Thursday, September 23, 2010

camera bag reviews | SAN DIEGO PHOTOGRAPHER


  • all imgs on this post are straight from the manufacturer's site; I can't squeeze the time to take actual pix of them myself;
  • also, you can further find their specs (size, dimensions) from their actual manufacturer's site.
I never thought I would do a review on camera bags; but I know, before i buy anything, I ALWAYS look for reviews...

so, after collecting more camera bags than I need now (and yet to have found a perfect match), I think it's time to help out those who are in search of one, and are fluctuating amongst the sea of choices out there.

I hope my personal take and experience can shed some insight to help others avoid any pitfalls, or know what you'll be getting before getting it...

here goes...
1) 5 Million Dollar Crumpler

Got this when I had my Canon Rebel XS, kit lens, and the nifty fifty 50mm 1.8;


  • decent size, not too big, not too small
  • stylish, love the contrast colors between the inside and outside

  • once the gears are inside, it gets HEAVY
  • wearing it as a messenger style, really strains my shoulder, I had to constantly put my fingers underneath where the strap meets my shoulder to help even out the weight, always come back from a shoot with a red and sore shoulder
  • flap with valcro does not keep sand out - took it to a few beach shots, ALWAYS came home w/ sand INSIDE - freaked me out..don't want sand to get into my lens!
  • TOO SMALL for the 5D MARK II - that body simply would NOT fit into this bag!
I'll probably get rid of this bag soon as I no longer use my Rebel XS

 2) Tamarac Model 3548 Express Pack (backpack)

So, after the experience with the Crumpler 5 mil bag, I had to get a larger bag when I upgraded to the canon 5D Mark II.


  • backpack style is MUCH better than messenger style - evens out the weight on my body 
  • VERY roomy - can fit the following:
  • canon 5D Mark II with 50mm 1.8 attached AND demb flash bracket attached
  • canon 100mm 2.8 macro
  • canon 35mm 1.4L
  • canon 580ex ii flash
  • demb mega flip-it bounce card
  • still room for iphone, keys, wallet, and a sweater
  • very stylish colors - one of the reasons for my jumping on it in the first place
  • water resistant - took it to a beach shoot and while resting on my back, a wave hit me, I was all wet, but the water merely dripped off of it, so I was REALLY relief to see that!
  • unisex design - when I'm out with hubby, I always end up making him carry it after a while to leverage off the weight (and he still looks manly) =) altho, he normally doesn't mind carrying my LV speedy 30 either...haha...what a man!
  • a bit difficult to reach for lenses and cell phones while it rests on your back. would have to put it on the ground to take stuff out.

It's likely that I'll continue to carry this on actual shoots and even when I travel. It takes so much weight off of my shoulder

3) Jill-e Small red
haven't had a chance to use this yet, as it just arrived yesterday. But after admiring it, playing with it, and putting my gears in, I don't think I'm too fond of it
  • roomy - but not as roomy as the tamarac backpack
  • fits the following for me:
  • 5D Mark II with 50mm 1.8 attached and demb flash bracket attached
  • 35mm 1.4L
  • 580ex ii flash (barely fit)
  • demb mega flip-it bounce card (barely fit)
  • good size extra bag inside to hold little accessories (memory cards)
  • very well padded
  • removable velcro paddings
  • stylish color
  • too boxy - even tho it's a "small" vs the medium, it sits across my shoulder and screams "camera bag" pretty loud...I was hoping for a more understatement from this bag
  • comes with a messenger strap to go across the shoulder, but then the arm straps can't come off - looks a bit silly with wearing across the shoulder with two arm straps swinging around
  • does get to be quite heavy with the gears listed above inside it.

I'll probably carry the jill-e on short excursions...I wanted to use it for when I go out w/ DD for a short shoot...but seeing how boxy it is, it's gonna be difficult to manipulate with a kid in one arm and this thing across my body.

4) Jill-e Rolling Camera Bag - Moss Green

So, since I've tried the backpack style, messenger style, and they didn't seem to fit well, I thought I'd try the roller one, that way I can get all the weight off of me for good!

I jumped on the Jill-e rolling bag and LOVED the Moss Green one as I was browsing around...bit the bullet and dished out another $299 for yet another camera bag only to find...

that, when I received it, IT WAS REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY H-E-A-V-Y!!

 Even before ANYTHING gets put in it, it already weighs about 8 lbs!

I initially imagined that I could roll it along, then hang it on my shoulders when we get to beaches and such...but now, as it weighs 8lbs before me putting my gears in, it's just not possible for me to carry this thing!

So it's been sitting in the closet, awaiting for maybe a travelling event, then I can take it on the plane with me...otherwise, I don't see myself rolling this thing around on a normal shoot...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I don't know how many times I need to repeat the word to truly convey how I feel these days;

I love being busy; but I think these days I'm so so so so so busy, that I don't even have time to enjoy all this busy-ness...

The daycare that we've waitlisted for over 2 yrs finally called last week. There's nothing special about it, it's just that it's a facility in the proximity of my work area, AND it's half the price of all other I was super excited when they called.

I was super excited, but DH wasn't; he's been putting a guilt trip on me..telling me how young DD is, she doesn't need to go to school, he enjoys taking care of her at home, we're spending money when we dont' need to... yada yada...

Of course, I filtered out all that, and attended registration myself..found out DD needed closed-toe shoes, and b4 I knew it, I was on a shoe hunt...she's got a bunch of hand-me-down sandles from her cousins, but only 1 pair of closed-toe shoes...after much research, I wanted to try See Kai Run and Livie & Luca...b4 I realized it, I had bought her 5 more pairs of shoes! I think I've been on shoe diet for too long...all this time, thinking she can wear all those hand-me-downs til her feet stops kid shoes are so expensive! And they out-grow 'em so fast!

Well, I recently read some where that it's not good to wear hand-me-down shoes bec new shoes can help shape a kid's feet. hand-me-downs have already been molded to another kid's feet and therefore won't be as healthy for whoever gets it that scared me...

well, 5 pairs of brand new See Kai Runs later, I STILL don't know what size DD wears! she's essentially a 6 right now, but I fear she would out-grow 'em, so I bought 7s and 8s, and they turn out WAY too big...then I ordered 2 more 6's and found out they're JUST RIGHT, which means in a month or two they won't fit any more! Oh, the dilemma...

Well, after all that prep work, 1 week of daycare, and we came down to...a FEVER! I didn't expect her to catch those germs so fast...I knew it was coming, but was hoping it would be 3 or so weeks later...

After a whole weekend of rest, and 2 extra days, I dropped her off again today; as expected, the crying, shirt-pulling scene replayed itself again this morning...why, oh why don't kids wanna go to school? Every morning I would wake up extra early, pack, get things ready, get myself all exhausted, and then be faced with much guilt and trauma at the drop off station...oh, how I learn to better appreciate our parents now...

This has been a long post...mainly wanted to get the pressure off my chest...

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I was so excited when I found out my friend/co-worker is expecting, that I told her way back in the beginning that *I* will have to photograph her belly when she gets closer to her due date;

well, that day finally came. At 32 weeks, we finally scheduled the session, and oh, what an exciting session, for her and for me.

I really love how these turned out, and she was super excited to share 'em w/ friends and families as well.

Now I can't wait to meet her bb...

Friday, September 3, 2010


My little angel is not yet two, and she's already picking up the vibes on how to be a wonderful model.
We went out for these fairy photos, and to my surprise and amazement, she stood quite still the entire time while I was changing and dressing her, as if knowing that she's going to be such a pretty princess once mommy's done dressing her up.

I'm so proud of my beautiful fairy princess! =)

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