December 29, 2008

Lowepro Commercial AW Camera Bag - $320.99

Review by Steve Douglas

When it comes to taking care of your photo and video gear one absolutely must consider how to properly protect and store everything in your kit. This is especially so when you are on the move from home to the shoot or are in traveling mode in the field. This applies not only to your camera and camcorder, but also to the various lens, diopters, cables, and accessories that accompany you on any shoot. Finding a camera bag large enough to accommodate all of this is one thing, having that bag provide you with ample equipment organization and protection is another. In the Lowepro Commercial AW DV Camera Bag you will find that there is more than ample room for both multiple camera bodies and/or a couple of camcorders in the Sony Z1 size range, as well as several lenses and accessories. It is also unquestionable that this is one bag that should do an excellent job of protecting everything stored in it from colliding with each other or nicking this and that.

The Lowepro Commercial AW DV bag is larger than it looks in this photo,
but make no mistake about that, this is a bag with enough storage room for most everyone.

There is no doubt about the professional look and feel of this bag. The Lowepro comes with a pro-quality shoulder strap that will provide comfort during long hours of carrying around town, or to where ever your shoot may be. The outer fabric is a water-resistant 1200d ballistic nylon with an exterior size of 19.1W X 12.6D X 11H in and interior dimensions of 16.9W X 9.1D X 9.1H in. Empty, the Lowepro bag weighs in at 6.28 lbs. With a heavy modular design, there are many dividers that flip over enabling you to stow your lenses either vertically or horizontally. Any of these dividers can be removed or replaced to fit your organizational needs.

It's deeper than it looks, each of the horizontal dividers shown here hide a deeper layer. The dividers can be removed for full vertical depth.

The floor of the Lowepro bag is a thick, fully padded mat offering as much protection from the bottom as it does throughout the rest of the bag. The interior dividers are made of a quality foam with a nylon covering. In addition, there are multiple zippered pockets for storing business cards, cables, batteries and adaptors. The two large outside side pockets are completely detachable and the outside, tripod holder straps are strong enough to weather many a hike. There is also a Belt & Buckle carrying strap should you want to wear it a la fanny pack. Fully loaded, I am not quite sure how comfortable a bag this size would be on my hips but that is the only feature I failed to test prior to taking the Lowepro out in the field. All the outside zippers overlap to prevent dust and moisture from getting into the bag or clogging the zippers.

Finally, a well-hidden rain cover is a welcome part of the package.

Surprisingly enough, as rain covers can sometimes be clumsy accessories,
I had no problems refolding the rain cover and placing it neatly back in the bag
without creating an unsightly bulge. The rain cover is well designed with Velcro openings for the carrying strap.

The high quality of the Lowepro Commercial AW DV Bag is undeniable. It is a bag that should last you considerably longer than your cameras will. The Lowepro could be a quality holiday present that will surely be appreciated by anyone. In fact, you can buy it for your loved one and borrow it from them.

Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya in Aug.09, the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Truk Lagoon and Yap in Micronesia for July, 2010. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips.


copyright © Steve Douglas 2008

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