You love your camcorder. You want to protect it the best way you can. Doesn't it make sense to buy a quality bag for it? Professional videographers do, and so should you.
Camera bags today are constructed of quality materials, such as thick foam padding, waterproof nylon, ¼-inch thick plywood and reinforced plastic armor. There are adjustable pockets, customizable dividers, zippered compartments, and room for other accessories. There are hard cases, soft cases, rolling cases, backpacks, daypacks, shoulder bags, and more. In short, there is a bag out there for everyone.
When purchasing a bag for your camcorder, you need to consider what and where you will be shooting and under what conditions. If you are a traveling videographer, you will need a tougher bag than if you are a local event shooter. Also, consider what accessories, if any, you want to take along on your shoot. Many bags and cases are initially set-up to work with still cameras but can be configured to provide equal protection to your camcorder. These are just a few of the many things to consider. Here's a look at the different types and a few prices to look for.
Hard Shell Cases
In general, hard cases provide the toughest protection of all. They can take a beating and keep your equipment intact.
Even if you own a small camera, you might still opt for a hard shell case. The Sony LCM-HCA is Sony's dedicated hard case for its DCR-HC series camcorders. It includes a shoulder strap and a handy battery pouch. $50.
For medium sized cameras like the JVC GR-DV300, the Kata Shell-03 (CCC-2003) Thermoformed Shell Case has a full diagonal opening, which allows immediate access inside. It is customizable, with mesh pockets, dividers and a shoulder strap. $93.
Going on a trip? Storm cases by Hardigg offer some hard shell cases designed to withstand the rugged use of baggage handlers, and some model designs fit perfectly within airline carry-on restrictions. The Storm Trak iM2500 runs from $192 to $260, depending on whether you plan to pad it yourself or purchase it with cubed foam, padded dividers.
In most cases, the extra padding, reinforced dividers, and weatherproof fabrics in soft cases will protect your gear.
Canon's SC-A50 is a soft leather case designed to protect its Elura, Optura and ZR series camcorders. The case has reconfigurable padded compartments, pockets and a shoulder pad. $55.
Petrol's water-resistant PMUB-1 Mini Camera U-Bag for the Canon GL-2 and similar size cameras, features a wide opening, accessory pockets, ergonomic handle, padded straps and removable dividers. $85.
For bigger cameras, the Tamrac 2249 provides protection for camcorders like the Canon XL2. Constructed of waterproof nylon, the principal compartment is foam-padded and reinforced with plastic armor for optimum protection. $225.
Backpacks and Daypacks
If you want to haul your gear and keep your hands and arms unoccupied at the same time, a backpack or daypack might be for you.
The Delsey Gopix 85 Daypack can carry a medium-sized camcorder and other accessories. It has a front organizer and side mesh pockets for additional items. $44.
The Petrol PCBP-1 Mini DV Hiker Backpack is a medium-size backpack designed to carry a camcorder and laptop in hard-to-get-to locations. It has zippered compartments inside for accessories. It fits the Canon Optura X1 and similar size cameras. $175.
Porta-Brace’s BK-3 backpack is for camcorders such as Panasonic’s AG-DVX100. It has hide-away backpack straps, a shoulder strap and a suede handle. A padded frame protects the equipment inside. It includes a special laptop section and an external pocket for lightweight tripods. $260.
If you prefer to roll your gear instead of carrying it, then rolling cases are for you. They are well suited for traveling documentarians, and for carrying extra heavy equipment.
The Lowepro Pro Roller 1 Rolling Camera Case, with sealed-bearing, in-line skate wheels and an extendable and single-handle tube system delivers perfect balance so it rolls effortlessly. It converts into a backpack with tuck-away ergonomic harness and waist belt. The customizable interior with adjustable, padded dividers and its all-weather cover will keep your gear well protected. It also includes two tripod and light stand holders. $239.
Zero Halliburton makes the Zeroller ZR107C-SI, a heat-tempered aluminum rolling case, with a triple-digit combination lock, high-density foam padding, and a neoprene gasket that keeps out dust and moisture. $475.
Bags for Accessories
What about protection for your tripods, light kits, mixers, microphones, etc? You can bag these separately too. Some manufacturers make bags specifically for accessories, like Photoflex, with its Transpac Multi Kit Case for your lighting kits and tripod. This bag has double-stitched seams, oversized zippers, and customizable divider systems. $199.
The Fiberbilt 515-1250 Tripod/Light Stand Case is a tubular transit case made to ship tripods and light stands up to 50" long with a diameter up to 12". It is lightweight with a double wall construction inside, and with ½-inch foam lining in top and bottom. $194.
Tool Pouches, Belt and Hip Packs
Tool pouches, fanny pouches, belt and hip packs, are all very convenient for storing smaller items and personal belongings. These bags allow for quick and easy access to your belongings.
The Porta-Brace HP-1 Hip Pack will hold your tapes, batteries, even personal paraphernalia. The principal compartment has a reinforced interior and extra pockets for small items. The Hip Packs come with a Porta-Brace water bottle, wide quick-release belt and a small shoulder strap. $79.
For your tools and other video paraphernalia, there is the Rolling Gear Bag from SetWear. It contains multiple pockets, solid neoprene wheels, and interior padding to protect your gear. $80.
Smart videographers appreciate the value of a quality bag to store their equipment. It not only safeguards your camcorder and accessories from dents and scratches, but it can also prolongs the quality of their performance. You will operate more efficiently when you are confident. And you will be confident knowing that your video equipment is in top-notch condition. It just makes good sense to bag it!