New Gear Bags for Pro Video

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Unsure of what to do? Suffering from restless, sleepless nights as you wonder what to get your filmmaker friend, niece/nephew, or significant other? Maybe you got some new video gear and it just won’t fit into your current gear bags? Or even better, you’ve had a very successful year and, as December 31 approaches, you realize you need some extra tax deductions. Well, whatever your reason, it’s time for a new bag, or two. But what kind of bag are you looking for? Fashionable, utilitarian, soft, or rigid? DSLR/mirrorless, camcorder, or lighting? So many choices—and where to start? Read on as we help you sort through the new gear bag offerings at B&H Photo.

Consumer or Professional

What’s the difference? Sometimes the line blurs, and sometimes it is very clear. While consumer used to mean “flimsy,” it is no longer a given. On the outside, you could expect consumer bags to look more like luggage or a hiking bag, while a professional bag is going to look like it is carrying expensive video or film gear and can be dragged through some of the roughest conditions in the world. On the inside, in general, a professional bag will offer over-sewn seams, rivets, and be made from a heavier fabric than a consumer bag. However, I have a mix of bags for my own gear, professional and consumer, and which I use is dictated by what gear I’m bringing to the shoot.

Light Stands

Light stands and C-stands have long been a nightmare for gear storage and transportation. Thankfully, in recent years, there have been some advances made in light stand and C-stand carry bags that can make getting to and from your shoots a lot easier.

HPRC 6300TRIB Wheeled Hard Case for Tripods with Tri Kit

Big or Small

I have grown fond of packing my gear into several smaller bags, instead of one monster case. Smaller bags are easier to pack into a car than one big case, which may be too big for the interior of an automobile. When traveling on foot, having one bag with wheels and a handle, like a luggage roller on which you can stack other bags is a good idea. Of course, you may want to pick up a dedicated collapsible rolling cart—B&H has an astounding variety of them, and it is well worth your time to check them out. Something else I have grown fond of is movable dividers. They make customizing my cases so much easier, and I look for them in every bag or case I purchase.

MultiCart RocknRoller R12STEALTH 8-in-1 All-Terrain Equipment Cart

DSLR/Mirrorless

Manfrotto makes gear that ranges from consumer to professional, but it is thought of as well designed, reliable, and useful. However, ever since Manfrotto discovered that magical combination of black and red, one can also use the term “fashionable” when describing their gear, and while fashion alone doesn’t get you far when working behind the camera, still, it can’t hurt. The Manfrotto Pro Light Redbee – 110 Backpack and the larger 340 Backpack are great for crowded situations because the main access is through the back panel and not from the front, making it difficult for someone to hijack your gear without you knowing.

Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee-110 Backpack

Tenba’s Axis series, 20L, 24L, and 32L, feature adjustable internal compartments, and that main access to your gear is through a zippered back pane. There is also an included removable seam-sealed cover to help keep your gear dry in heavy rain.

Tenba Axis 32L Backpack

Orca presents the Orca Backpack, suitable for DSLR and Mirrorless shooters. This pack has removable/repositionable internal dividers and a bright blue interior, which should come in handy when you are looking for that one screw that always seems to go missing. The Orca Lens/Accessory bag is more of a shoulder bag than backpack, but it’s roomy, and it shares the same removable dividers and bright blue interior with the Orca backpack; however, it also has an interior top flap—pretty cool.

ORCA Lens/Accessory Bag

The LowePro Whistler system consists of two backpacks, the 350 AW II and 450 AW II, both with a weather-resistant exterior and included rain cover, and a back-panel zipper for security. Porta Brace, which made its reputation by building bags for high-end video and cine cameras, jumps into the mirrorless market with a backpack for the Nikon Z6 and Z7, Sony RX10, and Fujifilm X-T1 and XT-2 cameras. It holds a camera, lenses, and a tablet, and features Porta Brace’s usual construction of Cordura nylon and suede handles. The Timbuk2 Enthusiast Camera Backpack holds a DSLR, 15" laptop and up to 5 lenses. It can be carried by a top handle or backpack straps, and is available in Jet Black or Glitch (gray).

Timbuk2 Enthusiast Camera Backpack

Shimoda Designs has a range of backpacks in different sizes and capacities, as well as a carry-on roller worth considering.

Camcorders/Cine Cameras

When it comes to bags and soft cases for camcorders, Porta Brace features a seemingly endless choice of bags, all made to withstand the rigors of professional shoots and, as such, are made from rugged Cordura and ballistic nylon with suede handles. New this year is Porta Brace’s series of backpacks with a semi rigid frame, which has models specific for more than 20 different camcorders and cameras.

Porta Brace Backpack with Semi-Rigid Frame for Canon XC10

The Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Backpack Balance is designed to hold a fully set up Ronin M/MX, but can also serve as a carry sack for a one-man band, while the Pro Light Cinematic Backpack Expand, is well suited for the Canon EOS C series of cameras. It features an expandable front, as well as load lifters, sternum straps, and waist belt for creating a custom fit for comfort and support. Plus, it meets most aircraft carry-on requirements when the expandable front is collapsed.

Manfrotto Pro Light Cinematic Backpack Expand

As you can see, with the diminishing size of cameras, the trend in gear bags is toward backpacks and away from the shoulder bags that have been the standard for decades. Despite advances in materials and designs, camera bags are still more a necessary piece of equipment and not a fashion accessory, which means a well-designed and well-made gear bag never goes out of style.

Got a specific bag that you like and that works for you and your gear? Please feel free to share your experience with it and what gear you load it up with, below. Thanks for reading.

Check out all the gear bags on the B&H Photo website, or stop in at the B&H SuperStore whenever you're in New York City.

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