When it comes to a camera bag I’ve always been a backpack guy, hence the title for the blog. I’m not a studio photographer, I move a lot. With a backpack your hands are free and you can be quick, nimble and go just about anywhere. A roller bag you just don’t get any of that. So why did I pay £139.99 for one on Amazon?
It’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being able to check my camera equipment in. If I’m travelling for work and it doesn’t turn up, I can’t do my job. With my camera bag typically weighing upwards of 35Kg, it’s nice to be able to get it off my back and be able to roll it around.
Straight in with the negatives, it’s a roller bag. Roller bags are awful when you are trying to explore. For something to do, I tried to see how long it would take for me to get annoyed rolling it around Manhattan. The answer is about 15-20 mins. Kerbs, drains and people all get in the way. That’s less an issue with the Photostream as the wheels are very versatile, but it’s still a roller bag.
Another issue, this time with the Photostream specifically. If you have it fully loaded and then add a laptop (mine’s a 15″ Asus Zenbook) into the laptop sleeve, It will topple over and land on it’s front. Pretty infuriating if I’m honest, more so than wheeling it around New York City. The issue is, the plastic support at the bottom which doubles down as a handle isn’t far enough away from the wheels. So instead of just leaving your bag to stand, you have to make sure the front is leaning onto something. I think a quick redesign making the plastic support an L shape would move it far enough to the front of the bag for the issue to be resolved. For £139.99 though, you shouldn’t have to be faffing on making sure which way it’s facing when you want to stand it up.
The PhotoStream 150 is handy as hell. The laptop sleeve at the front, for example, unzip the bag around the top corners, lift 1 flap and you can remove/insert your laptop without having to open your bag fully and showing everyone what’s inside.
You can fit a hell of a lot in. My typical loadout when I go travelling for pleasure;
- Canon 1DX MKII with charger and WiFi module
- Canon 70-200mm 2.8
- Sigma 85mm 1.4
- Canon 24-70mm 2.8
- Tokina 16-28MM 2.8
- Canon 15mm fisheye
- DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone with remote and charger
- 15″ Asus Zenbook laptop with charger
- Sony WH-1000xm2’s
- Joby GorillaPod (both mini and 5K) and Griptight
- Manfrotto Tripod
- Adapter plugs
- Memory cards and reader
- Hard drives
- Phone charger
- Passport (both travel and X-RITE colour checker) in their own easily accessible little compartment
- Travel documents, also in their own compartment
As I mentioned earlier the ability to get that weight off your back is so nice. The wheels are a decent size and very smooth, as such, the bag glides around airports effortlessly. It’s not too shabby over gravel either for those of you who have departed from Cardiff.
If you’re a photographer and/or have a DSLR with one or 2 lenses it’s an amazing bag to travel with. It fits perfectly in the larger luggage contraption that Ryanair uses to scam you out of money, so you know you can take it on any plane, yet is large enough to fit a camera and lens or 2 with a weekends worth of clothes and toiletries. The build quality is second to none and excluding the stand, it’s well thought out.