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Customer Review

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wildly Exceeds Expectation, December 29, 2012
This review is from: Sony LCSBP3 DSLR System Backpack with Laptop Storage, (Black) (Electronics)
I'm not sure who wrote the descriptive information for this item, but the description badly undersells it. The description says it holds camera, PC, and up to three lenses. There is a compartment big enough for an A99 or A900 with vertical grip and a lens up to 8.5 inches long attached. Then there are four additional dedicated lens compartments that will hold lenses up to 7 inches long without extending beyond the dividers. A lens can really be up to 7 3/4 inches long and get by, as I've demonstrated with a 135mm prime with hood on. So that makes 5 lenses, not 3 as the listing says. I had enough room for an A99 with a Zeiss 24-70 zoom WITH LENS HOOD FORWARD. With that in place, I still was able to add another lens compartment in front of the lens hood. Then, I've added one more lens in a Zing pouch sharing the compartment that holds the camera body. There's another compartment in the top that can hold another 5 1/2 inch lens, bringing the total to 8. If you put that last lens in a Zing pouch, there's room for a charger for your camera and computer in the top compartment.

There is a dedicated compartment up top for a big flash like the 58 or 60. The pouch is designed to hold one of these flashes folded forward and turned upside down. You don't need to use your flash's zipper case. The way I have things set up, I don't need pouches for the camera and 6 lenses or the flash. I have to use two pouches to wedge in two more lenses.

I've found that I'm able to leave the lens hoods in the forward position for most lenses, which is nice when you need to change lenses quickly. Only my 70-300G zoom absolutely must have the hood reversed for storage. (I'll admit that the 135mm prime is literally pushing it with the hood in forward position, and I'll probably opt to reverse its hood.)

Look carefully at the pictures. Notice that this is the type of backpack that you can rotate on your left shoulder and remove your camera with your right hand from the side-access zipper without having to put the backpack down. You'll have to experiment with rotating the camera to an optimum position to make extraction quick.

There are lots of little storage places for things like remote controls and filter wallets. The pictures show the provision for strapping on a tripod.

As far as quality goes, the backpack is excellent in every respect. The materials are strong and lightweight. The stitching is turned in so that it generally doesn't show. The internal materials are soft to avoid marring your equipment by continuous rubbing. The compartments are adjustable with velcro, and there are 3 foam blocks provided with velcro to help you separate and pad things. The internal color is Sony Alpha orange, which makes your black equipment highly visible. I have found no shortcuts or evidence of corner-cutting in the design or the construction.

If there's any bad news here, it's that the backpack is big. I wouldn't want to carry anything bigger on a plane. If it's fully loaded, it's going to be heavy too, especially if you're using full-frame camera equipment. You'll probably want to stick to a 14 inch laptop or smaller. An ultrabook would be ideal. (Larger laptops don't fit well on airplane tray-tables anyway.)

Bottom line: We're accustomed to being overcharged for any accessory that sports a camera manufacturer's logo. On this backpack you're getting what you pay for. I'm not saying it's a steal; I'm saying Sony charged for quality and they delivered quality that is more than commensurate with the price. The worst thing about DSLRs is the bulk and weight they impose, and this is doubly true for full frame DSLRs. For me, if I have to bring the full rig, this is the ideal way to do it.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 9, 2013 12:47:05 PM PDT
Frankie says:
Hi Tim. Thank you for your detailed description and review of this backpack.

I am a Sony professional and am in need of something I can take onto a plane, and also something for location shooting offroad/outdoors. My Lowepro X300 roller is great for events that are indoors, or I am just making a trek from the parking lot, but soon I will be conducting many shoots in beach, mountainous, and rocky environments where a roller just won't work. The X300 is also gigantic and I don't even want to think about taking it on a plane. So my eyes are on this bag and the thinktank shape shifter. I have a few questions if you don't mind

My gear: A99 with BG, A900 with BG, F58, F60, 24-70, 135, 70-200, 50, 14, 24-105, 70-210, plus miscellaneous accessories and 17" laptop. Now usability aside, think I could cram it all into this bag? I hate to check any of my camera gear. If I could actually fit all this in, that would be amazing., even if its uncomfortably full. I'd be willing to check the 24-105 and 70-210, as these are just backup lenses to my Zeiss and G glass. I am most curious about the 17" laptop- I use quite a large, thick PC workstation with 17" screen for everything. It is paramount that this bag can carry that in addition to my camera equipment.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2013 5:25:54 PM PDT
If you're willing to pack the camera bodies without lenses attached, you may be able to do it. You may need to get creative and put the short lenses together in single compartments. It's the best option I've seen short of a big roller-type hard case, which you can't use while hiking.

I have to warn you that the BP3 won't fit under an aircraft seat. It'll fit in the overhead of a full-sized plane, but it'll hog a lot of space. I'm about to go to Europe, and I just ordered the next smaller version. I'm not looking forward to leaving some things behind.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 6:10:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2013 6:25:41 PM PDT
Frankie says:

Thank you for your reply- I'm fine with the BP3 not fitting under an aircraft seat, my old Tenba didn't fit either. So long as it fits in that overhead compartment, we're golden.

I am completely willing to pack bodies without lenses attached, I already do so to maximize space in my roller. Same with lenses, smaller ones like the 50 and 14 are paired to save space. The main question I have about the bag is whether I can stuff a 17" laptop in there, lets say a 17" MBP

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 7:16:26 PM PDT
BTW, I just received the LCSBP2. It has half the volume of the 3.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2013 8:21:15 PM PDT
Frankie says:
but please do tell... can you stuff a 17" laptop into the 3? I've had many 15" rated bags in the past that fit a 17" fine, if that is the case with this bag then it is perfect for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2013 4:13:31 PM PDT
A 17 inch laptop is slightly too big; at least, mine is. If I remove the battery (which sticks out the back) I can just barely get it in, but it would not be practical. BTW, I took a 17-inch laptop on a trip to the Mediterranean last year and regretted it because it was too big to use comfortably on an airplane. I'm going to Europe this summer, and I'm carrying a Macbook Air (which I picked up used on eBaY).

Understand that the 3 has a separate pocket in the back specifically for laptops. It would be very convenient if you had a smaller one.
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Location: Huntsville, AL USA

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