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Old April 24th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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PMW-350 Carrying Case?

I am in search mode for a carrying case for my new 350.
Although I have tried the previously recommended Kata TCCT, I have found that insertion of the fully rigged camera (battery removed) requires some finesse, while removal requires an even greater degree of effort with a tendency for the VF to catch on the upper lip of the case's VF protective outcropping. It is clearly a wonderful concept for travel but I question its practicality for everyday use for this specific camera ... and it is now awaiting return to the vender.

That said, I wonder if there are any other suggestions from current users in regards to an alternative case, either Kata,Portabrace or otherwise.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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Portabrace highly recommended as they protect viewfinders well and last for ever. I have some that were used for BetaSP - BetaSX - Digibeta and now HDCam.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #3
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I agree.

I own no less than 3 Portabrace carrying cases for various cameras and have temporarily re-purposed a brand new and unused Portabrace CTC-4 for the 350. I have been considering their CO-OB model which their site lists as being compatible with the 350 but, aside from a 1" difference in internal length and a 1 1/2" difference in internal height (all in favor of the CO-OB), I don't see a big difference between it and the CTC-4.

Too bad that the Kata TCCT doesn't provide for easier entry and exit but, on the other hand, the Portabrace is built like a tank and seems to offer better protection, especially in the area of the VF.

Thanks for your input.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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I have a CO-OB bag coming for my 350. Seems to do the job fitting the basics like VCT plate or the Panasonic equivalent, (not sure of model no) which I have. Looks better than the VCT plate and is exactly the same construction as the VCT but pretty much in all black colour. Classy.

You can fit your big batteries and some other accessories in the bag as well. It works perfectly as an airline carry on bag should the need arise.

Looking at the build quality between Kata and Portabrace and Petrol, Kata's zipper as an example are much smaller and somewhat less robust than the others. Bases of the 2P's are much sturdier than the K and overall build quality of the Kata is not as good as the others, so after a good close look and comparison, it was either Petrol or Portabrace. I have had Portabrace bags for the past 20+ years without any problems, so I have the CO-OB coming within a week, the Petrol was a few weeks away. Nothing wrong with the Petrol bag. Superb construction, possibly marginally better constructed than Portabrace (open to personal opinion) but difference is "splitting hairs." Go for your favourite and you will be just fine.

I also have a Lowepro Nova 200 in chestnut brown (again classy & nice colour to boot!!!) for various accessories including various batteries, filters, LCD monitor, zoom demand unit and whatever bits and pieces, lunch, snacks you require to take on location with your PMW-350 camera. A great sized bag with loads of padding.

Hope this helps. Best wishes.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 12:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by David Issko View Post
It (PortaBrace CO-OB) works perfectly as an airline carry on bag should the need arise.
While I would much prefer the more solid construction of the Porta Brace compared to the Kata TCCT, the problem with the Porta Brace is it does NOT meet strict carry on requirements for most U.S. domestic airlines, or generally 22 x 14 x 9, and 45 total.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 01:10 AM   #6
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Various airlines, various rules. Just like different carriers have different baggage weight limits. So what does one do???? Gotta make a choice depending on the majority of your requirements. Just last week I travelled on 2 domestic Qantas flights with a larger bag than the CO-OB with my PMW-350 and I did not have any trouble taking it in as cabin baggage.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #7
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That's taking a chance because they could make you check the bag at the gate if it doesn't fit inside the template.

Here's the rundown on US Airlines:

****************************************************************************************************
The following U.S. Airlines have a limit of 22 x 14 x 9 or 45 linear inches, 40 lbs max:
American
Continental
Delta
Hawaiian
Northwest
United
US Airways
****************************************************************************************************
The following U.S. Airlines have a limit of 24 x 16 x 10
Southwest Airlines
Virgin America
JetBlue
****************************************************************************************************
The following U.S. Airlines have a limit of 24 x 16 x 12
Frontier Airlines
Spirit Airlines
****************************************************************************************************
The following U.S. Airlines have a limit of 24 x 15.5 x 9.5, 35 lbs:
Midwest Airlines
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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #8
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The Porta Brace carry on is the way to go. I have used mine with the 350 and now the 800. Great protection, very nice pockets, excellent shoulder strap, and no problem carry on. I have carried on my bag with South West, US Air, American, and Continental with out even a word from baggage or on board staff. The bags fits perfect in the overhead of even the smaller jets.

Also purchased the Porta Brace Tripod Shellpack Case for local and travel excellent choice. And for my on camera strap I also purchased a Porta Brace strap a lot nicer then the standard Sony strap. All bags are black so they don't stand out.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #9
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Sorry Paul, but there is a problem at 27.5 x 14 x 7, it's not legal size for ANY U.S. Domestic Carrier. And if it was really only 7 inches wide, the PMW350 would not fit. Slipping past the agents is one thing, but I've seen oversized stuff get taken off the plane and go to checked baggage when flights are full, airlines are more strict about carry on, and more people are trying to avoid checked baggage fees.

