Found: The Perfect Medium Camera Bag (UPDATED)

Categories: Personal, Photography
Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: 2016.06.27

UPDATE, 2016.06.27: I’ve added the following video review of the camera bag.

(The rest of this blog entry was originally published 2015.08.07, and is unchanged. Only the video above is new.)


The Okeechobee Fats women’s tackle bag
(Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry.)

A year ago, I complained that I couldn’t find the right camera bag. My main complaint was that almost all camera bags are black, or very dark colors, which is insane in the climate where I live. So I set out to find the perfect bag for my every day needs, with this set of requirements:

1. Light in color, so it won’t absorb heat so readily
2. Low in price ($30 or less)
3. Large enough for 60D with battery grip, extra lens, and flash

Yesterday, I found that bag.

It turned out to be a Okeechobee Flats (brand) “women’s tackle bag”, found in the fishing section at Walmart, for $29.96 (cheaper online), light green in color (see photos on this page).

New Camera Bag
Front of bag, with strap pulled out of the way
(Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)

It’s 15 inches from left to right, 8 inches from front to back, and about 9 inches tall — not including the padded handle or adjustable, padded shoulder strap. Inside, the main compartment is 11.5″ x 7″ x 9″. (Neither the exterior nor interior measurements matched those provided on the tag.) This is the perfect amount of room for my Canon EOS 60D with battery grip installed, one lens on the camera, a spare lens, and a speedlight flash unit, with a little space left over.

There are also two zippered pockets on the front, one on the exterior of the lid/flap and one on the interior of the lid/flap. There are zippered pouches on left and right ends, and a mesh pouch on the back, large enough for a standard DVD case. These pockets are perfect for batteries, notebooks, chargers, wallet, flashlight, pocketknife, and other odds and ends.

Bag Interior
Interior of bag, holding my 60D with battery grip and a lens, a spare lens, and a speedlight
(Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)

New Camera Bag (front pouch)

Front pouch (above) and side pouch (below), each with a speedlight flash for scale
(Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)

New Camera Bag (end pouch)

New Camera Bag (back pouch)
Back pouch, with BluRay version of The Matrix, for scale
(Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)


Notes:

* I didn’t need a really large bag. I have a decent Tamrac backpack (though it’s black) and a large Pelican case, both useful for traveling with lots of gear. Both are heavy when loaded.

* I have a couple of smaller bags, good for a camcorder or tiny camera, but neither would hold my Canon 60D with battery grip attached, and neither would hold an extra lens or flash. (Also, both are black.)

* Last year, my sister mailed to me a lunch bag that was the perfect size, and partly blue and gray (half black though). I’ve used it several times to bring my camera/lens/flash combo on day trips. It doesn’t look like a camera bag and is comfortable to wear (has backpack straps). However, it was still dark in color, as well as being taller than it was wide — so it was easy to tip over.

* For a couple of trips, I used our old diaper bag. It was light gray, so that part was perfect. It was, however, a little larger than I needed, and taller than it was wide.


Edited, 2015.11.04, to add the following image, a screenshot of an email I received from a photography sales site I use often:

Who Buys This Stuff?
Camera bag prices for non-black bags


3 Comments
  1. Ansel Adams talks about the white case vs black case in his book “Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs.”

  2. I’ve considered solutions like this in the past. One of my chief concerns with it was my stuff clanking together and incidental damage that could occur. Seeing how much room there is in the photo of your gear, it looks like a piece of foam-core white-board and some duct-tape could be used to box out that concern.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      My interior photo was mainly to show the space inside the bag; I didn’t intend it to show how I would actually carry the gear. :-)

      I do own several LowePro lens bags, padded and zippered. Also, each of my Yongnuo and LumoPro speedlights came with a padded bag. In the case of actual transport, both the lens and the flash would be protected from unnecessary clanking.

      (Also, someone suggested a beer cozy for the lens, which I suppose would work for lenses of certain sizes, for anyone who doesn’t already own a padded lens case.)

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