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Old April 26th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #1
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A Good Backpack for a Filmmaker on the Go?

My old daypack recently gave up the ghost, so I'm looking into replacements. I currently have a seperate small shoulder-bag for my DV-953, but I end up carrying it a lot of places, both for planned shooting and just because I like having my camera handy in case I see something worth recording. I googled around for backpacks made specifically with DV filmmakers in mind, and didn't find anything, but I know they're out there, as my film department issues one of the DVX-100As in one. That unit seems a bit -too- film specific though -- huge padded camera compartment, but no other useful storage space for notebooks, books, other gear, etc. My ideal backpack would be roomy enough to carry several notebooks + books, or a couple of notebooks, my camera, mic/cables/etc.

If possible, I'd like to avoid things that scream "Hey! Steal me if you see me sitting unattended while my owner is going to the restroom!"

Does anyone here have experience with gear like that? Is anybody selling prebuilt systems like this, or am I going to have to frankenstein several pieces of hardware not meant to go to gether, together?
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Old April 26th, 2005, 04:36 PM   #2
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temba makes a backpack w/ computer slot

temba

porta brace

kata
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Old April 26th, 2005, 11:01 PM   #3
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LowePro

also

Dakine, a sports pack/gear company, makes some good snowboarding packs that work well for camera gear. I own 3, top quality. I used my Porta Brace bag around town, but if I'm hiking, riding or need hands free, it's Dakine all the way.
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Old April 27th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #4
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Check out this backpack:

http://www.ogio.com/products/display...511126&color=1

I just got it a few months ago for a VX2000 and I love it. It is very solid and it looks really slick. It has room for two Sony VX's but the configuration can be changed to fit anything plus accesories. I am waiting to try it out with my new camera, Canon XL2, and I really hope it still fits nicely.

It has much room for a notebook and many other things: cables, tapes, books, etc.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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top loading gym bag

I like the tip on Ron Dexter's site http://www.rondexter.com/. He suggests a top loading gym bag as the cheapest and lowest profile way to carry a camera.

When hiking I use a cheap DaKine backpack to carry my gear. DaKine stuff is durable and well built. The one I use is pretty simple. More like a book bag. I've worn it through rain, sleet, and wind and everything inside stays dry.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #6
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Frankly, after years of stomping around both in town and the boondocks, I don't believe that there is a suitable pack for all occasions.

I use 3 different bags/packs to meet my shooting needs. This saves me a lot of time; and, if I need to move fast, it's all ready to go in an instant.

About the only suggestion I can make is to build your bag(s)/pack(s) to your individual needs.

No one shoots the same as you or I do. It's a very individualistic road we are on.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert J. Wolff
Frankly, after years of stomping around both in town and the boondocks, I don't believe that there is a suitable pack for all occasions.

I use 3 different bags/packs to meet my shooting needs. This saves me a lot of time; and, if I need to move fast, it's all ready to go in an instant.
Agreed.

I've got two different hard cases, two backpacks (both Dakine), one "gym bag", and my PortaBrace bag (for when I need to look "pro")
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Old May 10th, 2005, 02:42 AM   #8
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I recommend a sturdy backpack, but one that is only medium in size and weight. It should be made of water-resistent material and have a top flap that covers the zipper, to keep out rain. A waist-strap to stabilize it is a plus.
I always use a padded inner bag for the camera, so it won't get banged around. I took off all the brand logos, so no one would steal it, just to get a $150., name-brand backpack and then find a bonus of a $3,000. to $20,000. video system inside. I've used mine many times in the 18 years since I bought it, on my bike, riding a bus and hiking long distances. I doubt if anyone ever suspected what was inside and at times it was a 17-lb. Beta. My hope is that people think it's stuffed with dirty underwear and moldy granola. I put a small, combination lock on the main compartment and don't put anything valuable in the outer pockets. This cramps the style of those with sticky fingers, who might be standing or sitting next to me. Mine is made of ballistic cloth, which isn't that easy to cut. The advantage of buying a top-quality backpack, is that you may get it to last 18 years plus.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #9
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I use a Swiss Army computer backpack for my VX2100.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #10
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For some more options, check out the thread entitled

"Camera Bags - Kata, Petrol, etc."

that I started 4 threads down from this one. So far I have gotten ZERO replies, but the bags that I linked to might give you some ideas.

