Cam­era hol­sters

Don’t miss shots be­cause your cam­era’s out of reach: keep it ready for ac­tion

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS -

Keep your cam­era handy and ready for ac­tion by in­vest­ing in a hol­ster bag

Cull­mann Panama Ac­tion 200 £27 1

Al­though it’s the largest of three hol­ster bags in Cull­mann’s Panama range, the Ac­tion 200 is still on the small side, with an in­te­rior mea­sur­ing 17cm high, 16cm wide and 10cm deep. That’s spa­cious enough for an APS-C DSLR like a Canon 77D or Nikon D7500, fit­ted with an 18-135mm lens. Up front is a pocket suit­able for stash­ing some mem­ory cards and a cou­ple of screw-in fil­ters.

Cull­mann’s con­struc­tion and ma­te­rial qual­ity are more than ad­e­quate for the money, as there’s a good thick­ness of pad­ding all round, while the zip­pers and wa­ter-re­pel­lant outer fab­ric feel ro­bust. We also like the soft lin­ing in­side the lid, which is de­signed to pre­vent your cam­era screen get­ting scratched.

You get a fairly nar­row one-inch wide shoul­der strap fit­ted with a very ba­sic pad that eas­ily slips off your shoul­der, but the bag can also be at­tached to a belt.

Pros: Good qual­ity and prac­ti­cal size for mod­est money

Cons: Cheap-feel­ing shoul­der strap and shoul­der pad; not large enough for a full-frame DSLR

Kaiser EasyLoader £33 2

Kaiser’s en­try is the small­est bag here, mea­sur­ing 15.5 x 15 x 10.5cm in­ter­nally. It’s best suited to an en­try-level DSLR equipped with an 18-55mm kit lens. Un­like the Cull­mann bag, the lid doesn’t have a rim that pro­tects the zip against wa­ter ingress, and al­though there is a pro­tec­tive flap on the un­der­side of the lid for cam­era screen pro­tec­tion, it’s very ba­sic. Be­hind this flap are two slots for mem­ory cards, as well as a sep­a­rate mesh pocket that could be used for a small fil­ter.

De­spite a small in­te­rior, the zip­pered front pocket is just about large enough to swal­low a small pancake lens, and there are stretchy pouches at ei­ther end suit­able for spare bat­ter­ies.

While this isn’t the cheap­est bag on test, it does feel it. Pad­ding is rea­son­ably thick, but the over­all build feels very weak and squashy, and there isn’t a pad for the shoul­der strap.

Pros: Very light­weight; fairly good ac­ces­sory stor­age

Cons: Only suit­able for small cam­eras; cheap-feel­ing con­struc­tion

Man­frotto Ad­vanced Hol­ster L £43 3

Man­frotto’s en­try is ideally suited to a full-frame DSLR. It’s ca­pa­cious enough to house an un­gripped body with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens at­tached, and the ex­tra size also cre­ates room for siz­able ex­te­rior pock­ets on ei­ther side. Each is large enough for some 100mm-square fil­ters, or even a full-size flash­gun. The top flap opens away from your body for eas­ier cam­era ac­cess, and it con­ceals a cou­ple of padded pouches for mem­ory cards. How­ever, it’s a pity there isn’t a front pocket for even more stor­age.

It may be keenly priced, but Man­frotto hasn’t skimped on qual­ity. The fabrics feel like they could sus­tain abuse, and there’s a chunky top han­dle, over­sized zip­pers for the main flap, tough belt loops, and even a sep­a­rate rain cover in­cluded. The 1.5-inch wide shoul­der strap also comes fit­ted with a good-sized padded sec­tion that won’t slip off your shoul­der with­out a fight.

