Choose the Best Leather Camera Bag
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Leather Camera Bags
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Either for amateur or professional photographers the matter of comfortable carrying and protection of the precious working instrument is sharp. The right choice of the camera bag may solve this question forever, especially if it comes to a leather camera bag, which is durable, strong, and long-lasting.
An additional bonus to exceptional reliability is an elegant rich look of such an accessory, that won’t bother you in a business or casual surrounding. The manufacturers do their best to combine multifunctional, practical properties with smart, sophisticated designs.
The diversity of leather camera bags is impressive, offered in various styles, types, and different price ranges. Looking at several key features in detail will help you make the right investment into the best quality leather camera bag, comfy, and enjoyable experience for a lifetime.
Below you see a comparison table of 5 different leather camera bags selected by users and experts and some useful tips to make your choice easier.
ZLYC Vintage Small Camera Bag – the best for vintage lovers!
It has a soft flannel sponge inside, which absorbs shock and vibrations for the best protection of your camera. Without the padded camera caddy, it turns into a messenger bag. The strap is leather and cotton, can be adjusted or completely removed.
There is one big compartment for the camera and several additional pockets for a phone, pens, batteries, cables, chargers, a wallet, lens, and other essential accessories.
|Unique vintage look, ages beautifully with time||Not fully waterproof|
|Great for short trips and daily usage||The leather round the snap gets in the way when you open or close the bag|
|Reliable camera protection against scratches and damages||The clasp sometimes comes off and is hard to repair|
|Multiple pockets for different needs to have everything at hand||–|
|Very attractive price||–|
|Fact and simple care: cleaning with a wet cloth||–|
|Easily convertible to an ordinary small day bag||–|
|Strong and durable, but flexible||–|
ZLYC leather camera bags will get even more beautiful with age, as extensive use will add more scratching and marks and an absolutely individual character to your bag.
Leftover Studio Camera Bag Case 15 inch – the best for functionality!
The bag is two in one, it transforms into an everyday bag in a single minute. You can wear it on the shoulder, cross-body, or use the hand handle.
|High-quality leather, professional metal zippers, and hardware||Some pockets are roomy but not divided for more convenience|
|Two in one transformer – camera and everyday bag||It swings from side to side when you move, which is uncomfortable|
|Multifunctional, practical and comfy||Unpleasant smell at the beginning|
|Safe and convenient as a laptop bag||–|
|Durable and strong and the padding is great||–|
|Nice-looking and elegant||–|
|Space inside can be adjusted just for your personal needs||–|
There are two secure zipper pockets: inside – for cash and credit cards or ID, the other outside – for necessary trifles.
ONA Walnut Union Street Leather Camera Messenger Bag – the best for useful volume!
This model is made from the top Italian full-grain leather, which looks richer with age. The slight sheen of the finish adds more character. The leather is dull and soft.
|Very spacious to meet all the needs||The handle is quite uncomfortable when the bag is loaded|
|You may load the bag with both a camera and a laptop simultaneously||Rather heavy|
|Very helpful when traveling||Expensive compared to similar products|
|Strong and well-made||The design of a laptop divider is poor|
This model may boast of an impressive room to meet all the needs of a modern photographer. The laptop is always at hand to process the photos and be online.
Leftover Studio Leather Camera Bag 13” Black – the best for reserved classical design!
It’s multifunctional and looks smart. The bag doesn’t need much care because of the color, compared to lighter shades. Metal accessories and quality stitching add a rich-looking touch.
|Real value for money||Too large|
|Has the attachments to clean the whole house from a ceiling to a floor||Even for a 13” laptop, the larger version of this bag is recommended|
|Durable and reliable, looking smart and stylish||–|
|The bag may be loaded with both a camera with accessories and a laptop at the same time||–|
|You may benefit from its easy transformation into your everyday bag, especially when traveling||–|
The design and color of the camera bag are very practical. The usage is versatile: for carrying your camera, as well as a satchel, messenger, or just handheld.
Leftover Studio Camera Bag Case 13 inch – the best for universal use!
The construction of this model is sturdy with solid metal hardware.
The model features a pretty big padded camera caddy, still enough for a camera and a few lenses. The protection of the gear is realized due to a thick foam, leather, and fabric layers of the bag.
|Reliable and well-thought construction provides enough room for everything||You can’t transform the bag just on the street, you need to leave the interior at home, otherwise, there is no sense in it|
|Looks even more attractive and unique with use||This model is rather heavy|
|Can boast of multiple pockets||–|
|Three in one option: camera/ laptop/ courier bag||–|
|Just the right size||–|
|Looks strong and bulletproof||–|
Surely, leather is an organic material and possesses good water-resistant properties. But it will never be totally water-proof. Special treatment from time to time helps keep the water-resistance qualities successfully.
