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Camera Backpack or Shoulder Bag?

Camera bags come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. There are different types which are bettered suited to the different needs of photographers depending on their setting and their subjects.

Some are big enough to fit all of your gear and personal supplies, while others are compact and slim enough to be worn comfortably throughout the day while being active. Starting photographers may own the basic gear, but over time you may acquire different lenses, flashes, tripods and other gear that you may find useful in your type of photography.

Usually, photographers have to choose to go for either a camera backpack or a shoulder bag to carry their gear and other personal items.

Choosing the right kind of bag for your camera as well as your gear will depend greatly on your needs such as how much gear you own, how much gear you plan to carry and the type of environment you usually encounter while shooting.

Of course, there is not one single bag that fits all situations and meets all your needs, but some photographers might settle for a specific type of bag that fits their style and that they find easiest to work with over time. Choosing between a camera backpack or a shoulder bag might take a bit of an assessment in terms of your needs.

Generally speaking, there are three major types of camera bags available: sling bags, shoulder bags and backpacks. Choosing which one will best suit you will depend on a number of factors. Below are some of their characteristics and where they work best.

Backpack: Camera Backpack or Shoulder Bag?

Usually, backpacks are great for providing ample storage and are comfortable to carry around. That is because they are usually built to be roomy enough to fit all of your gear as well as personal items such as laptops, tablets and in some cases even food, water, and camping gear. The double straps also ensure that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the back, shoulders and hips, which enables you to walk around while minimizing fatigue.

However, this type of pack might not be very convenient if you want easy access to your camera or your gear. It might also be too bulky for crowded places and run the risk of theft if you are traveling in cities.

This type of camera bag is great for hiking, transporting your gear, storing your camera and accessories or if you need to carry a lot of gear for an extended period of time.

Shoulder Bag

This sort of bag for your camera is by far the most mobile and the flexible as you can wear it at the front or sling it back as needed. You can have quick and easy access to your gear. You can also use the front position to keep your gear protected when walking through crowded areas or where there is a risk for theft.

However, this type of bag might not be the soundest choice if you are carrying your gear for prolonged periods or are traveling long distances as it might tire you out more easily and even cause backaches. This is because all of the weight is concentrated on one shoulder and not evenly distributed throughout the back.

If you are working in crowded places or constantly need easy access to your gear, this pack type might be best for you. These packs are also more fashionable as they easily blend in with any outfit, especially if you will be meeting clients.

Sling Bag

This type of pack is a good alternative to a backpack. In fact, they are like a hybrid of a backpack and a shoulder bag since you can have easy access to your gear at all times and it is ergonomic if you use the provided stabilizer strap that distributes the weight.

This way, you can accommodate more gear while minimizing strain on your back, though it doesn’t minimize strain as much as a backpack would. You can fit a decent amount of gear inside, although not as much in as a traditional backpack.

When choosing the best pack for your camera and other gear, make sure to test out the pack by bringing along all of your gear to try to see how well it fits in each type.

By reading these descriptions, you might be able to confidently choose whether a camera backpack, shoulder bag or sling bag will work best for you. You will know if you’ve chosen the right type if it fits your gear, is comfortable to use and suits your style.

About the Author

My name is Stuart Taylor, I’m the founder of PROTON PACK, a place where I review camera bags, backpacks and accessories.

If you have a topic that you would like me to explore, let me know and I will do my best to provide the information. I welcome your feedback and suggestions.

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