Latest From The Phoblographer

Practical Design, Fantastic Comfort: Wandrd PRVKE II Review

The refined Wandrd PRVKE has plenty of room and plenty of comfort.

The Wandrd PRVKE generated a lot of buzz when the backpack launched on Kickstarter. And that was for a good reason — we gave the original bag the Editor’s Choice Award. Like most photographers, we’re picky about our bags. Now, Wandrd is back with an updated bag by the same name. The updated Wandrd PRVKE II keeps well-loved features like the roll-top, rear access, extra pockets, tripod pocket, and numerous compatible accessories. But, the updated version re-designs the back panel and shoulder straps for more comfort, and adds a luggage pass-through and accessory straps to the shoulders. It also fixes complaints on the earlier bag, such as stronger magnets on the top handles.

Continue reading…

How to Store Everything. Gura Gear KIBOKO V2.0 30L Review

The Gura Gear KIBOKO V2.0 30L is a massive backpack for your camera gear.

The Gura Gear KIBOKO V2.0 30L isn’t the perfect bag for everyone, but there are loads of ways to use it. It’s originally designed for folks who bring big lenses and big cameras. I’m aware that not all of you do that. So instead, the bag gives you convenient choices. If you’ve got gear acquisition syndrome, you can store all your stuff in there. If you need to have multiple imaging devices, it can store them all. And if you just need to comfortably bring a ton of equipment, this is one of the hardest bags to beat. But it’s got two small issues.

Continue reading…

This Beautiful Little Bag Packs Big Comfort: Wandrd PRVKE Lite Review

Don’t let the size fool you — the Wandrd PRVKE Lite is actually capable of carrying quite a bit of mirrorless gear.

The original Wandrd PRVKE generated a buzz in the photography community — and over $400,000 on Kickstarter. Now, the PRVKE is back — and it’s launching in a smaller size. Announced on April 20, along with a revamp of the original PRVKE sizes, the Wandrd PRVKE Lite is a roll-top backpack designed for mirrorless and photographers on a more limited budget.

Continue reading…

A Beautiful Mess: Gitzo Legende Backpack Review

The Gitzo Legende Backpack is a stunning camera bag that’s super comfortable, but they messed up in a few spots.

I had so many high hopes for the Gitzo Legende backpack. But quite honestly, I’ve always felt that the Vitec group shoots themselves in the foot. Their products tend to get it 80% right most of the time. Rest assured that they’re not bad products, but something is just always weird or off. That’s the case with the beautiful Gitzo Legende backpack. It was backed on IndieGogo quite heavily. But, Gitzo messed up in a few critical spots. 

Continue reading…

For the World Traveler: Gura Gear Chobe 2.0 Review

You can follow along with this blog post by clicking the Listen to the Article button. Give it a try!

From designs that range from hiking to street photography, camera bags are becoming less one-size-fits-all and more specialized. The Gura Gear Chobe 2.0 is designed with the opposite idea in mind. Dubbed as an everyday bag, the Chobe 2.0 easily converts from a laptop bag to a camera bag to a carry-on bag. Even the design crosses genre boundaries. It has the shape and organization of a briefcase, yet the rugged sailcloth material feels like an upscale duffel bag. The bag comes in a 13-inch and 16-inch version, with narrow and wide camera cube options (only the wide cube will fit a mounted lens).

Continue reading…

Their Most Gorgeous Bag Yet! Billingham Hadley One Review

The Billingham Hadley One now comes in navy and brown–and it’s beautiful.

It’s hard to not be a fan of navy and brown leather. They work so well together. And the Billingham Hadley One is getting just that color scheme today. I haven’t seen it done this well in years, and this one is exceptional. The Billingham Hadley One isn’t a new bag. But it has given so many photographers high reliability, so you’ve got a winner. Billingham has long created bags for journalists and photographers. But they’ve fallen out of favor in the past few years. You can blame Kickstarters and more flash marketing tactics for that. The Billingham Hadley One is one of those classics that you don’t really need to improve on, though. In a world where mirrorless cameras and lenses are dominating the market, the Billingham Hadley One is a welcome option. Besides being very functional, it’s durable. This bag is also surprisingly comfortable when packed to the brim with cameras and lenses. If I haven’t said it enough, it’s also incredibly alluring.

