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Lowepro SlingShot 202AW (All-Weather)
As soon as you invest in a quality dSLR with a range of lenses, you're faced with the problem of how to carry all your kit. There are loads of different camera bags out there, so I decided from the off I was going to opt for Lowepro, because they're a trusted brand who make quality items. I bought my SlingShot from Amazon about 4 years ago and paid £44.99.
The idea behind the SlingShot is that you can access your equipment quickly. The bag sits on your back in 'carry mode' - fastened by a single strap that runs from the top of your shoulder, across your chest and is secured by a plastic buckle. When you need your camera you are able rotate bag (back to front), so that it's sitting around the stomach area. From here you just undo the zippers and your camera is at hand. Easy! This is a clever design and I find it works really.
The camera compartment of the bag features a padded and adjustable divider section to allow for a certain degree of customisation. I have mine set-up to hold a Nikon D40 dSLR with an 18-70mm lens on. I also carry a 70-200mm telephoto lens and have in the past carried a 50mm prime lens. There's also room for a Rocket Blower (for cleaning the camera's sensor), a digital grey card, and other small bits and pieces for cleaning purposes. All this fits in the main compartment. A neat touch in the main compartment is the sewn-in microfibre cleaning-cloth for use on lenses and your cameras LCD screen. On the outside is a separate zipped compartment at the top of the bag where I store chargers and leads. Below this is an accessory pocket that I use for storing a couple of filters.
It's also possible to carry a compact tripod on the side of the bag using the Hideaway Tripod Mount System. I don't use this feature, preferring to carry a tripod in my hands. You can also add smaller Lowepro pouches to the side of the bag using the SlipLock attachment loops. I use this to carry my compact camera on certain occasions.
The Only Downside:
Changing lenses isn't easy with this bag. You really need to take it off if you're going for a lens change. For this reason when I'm out and about I use my 18-70mm, which is a good walkabout lens. With a bit of practice and a bit more confidence it is possible to change a lens with the bag in 'ready-mode', but you do need to be really careful - open the bag wide and stuff can fall out. And it's for this reason I'm knocking off a star from my overall rating.
I love this bag as it works for me. It carries most of the gear I need for a day's photography, is comfy to wear and is hard wearing. I've used it for over four years now and it's still going strong. The zips and buckles are high quality and won't let you down.
4 out of 5 stars.
More info: www.lowepro.com/slingshot
A while ago I had a new camera bag because another camera bag was too small. I decided to go to the camera shop. Only I did not know whether I wanted a shoulder bag or a bag that you put on your back. Luckily I found this bag and the choice was quickly made. It's a shoulder bag but you can also have it as a back bag.
Lowepro is a company that has specialized in bags. And not just camera bags, but also laptop bags, backpacks, waist bags, luggage and more. Lowepro also sells accessories for photography. The company is based in 90 countries and six continents and is a global leader in camera bags.
The bag has a lot of compartments, of course a large one for the camera, one smaller one in the front of the camera and a larger compartment on the top of the bag which is easy to open.
The outside compartment is not very large, but is suitable for your charger and USB cable. It's for example not big enough for a bottle of water or a book because it's simply too small. There is a small net in the outside compartment where something small like a USB stick will fit.
The small outside compartment is very small outside pocket. There are several small pockets where you can put a pen or just the manual of the camera but furthermore nothing much. It's quite handy for the batteries.
The camera compartment can fit your camera and about two lenses. Because it is a shoulder bag, you can lever and sliding it to your belly and so it is very easy to open the pocket without having to put the bag on the ground. You can open the zipper partially from the side and for example only the bit where the camera is. Very handy and you don't have to worry about everything falling out. There is also a handy small pocket were you can put a memory card. In the main camera area you can create your own size compartments. This way I have created five compartments so I have enough space for all my items like an extra lens.
Carrying the camera bag is very comfortable. The material on the back is made of soft material, which makes it more comfortable. I also find it very convenient that you can take the camera right out of your bag without first having to put on the floor.
I think overall the bag is very handy in size and comfortable to wear. Especially the main camera area is very easy with the option of opening the compartment from the side so you can just take out your camera without the risk of your other falling out. I bought this bag for around 50 pounds and was a great deal.
I bought this camera bag about 2 months ago and it has been nothing short of brilliant. Some brands you can buy in the knowledge that the product will be top quality, and Lowepro is one of these brands. Yes, there are cheaper makes on the market but when you are carrying round a lot of expensive equipment, it makes sense to push the boat out a little and pay for a high quality bag for transportation. With Lowepro the quality difference is tangible, their products both look and feel more professional and durable.
I bought this from Amazon (using Dooyoo gift vouchers in fact) and it cost me a few pence over £40 with free delivery as standard. On the website it lists the rrp as £97.90 which seems a little far fetched, although I have seen it in high street shops, including Jessops, at well over £60.
