Some time ago I posted a quick review of the Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW, which you can read here, since then I have experimented with quite a few more camera bags and due to the insane popularity of that last post I’ve decided to do more bag reviews.
So here it is, another camera bag review by a photographer for photographers. I present the Lowepro Photosport 200AW.
This bag was designed by Lowepro to suit the more active photographers and those who like to combine physical activity with their love of photography. I would highly recommend this bag for cyclists, trekkers, and climbers to name a few. The video below sums it up extremely well.
I needed a camera bag that was going to carry a bit of gear and a bit of everything else while maintaining a slim and subtle profile. I already have a huge bag that carries everything in the Pro Runner 450AW. Here were my list of candidates:
The thing you’ll notice immediately about this bag is the way it looks. It’s a great looking camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag at all. If anything it looks like a trekking bag, or something I would take snowboarding (which I did). Lowepro offers this bag in two colours, black and orange. I went with the black mostly because I didn’t want to stick out too much when walking around the city, though the orange still appeals to me and would be my choice for hiking/climbing/snowboarding for visibility reasons.
A quick run down of the features of this bag.
- Hydration pocket at rear
- Dual compartments for camera and personal items
- Stretch durable fabric
- Waist and chest straps for improved stability
- Plenty of pockets for bits and pieces
Lowepro logo aside, pretty inconspicuous as a camera bag which is great for traveling. You can see I’ve also managed to use the bottom straps to clip my tripod in place (Benro C2692). The zipped pockets on the waist strap are great for holding things like coins and quick release plates. The back is padded just enough to keep the bag fairly comfortable when carrying heavy loads over a long distance, I have had no issues with weight in this bag.
In the side view you can see I can still squeeze a water bottle on the right. The camera compartment is a side access much like the Fastpacks which is great for getting your camera in and out on the run without taking the bag off both shoulders. My only issue with this bag is that it doesn’t actually carry much camera gear in the padded compartment. In the photo I’ve managed to put my Canon EOS 5D MkII with EF 24-70mm f2.8L attached with a reversed hood. In the side I also have a second lens.
This compartment is too small for a pro body like the 1DX or D4, or any body with a battery grip, so certain sacrifices will have to be made. I’ll only briefly speak about the ‘Ultra Cinch camera chamber’ as I hardly use it, it is only useful if your gear flops around a bit while it’s in the bag. If your gear only just fits in the compartment, then leave that tucked away (like I have) and it’ll save you a bit of time when accessing your equipment.
In the rear pocket where the hydration pack goes, I prefer to put my iPad, in the top zipped pocket I like to put my filters. In the top half of the bag (designed for everyday things) I have elected to put a padded compartment to fit more gear. This is my solution to the small space in the camera compartment. I this padded cell I have:
- Canon EF 50mm f1.4
- Canon EF 15mm f2.8 fisheye
- Olympus OM-D with 12-50mm attached (Used to take these photos)
- Olympus 12mm f2.0 (not in photo)
At this point the bag carries pretty much everything I need for a day of shooting. My Canon 580EXII is also in the top compartment somewhere.
There’s a photo of the bag emptied out, as you can see there’s quite a bit of gear in there (again, OM-D isn’t in photo). Looking at that, most enthusiasts would be satisfied with that setup to handle just about anything that can happen on a day of shooting.
All in all, I absolutely love the bag, it looks great and is comfortable when I carry as much or as little gear as I want (the above setup weighs in at about 7kg, tripod is about 1.7kg). For me, the bag gets an 8/10, my only issue is the lack of space in the camera compartment but not everyone will want to carry the amount of gear that I do. All that aside, this is still the perfect bag for an active photographer who needs a lightweight, comfortable bag to carry a mixed bag of goodies.
A minor issue, one side of the top carry strap actually ripped off while I was out on location (slightly annoying), but since I don’t use it a whole lot I elected to cut it off all together. Not a huge concern, and it didn’t make me think any less of the bag, only the first time any Lowepro bag has done that on me.
The bag sells for about $149USD on B&H. If you are local in Sydney, Australia, check out Castle Hill Camera House which is where I get a lot of my gear from, the friendly staff are always happy to help and talk photography as well as great local prices (Castle Hill Camera House did not pay me to write that, despite what it sounds like).
As usual, any questions, ask in the comments and I will definitely get back to you, I’m also up for criticisms, after all that’s the way to improve 🙂