Continue reading…

The Most Modular Camera Bag Yet? The OneMo Backpack 25L Review

The OneMo Backpack 25L is designed for photographers in need of a modular and expandable camera backpack that can store a ton of photography gear.

When it comes to camera backpacks, there is no shortage of options on the market. The OneMo Backpack 25L from PGYTECH, a relatively new Chinese photography accessory maker, is the latest to enter this crowded marketplace. It first began as a Kickstarter campaign and has since been fully funded. The OneMo Camera Backpack was designed with modularity and expandability in mind. On paper, the OneMo Backpack offers a lot of the features modern photographers require in a camera backpack: weather resistance, customizability, the ability to hold tons of camera gear, etc. The proof is in the pudding, and we’ve been testing the OneMo Backpack to see if it lives up to PGYTECH’s claims.

Continue reading…

Stylish and Compact: The Gorgeous Billingham Hadley Small Pro

Essentials is a series featuring products we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts. Today, we’re looking at the Billingham Hadley Small Pro Camera Bag.

Photographers tend to disagree about a lot of things. This is especially true when it comes to camera bags. The perfect camera bag simply doesn’t exist. A camera bag that may suit the needs of one photographer may be woefully inadequate for others. If you’re the type of photographer who likes to keep a low profile and travel with a compact kit, however, the Billingham Hadley Small Pro comes pretty darn close to perfection. At the time of writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping across the world. For photographers that need to get around, the ability to travel light has become more critical than ever. For the last couple of months, I’ve been using the Billingham Hadley Small Pro whenever I needed to test photo gear out in the wild (with a mask on while maintaining social distancing, of course). It’s allowed me to carry just enough gear while maintaining a small footprint. The fact that the Grey Canvas & Black Leather version of the Hadley Small Pro looks absolutely gorgeous is undoubtedly a bonus. You can’t really go wrong with the other colorways available, though.

Continue reading…

Just for Street Photography: Cosyspeed STREETOMATIC+ Black Review

The Cosyspeed STREETOMATIC+ Black bag lets you pack just the essentials and nothing more.

I’ve found that the ideal time to use the Cosyspeed STREETOMATIC+ Black is in the winter. My reasoning for this is because it’s designed to not hold a whole lot of stuff. So just in case you really need to bring a ton of gear with you, what do you do? Well, you can use the Cosyspeed STREETOMATIC+ Black and wear a thick jacket that has pockets. Indeed, the Cosyspeed STREETOMATIC+ Black only really holds the camera, lens, a phone, a few small items, and that’s it. There are tons of street photographers that would be okay with this, and that’s primarily who this bag is aimed at. If you’re a working journalist, a landscape photographer, or anyone else, look elsewhere.

Continue reading…

Very Comfortable Camera Bag: ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel Review

We’ve been testing the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel for a few months, and are amazed at how incredibly comfortable this bag is.

I’ll be the first to admit that the ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel isn’t winning any awards when it comes to stylishness, but this thing is super comfortable. One of the biggest problems for many photographers has always been the issue of comfort when it comes to messenger bags. They allow quick access, protection, and versatility, but after lots of time, they’re not comfortable. The ProMaster Jasper Medium Satchel does a few things to ensure that that doesn’t happen. It puts a big emphasis on shooting. There are quick-access ports, ample dividers, and lots of padding to hug your shoulder. And most importantly, you’re bound to come home at the end of a day of shooting and not feel like your back hurts. Even better; it’s under $120!

Continue reading…

A Bag That Loves the Great Wide Open: WANDRD FERNWEH Review

FERNWEH in German means wanderlust, and if you’re a photographer who loves to travel, the WANDRD FERNWEH may be the camera bag for you.

