don't expect this to be the bag you throw your camera into the over head bin on a plane. However, if you were going on a short trip or weekend outing, that you only wanted to bring a few select pieces with you, and still have room for your wallet, keys, etc. then this is the bag.

Other big plus... it doesn't scream CAMERA GEEK, so you stylishly blend in without criticism from your spouse or others for being the looser with the camera bag that is the size of a medium cooler. Also doesn't advertise to thieves like a big bag does, and you are just a pocket knife away (i.e. cut off single lowepro logo) from being invisible.
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on August 10, 2011
The first thing I did when I got this out of the Amazon box was cut off the Lowepro emblem. Anyone who knows about cameras knows that a Lowepro bag probably has a camera in it and the main point of this bag for me is to hide the fact that I am carrying a camera.

The second thing I did was sew the top of the main flap, on both sides down to the back so that the main opening into the bag is not so OPEN for hands to slide into from outside. After doing this it will be almost impossible for anyone to reach their hand into my bag without feeling it immediately.

The third thing I did was put down a little extra foam padding on the bottom that I cut out from a bigger piece.

Now it is a great bag. I feel confident that I will do well with it as I travel around the World. I'll update you with any concerns if need be.

It is too bad that they don't make the bag with the improvements I made already included. All in all it took me about 30 minutes to find all the stuff and do it though, so I am giving it a 4.
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