I've been through many digital cameras in the last 6 or 7 years - too many. They never last long with me so I tend to buy cheap ones, which means they never last long... When my last one died on the beach on Boxing day, a replacement was top of my list of things to buy during my short stay in the UK. This time the one I picked didn't come with the sort of thin fabric pouch bag I've always made do with, so I decided to buy a proper one and naturally turned to Amazon. Initially I wanted to get an idea of styles and prices before looking on the high street thinking that, like with clothes and shoes, fit is important and I would be reluctant to buy online. I was so blown away, however, by what I could get for a few pennies I promptly bought one, knowing that if it didn't fit it wouldn't be the end of the world.
Yeah, let's talk about size. I was a little worried when I opened the parcel that it was too small for my camera. This is a generic case that will fit many models and the blurb online says it is "for Canon, Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Nikon, Pentax, Lumix, Kodak, Olympus & all other Compact Digital Cameras" which is fine, but not too specific. Even though internal measurements are included, I wasn't sure my new Kodak EasyShare would definitely fit when I ordered it, and equally unsure when it arrived. In fact, it fits perfectly: it's not a struggle to get it in, but it fits snugly so the camera doesn't bang around inside it.
The case has a clamshell design, with a zip that goes almost all the way round allowing a wide opening, useful when the fit is so tight. There are two zippers on it, so you can join them in the middle or at either side. The zip seems quite strong and requires a concerted tug do it up or undo it, but I imagine this will loosen over time. The two sides have a sort of elastic hinge inside, so don't fold back on each other but easily open enough to slip in your camera. These pieces of stretchy stuff also stop the case pinging open and the camera falling out, even if you rip the zip open with some force. The front is moulded with an extra deep bit for the lens but because mine doesn't stick out, I can fit my camera in any way round, upside down, back to front or however I like. Because the case is such a snug fit, it adds virtually no bulk to the camera: problems I had back in the day of non-digitals included a camera being small enough to fit in a pocket, but not once it was in its case.
The case has a few options for carrying it. There is a belt loop on the back but this is very tight and would be a fiddle to fit on, so you'd not want to remove it once you'd threaded the belt through. Alternatively there is a detachable neck strap which is quite thin but seems strong. It hangs down to just above my belly button normally, a little higher if I have on a water bra and it has to go up and over the boob-a-loobas, or you can wear it over one arm like a shoulder bag, or thread it round a wrist, looping it a few times to make is shorter.
The case is nice and light-weight even though it is sturdy and sounds quite solid if you knock it. It is supposed to be both shock proof and water proof. I could have done with this at Niagara, and will maybe have to search out some waterfalls in Colombia just to test it out. Or, y'know, I could just wait for it to rain during my final week in the UK.
This is a plain but pretty case. The colour online, and in the picture above. looks more like a metallic lilac than the case actually is - in my hands, it's more of a bubble gum pink. It comes in other colour options too, but I wanted a bright one as it's easier to find in the depths of a big handbag. It has black and silver accents and doesn't look too cheap as some brightly coloured items can (especially when they ARE cheap, like this one).
Any limitations? There's no easy way to thread the camera's own wrist strap through to allow you to carry it this way. You can do it by not closing the case's zip entirely, but this also makes it less secure. Also, because it's so neat, tidy and compact, there are no extra pouches for batteries or memory cards etc. Personally I would prefer to carry those separately rather than bulk out the case, so this suits me fine.
There are many versions of this case online, some which seem identical apart from the price. This is supposed to be a LUPO brand product but this isn't printed anywhere on it - instead it has the words 'Camera Bag' on a small plaque on the front just in case you forgot what it was and thought it was maybe a soap dish or travel jewellery box. It might not work for the former as it is soft fabric on the inside, not wipe clean, but you probably could use it for the latter if needed. (NB the picture above is from the profile on Amazon and the precise item I ordered, but the one supplied has the words I've said, not 'Digital' as shown in the picture)
Initially I had thought I would need to spend between £5 and £10 on a case. I didn't want to spend more as my camera wasn't massively expensive, and it annoys me that, like with a Kindle, your initial not insignificant outlay needs topping up with add ons.
This one cost just £2.99, including free delivery from Amazon (I ordered on Friday night and it was delivered Monday morning). I used Dooyoo vouchers, so it was actually free. I am VERY pleased with my buy. It is excellent value for money and good quality. It should protect my camera for years to come, is easy to locate and looks pretty. Most importantly, it adds neither weight nor bulk to the camera itself. Full marks all round.