And of course there was a profusion of little cases for digital compacts
and bridge cameras in all sorts of shapes, materials, and colors. For example,
Sakar had a patent leather look pouch in bright yellow, white, blue, and black.
Storm Case had a new smaller size, the iM2050, if you need serious storm-proofing
with a lifetime guarantee. World Richman market their bags under the name Hi-Pro
and also make bags for camera companies, retailers, and others (OEM); they are
sticking with the smaller bags and leaving the digital SLR market to others.
In addition to their classic black leather bags, they are introducing new materials
M-Rock's new Biscayne Bay is a very tiny bag--3x4x1"--with
many of the features of a bigger bag. OSN had a line of new pouches with a touch
of color. But more importantly their pouches have a double touch-fastener belt
loop and water-resistant zips.
If you need something really big, the cube which Porter Case showed at photokina
has sprouted feet and a handle. If you need to protect seriously big cameras,
or lights, or audio gear this might be just what you need. Porter Case is distributed
Vests And Bag Accessories
Air Cell, a material I mentioned in my photokina coverage has made its debut
in the US. Dot Line Corp. had two camera straps and RoadWired showed their Skooba
attache cases. Air Cell is similar to bubble wrap, although each cell is individually
sealed so that if one breaks the others don't lose their air. It is very
light, and straps made with it stay on your shoulder well, and are exceedingly
OP/TECH carries on making pouches and other specialized protective covers. Their
latest offering is a cover which allows you to use a gimbaled tripod head.
Sun Designe's Sockit camera pouch
Some new photographer's vests caught my eye. Fotodiox has four models
all from 100 percent cotton, all nicely detailed. But the most unusual vest
came from Nada-Chair. It is a 16-pocket cotton vest with cotton straps tucked
away for walking, but which fit around your knees when you sit down. This gives
you amazing lumbar support and steadies you while you shoot.
New accessories for the camera bag included the Sockit, a microfiber drawstring
pouch in three sizes, from Sun Designe Ltd. This product is simple, obvious,
and will probably sell like hot cakes at a price range of $2.99-$4.99.
If you need to see inside your bag look for the new Pelican Camera Bag Light,
again it is simple, obvious, inexpensive, and very useful.
One of the most important things you can have in your camera bag is a lens
cleaner and there are lots of them out there. At PMA I got a little microfiber
cloth that tucks away into its own little bag. Pull it out and clean your lens.
Tuck it back in and it stays clean. These little cleaners are called Spudz,
because they resemble a small potato when the cloth is tucked away.
Something else I saw which is not really a camera carrying system, but which
comes from Case Logic and uses camera bag technology is their Space Logic. This
is a series of organizers for tools and all the other things which clutter up
our lives. I immediately visualized organizing our studio equipment in this
way. These organizers hang on the wall, and have a strong nylon mesh which allows
you to see what is where. They even make a tool belt which you can wear around
your waist and then hang up on the wall when you are finished.
The important thing that all of the manufacturers wanted to stress is that
camera bags help you protect your investment, whether you need a tiny pouch
for a digital point-and-shoot or a rolling backpack for cameras, lenses, and
It always takes a lot of time to visit all of the bag manufacturers, but there
is always a little bit of time left over to see what else is around. It is always
fun to see what catches my interest. This time I surprised myself by falling
for a little digital multimedia capture device: the Minox Mobi DV. This is a
digital video camera, a digital still camera, a voice recorder, an MP3 player,
and a flashlight. If I had had one of these, it would have been a great deal
easier to cover the show and I might well have had more illustrations for you:
at the very least, I want one before next photokina!
addresses can be found on page 176.