Saturday, March 27, 2010

But I Don't WANT an Ugly Camera Bag

Ok, so you don't want a camera bag that looks like you're toting a camera. I have one of those - I bought it back in 1994 or 1995 for my first SLR. I rarely carried it anywhere. I was a teen, and it was black, ugly, bulky, and looked like a camera bag. It was fine for storing my camera, but not so fine for actually carrying with me. I know - defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

I have to admit that my Epiphanie Bag purchase was an impulse buy. I didn't do much research before jumping at the chance to get in on the first round of these bags. But, like I said - I LOVE bags of all kinds. Sure, I like the one I got, but now I'm lusting after some of the other options. Here's what I've found out there (in case you're looking):

Epiphanie Bags - Here's a link to my last post on Epiphanie bags, since this post is loaded with photos without re-hashing. I still think these are great, fun, stylish bags. There are currently three options - Belle (aquamarine/blue-green), Ginger (brown), and Lola (red) - all are $165, but are slightly different sizes and styles. I must admit that I might have bought my bag mainly because I like Maile - and these bags are her babies.

*Emera Bags - Wow, these are really lovely! Love the black quilted tote option. If you're looking for something sleek, stylish, and more business-like - I would say this is a great option.

Check out how gorgeous that bag is! It's 15"x12"x7" with a 10.5" strap drop (which means it should work well on the shoulder, too, depending on how bulky the very top of the bag is).

This grey canvas version is also lovely. Slightly smaller than the quilted, it's 15"x11"x6."
I want to buy something from *emera just because of the above photo they have posted on their website gallery. Check out what they've stashed in the bag - I see a Holga in the center and a Polaroid packfilm camera on the left. Awesome. Ok, these bags are $169 for the Quilted, and $149 for the Canvas versions. Canvas comes in either grey or navy.

Kelly Moore Bag: These bags are stylish, but refined. Made out of water-resistant polyurethane, these have magnetic snap top closures. The strap is adjustable so it can be worn messenger-style or as a shoulder bag. These are 16"x11"x4" - so a bit tighter fit for your camera and lenses, but it is a less-bulky option than others. So many colors, too! Grey, black, brown, purple, fuchsia, cranberry croc or jade croc.Honestly, though, I am a little confused at the snap top closure, since I'd be even more concerned about the safety of my camera in a minor drizzle of rain. I know - zippers aren't fool-proof, either. The Kelly Moore bag is $199, for pre-order shipping in May.

Jo Totes - These are a much less expensive option, at $79 each. At 14 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 4 3/4" these totes are also fairly compact. Current color options are black, olive, or scarlet, and these are high-quality faux leather. So, again - none of these options are leather (including the Epiphanie).

Jo Totes have a zip top closure, a removable cross-body strap, as well as shoulder straps (drop length is not given, but it looks about 10" or so). I really love the fun interior fabric designs on these! Despite being less expensive than the others, they have a simple, classic look.

jill e. designs - A few years ago I discovered these leather camera bags and thought they were absolutely lovely. I really loved the small red leather bag - and these are still ok. These, however, look like camera bags to me. Or really boxy purse-like things. jill e. has both leather ($170, small; $240, medium) and nylon camera bag options ($139).

The small camera bags are 14"x7"x8" - short and bulky. The medium bags are 14"x9.5"x8." Below is the red medium leather bag with an interior shot. I am not a fan of this particular design, to be honest. The pink patent small, shown above, is so much cuter! I'm not big on pink, but it's really cute. I especially like the brown straps with the pink patent.

If you need a bright color for spring, consider the jill e. small yellow nylon bag. Isn't it adorable?

If you are looking for a small bag, you might want to consider the Acme bowler bag, available through Amazon or Photojojo. It's 6.25" x 7" x 3.5" - and no, it's not a shoulder bag.

Photojojo also has their new camera bag - the Sloop, which is certainly fun, although definitely not something that looks professional. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, by the way! Fun stripes have their place, indeed. If you're looking for something fun, check out the Sloop for sure.

I have also heard there are inserts you can get for your own tote bag - I can't find the link for the ones I looked at the other day, though. Let me know if you know where to buy those.

Phew! So, if you're looking for a beautiful camera bag, those are a few places to start. I hope this helps you wonderful, stylish photographers out there!

***please note that the photographs used here are from each of the above websites - they are not mine. (except that first photo of my very own Ginger Epiphanie bag with my SX-70 land camera, of course).


  1. wow. i think this would have to be the best (and most comprehensive) list of camera [hand]bags i've seen! thanks for all the lovely links - i'm off to explore them all

    thanks for this, i've been looking for a bag for ages

  2. yumm! wish i can get myself one. putting down in my wish list :)

  3. ordered a Jo tote last night so looking forward t getting it,

    came across your blog just now looking for jo tote images to see what options i can configure my new bag in.

    a fantastic and well thought out & written list.