Messenger Bags for smaller system cameras


Let me start out by saying, that there are very few bags that are “Sized” for m4/3 cameras that can hold 2-4 lenses, or a combination of a few lenses and a flash etc..  The problem? The larger DSLR still sells more units than the m4/3, or other smaller system cameras like the Fuji X-Pro, or the Pentax Q. typically, the bags are too high. most long zooms for these smaller system cameras are only 4″-7″ high, and most small DSLR bags are 12″-14″ high. So there is a lot of wasted height.

I was in need of a smaller bag to hold my Nikkor 100-300mm Ais (8.2″) and a few native m4/3 and a small film prime. I wanted a bag that I could carry these around when I go the Zoo, or an outdoor photo session without  a lot of  bag around my shoulder. I carry my camera/lens combo via a neck strap, So  I did not want a “Storage” bag. I wanted a bag that would give easy access while I am out taking photographs.

The Messenger Bag seemed the best compromise for a smaller system camera with a few lenses and maybe a flash. They are slimmer, not bulky for the most part. And many will hold a small netbook or iPad if you prefer. There are very few smaller ones that are sized almost right… most are 12″-13’w x 8″-9″h x 4″-5″d for interior dimensions, and have 3-5 Vertical compartments. This is about the  best there is for smaller system cameras without the bulk of normal camera bag.

There are also few similar bags from China you can find on eBay at 1/2 the price or so. if spending about $100.00 is too much.

So, here are the few I feel are a good alternative to a standard SLR bag that offer room for a few lenses and other small accessories.

Tenba Model #638-361

Material Exterior: 1000 denier nylon
Interior: Padded compartments
Type of Closure Quick-release buckles
Exterior Dimensions 14 x 10.5 x 4.0-6.30″ (36 x 27 x 10-15cm) (WxHxD)
Interior Dimensions 13.5 x 9.5 x 3.5-5.5″ (34 x 24 x 9.0-14cm) (WxHxD)
Laptop compartment: 13 x 9.2 x 1.0-2.0″ (33 x 23 x 4.0-5.0cm) (WxHxD)
Tripod Holder/No
Carrying/Transport Options/Padded handle
Shoulder strap
Weight 1.8 lbs (800g)
Image from Tenba
Interior of above image
Image from Tenba

__________________________________________

Jill-E-Design

Camera
E-500
Focal Length
46mm
Aperture
f/3.7
Exposure
1/90s
ISO
100
Camera
E-500
Focal Length
46mm
Aperture
f/3.7
Exposure
1/90s
ISO
100
Camera
E-500
Focal Length
46mm
Aperture
f/3.7
Exposure
1/90s
ISO
100
Camera
E-500
Focal Length
46mm
Aperture
f/3.7
Exposure
1/90s
ISO
100
Material Exterior: Weather-resistant polyester nylon
Interior: Padded walls
Type of Closure Zipper
Interior drawstring
Exterior Dimensions 13.5 x 5.0 x 9.0″ (34.29 x 12.7 x 22.86cm) (LxWxH)
Interior Dimensions Not Specified by Manufacturer
Tripod Holder/No
Carrying/Transport Options/Shoulder strap
Weight 1.15 lbs (521g)
Image from Jill-E-Design

______________________________________________

Tamrac 5426 Aria 6 Camera Bag

Material Exterior: Water-resistant nylon
Interior: Shiny silver lining
Type of Closure Front flap with metal buckle
Zipper
Exterior Dimensions 12.25 x 5.5 x 9.25″ (31.1 x 14.0 x 23.5 cm)
Interior Dimensions 12.0 x 5.0 x 8.75″ (30.5 x 12.7 x 22.2 cm)
Tripod Holder/No
Carrying/Transport Options/Shoulder strap with sliding pad
Weight 18 oz (510.3 g)
Image from Tamrac

_____________________________________________

Domke F-803

Camera
NIKON D300
Focal Length
60mm
Aperture
f/20
Exposure
1/160s
Camera
NIKON D300
Focal Length
60mm
Aperture
f/20
Exposure
1/160s
Camera
NIKON D300
Focal Length
60mm
Aperture
f/20
Exposure
1/160s
1/160s
Material Exterior: Water-resistant canvas with waxes and oils
Interior: Padded side walls
Interior: Rigid top panel
Interior: Open-cell foam liner in bottom
Type of Closure Metal snap hook
Exterior Dimensions 13.5 x 3.5 x 10″ (34.29 x 8.89 x 24.5cm) (LxWxD)
Interior Dimensions 12 x 3.0 x 9.0″ (30.48 x 7.62 x 22.86cm) (LxWxD)
Accommodates One pro SLR camera with lenses and accessories
Carrying/Transport Options Reinforced handle
Adjustable Gripper shoulder strap
Weight 1.0 lbs 15 oz (879g)
Image from B&H Photo Video NYC

Camera
NIKON D300
Focal Length
60mm
Aperture
f/18
Exposure
1/160s
Camera
NIKON D300
Focal Length
60mm
Aperture
f/18
Exposure
1/160s
DOMKE F-803 Inside

