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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #1
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Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...

I just took delivery of the Kata Backpack BP-502 for my EX-3.

It did not disappoint. This is my 3rd kata backpack (among other kata bags I have) and they just get better. The 502 is the largest I have owned - and it swollows the EX-3 in one gulp! In fact, it makes the EX-3 look small. I am told it will get on to planes as a carry-on, but may not fit smaller domestic overhead bins. With it being a backpack, it gets away with the size regulation scrutiny.
I roughly placed the EX-3 in the photo you are looking at. As you can see, plenty of space still left for accessories and customising a snug fit to the cam. The lid is arched so that it fits high above the viewfinder and any attachments, such as mics.
This also takes a 17" Macbook pro - I just tested my 15" Macbook with no problem.
Also lots of free goodies, rain-covers and a very nice padded camera strap. The Kata trolley wheels will slide inside the back.
I looked long and hard for a back pack for the EX-3. This is the only one that I found suitable for my type of work - difficult terrain and remote travel.
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Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...-kata-backpack.jpg  
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
I just took delivery of the Kata Backpack BP-502 for my EX-3.

It did not disappoint. This is my 3rd kata backpack (among other kata bags I have) and they just get better. The 502 is the largest I have owned - and it swollows the EX-3 in one gulp! In fact, it makes the EX-3 look small. I am told it will get on to planes as a carry-on, but may not fit smaller domestic overhead bins. With it being a backpack, it gets away with the size regulation scrutiny.
I roughly placed the EX-3 in the photo you are looking at. As you can see, plenty of space still left for accessories and customising a snug fit to the cam. The lid is arched so that it fits high above the viewfinder and any attachments, such as mics.
This also takes a 17" Macbook pro - I just tested my 15" Macbook with no problem.
Also lots of free goodies, rain-covers and a very nice padded camera strap. The Kata trolley wheels will slide inside the back.
I looked long and hard for a back pack for the EX-3. This is the only one that I found suitable for my type of work - difficult terrain and remote travel.
That's great news!

As I had noted in my sleezy unpacking thread, the EX-3 fits very nicely in the Petrol PDRB-3 "Doctor Bag."

Ned Soltz
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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Jon,

Where did you purchase your BP-502?

Tapeworks Texas has great pricing on them. If the Camrade bag I already ordered is inadequate, I'll upgrade to this Kata.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #4
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I'll raise you...

... I just have to put in a vote for the Think Tank range, especially the Airport Accelerator range. I've been traveling extensively with one of these containing my EX1 kit and a full FCP edit system. On budget airlines, using UK airports with a 'one bag' policy for security.

Picture 1 is my standard layout:

EX1, AA batteries, Sanken CS-1 in wind-basket. Sennheiser 100 G2 wireless system (TX and RX) with a Dongle (visible on top) for the AKG reporter's mic (underneath). Canon HV20 as a backup, audio or candid camcorder (the charger, tapes, adaptors and other stuff is to its right). One LaCie Rugged Drive (the other drive - a G-Mini RAID drive - was being used at the time). The black bag contains backup earphones, a COS-11 tie clip mic, the M2 Sennheiser mic, some XLR adaptors, and other stuff. My HD25 cans, charger and batts can also be seen. Cables, rain cape, torch, lens brush, clothes pegs, camera tape, white cards, documentation, misc cables, assorted fluff are also in there. Add to this my MacBook Pro 17" and power supply, and even in Iberia's lounge, I could do a few hours of serious HD editing (other image). All that counted as HAND LUGGAGE.

Yes, it's a bit, well, don't weigh it.

And I'd also have to throw in a shout for the delightfully nerdy Scott-E-Vest gillet thing. I can put most of the big stuff into absurd 'poacher pockets' of Scott-E-Vest - headphones in one side, AKG with wireless dongle in other, wireless mic in side pocket one, phone, ipod, in another, and you get the picture...
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Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...-img_0394.jpg  
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Soltz View Post
That's great news!

As I had noted in my sleezy unpacking thread, the EX-3 fits very nicely in the Petrol PDRB-3 "Doctor Bag."

Ned Soltz
Ned, I looked at the Petrol line, plus 16x9, Portabrace... even Home Depot plastic bags.
But I need a Backpack to be safe. I shoot a lot of my stuff in mountaineous areas of China and Japan and I also use some fairly nasty transport to get around these remote villages.

