Review: Oberwerth Freiburg Mini Messenger

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (8 of 9)ISO 4001-25 sec at f - 2.8

Before around two weeks ago, we had no idea who Oberwerth was. But then we were introduced to their line of Freiburg camera bags. Oberwerth has hopped on the bandwagon with companies trying to cater to the mirrorless camera market. And with that said, they’ve created the Freiburg camera bag with leather, nylon, canvas, and loads of padding. In fact, this is some of the thickest padding that we’ve ever dealt with. That’s great for your camera.

But at the same time, the Oberwerth Freiburg will adorn your shoulder in the same way that a murse will.

Pros and Cons

Pros

– Beautiful

– Lots of padding for a mirrorless camera

– Forces you to basically just carry gear for shooting with the exception of being able to hold an iPad mini

Cons

– It’s basically a man purse with padding on the inside for your camera

– Very small. We’d love a larger version to be able to carry a 13 inch laptop.

Tech Specs

Taken from the Oberwerth press release:

Cordura and leather, as the dominant materials of the outer bag, as well as the air-cushioned insert provide protection of your equipment against weather, shocks and other external influences.

– Small and elegant, in high-quality material- and color-mix Cordura/leather or Cordura only.

– Because of its low weight the bag is a constant companion – without being a burden.

– The spacious front pocket provides additional space for personal items or further gear.

– Practical, detachable and removable insert can be closed with by help of a velcro string.

– Additional compartments for smart cards and bits and pieces

– Shoulder strap is protected against cut off by inserting a special but invisible tough material

– Like all Oberwerth bags: 100% handmade in Germany!

Gear Used

We tested the Oberwerth Freiburg with the Sony A7, Fujifilm XT1, and the iPad Mini.

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (1 of 9)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

Oberwerth more or less is following the design layouts that many other companies before them have utilized. By that, we mean that a good portion of the camera bag is leather while the rest is all either canvas or nylon. There isn’t anything specifically wrong with that, but you should surely know that there are loads of options just like this one on the market–but maybe not in this size.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (4 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The bag also has buckles on the front that need to be undone to make the precious gear inside accessible. However, they’re a quick release type; so you’ll have fast access.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (5 of 9)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

The bag, when opened, reveals layers of flaps to are designed to keep moisture, the weather and other things out of the bag. There is one main flap to protect the gear inside while two side flaps come over that for extra security. And once you’re inside, you should also note that the front has even more storage via the typical front pockets that every manufacturer includes.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (6 of 9)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.8

When a camera isn’t inside of the bag, you can really see just how cramped it gets in there. On the left we have a USB battery charger and while there is a little bit of wiggle room there honestly isn’t much. Think of your gear being wrapped up in layers of soft protection and you’ll have this bag.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (7 of 9)ISO 4001-25 sec at f - 2.8

Lastly, the back of the bag includes a zippered pouch that can just barely fit an iPad mini. It’s a nice addition if you’re the type to get reading done on your iPad.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Oberwerth Freiburg camera bag (9 of 9)ISO 8001-25 sec at f - 2.8

Despite how pint sized and murse-like the Oberwerth Freiburg is, we have to admit that it is built very solidly. Not only does it feel nice and the stitching feels super tight but the extra large side flaps on the inside are a nice addition that keeps others and the weather out of your camera bag and off of your gear. And for 499 Euro and German manufacturing, we really hope that it would.

The strap for the bag is also incredibly well built though it doesn’t exactly let your clothing breathe when walking around NYC on a hot day. The only thing that could change this is a change in material.

Ease of Use

During our time with the bag, we felt that both the build quality was solid and the ease of use was right up there with it. Modifying the inside of the bag to accommodate to different items is a breeze. Keep in mind though that the velcro is very strong and that you’ll really need to tug on it to get it out of place.

Conclusions

three-Phoblographer-Star-rating

While the Oberwerth Freiburg is build well and look nice, we’re not sure how many photographers literally just carry out a camera bag with nothing else but a mirrorless camera and one or two lenses inside often. Or at least we should say that we’re not sure how many do it enough to justify the cost. It’s surely a great bag, but it’s marching to the beat of many other offerings from other companies who also offer a more affordable price.

With that said, we have to give the Oberwerth Freiburg three out of five stars.