The Best & Worst Ways To Carry Your Camera (Bags, Straps & Holsters)

  By Chris Niccolls

After well over 250 TCSTV episodes spanning gear reviews, educational snippets, and comedic entertainment, it finally occurred to me that we had never once reviewed a photography essential that all photographers need, and that is as varied as the cameras themselves. A way to transport and carry the cameras we so lovingly covet. So onward to our latest TCSTV endeavor, we proceeded to raid The Camera Store for a wide selection of bags, straps, vests, and backpacks. 

Countless times I have heard from customers and staff members the classic phrase uttered in exasperation: “I have eleven camera bags at home, and now I need one more”. I suppose there just is no perfect camera bag that can satisfy every photographic need, every different kind of camera, and every fashion statement. Shortly after contemplating this mystery, I find myself out in Carburn park with a myriad of straps and bags surrounding me. To be totally honest I have my own fascination with the right bag and yet have never used half the methods we have at the store. I was eager to try some new gear and truly see if there is some perfect piece of leather or cordura that could solve all my gear carrying issues. Sadly my conclusion is still that there is no such thing out there. 
It’s not for lack of the various manufacturer’s effort. There are an obscene amount of tools designed to make life easier whilst in many ways making it more confusing. Some are uncomfortable, some are plain ugly, and many are quite clever. But in the end, I think we as photographers have simply too many different goals in photography to make one style fit them all. Maybe you are a wildlife or sports photographer with a need to tote huge, heavy lenses. Maybe you want to carry a compact system camera with a couple prime lenses, discreetly yet also fashionably, along the streets of your urban center. Maybe as a wedding shooter or journalist, you need quick access to your gear, even if it does kill your shoulder, or make you look like a swat officer ready to assault a position. Maybe many of us simply enjoy the appeal of tackling many different kinds of photography and need the right system to make that happen. Now, do we take on eleven different kinds of photography in our lifetimes? Probably not, and yet we still end up with eleven bags. I think it ultimately comes down to good old fashioned gear acquisition syndrome, and why not? After all its fun to try new things and inspire a new way of shooting, or maybe just to match something to our latest wardrobe. Perhaps our bag choices in some way show the world just what kind of photographer we see ourselves as, much like how a biker might sport riding leathers instead of a motorcycle racing jacket. 
I sincerely hope our latest video can help guide you towards the right gear for your style of shooting. Whether a backpack or shoulder bag, rapid strap or trendy leather camera purse, if we can make your choice easier we’ve done our job. You’re gonna end up with eleven anyways. Maybe in the end, all we really can do is try to make sure you enjoy the eleven that you do buy.