Ted- I got the Kata bag from Amazon.com for $269 inc. shipping - best price I found. I believe B & H is special order - I did not see this backpack at Tapeworks though.
My concern is it could be too big. Only a test will tell. I love the idea of travelling with one bag though.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #6
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Great pic! Did you get the driver to take it?
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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I would add that the EX-3 presents its own unique problems that the EX-1 does not have - the viewfinder not retracting. This alone is a worry for protection and makes most back packs that I tested unuseable.
I have owned every popular name backpack available - some cost well over $500. The worst experience was hauling 2 large Pelikan cases across Asia for 3 months! I now use those to keep all my cables tidy in my studio.

I also cannot carry a 2nd bag for accessories - they have to all go in the one back pack. Yes, I do have an assistant (my translator who works for me full time) but she carries my tripod and boom arm. In fact here is a pic of the poor girl with my old Kata Backpack - almost weighing the same as her.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 04:14 PM   #8
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Below are two cases I've tried.

The first three pictures are of a Porta Brace CTC-3 that actually holds the camera quite nicely. The built-in viewfinder guard fits the viewfinder very well. When closed, the camera seems to be gently held in place. This is the bag I used with one of my JVC HD100 cameras.

The downside? Well, there is nowhere to put anything else. There is a little space at the back of the camera, but no seperate compartment. There are three exterior pockets, but they aren't real big. This big is more for those that just want to place a camera in a bag with maybe a few batteries and charger and nothing else.

The last four pics are of the Camrade Travel Mate Handy 1. This is more along the lines of what I'm looking for as it is a backpack with many compartments, both inside and outside. This is the bag that Tapeworks Texas recommended.

The downside? It just doesn't fit. I have to wedge the camera in as the center compartment is not wide enough. Once there, some of the outer compartments are quite squished as the camera engulf most of the available space. Also, as you can see from the photos, the viewfinder is dangerously exposed and I'm very uncomfortable with how the pack has to be pulled together in order to zip.

Hope this helps someone...
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Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...-003.jpg   Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...-004.jpg  

Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...-005.jpg   Back Pack suitable for the EX-3...-006.jpg  

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Old August 1st, 2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
I just took delivery of the Kata Backpack BP-502 for my EX-3.

It did not disappoint. This is my 3rd kata backpack (among other kata bags I have) and they just get better. The 502 is the largest I have owned - and it swollows the EX-3 in one gulp! In fact, it makes the EX-3 look small. I am told it will get on to planes as a carry-on, but may not fit smaller domestic overhead bins. With it being a backpack, it gets away with the size regulation scrutiny.
I roughly placed the EX-3 in the photo you are looking at. As you can see, plenty of space still left for accessories and customising a snug fit to the cam. The lid is arched so that it fits high above the viewfinder and any attachments, such as mics.
This also takes a 17" Macbook pro - I just tested my 15" Macbook with no problem.
Also lots of free goodies, rain-covers and a very nice padded camera strap. The Kata trolley wheels will slide inside the back.
I looked long and hard for a back pack for the EX-3. This is the only one that I found suitable for my type of work - difficult terrain and remote travel.

Jon,

I'm considering this new Petrol bag:
http://www.expandore.com/product/add...ag/CamBag1.htm

It's slightly smaller than yours, but I'm really concerned about flying with it. Your exterior dimensions are 23x18x12 (approx) and this one is 21x14x13 (approx).

It's designed for the EX1 and similar, so at least that is a wider camera, but I'm concerned about the viewfinder.

Since you've played with yours a bit, I thought you might be able to lend an opinion on this one.

Thanks,
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 08:25 AM   #10
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Ted,

I looked at the PCTB-3 but came to the conclusion that though the EX-3 will fit the main compartment it leaves nothing for accessories (mics-lavs-batteries etc) and these cannot fit in the other thin compartments meant for the laptop or cables. If you end up carrying a second small bag for accessories, then you have a worse problem - how do you carry clothes? I can take 2 bags total when I travel - one on my shoulder and one on wheels.
Also I do not like built in wheels. Once I am at my location I ditch the wheels, which you can do with all the Kata bags.
I think the risk that my Kata backpack is too large outweigh the practical reality - it accommodates the EX-3 easily while still leaving compartments on both side. The lid is clamshell shaped like a dome, so it does not press on the viewfinder. I heard mix reports from users - some say it fits in overheads and some say it was tough on small domestic flights. I travel mostly long hauls, so I think it will be fine.
I also like the Kata way of design anyway - I am a long time user. Very high quality workmanship. My last backpack went to the Himalayas, deserts, lakes, swamps - you name it - served as a bed and pillow and carried my raincoat - after six years, it still looks brand new and nothing failed - the zippers get a little stiff that's all.

