Lowepro Compact Courier 80 for NEX-5
I live in the UK and ordered a Courier 80 from the US Amazon site as they don't seem to be available in the UK.
Anyone bought one of these or the Courier 70? Hoping there will be a little more room than the Apex 100AW whilst still remaining compact. I like the Apex but found it to be a little bit too compact for carrying both lenses and the flash.
Was a toss up between the Courier 80 and the Sony LCS-EMC. The Lowepro seems more versatile with it's case-in-case design, so the Lowepro won.
Will give a review once it arrives.
I just got the lowepro exchange messenger. Ideal for my nex and room for 4 manual lenses including 60-300 zoom, an adapter the 16mm & UWA plus an assortment of other odds & ends. Tall enough for the nex to stand on its lcd with the big zoom attached.
Being a soft case with minimal side padding keeps its size down.
Even better £18 at warehouseexpress
I bought this last week.
Plenty of room for all my lenses (on a trip I usually carry the 18-55 and 4 MF lenses) and accessories (flash/charger and even tablet!). And I love the fact that it's very comfortable and light. I'm done with cases/bags that sag me down with their tiny straps.
I came across those a few weeks ago as well. They look like nice bags, especially since they are designed for system cameras. It's good to finally see manufacturers catching up with those models.
Looking forward to your review.
I might as well jump in here, as I'm swimmingly happy with my new bag, the Delsey ODC 21. Here's a shot with it behind the NEX-5:
And, here's the interior:
This is the smallest of three similar bags within Delsey's ODC range -- the enormous ODC 25, the still quite large ODC 23, and the "small" bag, this ODC 21. Here's Delsey's web page about the range:
They come in black or gray, and B&H Photo sells them -- that's where I got mine.
The thing that really made this work so well for me was how I could fit the NEX-5 with the 18-200mm lens "front to back" inside -- that allowed room for three cameras. From left to right, that's the NEX-5 with the 18-55mm kit lens, then the Sony HX1 compact superzoom in the middle -- along with the NEX 16mm lens in front of it -- and then my second NEX-5 with the 18-200mm lens on the right.
The bag comes with two full-height dividers -- one with a lens cut-out -- and three half-height dividers. I used two of the half-height ones, so I could put stuff on top of the cameras. Usually, that's just a pile of several microfiber cloths, but along with that, I can fit my Canon S95 and my Panasonic LX5 in their minimal cases, too. I usually toss (carefully!) my S95 in there, and take it along with me.
The case has two very generous side pockets -- one holds a Seagate GoFlex 1.5 terabyte portable hard drive and a USB cable for it, which is my "off-site file storage" that I take with me everywhere I go, and the other is full of batteries, memory cards, the flash unit, and some other odds and ends. You can see the front pocket, which has a bunch of other stuff -- filters, a Sony MP3 player, a thumb drive, a few more cables and such, and so on.
Finally, it also has a full-width pocket on the back of the case, which holds the weatherproof cover. I just hate those things -- the first thing I did was cut that out and toss it away. And now I've got that pocket full of hand and lens wipes.
This is actually my "briefcase," as well as a camera bag, and it easily swallows up everything I need to take with me. I've actually got the other two models in the series -- the ODC 25 was really way too big, so I tried the ODC 23, and I still wanted something smaller -- and the ODC 21 is "just right."
The handles can "hide away" in the front and back pockets, and they do a great job of distributing the bag's weight -- even fully loaded, it really doesn't feel like it's chock full of cameras.
I have gone through lots of bags over the years, and this one really gets the job done better than anything else I've ever found. Obviously, it's for "a bunch of stuff," but it can hold an amazing amount of things without looking too-stuffed and overloaded. It sure works well for me!
Sorry for taking so long to post my review, but here's my initial thoughts on the Courier 80:
Firstly the size, I was put off by the size when I opened the packaging. I know it has 'compact' in the name, but I was expecting something a tad more roomy. Compared to the Lowepro Apex 100AW, this is smaller on the outside, but about the same size on the interior.
I was hoping for something that I could open, reach in, grab a lens or spare battery without taking the camera out first; not gonna happen with this bag. You can lay the camera down either on it's side or face down, but either way you have to remove the camera before getting to an accessory. There is one divider in the main compartment (which is also the removable pouch) and there is also a card holder fitted into the inside of the lid together with a lens cleaner.
Secondly, the strap, although this is wide enough, I was expecting some padding for the shoulder like on the Apex, but Lowepro have disappointed me in this aspect. They have also left out the waterproof cover that you get on the Apex, although the bag appears to be made of a water repellant material - not tested it though!). The back of the bag does have a large fixed loop that you can attach to your belt should you wish, and with the bag being more like a large case with a removable shoulder strap, the bag doesn't look too bad when fixed to your belt i.e. looks more like a case and not a bag when used on your belt.
Thirdly, the case within a case. You can remove the inner grey-lined case and use as a velcro fastened pouch. Good feature if you want something very small to just protect the camera when out and about, although you would have to use the camera strap (fixed to the camera) to wear around your neck with the case on, as there are no loops or hooks on the inner bag (might look a bit silly though). I guess this would be ideal for the ladies who want something protective and ultra compact before putting the camera into their handbags, or for the guys who have manbags/ruckack etc. The inner bag, although protective against knocks and bumps, will offer no protection against the elements, as the top just folds down and attaches to the front of the pouch with velcro leaving small gaps at the top left and right.
Conclusion, brilliant concept, and faultless for those who want a sturdy bag with clean lines that has been designed with the NEX in mind. However, for me, as the interior doesn't hold any more that the Apex 100AW, it's not really ideal for my needs.
I want a bag that you can reach in and grab a lens or battery without having to remove the camera first, I should have realised by the name of the bag before I ordered it that it was going to be small, oh well, you live and learn. So I have now gone and ordered a Domke F-5XB and will most likely sell the Courier 80 if I feel the Domke is suitable for most occasions.
I will post a further update if and when I sell, as I realise that this bag is near on impossible to buy in the UK (I ordered from an Amazon Market Seller in the US, and the case was delivered within 3 days by FedEx for a very reasonable shipping fee. However, a week later I received a letter from FedEx demanding £14 for the customs fee - ouch!).
Here are some pictures (sorry about the iPhone quality):
So let me get this straight, Tom... Instead of swapping lenses, you just swap cameras? haha
Actually, I just decided to try and "wean myself" from the kit lens, so I'm just carrying one NEX-5 now, with the 18-200mm lens attached. I kind of "learned the hard way" a couple of weekends ago that even if I don't need the 18-200's extra zoom, I still would want to be using it for the extra video stability it provides. So, I'll be getting a bit of extra strength training done as I wander around now, camera in hand.