Camera Bag Buying Guide

Camera Bag Buying Guide


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Digital cameras are expensive items which should be stored and transported safely in camera bags. There are a wide variety of options available when purchasing a camera bag, enabling users to choose based on their preferences. Over the years, camera bags have undergone a lot of developments that have made them appealing and convenient for use. Today, camera bags come in different styles by many different manufacturers giving consumers a wide variety of products to fit their individual needs.

Camera Bag

Purpose of the Guide

The immense number of options available for camera bags can make choosing one challenging. A few things to keep in mind while looking are; what camera equipment you own, how you plan to travel, and maybe what lenses and accessories you plan to buy in the future. Here, we have given a basic overview of the styles of bags that are available.

Types of Camera Bags

The type of camera bag you need depends on where you will be photographing most of the time. Those who plan on traveling long distances by foot will probably prefer a backpack while most wedding/event photographers with lots of heavy equipment will usually prefer a rolling case. Those looking for secure storage or deployment in adverse conditions will opt for a waterproof Pelican style case. There are also several multipurpose bags for consumers including, but not limited to; shoulder bags, slings, messenger bags, waist packs, and top-loading zoom cases.

When it comes to camera bags, there are lots of options available that are both stylish and functional. Here, we have highlighted some of the most widely used camera bags.

Camera Pouches and Cases

Pouches and Cases

This particular type of smaller camera bag is perfect for protecting compact cameras. These discreet and lightweight camera bags feature a single main compartment and one or two small pockets for storing spare memory cards or batteries. Most will also have belt loops with a detachable wrist strap for extra convenience. Large pouches and cases are also available, which provide increased security and functionality for bridge cameras or CSCs paired with a standard kit lens.

Camera Shoulder Bag

Shoulder Bags

Shoulder camera bags are one of the most popular options for photographers and consumers alike. These bags have strong adjustable shoulder straps with durable zippers. The popularity of these bags has led manufacturers to make them available in various stylish designs. Some shoulder bags have additional features such as a pull-out rain cover or straps to attach a small tripod to the bag.  Many shoulder bags also have a separate sleeve/compartment for laptops and tablets.

Camera Backpack


Camera backpacks are available in many different styles to accommodate those who have different needs. Some photographers need a simple day backpack that will also provide a non-padded compartment for personal items such as a rolled up jacket and/or lunch bag. Other backpacks are heavily padded with the entire storage space being padded and dedicated to protecting camera equipment. Professional camera backpacks also feature external accessory attachment points for tripod support and a pull-out rain cover.

Rolling Camera Bag

Rolling Bags

Rolling bags are ideal for storing and transporting heavy camera equipment. These bags are perfect for professional photographers with a lot of equipment. Most wedding and event photographers have large rolling bags. The wheels on premium rolling bags are made out of high quality materials that can withstand heavy use over long periods of time.

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Top 5 Manufacturers

The demand for different kinds of camera bags has led to the production of high quality bags by several renowned manufacturers. Below we have listed some of the top brands.

Think Tank

Think Tank Photo is a well-known manufacturer of high quality camera bags and accessories for professional photographers. The designers at Think Tank are or were professional photographers. Because of this, their bags are made from the highest quality materials and have the most practical functionality when put to use in the field. The “Retrospective” series of shoulder bags are designed to not look like camera bags, which allows for inconspicuous travel in less than desirable areas.


Manfrotto is a leading brand that designs and manufactures high-end camera and lighting support systems. They recently released a high-end series of bags very similar to Kata bags (also under Manfrotto distribution) which use technology developed by the Israeli military.


Tamrac is a widely respected brand amongst the photographic community. Their bags are made from durable materials that last for years. Tamrac is perhaps most recognized for their rolling bags known as the “big wheels” series. These bags are rolling cases designed with extra sturdy wheels that will not wear down and break under heavy use.


Lowepro is a world famous brand which provides carrying bags for cameras, laptops, imaging accessories and portable electronic products. They offers one of the largest varieties of styles in camera bags, including the popular Slingshot range which is ideal for anyone who needs to access their camera quickly.


Petrol offers many specialty bags for videographers using large high-end broadcast or cinema cameras. They also offer large studio cases for professional photographers who need to transport and store their studio lighting systems. The insides of their bags are a bright safety orange color, which creates a strong color contrast that allows users to locate smaller items in dimly lit scenarios.

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Still have questions or need more information on camera bags? Contact us so we can help!