Ted, if you can try the Petrol bag please get back to me with a report - I did not actually place an EX-3 inside, as mine had not yet arrived.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 08:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
Ted,

I looked at the PCTB-3 but came to the conclusion that though the EX-3 will fit the main compartment it leaves nothing for accessories (mics-lavs-batteries etc) and these cannot fit in the other thin compartments meant for the laptop or cables. If you end up carrying a second small bag for accessories, then you have a worse problem - how do you carry clothes? I can take 2 bags total when I travel - one on my shoulder and one on wheels.
Also I do not like built in wheels. Once I am at my location I ditch the wheels, which you can do with all the Kata bags.
I think the risk that my Kata backpack is too large outweigh the practical reality - it accommodates the EX-3 easily while still leaving compartments on both side. The lid is clamshell shaped like a dome, so it does not press on the viewfinder. I heard mix reports from users - some say it fits in overheads and some say it was tough on small domestic flights. I travel mostly long hauls, so I think it will be fine.
I also like the Kata way of design anyway - I am a long time user. Very high quality workmanship. My last backpack went to the Himalayas, deserts, lakes, swamps - you name it - served as a bed and pillow and carried my raincoat - after six years, it still looks brand new and nothing failed - the zippers get a little stiff that's all.

Ted, if you can try the Petrol bag please get back to me with a report - I did not actually place an EX-3 inside, as mine had not yet arrived.
Jon,

Thanks for the thorough feedback! Yes, I do want to be able to put everything in one bag - I've never had that option before with the bags I've owned and have always travelled with multiple bags/cases. I can see now (been doing a little drawing and some calculations) that most of the side compartment of that Petrol will be taken up by the viewfinder - not good.

I don't know of a dealer in my area that has one of these bags to try, otherwise I'd be there! I am concerned about it being accepted as a carry-on more than anything. I rarely (never?) am on the puddle-jumpers, but most (all?) of my flights are domestic - frequently direct - from major airport to major airport. (Though I am going to the Dominican Republic this winter - no telling about those flights.)

Perhaps another two or three inches won't be stopped by the airlines - but I'm still a little nervous. The wheels are good for me - I've never travelled anywhere there weren't paved roads/sidewalks. Not to say that this won't change, just judging from experience.

I've never owned a Kata bag, and have never been married to a brand. My Porta-Brace and Petrol were fine. For my still eqpt., The Ape Case I bought is far and away my favorite so far. Sadly, they don't make a backpack case for the EX3.

Again, thanks for the feedback, even though you are only making my decision more difficult! Hopefully, in the end, it will be the right one for me.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 08:51 AM   #12
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Maybe I should just buy both and return one!
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:06 AM   #13
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Ted, I spoke to Continental Airline - I travel to Beijing 3 times per year with them from Newark.

They calculate a carry on at being 51 inches total size - LxWxH.

I measured accurately my Kata BP-502. It is 23 x 17 x 12 inches which is 52 inches. Just over the limit - however, the airline person did not rule it out for 2 reasons.
1. They prefer carry-on as it is cheaper for them than processing checked and NO lost luggage to worry about.
2. If the bag is not rigid it can be squished (which it will) and if you do not have a 2nd carry-on - known as a personal bag (laptop etc).

So there it is for me - I feel 90% confident of it working. I regularly take a large backpack (2inches less than the 502) and my large 35 inch tripod bag both as carry ons.

Hope this helps.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 02:20 AM   #14
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Jon,

Awesome! Thanks again!

I think it's about time I purchase this one. I'll probably get the wheels as well, as I spend a lot of time in urban areas/airports/etc.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 06:28 AM   #15
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Thanks for your great analysis. I checked just for interest German ebay and I hope to have made a nice deal. I just bought a 502 for 220 euros in mint conditions. Now I just need the cam.....

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