I'm fairly new to digital photography and will be wanting to add more lenses, hoods, guides etc to my collection and as such I wanted a bag that could accommodate me for the medium term as I look to take more equipment out with me. I currently have a Canon 450d with the standard 18-55mm kit lens and a 55-250mm lens. I did a fair bit of research online and also went into various high street shops to size up the bags and in the end opted to go for the Slingshot 200 as it seemed to tick all of my requirement boxes.
For those with slightly more equipment, or even less then this bag is part of a range with the 100 suited for less hardware and the 300 being the next size up which I may have to purchase in due course.
The inner compartments of the main storage area are all attached with Velcro, which allows them to be easily adjusted to safely store my camera with either of my lenses attached. Each Velcro-attached "wall" is very well padded and so the camera or its accessories are very unlikely to suffer damage from being bashed together in this bag.
The listing says that the bag will store a DSLR plus 3-4 lenses and this is probably about right, although if you want to carry flashes, hoods and other accessories then obviously this means less lenses can be accommodated.
The camera equipment is all stored in the lower half of the bag, at the bottom of this is an all-weather cover which is concealed in a pocket at the bottom of the bag. This is a great feature as we all know how unreliable the British weather can be and excess rain water + expensive DSLR equipment = a recipe for disaster. Another nice feature is a pocket built especially for memory cards in the main part of the bag. One final nice touch is the pull out LCD screen-cleaner which is the perfect soft material for both giving your screen a wipe before/after use and also for protecting it during transit.
At the top of the bag there is a good sized zip compartment which is the perfect size for a couple of handbooks, a bit of lunch, or even the essentials that you don't want in your pockets such as keys, cigarettes, phone, ipod etc. You could even put a point and shoot camera in here if you wanted. There is also a small drawstring compartment which you can put loose change in to stop it rattling around.
The bag is designed for easy access to the camera compartment. It has only one shoulder strap and is worn just like a rucksack with the strap going diagonally across the front of your body. There is another strap which clicks into the main shoulder strap and means that it is both secured and comfortable. To access the camera, simply release the smaller strap and swivel the bag around your body so that it is in front of you. Note the main strap stays around you at all times and so there is no need to take the bag off and put it down. The design of the camera compartment means that you can unzip this area and have easy access to your equipment without it all falling to the ground. As the jargon says, you can go from "carry mode" to "ready mode" in a matter of seconds.
I have read some reviews from females who are, how shall I say, larger in the chest region and they claim that the bag can become uncomfortable after a while on long walks. Obviously I am not in a position to comment on that but from my perspective the bag has been very comfortable whenever I have used it. I've not had any instances where I have felt uncomfortable or the bag has started to rub anywhere.
When it comes to camera bags there are plenty of options. I started out with one of those standard ones that you just wear over the shoulder (came bundled in with the original purchase). But as the amount of stuff I wanted to take out with me increased, so did my need for something bigger and sturdier. This bag is perfect for me, it is designed brilliantly, comfortable to wear, and stores my camera and accessories both safely and securely whilst affording me easy access.
The look and feel of the bag is one of quality, the straps are sturdy and the fastenings don't look like they are going to fall to pieces at any time in the near future. At the Amazon price this bag is an absolute bargain and a must for any roving photographer.
Delighted with my choice.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier reviews, this is the second of two Lowepro rucksacks that I own. The other is a much larger (carry all) Vertex 200AW. This smaller bag from Lowepro, the SlingShot 200AW is what I would call my 'carry everywhere' bag. I wanted something nice and light that I could use and this certainly fitted the bill.
The bag is designed to 'sling' over one shoulder. As such, there is only one diagonal padded strap. The alternative to this bag, if you want the more traditional two strap design is the Fastpack 200 or 250, though these two seem to have a little less room in the lower compartment.
So, the SlingShot 200AW is divided into two main storage spaces. The lower part has padded dividers, held in place by velcro. They make the space very useful and it is able to accommodate a sinle SLR camera with a medium sized zoom lens attached, plus two to three other lenses. I would never pack this bag to full capacity anyway. It is intended for my Nikon D90, with 18-105mm lens attached, plus one other lens. For this it is ideal. I can fit in my flash unit too, easily.
The upper part of the bag is ideal for putting a sandwich, packet of crisps and leaves enough room for my lightweight raincoat to be stored. I would not recommend putting a water bottle in here, as if it leaks you camera gear could get a soaking. The bag is showerproof, not waterproof, but does have a waterproof cover in a little pocket on the base of the bag. In front of this, on the outside of the bag is another zipped pocket for smaller accessories. There is also an memory card pouch inside, plus on the side of the bag a loop, so you could add on extra storage.
The one thing that makes this bag really useful is side access. Roll the bag around to your front, open the zips just half way (there are toggle catches to prevent you opening it too far) and you can quickly get your camera out, without revealing or spilling all your other kit on the floor. Some of the other bags in the Lowepro range also offer this. Plus the SlingShot 200AW is very light, which is just what I was looking for. The £50 I spent on this bag was money very well spent.