The Buyer’s Guide
So you’ve picked out your stuff, you’ve got your camera gear, you’ve got your lenses, you’ve got your accessories, you’ve got whatever computing solution you want if you’re going to take one at all. Now you need a bag to put it all in. Choosing a bag is not as simple as it may seem that first. There are a lot of different things to weigh. You need a bag that can carry all of your stuff. You need a bag that’s comfortable enough for the long haul, and one that allows you the access that you need when you need it, to get to specific pieces of gear.
There are two categories of bags. There are shooting bags. Those are the bags that you actually use when you’re out shooting. They typically are smaller. They’re the bags that you use more frequently. They carry kind of a subset of your stuff. Then there are luggage bags. Those are the bags that you use to get all of your stuff, including your shooting bag, to wherever it is you’re going. You may even need both a shooting bag and a luggage bag, or if you’re really picky, you may need dozens of bags.
- Strap. The adjustable and fully removable strap can suit everyone, no matter how you prefer to wear the bag: on the shoulder, cross-body, or carry it by the handle.
- Pockets. Extra pockets for necessary small things are extremely useful, especially if you rededicated your camera bag to a messenger.
- Padded soft camera caddy. It provides superior protection for the gear. Preferably, it should be removable to reorganize the space inside and to turn into an ordinary everyday bag.
A separate division for a laptop, tablet, or files is particularly helpful for those, who deal with photography professionally, for business purposes and convenience.
There are two main types of genuine leather used for bags: top-grain and full-grain leather. The main difference is that the first was several millimeters removed to make it look perfect and soft. It has a uniform finish, but it doesn’t prove as durable— top-grain leather breaks down faster.
Other tips for buyers of leather camera bags
- Lots of bags are manufactured from oil-tanned leather and treated with hot wax to provide wonderful water resistance. Though leather is an organic material and therefore isn’t completely water-resistant. Regular and simple care and treatment solve this problem;
- Some bags with a natural leather finish scratch easily. To deal with the issue just use a cool wet cloth and nothing will prevent you from enjoying your elegant leather camera bag;
Video Guide: Making a Leather Camera Bag
How to Choose a Leather Camera Bag
Before you can start your bag selection, you need to know what it is you’re going to be taking. Obviously, you need to know what gear you have before you can find out what kind of bag you need to put it all in. There are a few different questions to ask yourself before you start this process. First of all, are you flying? If you are, then you need to consider are you checking bags? Are you carrying bags on? Are you doing some combination of both? You don’t want to check your fragile camera and computer gear, both because it could get damaged and it might get lost, but you might have more camera gear than you can carry on. If that’s the case, then you might need a sturdy bag to put some of the excesses in.
You need to think about are you going into potentially bad weather? Is water going to be an issue, is dust going to be an issue, or are those not a concern at all? You also want to think about are you carrying any other luggage. That’s going to really put an impact on the carrying system that you might want. Do you want to backpack? Do you want a shoulder bag? Do you want wheels? If you’ve got another piece of luggage to manage, then that may really weigh in on that decision.
Check your renter’s insurance, or homeowner’s policy, or something, and see if it covers your camera gear and other computer stuff that you might be taking.
FAQ Leather Camera Bags
Do you actually need to buy a leather camera bag?
If you already have very few picture accessories, most experts recommend that you go to a standard backpack instead of purchasing a camera backpack. First of all, you’re going to save some money, and you can invest it in a new lens or a trip. Another advantage is that the regular backpack won’t attract too much attention. You may convert any bag into a camera bag with a couple of accessories and a few DIY dividers. And it might be a better way to get started. Plus, you can fit your camera with other items as well.
Alternatively, you can use a dedicated camera bag, but you can choose a small shoulder bag. It’ll be great for a camera and a lens, and you may add a few more personal belongings.
How should you pick the right camera bag?
The first item you need to consider is what kind of camera bag you’re going to get. Yes, there are a few types to consider:
- Cases and pouches. These bags are made for lightweight, compact cameras only, not for your DSLR. A number of people have a camera pocket or a belt loop case along with a wrist strap;
- Waist/belt packs. The waist pack is a much wider camera case. This is ideal for photographers who like the ease of bringing their paraphernalia. However, this hands-free choice is still not suggested for expert photographers;
- Shoulder bags. They’re common among a lot of photographers. Many versions incorporate flexible straps, rainfall flaps, sturdy zippers and certain Velcro fittings. There are shoulder/sling bags for cameras with several pockets for gadgets and tiny objects. In addition, several of these bags still have waterproof covers;
- Dedicated backpacks. These bags have been an increasingly common alternative for many professional photographers. Their design is one of the explanations for this. They come in various sizes and are really large, meaning you can bring more than only your photo gear in. Any of the bags have built-in spokes, so they can be quickly turned into rolling bags. There are also roller bags designed especially for photographers. However, they are larger and larger than the backpacks;
- Holsters. If you are using a single-lens DSLR/bridge camera, a holster or zoomster may be the right camera bag for you. The snout-shaped bag feels easy to bring everywhere, anywhere. Holster successfully carries and covers the camera across its tapered cavity;
Besides the camera bag type, you should decide on such features:
- Quality materials – think of genuine or durable PU leather when it comes to a dedicated camera bag;
- The size matters. It depends on the number of items you need to carry in such a bag;
- The protection level. A special camera bag should have paddings to protect your gear inside;
- Water-resistance (preferably the water-proof factor);
- Adjustable shoulder straps;
How should you put a camera in a bag?
