A reader recently wrote to me asking about what kind of lightweight travel-friendly photography accessories I like to use. Whether you’re a professional, amateur, or hobbyist, some of this gear may appeal to you to better secure and tote your camera around while on the road.
What’s the best lightweight travel camera bag?
I like your posts and would like to know how you carry your camera. I have the Canon 6D and use it mainly for set, event and travel photography. I have no problems on set and at events but would like to figure out a solution so I don’t think twice about taking my camera when I’m exploring a new city. Do you know of any ways to carry a camera that allow the user to quickly have it ready for a shot and put away quickly? Maybe something that straps on to the body?
I would love to know what you do when you are walking around a city with your camera.
My two cents:
Thanks so much for getting in touch! I’m definitely a big fan of traveling as light as possible, even for walks around my own city. My personal preference for light street shooting is my Canon 6D DSLR with a 40mm pancake lens (or before that, the 50mm). This makes my setup incredibly small and light, and doesn’t draw a lot of attention from other people.
If I’m walking in a place where I feel safe such as here in Seattle, I’ll carry my camera openly on my body without a bag. In terms of straps, I’m a big fan of Black Rapid. They attach to your camera via the tripod mount on the bottom of the body, and make it really easy to carry and quickly store the camera. Because it attaches via a screw, you’ll want to tighten it regularly to secure the clasp, but I’ve been using Black Rapid straps for years without problems. The thinner models, such as the Shot model, are generally best since they pack lighter.
For those times when I opt for a travel camera bag, it depends on what gear I’m carrying. If I have the Canon 6D + 40mm pancake lens, I currently use a compact bag by Kata that I bought in Thailand. It’s enough for the camera with lens attached, and carrying another compact prime lens or small telephoto. The model I have has been discontinued, but it looks like this one.
For professional shoots when I’m carrying a bunch of gear (ie. a Canon 6D with 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8), I’ve been using the Think Tank Change Up belt pack bag for years and love it. It has a handy waist strap that keeps the weight off your shoulders, and is still overall a pretty small bag. Right now, I have my 5D Mark III with 24-70 lens attached and a 70-200mm f/2.8 in the bag, plus spare batteries and memory cards. That makes the bag a bit tight, but everything fits and the material has never worn out.
Take a look and let me know if you have any other questions, or if you end up trying out another solution. I always love seeing how others opt to carry their gear.
I hope this helps! Thanks so much for reading and responding.