[Update] Thanks to Noel Holland on L-Camera Forum for pointing out that the photo I posted previously of the Hadley Pro is in fact the Billingham 207. I’ve now changed to the correct photo of the Hadley Pro but also included the previously mistaken photo at the bottom of the post for reference.
I made a commitment about a year ago that I would always carry a camera with me. And so far I’ve been able to stick to that promise with the help of a few bags. It took some trial and error to see which bag worked the best. Here’s a brief recap of some of the failed attempts:
The Soft Brief Case: Is probably the most inconspicuous option you can go for if you usually carry a brief case that is. However, it’s (literally) a stretch if you are carrying anything larger than a point and shoot. Depending on the brief case it does offer some camera protection especially if it is designed for computers as well. But I discarded this option because I could never get the lens to sit right in the bag.
The Man Bag: Yes, I even went as far as to try the dreaded man bag and started carrying my wallet and mobile phone in there instead of my pants. Let’s just say it was an interesting experiment and leave it at that. This solution actually increased the number of bags I was carrying as I needed a seperate bag for my notebook as well on weekdays.
And finally I tried a camera bag from Billingham.
The Hadley Pro: Let’s cover the minuses first. To those in the know it screams camera bag from a mile away. So if you are worried about the mug-me-I-got-a-camera-in-my-bag look or self conscious about looking like a photo professional when you are not – this bag is not for you. With that aside, the Hadley Pro is an excellent bag for everyday use with the added advantage of protecting your camera. Here’s why:
- The Hadley Pro like all camera bags has a padded inner lining for camera protection. The lining can be removed for washing or for placement into another bag if you want a little variety
- It comes with two large and two small dividers that you can use to customize your compartments. This is great if you plan to carry more than one camera or have some spare accessories, lenses or film you don’t want sloshing about. I have the space divided into three almost equal parts for either two 35mm rangefinders and a 120mm rangefinder or some combination thereof to include a micro 4/3.
- Between the inner lining and the bag itself there is a small space that is perfect for either magazines, A4 files or you guessed it, a Macbook Air! Of course any other netbook would fit in there too
Most camera bags of this size would be out of space at this point. However, the Hadley’s got more space for:
- Keys, mobile phones or any other item you would like quick access to in the two front pockets which are secured by snap buttons
- Important stuff that you would like to store more securely in the zippered compartment on the back of the bag
If you’re a street shooter, the bags two straps can be left unfastened so that the cameras can be accessed just by opening the top flap. If you’re not shooting remember to fasten the two straps cause I suppose it would look quite inviting for pickpockets. I generally try to carry the bag in front anyways unless I have to book it.
One more thing: there are two heavy leather straps on either side of the bag that you can hang additional mini bags onto.
Here’s the Hadley Pro on Amazon