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Backpack versus Shoulder bag, which one is better for photographers

Backpack versus Shoulder Bag, which one is better for Photographers.

Image source : Lowepro

Deciding between a backpack or a shoulder bag as a camera bag really depends on the individual photographer's needs and preferences. When I started in Photography, I got a small compact V shaped top loading bag with My first camera. It was Canon AL-1 with a canon 50mm lens.

Bought a nice shoulder bag with double compartments. Mostly when you are working in organized and controlled environment with assistants to help you around, shoulder bags are not a problem at all but when you need to walk around a lot on your own, you do need a system to carry all the weight in an ergonomically well distributed manner.

Bought a large Lowepro backpack with a dedicated compartment for a 17" laptop when there were restrictions after 9/11 all over the world. Only one bag could be carried.

Even otherwise, as the camera gear had grown tremendously, there was a need to add more bags. Another Lowepro backpack without laptop compartment followed.

We have a variety of backpacks and shoulder bags and use them as per the shooting requirements. If we are shooting on Medium format, we still carry a full frame camera system with us a s a backup or sometimes for miscellaneous shots which do not need the inputs of a high resolution medium format camera. Having different bags makes it easier to segregate the stuff.

For street, Travel and wedding photography, top loading v shaped bags work perfect as only immediately required accessories are carried, keeping the weight light. The other stuff can always be kept in the main bag, be it a backpack or a Shoulder bag.

Backpacks come as roller bags as well. It good to go for these only if one is sure that the bag can be rolled around. In street photography due to uneven terrain this may not always be possible so the limited scope would only be at the airports while travelling. Better not to opt for these if you will mostly be keeping it on the backpack as you will end up carrying the additional weight of the wheels and the handle as well besides these occupying the internal space.

In both the cases, I generally prefer the ones which are strong and sturdy yet not very hard. Being a bit soft allows the equipment to be fitted in even if its slightly larger in size. When it's very hard like a suit case, this is not possible but yes of course, it's much safer.


Shoulder Bags