PortaBrace - Product Detail:CO-OB
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Old April 25th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #10
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Thanks, Tom, the carry-on dimension summary is helpful.

With that in mind, I might just stick with the Portabrace CTC-4 as it is closer to the acceptable limits, although, airline carry-on is not my most important criteria, whereas, the fact that it has been in my possession, unused for some time, carries greater weight. That said, the 350, with stock lens, microphone attached and Anton Bauer battery adapter plus Dionic 90 all fit with room to spare. The VF bubble is in the correct location and the outside pockets appear to be the same as those contained on the CO-OB.

The TCCT is sitting in my laundry room awaiting FedEx pickup. Although it meets the airline criteria, inserting and removing the camera with lens attached is hardly quick and easy. Furthermore, there is considerable chafing of the VF or other parts of the camera body on the rigid edges of the case itself. Perhaps that is why the PMW-350 is not listed on the Kata site as one of the acceptable cameras for that case.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #11
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Tom you are quoting a size bag that I don't own. How did you come up with that one? I had stated that I recommend the Porta Brace Carry On. They make many sizes. Mine is the CO-AB-MB and I was told by baggage handlers at 4 airlines with the bag in front of them and fitting in the framed carry on tester that it is fine for carry on. I was not trying to slip it by the agent as you say. I just have to remove the camera from the bag and any extra batteries so it can be scanned. Also 7" is fine for the 350 regarding width my bag is 6" and both the 800 and 350 fit perfectly. Have you tired these bags Tom?
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Old April 25th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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Ron,

I was going to order the Kata TCCT a week ago, and hesitated. Now I'm maybe glad I did.

But I thought for airline use you were supposed to remove the viewfinder and put it in a separate pouch, and then when you convert it for field use, you extend that opening in the front. Doesn't that give easier access?
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Old April 25th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Tom you are quoting a size bag that I don't own. How did you come up with that one? I had stated that I recommend the Porta Brace Carry On. They make many sizes. Mine is the CO-AB-MB and I was told by baggage handlers at 4 airlines with the bag in front of them and fitting in the framed carry on tester that it is fine for carry on. I was not trying to slip it by the agent as you say. I just have to remove the camera from the bag and any extra batteries so it can be scanned. Also 7" is fine for the 350 regarding width my bag is 6" and both the 800 and 350 fit perfectly. Have you tired these bags Tom?

Paul,

I used the CO-OB because it was mentioned in the thread, and because if you go to the Portabrace website it's the carry on bag they recommend for the PMW350. Also, I don't know how you measure the PWM350 but I have a tape in my hand, and it's at least 7.5 inches with the lens installed and the viewfinder removed, measured where the hard plastic of the hand grip perturbs out, and more like 10 inches if the viewfinder is in place.

As for what the baggage handlers told you, all I can say is I'm not the one making up the rules or putting them under the traveller information on airline websites. Those are the facts.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #14
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You are correct in regards to the suggested method of airline portage, and in that instance the insertion issues that I described may be nonexistent. However, once you have arrived at your destination and have reassembled the 350 with lens, VF and battery in preparation for daily use well, that is when the problem surfaces.

I found, and perhaps others have found a more effective method, that in order to insert the fully assembled camera into the TCCT you have to somehow spread the upper lips apart while at the same time fighting with the flaps and inserting the camera and to do that quickly, without scraping the VF, would require three hands. Removal seems to present an even greater problem. Once inside the case, the assembled camera seems well protected but for my dollar, the Portabrace CTC-4 is more user friendly—and that's not because I already own it. It opens wide, there is no chafing whatsoever and the camera can be inserted and removed in a flash. Furthermore, there is only one zipper to deal with, rather than the separately zippered and Velcro ended flaps that refuse to remain in the open, laid out position when you are trying to remove or insert the cam. And, almost forgot, there is more usable storage in the Portabrace. The CO-OB appears to be the same case as the CTC-4 with slightly enlarged dimensions and I am sure it would present the same ease of use. Of course, this is all just my opinion based upon personal experience. Others may have encountered a more pleasant experience with the TCCT.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
Paul,

I used the CO-OB because it was mentioned in the thread, and because if you go to the Portabrace website it's the carry on bag they recommend for the PMW350. Also, I don't know how you measure the PWM350 but I have a tape in my hand, and it's at least 7.5 inches with the lens installed and the viewfinder removed, measured where the hard plastic of the hand grip perturbs out, and more like 10 inches if the viewfinder is in place.

As for what the baggage handlers told you, all I can say is I'm not the one making up the rules or putting them under the traveller information on airline websites. Those are the facts.
I suspect that the stated measurements do not account for the VF bubble found on the cases.
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