by Christina VanGinkel
My Sony Mavica that I purchased several years back came with the option to order an accessory kit. This included an extra rechargeable battery and padded bag. The new camera I have coming now, a Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z5 Digital Camera, did not come with an option to order a bag, and I have not been able to find a kit, which would include one made for it. Not a problem really, as camera bags are available in various sizes, just that I now am divided between purchasing a typical camera bag, and a backpack styled bag made for carrying both camera and additional accessories.
I often carry my camera into the woods, photographing the native black bear and other wildlife in my area, and into the stadiums and stands to snap photos of my football-devoted son. A smaller bag would seem to be more easily carried, yet I wonder if a backpack would not make more sense. It could be worn, leaving my hands free for things like crawling over logs as I try to keep up to my husband as he walks through the swamp across from our house to check a bear bait.
The backpacks I have looked at all include spacious storage. Most are made to include a laptop. While I do not have a laptop, I do have a few additional accessories I carry with me nearly everywhere I do my cameras, and it would be nice to be able to store everything in one bag. I always carry my Dell Axim, a cell phone, a wide-angle lens, and extra batteries. I now carry additional CD's for my Sony Mavica and I am sure I will be purchasing additional storage cards for the Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z5. I also like to carry a cleaning kit, as I have the bad habit of using my cameras in places where dirt and grime are second nature.
The Velocity series sling packs have several designs that offer the features I want. Their line includes camera bags that have optimum storage with digital needs a major factor in many. Storage space is not their only selling point though. It is how they distribute that space, with numerous compartments to keep everything in its own space, so things do not jostle together, scratching each other. The sling packs are also worn like a backpack, keeping your hands free, yet slide around to your front for easy access to your equipment without having to take the pack off. This is obviously the best features of both a camera bag and a backpack combined! Available in several different sizes, I am sure I can find one that would tailor to my needs perfectly.
When shopping for a bag, you should also consider the interior and exterior fabric. The exterior should be made of a tough, waterproof fabric to help keep debris and moisture out. The interior should have a lining that is soft, and will not scratch an LCD screen. The Velocity line of bags takes full advantage of both of these necessities, so it is now a toss-up between their Velocity 7 Photo Sling Pack 5747 and their Velocity 9 Pro Sling Pack 5749.