Camera Sling Bag vs. Camera Shoulder Bag
Why should one consider using a camera sling bag instead of a shoulder bag or a backpack? What are the advantages of a sling bag? In what situations and circumstances is a sling bag the right camera bag? Not every bag is right for all situations.
Most photographers try out different designs and settle finally on a style that suits best their preferences. The options are backpacks, shoulder bags, sling bags, rollers and some designs that combine different styles, such as a backpack with wheels or a backpack transformable into a sling bag. Let’s have a closer look at shoulder bags and sling bags.
The Shoulder Bag
Shoulder Bags are perfect when you need to have a quick access to your gear. This can be the case at events (family events, meetings,…) where you quickly have to change the lens or to take out the flash because of the actual situation.
While you are walking, the bag can be positioned at the site or on your back and quickly slide it around to the front when you need to access the camera. A good point of having a shoulder bag is walking in crowded places. You have your gear better under control.
Large shoulder bags are not convenient when you walk long distances. When you have to transport a lot of gear and the weight is centred on one shoulder it can cause pain in your shoulder and you will get tired more quickly.
Any DSLR camera shoulder bag is not the best solution for hiking or other similar activities. It can quickly slide off your shoulders and can hinder you in your projects.
A plus of shoulder bags is the more stylish look that is good for photographers who are attending events and meetings.
Shoulder bags are best for… quick access to the gear, walking in crowded places and for attending meetings or similar events.
The Sling Bag
Camera sling bags, such as the Lowepro Slingshot 202AW, are designed for carrying comfort and speed. They give you fast access to your camera.
You can carry a larger amount of gear. Despite the weight is still centred on one shoulder the stabilizing straps help to reduce weight from one shoulder. This allows carrying more gear over longer distances than with a shoulder bag.
Most sling bags provide a feature to attach a tripod what is more convenient than carrying it separately.
SLR sling bags are good for activities like hiking and mountain biking as they hold you gear in place. They give you in crowded areas the ability to sling it quickly to the front not only for quick access but also for having it under control.
A drawback is the look of most sling bags. Their sporty look doesn’t fit well in more formal settings.
Sling bags are best for… quick access to the gear, comfortably carrying a moderate amount of gear, walking in crowded places and sportive activities.
How To Choose The Right Camera Sling Bag
What are the key considerations when selecting a camera sling bag?
Amount of gear carrying
There is a variety of sizes to fit your needs from carrying a small compact camera kit to a full professional gear. You need to think about what you want to shoot and how much gear you need to carry.
If you are an adventure sports athlete and love mountain biking or snowboarding and photography you will need a smaller lightweight sling bag such as the Photo Sport Sling by Lowepro that keeps the camera bag in place like a backpack and has the comfort of a sling bag for quick access in every situation.
If you are a very active photographer and hike a lot in order to come to places where you can take stunning pictures of landscape and wildlife you need a light weight sling bag that can hold the full gear. The Lowepro SlingShot 302 AW would be the right decision for you.
If you are carrying a smaller amount of gear and want to ravel you should have a look at a Passport Sling by Lowepro. They are designed for fast and easy access to camera, tablet or laptop as well as your personal gear. They are made for travel.
Locations where you will be shooting
Outdoor shooting often requires additional protection of your gear. If you are planning to take pictures in climates with sudden weather changes, look for a camera bag with built-in rain covers.
When you are travelling to cities and crowded places and you do not want to show everybody that you are carrying an expensive camera gear with you, the Lowepro Passport Sling III will be the right for you.
Carrying a laptop or tablet
Travelling photographers often want to carry all their devices in one bag. There are some sling bags available that have the feature of having an extra compartment for your laptop or tablet. Lowepro’s Transit Sling 250 AW would be the right solution for you.
Whatever you want to do, in what situations you want to shoot, wherever you want to take photos and how big your amount of photo gear is, you will find the right camera bag when you consider these facts before choosing the camera bag that fits best your wants and needs.