Alex F
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Old May 11th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #11
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A Good Backpack

I bought a Kata BP502 last October from Optex, London, UK.(great deal).
A superb backpack if a little heavy. Holds XL1s fully assembled with 300mm
lens and adaptor with plenty of space for standard lens, spare batteries,
tapes and lots of odds and ends with tripod mounting on the outside.
The back pack harness is very wide and well padded.
The camera is secured with spacers and velcro straps and I fitted diced foam
to hold other accessories.
Quite expensive but so is the equipment it is holding.

Henry G.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 02:35 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info. I am going to be putting a PD-150 in it, so it should be a little lighter. :-)

So I am assuming that it is well made, etc. Does their outer shell really help keep cold & heat out as they claim? Seems to be made sturdily? How rain proof is it? I see the zippers on top, but I don't see any flaps or anything covering the zippers to keep water from trickling inside.

Thanks for the info,

Alex F
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Old May 11th, 2005, 02:51 PM   #13
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A good Backpack

Yes the backpack is very well made, Kata also manufacture body armour for the Israelie Army.
The zips do have covers but these tend to turn back in use.
For very wet weather they provide a waterproof cover.The insulation is more
than able to cope with the Scottish climate ( usually cold and wet).

Henry G
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Old May 12th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #14
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Ryan and all,

I found a good backpack to use as a part of my Indicam (steadicam) system.
http://www.enoch.com/terry/preview_003.htm.
It is well made with covers for the zippers, understraps on the bottom, extra pockets, and shoulder straps with full nylon webbing. I have used it for three years while filled with my stabilizer's chest plate, dual articulated arm, sled, high mode extension, and even my Sony TRV900. There's still room for my remote, extra tapes, water bottle, notebook, a couple of pens, and some spare parts. I even strap a golf seat to it when I am going someplace where I will want or need to sit down (like NAB or CES).

I now use a DVX-100a and did manage to get all of it into the backpack/vest when going to NAB. It was a tight fit but it did fit. After NAB I had to make some repairs because while I was preparing to go into the show my backpack with everything inside fell off the back of my car where I had set it. Yes, I was dumb! Gravitiy is real strong in Las Vegas.

When not used as a part of the Indicam system, it can be used like a regular backpack with waist strap. In fact, I took it on a shoot to Mexico and when not using it as a part of the stabilizer, I carried four quarts of Mexican vanilla and other goodies back to the ship.

Anyway, it's built well so I chose it to be a part of my system. I know there are other good backpacks out there.

What do you look for in a good backpack?

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Old May 13th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #15
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Well, I went ahead and got a used PCCB-1N from B&H. I was GOING to get the KATA BP-502 since according to the latest B&H Catalog it is on special for $114.95 including the insert trolley.

However, when I called up to order, they told me that this was a mistake and that the price was $249.95, and the special was that it included their insert trolley. Later on in the catalog, where the regular item is listed, it is shown for $249 including insert troeely, so its not really a special at all! :-(

I got the used Petrol bag for $109 (in 9/10 condition), and also ordered the $39.95 harness that turns it into a backpack. The nice thing about the PCCB-1N is that is also comes with a rain cover for the camera. The rain jacket sells for something like $84 by itself (which is ridiculous), but comes free with the PCCB-1N. At $109 for the bag & jacket, looks like a really good deal.

Another option is a backpack that Petrol makes that is very similar to the Kata BP-502 that runs $199 (well the guy on the phone said $199 - the B&H website says $249! - I *think* that the PCBP-1 is $199 and the one on the site is the PCBP-2 listed at $249 which would explain the discrepancy).

For the # of times that I will really *NEED* the backpack as opposed to my Pelican case, I can't really see spending upwards of $200-$250 on a backpack. If I felt that I would really be using it a lot, I think I would have gotten the KATA BP-502.

When I get my stuff, I'll let you know how well the Petrol harness really works compared to a regular backpack.

Alex F
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