Most experienced photographers prefer loading the camera into their leather bags with the lens pointed to the up or side. Though, the side position is more preferable because it would be easier to unpack the camera on the go. Never place the camera into the bag with the lens pointed to the bag’s bottom.
How large should a camera bag be?
The bag you select would need to be large enough to suit your camera, lenses, adapter, extra batteries, or any other items you need to capture the epic pictures. The amount of support equipment you choose to bring would much determine the size of the bag you use.
The photography experts have a rule of thumb in such a case:
- Pick small leather camera bags while the targets are minimal and accurate;
- Buy a medium bag if you look for more versatility;
- Invest in a huge bag if you need to have all your choices open on the go;
How should you carry your camera everywhere?
One of the safest ways is to use a small camera bag with a limited amount of gear you may need for professional shots. Life happens not on a schedule, that’s why most photographers leave their homes prepared – with their travel photo gear that can help to capture the shots with decent quality.
How can you protect your expensive camera in a backpack?
In certain cases, a specialized camera bag is the safest way to hold your precious gear, however from time to time it is important to use a bag that has been built for a certain reason, such as a standard backpack. Here is how you should use a backpack for transporting an expensive camera with lenses:
- Disassemble the sensitive gear before packing. Split the lens from the camera body. Pull the battery out. Unclip the strap;
- Wrap all these components with any DIY padded inserts or just thick cloth pieces;
- Place the extras (memory cards, chargers, extra lenses, etc.) into outside and easy-to-open pockets;
Also, in case you get stuck in poor weather, you may get a rain cover for a backpack. However, sometimes spills within your bag will cause harm to your gear as well. If you have toiletries or a bottle of water in your pack, try using reusable ziplock bags to cover items more. Only slip the lens or body inside, seal it and voila. Defense from liquid mishaps.
Your choice of a leather camera bag may always be more essential than how you carry it when it comes to protecting your gear. It’s a smart idea to dream of finding sturdy padding bags and fabrics, with the extra advantage of items such as lockable zips.
How to make a DIY camera bag divider?
Any sturdy backpack may become a reliable camera bag if you have dividers. It is quite easy to create a few DIY dividers for a camera bag:
- Prepare the materials. For a camping pad, you should buy any 1/4-inch foam material. Then invest a heavy-duty glue and tape (think of Gorilla brand products). Also, you will need scissors, an X-Acto knife, paper/cardboard, and a sharpie for a foam material;
- Design on a divider template. The simplest sort of compartment to create is one that rests on the bottom of the bag and has a divider for each object. For example, you would create a container with 2 dividers that will allow you room for three things – a camera, a telephoto lens, a regular lens;
- Build the template. You would like to make a design that can be used to cut the foam material. All paper types, as well as paper shopping bags, and cardboard may be used. Place the paper in the bag to replicate the shape of the divider you like to build out of the foam;
- Cutting the foam. Position the template on the foam and outline the edge points with the sharpener. Use the X-Acto knife and cut the foam material around the markings;
- Taping or gluing the foam. Using the tape/glue to attach all the foam parts;
- Adding padding pieces to the back and front of the divider. You’ll need to cover the front and back with additional layers of foam to provide maximum protection;
How should you store separate lenses in a camera bag?
To avoid telescoping, lenses should be stored safely. The only approach to avoid this from occurring is to place the lens facing down and keep the weight of the lens to avoid any telescoping issues. Harm to the lens aspect is impossible if you have a lens cap and a decent bag of at least ¼-inch padding.
Holding lenses facing down actually allows it easy to change lenses so you can swap back caps without taking the lens from the case. Lenses can’t be kept with the attached hoods when you travel a lot. Blunt force may affect the threads of the hood.
Padding has to be balanced to avoid the two lenses from bumping. Where there is no padding, the impact of the two lenses touching is even stronger. The lenses should therefore have spaces built to match them smoothly.
Analyzing the material, design, construction inside, space, extra pockets, laptop or tablet division, possible options for carrying the bag – all upsides and downsides of each model make the whole picture clear but not possible to define the only best one, leaving the choice to personal perception and preferences.