A couple years ago, I finally took the plunge and bought a DSLR. It came with the stock lens and was all I needed and I didn’t even need a camera bag. Since then, I’ve gotten a tripod and several lenses, and throwing them all in a regular backpack stopped working pretty much right away. It became clear to me that a good camera bag was what I needed.
My wife bought me a camera bag and lugging around my camera and accessories became a lot easier. This is not the same camera bag. This is a bigger bag for lugging around a lot more lenses, cameras, and, well, just a lot. This Booq Python Blur camera bag turned up at my office recently for a review.
Haul Lots Of Camera Equipment
I have my DSLR camera, a 500mm mirror lens, macro lens, fish-eye lens, some filters, a tripod and I carry around my camera battery charger, an extra battery, Rubiks Cube, and a Flip Ultra and a small point-and-shoot Sony digital camera. I first pulled all the filler paper out of the Python Blur (look at all that). There are pockets everywhere. One really good pocket to have in a camera bag is a laptop pocket. If you have a DLSR that you can control with software on your laptop, you know the benefits. I would have never gotten this hummingbird photo without my laptop and at the time, I had to carry both the laptop bag and the camera bag, which was a pain. To get a feel for the capacity, I emptied out my camera bag and loaded it all up in the Python Blur.
(find the full photo set here)
It still felt pretty empty. I moved stuff around and it still felt empty. It makes sense, though. A professional photographer is going to have his or her good camera and then their backup, a slew of lenses, color meters, remotes, etc. And a professional photographer would probably be able to fit all that in the Python Blur easily enough. The bottom of the top compartment can be moved or removed, as well, to join the bottom area and form one large storage space. A professional photographer is going to need this much bag. Sadly, it seems this is a little too much bag for me… for now.
Size Isn’t Everything
So I didn’t have enough camera equipment to make much of a dent at all in the amount of pace this Booq bag provides. That’s a good thing, one would think, and it still is for most, but it provided some concern for me. The very first thing I noticed when I threw it on my back was that it felt a lot heavier than my old basic beginner bag. The heft does not come without it’s reasons (see below), but it feels like this bag weighs almost as much empty as my bag with everything in it. I’m sure I could get used to it and it’s not exactly a ton, but it would be less convenient, especially when I take my gear hiking. The site lists the Python Blur as only 5.7lb, so maybe I just need to go to the gym more.
The next problem I faced was the lack of anywhere to strap in my tripod. Even though it throws the balance of my current bag all off, it’s one more thing I like to have integrated into a single bag. This is more than offset with the laptop pocket, but I want both.
Finally, the side pockets felt small to me. They were the obvious place to store my lenses, but it didn’t feel like it. Cramming my largest lens in there didn’t feel right and even a couple smaller ones felt forced, though everything fit and came out fine.
Reward If Found And Other Cool Features
While it doesn’t actually say anything about a reward, that’s the first thing someone might think. When I opened up the top compartment, I found a bar code and serial number on a tag that reads, “IF FOUND PLEASE VISIT TERRALINQ.COM”. Something tells me that there are people out there who would guess correctly that a nice camera bag like this loaded up with equipment could sell for quite a bit, but there are plenty of helpful and honest people out there, too, who would love to return such a thing to its owner if only they knew who that was. That’s where Booq’s Terralinq service comes in. Buy a Booq bag, register it, lose it, someone finds it, they report it, Terralinq contacts you and you meet up with the finder for your bag. It’s a great idea that is hopefully saving some people lots of money or insurance headaches.
One of the small features, but still worth pointing out, is the key ring in the left side pocket pictured above. Even better, but harder to show with a photo, is that the Python Blur’s exterior is 1680 denier ballistic nylon and water repellent. From the high-quality zippers to the denim lining, this thing is built to last a long time and absorb the impact of some of our clumsy mistakes. The inside is soft and protects without scratching. Aside from any features, a good bag should last and this one looks like it will.
There’s a lot of camera bags out there and bags made specifically to carry around expensive camera equipment and protect it from damage, rain, etc. are never cheap. At $229, this one is a little more than I would be willing to throw down for a bag for my camera equipment which I could replace for about $800 or less. More than the cost, it’s just too much for me. I need a simple bag for my simple photography needs. The Booq Python Blur is, however, a serious bag for serious photographers with a price tag that is justified by the years of rugged use it is likely to provide, the peace of mind named Terralinq, and the over-abundance of storage space.