WANDRD has been innovating in the camera bag space since it hit the scene with its first Kickstarter campaign, and the company is continuing to forge ahead with new bags that have unique designs and even more unique names. The new WANDRD FERNWEH (pronounced FEIRN-VEYH) camera bag will aim to force its way into the competitive hiking and travel market. Bags in this segment have to be incredibly comfortable, be able to hold and secure large loads, and need to withstand rugged terrain. WANDRD sent us the FERNWEH to test out for a short period, and we have been putting it through its paces to see if it can do all the things listed above and more. Join us after to break for the full review.

Continue reading…

For the Outdoor Photographer at $149: Promaster Jasper Halfpack Review

The Promaster Jasper Halfpack is a bag primarily for the outdoor photographer who likes to be organized.

For years, I’d known Promaster as one of the cheaper brands in the camera space. We’d never forged a press relationship with them and always went after the shiny brands who answer our messages. But then ProMaster reached out to us about the Promaster Jasper Halfpack. Being a camera bag guy, I was very intrigued. My closet is filled with them. And I often rotate them out for different needs. The Promaster Jasper Halfpack is targeted to be a middle of the line camera bag. It doesn’t have some of the higher-end features like a chest and waist strap. Those are meant for higher-end camera bags. But instead, it makes you put the tripod on the bottom–where it belongs. It’s also fantastic for organizing your camera gear. But no matter what, it’s also a bag designed to very specifically compartmentalize your gear. Where I’m used to putting things like a light and an extra camera in the top section, the Promaster Jasper Halfpack wants you to keep it down below. And if you put everything in its place, you start to really enjoy using it.

Continue reading…

Less Than $65 and Great! The BAGSMART Camera Backpack Review

With the BAGSMART Camera Backpack, photographers are getting lots of high value at a super affordable price.

Quite honestly, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack should be at least double the price it goes for. But at under $65, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack is a significant value that gives photographers features and build quality that makes our jaws drop. In my opinion, this bag is a no-brainer. It’s so affordable yet so good that every photographer should pick one up even as a backup camera bag. We tested it out while trekking on hikes, commuting around the city, and with a variety of gear inside. Over the past few months, I’ve personally seen it outdo the quality of more expensive camera bags. Most importantly, this one bag is making me reconsider the entire thought process behind the pricing of camera bags.

Continue reading…

A Confusing Backpack: Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Daypack Review

As far as camera bags go, the Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Daypack probably needs to go back to the drawing board.

Every now and again, I’ll get frustrated with camera bags and I’ll go on a shopping spree in search of yet another bag that I think will be perfect. So, I bought the Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Daypack and was mostly disappointed by it and their lack of understanding of a photographers’ needs. This bag is mostly designed for those of us who use and shoot with mirrorless cameras: and that’s most of us. But, while in theory this is a fantastic camera bag, in practice there are enough little issues with it to annoy me.

Continue reading…

Camera Bag Review: WANDRD DUO Daypack (It’s Almost Perfect)

The WANDRD DUO Daypack features a number of innovative features that make it an ideal everyday carry option for photographers on the go.

The WANDRD DUO won’t help you haul all your photo gear with you. It’s instead designed to carry just the right amount of photo gear you’ll need to get through the day without weighing you down. It’s a hybrid between an everyday carry bag and a traditional camera bag. The WANDRD DUO comes packed with a number of new features like the “Infinite Zip” access system. which Shimoda also has. There’s also an integrated pop camera cube. So, if you want a bag that will carry everything and your apocalypse gear, this isn’t it. But it still performed very well.

Continue reading…

Review: ONA Monterey Camera Bag (A Surprisingly Great Rucksack)

The ONA Monterey really annoyed me, and then I started to like it.

My story with the ONA Monterey is one that involves the search for a bag that I can call my companion bag. In the same way that a photographer has a companion camera, I’ve never really found the truly perfect camera bag. While the ONA Monterey comes close in many ways, it’s required that I break it in. And in the long run, it’s going to simply just end up being a victim of the abuse that I throw at my gear. Though I doubt it’s going to survive like a Tenba, WANDRD, or Billingham bag will, I sincerely hope that I’m wrong. Able to accommodate a 13-inch laptop and every mirrorless camera system that doesn’t rival the size of DSLRs, the ONA Monterey isn’t perfect. But it’s pretty close.

