We all have possessions that seem to be immortal - they never die, no matter what we do to them. I have kitchen implements that my grandparents used in the 1920's - they still cut meat and potatoes today at our house. They are not antiques, relics, or heirlooms. They are tools to help us eat.
The same might be said about the Lowepro Nova 1 bag that I used for an overseas trip in 1995. It's still there in the camera closet, storing a Nikon film camera system. It is as tough and functional now as it was then, and I dragged it over two continents.
Well, here's the new digital equivalent - the Scout SH 140. It's designed for a mirror-less camera and a couple of extra lenses - or one lens and the big travel adapter you need to access overseas electricity. You are going to be able to drag it across those same continents - they don't change - but it'll be lighter on your shoulder.
The shape is smaller than the old Nova 1. Not only are the camera bodies and lenses smaller than the SLR of the film era, the volume needed to carry their recording medium is drastically reduced. I used 10-packs of Kodachrome 200 film and the space needed for 360 shots amounted to 960 cu. cm.
These days you can pack 2452 images of the same quality into 1.54 cu. cm.
In practical terms you can make 1,528,519 pictures with the same amount of space. This means you have a chance to get three images of Trafalgar Square that look good...
Okay, joking aside, the interior of the Scout is configurable for whatever you want to carry. The quilting is cosmetic but the plush material is kind to cameras. There are nooks and crannys to dispose of cords, cards, and batteries. You can haul it out of the hotel for a full day of shooting without feeling as if you have been asked to invade the Falklands.
Note as well that you need not carry sad-looking surpus gear - the buckles and fasteners are top-notch and have been plated to look good. For those of you who are concerned that it looks like a camera bag, that is because it is a bag that is designed to carry cameras. When you are tourist carrying a camera you look
like a tourist carrying a camera and no amount of camouflage will convince the petty thieves that you are a penniless local. Make other arrangements for your security*.
The bag will last far longer than your enthusiasm for travel. When you bring it home you can gut it and use it for local shopping. You can put seedlings in it and plant them out. You can carry 12 guage shells in it. You can use it as a tool carrier - it's that tough.
Whatever you do, it's going to be around the house for 20 years. Might as well figure out a good use for it. Lowepro are good value.
*An experienced courier, a sturdy monopod, and a derringer will do the job. I depend upon halitosis and a maniacal grin...
See the Camera Electronic Lowepro online store here
Labels: bags, Camera bags, Lowepro, mirror-less, tourist, travel photography