_________________________________________________

Thinktank Retrospective 5

Technical Specifications:
ID: 9.5″ W x 7.8″ H x 4.5″ D (24 x 19.5 x 11.5 cm)
ED: 10″ W x 8.5″ H x 6″ D (25.5 x 21.5 x 15 cm)
Weight: 2.3 lbs (1.0 kg)
No Rhetoric Warranty Policy
Exterior – All fabric exterior treated with DWR while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance, sand-washed 100% cotton canvas, antique nickel plated metal hardware, YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread
Interior – Removable closed cell foam inserts with PE board stiffener, 210D silver-toned nylon, PU backed velex, 2x PU coated nylon 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, 3-ply bonded nylon thread
Image from Thinktank
Thinktank Retrospective-5-Pinestone Inside
Thinktank Retrospective-5-Pinestone in action

_________________________________________________________

5 Million Dollar Bag

__________________________________________________

Crumpler New Delhi 230

Size outside:26.5 x 23.5 x 20.0 cm Size inside:20.0 x 15.0 x 13.5 cm
This size fits:SLR with 2 short lenses + accessories
————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Link to Bag Home Page:  Military Ops: Model: LIMA

Series Military Ops
Model Lima
Retail Cost $79.99
Warranty Limited Lifetime Warranty
Exterior Dimensions 9H x 14Wx 5D in
22.9H x 35.6W x 12.7D cm
Camera Insert 7.5H x 11.75W x 3.75D in
19.1H x 29.8W x 9.5D cm
Exterior Material Water-Resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon
Weight 1.95 lbs
0.88 kg

24 thoughts on “Messenger Bags for smaller system cameras”

  1. Good topic! I have been using a Domke F 803 messenger. II can carry the camera a long zoom, the kit lens, my iPad, and 2-3 primes. Roomy pockets too. Plus the waxed canvas is almost waterproof.

  2. I have the F-803 and it’s a great bag. However, for just walking around with a single camera and a few lenses, the Domke F-5XB is one of the best around in my opinion.

    1. I had one of those, but I don’t like latch type.. I ended up with the National Geographic belt Pack. more looks like a fanny pack. It holds 3 lenses, like a 14-42, 20mm, and an adapted 55mm macro. for a small arsenal if needed.

  3. I had been using the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 35. It’s a nice bag, but I wanted something a bit lighter. I went with the Kata Orbit-110DL. The Kata is super light weight and carries what I need for a day on the streets.

  4. I’m a little late to the discussion and this is not a messenger-style bag, but I have a very useful bag that I don’t believe has been mentioned in any of the MFT bag threads. It’s the Case-Logic TBC-306 and it is perfect for carrying a small kit. It is a holster type that has a strap or can be worn on a belt. It will hold an OMD with a 12-35mm and lens shade in place (or the 40-150mm w/o hood), nose down. There are two zippered side pockets that expand and can hold lenses (even a small zoom like the 40-150) or flash and there is a small zippered pocket on the front flap for batteries, filters or SDHC cards. A nice small package (about the size of a cantaloupe – sorry, that’s the best approximation I can think of!) . Cost is only $20 – $25!!

    Highly recommended. Well worth a look: it can be found at Office Depot (!) and other U. S. big-box stores and also on-line. Case Logic makes a lot of small bags so be sure to look for the TBC-306. Cheers

  5. Ok, I have a number of bags mentioned above — the Tenba, ThinkTank and Crumbler. All are great bags and well made. However, the one I like best for my Olympus OMD is the Naneu Pro Lima (http://www.naneubags.com/products-by-series/military-ops/lima) This little bag holds my Olympus OMD with grip, battery back, Oly 12-50MM, Oly 45MM, Oly 40-140MM, Charger, 5 batteries. I also carry the flash and a Canon S95 camera. The document sleeve fits a iPad with a case. This little bag does everything and it has a removable camera insert.

    See video on bag here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpradkvfngY

    Right now the bag is out-of-stock. Yaniv Haramaty, President told me they will be in stock in early 2013. Give him a call at (877) 793-9202 and place an order. You won’t regret it.

  6. It’s worth noting that any bag can be converted into a camera bag using products like the Express Insert (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UVIT7M). The top lid is easily removable via a velcro attachment. I use the lid on, for full protection when packed for travel, but leave the lid off in a messenger bag for quick access. Works great to turn a favorite small Tom Bihn messenger bag into a compact camera bag.

  7. I have the new Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 20 , I can get my OMD plus 45 lens in , 12- 50 , the small flash and a 20 mm Panny lens . Its very light and well made .
    Thoroughly recommend.

  8. Jill-E Designs makes a smaller version of the bag above – Jill-E E-GO Camera Insert Bag. I use it with just one insert to hold my OM-d and 2 lenses in small storage bags. I did not feel comfortable with the plastic clip attaching shoulder strap, so I removed the clips and permanently attached the strap to the bag. It is small enough to go everywhere, includes a zippered outer pocket and pockets on the inside of the cover. I added luggage ID tag to the inside of the bag so when an honest person finds my gear…! How do people ‘label’ their gear?

  9. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation
    however I to find this matter to be actually one thing
    which I feel I might by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complicated and very wide for me.
    I am looking ahead to your next submit, I’ll try to get the hold of it!

    1. I am not sure what you mean by too wide of a topic it’s basically a topic of somewhat smaller bags that can carry the newer mirrorless cameras with the small set of lenses.

      if you like to go out and carry a camera and a few lenses you really don’t need a large bag.

      so I made sure to give the dimensions of the bags listed above so you could at least compare sizes to watch your gear would need.

  10. I think the Domke F-5XB is a very nice bag too. If you only carry a small camera (like the Olympus E-M10) and two small primes (Olympus 25mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8) the Crumpler Light Delight 2500 is great. It’s a very light bag, only 220 grams. Lighter then most other options.

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