Pros: Prac­ti­cal size; large ac­ces­sory pock­ets; well-made

Cons: No waist sup­port belt or ex­tra wear lo­ca­tion op­tions

MindShift Gear Out­Bound Hol­ster 20 £76 4

The Out­Bound Hol­ster is all about ver­sa­til­ity. It can be hung from the shoul­der as a con­ven­tional hol­ster, with a sup­ple neo­prene shoul­der pad mak­ing it very com­fort­able in this con­fig­u­ra­tion. But you also get a se­lec­tion of ex­tra straps in­cluded, en­abling the bag to strapped to your waist or po­si­tioned on your chest, the lat­ter ei­ther by hang­ing the bag from your neck or at­tach­ing it to the straps of a back­pack.

Size-wise, the Hol­ster 20 falls in the mid­dle of the Out­Bound range and is sized to store a 5DS/D850 with a 2470mm f/2.8 fit­ted. Ac­ces­sory stor­age isn’t quite on par with the Man­frotto Hol­ster, as there are no side pock­ets, but the front pouch is gen­er­ously sized, and there’s a sur­pris­ing amount of space be­neath the domed lid.

Your cam­era will also be well­pro­tected, as ev­ery­thing about this bag feels top-qual­ity and very ro­bust.

Pros: Mul­ti­ple wear­ing po­si­tions; su­perb fit and fin­ish; ver­sa­tile size

Cons: Ex­te­rior stor­age for ac­ces­sories could be bet­ter

Think Tank Dig­i­tal Hol­ster 30 V2.0 £68/$80 5

This hol­ster may look a lit­tle odd, but it con­ceals some clever touches. Its base can be ex­tended by 8cm, giv­ing up to 36cm of in­ter­nal height. That’s enough for an un­gripped full-frame DSLR with an at­tached 70-200mm f/2.8 that’s got its lens hood fit­ted. You may even be able to squeeze an even longer lens in here. If you don’t need all that length, a di­vider panel is pro­vided to sup­port a shorter cam­era/lens pair­ing.

Ex­te­rior stor­age comes cour­tesy of two zip­pered pock­ets and a large stretchy pouch that’s very con­ve­nient for fast ac­ces­sory ac­cess. There’s more card or bat­tery space be­neath the lid, and a re­mov­able padded panel pro­tects your cam­era screen.

This is also a very well-made bag. Solid metal cara­bin­ers at­tach the strap, and there’s a very strong belt at­tach­ment sys­tem, an in­cluded rain­cover, and qual­ity YKK zip­pers.

Pros: In­no­va­tive adapt­able de­sign; top build and ma­te­rial qual­ity

Cons: Need­lessly large for car­ry­ing any­thing shorter than a 70-200mm

Thule Per­spek­tiv M To­ploader £90/$100 6

Thule’s hol­ster is the only de­sign on test to fea­ture a rugged, semi-rigid con­struc­tion.

It holds its shape no­tice­ably bet­ter than the com­pe­ti­tion, and its base pro­vides ex­cel­lent drop pro­tec­tion. It’s a sim­i­lar size to MindShift’s bag and will hold a full-frame DSLR with a size­able large-aper­ture lens. Re­mov­able padded bol­ster cush­ions are pro­vided to keep your cam­era held se­curely, but even with them in place, most APS-C cam­eras will feel a bit lost.

What­ever the con­tents, they’ll be well-pro­tected from the el­e­ments. Taped seams, a built-in rain cover and a small lip to cover the top flap’s zip all help keep the weather out.

Two straps aid er­gonomics. There’s the usual cross-body shoul­der strap, plus an ad­di­tional waist strap that’s use­ful when car­ry­ing lighter loads. Al­ter­na­tively you can com­bine the two for ex­tra sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity.

Pros: Feels re­as­sur­ingly solid and well‑made; mul­ti­ple wear­ing op­tions

Cons: Very lim­ited ac­ces­sory stor­age; cheap-feel­ing shoul­der pad

www. cul l mann. de

www. f o tospeed. com

www. man f rot t o . co . uk

www. t h i nk t ank photo. com www. t hule. com

www. mi ndsh i f t gear. com

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