About 6 years ago we upgraded from a small Sony point and shoot camera that could fit in my pocket, to a big ol’ Nikon D3100. Yes it takes great pictures, but more often than not, I would leave it at home because it was just too big and bulky to carry around.
We were using a Tamrac backpack camera bag. It held absolutely everything we needed to take pictures, but it was a pain to access your camera when you needed it. By the time you took the bag off of your back, set it down and unzipped the bottom compartment, the moment had likely passed.
As I was planning my trip to Romania (which was AWESOME and I am really going to try to write about it soon) I knew I wanted to take the big camera, but I was dreading the backpack. Especially since I would not have Matthew with me to carry the load!
On a previous trip to Europe, I carried my camera in my purse, which was not the best idea. There was absolutely no padding and the particular purse I was carrying did not even zip or snap shut. Bad idea.
I wanted a camera bag that looked more like a purse than a camera bag. I started researching bags, but most of them still looked like a camera bag.
Then I found the Lowepro Passport Sling. This bag is awesome. It fit not only my big Nikon D3100, but also an additional zoom lens if I was so inclined to take it with me. (Which I was, but did not use it even once) The front part of the bag expands by about 30% when you open the zipper. This was great for carrying my wallet, my Go Pro, my phone and even a light cardigan! There are outside pockets also, but they have no zipper or velco closure so you can’t put anything valuable in there. But the outside pockets were great for water bottles and metro tickets.
The best part about the Lowepro bag was the padded insert for the camera. It wasn’t as heavily padded on the bottom as I would have liked and I’m not sure why they didn’t pad the bottom as well as the sides. But it made a nice little cocoon for the camera to ride in and as long as I was careful not to throw the bag on the ground, I felt that the camera was well protected.
I actually purchased the original version of the bag on amazon.com. There are still some available here. My main reason for choosing the older model is because of the khaki color. Most all camera bags are black and red and I thought the khaki color looked more like a purse and would blend in better. And well, let’s be honest, it’s almost half the price of the newest model. But it looks like the newest model has a compartment for a tablet, which could be useful if that is something you like to walk around with.
The bag is big, but at just over 5’8″ I did not feel overwhelmed by it. A smaller person might find it bulky, but it is very light. Even when it’s stuffed full!