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Think Tank Shape Shifter, Photographic Backpack
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- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Can be compressed to 3 inches in depth once your equipment is removed
- After your gear is removed, you can continue to carry up to a 17" laptop and accessories, but in a much smaller package.
- The neoprene pockets are designed to hold 2 Pro-size DSLRs, a 70-200 2.8 with hood,
- A 24-70 with hood, a wide angle 2.8 with hood, and two strobes in the front panel pockets.
- It can carry tripods and monopods
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The black Shape Shifter with a gray and blue interior from Think Tank starts off as a compact 3" thick laptop case but can quickly expand to hold two DSLRs and three lenses - in addition to your laptop. This bag is unique in that it doesn't look like a camera backpack yet it holds enough to get you through the most demanding of gigs. The beauty of the pack is that it can expand or contract to accommodate whatever gear you are carrying that day.
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1. You can carry loads of gear. I mean lots and lots. For example, this is what I carried in my last trip (don't judge me please)
* Canon 7D body
* Canon T1i body
* Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS
* Canon 70-300 IS
* Canon 80 f1.2 L
* Sigma 30 f1.4
* Apple iPad
* ASUS netbook 10'
* Vangaurd Tripod
* Accessories - CF card box, Filter pouch, 2 Mobile phones, Air blaster, Cleaning pen etc
2. No/less strain: I carried this gear by hand on a 27hrs (3 flights) trip. I felt no fatigue or shoulder pain.
3. The bag looks sleek and it doesn't look like you are carrying loads of camera gear.
4. It's got loads of pouches for accessories and other small things
1. The main disadvantage is that you cannot store the camera with a lens mounted on.
2. And if I have to nit pick, I sometimes feel there could have been more padded protection.
3. Cost is little bit on the high side.
Ok, by now you should have got what this bag is for. Let me tell you how I use this
I take it when I have to carry loads of gear or most of the things I own for a trip. Once I get there I use the click capsule (with say Cam with a lens mounted + a lens)in my backpack for the daily use.
I don't take this for a eve @ downtown or a 1-day trek.
So, why do I get this bag? It simply because I am searching for big camera backpack that enable me to store most of my camera gears plus a bag that allow me to fit my 17' laptop. My old backpack, Lowepro AW II Nature Trekker [Review] does not have laptop compartment. After doing some research, I found that Think Tank Shape Shifter will able to do that.
During my research, I like the bag more and more. I realize that this is not a conventional backpack. Here are what I like about it:
1. It is for photojournalists, street or event shooters
The company products are developed by "mostly" photojournalists and cater to photojournalists. Most photojournalists hang their camera out most of the time. So, on the location, the bag will be empty or half empty. When it is empty, collapsible feature can make the bag slimmer. This is great especially if you are working in urban setting, or shooting social events like wedding. With a thinner bag, you can maneuver around much easier.
2. It looks natural
Because there's no fixed padded foam that you find in most camera backpack, it does not appear like camera bags (huge, heavy and boxy). So, you can blend in crowded environment without attracting attention. Less people (especially thieves) will think that you're carrying camera or electronic equipment on your bag.
3. It can pack a lot of stuff
Do not let the appearance of the bag fool you. It might looks light and thin (especially when collapsed). But this bag can store a lot of stuff. 17' Laptop, 2 pro camera bodies (with grips), two telephoto zoom lenses, two wide zoom lenses, a couple flash/strobes, and a lot of accessories. You can mount a tripod or monopod too. Although you can fit in a lot of stuff, I recommend you not to do that because it is definitely not comfortable to carry around but ok for storage. Check out this bag pictures.
4. Quality and design
Like other Think Tank Photo bags, the Shape Shifter use top quality material, especially the zippers. The designers also put a lot attention to details. For example, there are so many compartments and divider for your accessories.
THE NOT SO GOOD THINGY:
There are many to like about this bag, but there are also a few stuff that I don't like. The first thing is the fact that I will have to separate camera and lens (or mount lens to camera) every time I need to store and take out my gear will be a hassle.
The second one is the waist belt. I don't think that the waist bag that come with the camera is very effective. Sime from digital photography school reported that the waist belt sits too high although he is "only" 180mm or 5 ft 9'. I am 173mm tall and still find this waist belt is too high. Luckily, this waist belt is removable, and this bag is compatible with pro speed belt. But off course you will end up paying $35 more
UPDATE: I also miss the side pockets to put flash or water bottle.
This bag is very unique and versatile. You can use it for storage or transporting most of your gears, or you can use it for professional assignments, or for casual uses such as traveling. Don't forget that it can also store a laptop up to 17 inches, which is why I was attracted to this bag in the first place.
Please visit my blog for images and other reviews. You can find the address on my profile page. Thanks for reading.
You almost never have it at it's smallest. Even with both cameras on my person I still had enough in the bag that the zipper to make
it smaller didn't zip. I thought the pouches might be a stress but they were wonderful and kept everything snug and safe. Mine weighted
17 pounds during this trip and you do not feel it on your back at all. Really pleased but wished for a few more of the neo pockets.
Most recent customer reviews
I got mine 5+ years ago as a service item gift from a major camera company (with their logo on it).Read more