Continue reading…

Review: VANGUARD VEO Travel 41BK (The Worst Bag We’ve Ever Used)

No photographer should reach for the VANGUARD VEO Travel 41BK.

Every now and again, I search online for what I think could be the perfect camera bag, and the VANGUARD VEO Travel 41BK seemed to be just that thing. It’s small, lightweight, well built and stylish (at least in the photographs). When it came to experiencing and using the bag in real life, I was super disappointed. I wasn’t sure why there were so few product images online, but I eventually learned. This bag is honestly the worst thing I’ve ever used. And my review is to let everyone know that the VANGUARD VEO Travel 41BK is a bag to steer far away from.

Continue reading…

Can the Yeti Crossroads 23 Backpack Work for a Photographer?

I’m into modifying regular bags for photography reasons, but the Yeti Crossroads 23 backpack proved painful.

A while back, Yeti pitched the idea to me of working with the Yeti Crossroads 23 backpack for photographers. Working with new vendors is always fun, and experimenting is too. As a company targeted to the outdoor enthusiast, I was curious why they reached out to me. I mean, I travel a whole lot, but for the most part, I’m a city boy. The country doesn’t scare me, but city life is much better for a legally blind photographer. Nonetheless, I accepted the challenge of working with the Yeti Crossroads 23. It proved to be a reminder that they’re not a photographer’s brand and pretty much no one is making a perfect camera bag.

Continue reading…

Camera Bag Review: Tenba DNA 15 Messenger Bag

The Tenba DNA 15 Messenger bag provides all-day comfort at an affordable price.

The Tenba DNA 15 Messenger bag is squarely aimed at photographers on the go who need to carry all of their essentials while still being small enough to be travel-friendly. Messenger bags are rarely designed to lug around multiple camera bodies and lenses, but somehow the guys and gals at Tenba have found a way to keep the DNA 15 messenger small on the outside, but big on the inside. Could it be the answer to so many photographer’s prayers for a compact bag that can carry a good amount of gear without sacrificing quality? Let’s find out in our review.
Continue reading…

Review: Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 (A Content Creator’s Dream Bag)

A Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 will look and feel fantastic strapped around you.

Bags like the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 and others have just become better for photographers over the years. Though I’m still partial to a backpack instead of a messenger, this update feels just a bit special. Arguably, the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 is for photographers. But in use, one could say that it’s for content creators and journalists. Messenger bags over the years have evolved a lot, and the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 shows evidence of that. The internals were updated to give photographers who shoot with mirrorless systems a bit more organization. Further, you can shove a laptop in this bag along with pretty much every tool you’d possibly need. If you’re the type to go for hot shoe flashes, there’s room for that. But if you tote along a Profoto B10 the way I do, you’ll have a bit more trouble. We’ve taken the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 with us on planes, on trips, on commutes, to meetings, and everywhere. We’re very impressed. However, this is more of a bag for a content creator than a photographer.

Continue reading…

Review: Vanguard Havana 48 Blue Backpack (Their Best Backpack Yet)

The Vanguard Havana 48 is so close to being the perfect backpack to us; but for most photographers it truly could be.

Every now and again, I’ll go down a rabbit hole: that’s how I went about purchasing and testing the Vanguard Havana 48. At times, I become unsatisfied with the camera bag I currently use because something about me or my needs change as a photographer. So, while researching a number of camera bags, I found the Havana. In the photos they advertise, it looks stylish and gorgeous. And to some folks, it will probably be the most stylish bag they have. But to me, the discerningly stylish EIC of a large photography blog, I just can’t bring myself to use the Vanguard Havana 48 for every day uses. While functionally, it can meet and exceed those needs, I wish Vanguard would come up with something more handsome.

Continue reading…