High Gear: Case Logic Kontrast DSLR camera case | SummitDaily.com

High Gear: Case Logic Kontrast DSLR camera case

For nearly two years now, I've been porting a Nikon D5100 DSLR and up to three lenses in a bag I affectionately refer to as a U.S. Army-issue lunchbox. It's forest green with a single shoulder strap and soft sides, so it's not even a box — more of a satchel. The material isn't waterproof in the least, and, even though it looks kinda-sorta trendy — a snarky friend of mine asked if it was a Hot Topic purse — I haven't been able to fully zip the main compartment when loaded down with one (or more) lenses. Thank god for the Velcro closure up top.

I'm not sure where the satchel came from, or if it was even meant to carry a camera, but I've stuck with it because it's small, reliable and convenient. The lunch satchel hasn't yet dumped my camera gear at French Gulch, Quandary Peak, the Tenmile Range Traverse or anywhere else I go on assignment. And I probably just cursed myself by thinking about it. But the hard truth remains: convenience is no excuse for a flimsy case when the camera and lenses inside are easily worth $1,000 or more.

Maybe that's the rub. Like most amateur photographers — I don't consider myself a professional when I'm wandering around with the satchel — I spend my photography budget on the stuff that gets the job done, you know, like cameras and lenses and editing programs and memory cards. A case is at the very bottom of the list, even though I know a proper one will make life way easier in the field.

It's about time I suck it up and at least try to act like a professional. Enter the Konstrast DSLR shoulder bag from Case Logic. On the surface, it's almost exactly like the U.S. Army satchel: small, compact and portable.

The difference is that the Kontrast is made for transporting cameras, and it shows. The main compartment is large enough to fit a DSLR (even big boys like the Nikon D5), along with up to four lenses. There's also an internal zipper pocket in the lid for small items like memory cards, extra batteries and lens wipes, plus three additional external pockets for stuff like pens, a phone, Clif bars — whatever.

The coolest feature is the internal compartment. It comes with adjustable Velcro walls to mix and match lenses of all sizes, and the camera holder itself is suspended like a cradle. This makes up for the lack of padding on the case sides and top. That's one of the only downsides: The hard-walled case is sturdy and made with water-resistant fabric, but it's not padded to protect against a drop or hard fall.

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Until now, I had my sights set on a camera backpack from manufacturers like Lowepro, Canon and Dakine for that exact reason: they're padded and perfect for outdoor travel. But most of those bags are $100-plus, and that scared me away. Why buy yet another backpack when my Mile High Mountaineering bag gets the job done in a pinch?

The Kontrast is the near-perfect middle ground between a camera bag and camera backpack. It's hardly bigger than the satchel but feels so much roomier, and I can easily adjust the shoulder strap to cinch tight when I'm on the move. It might not be as stable as a backpack, but then again, I've gotten good at biking and snowboarding lopsided.

Verdict

The Kontrast DSLR camera case from Case Logic is the best way to show your expensive camera a little TLC. At $79.99, it won't break the bank, and it definitely won't break your camera.

Kontrast DSLR shoulder bag, $79.99

Size: 10.6 x 7.9 x 10.2 inches

DSLR size: 8.7 x 5.5 x 7.9 inches

Weight: 1.56 pounds (empty)

Material: Water-resistant polyester

Pockets: Five (one main zipper, four auxiliary zipper)

Warranty: Yes (25 years)

The Kontrast DSLR camera bag comes with a removable padded shoulder strap. The main zippered compartment is adjustable for up to three zoom lenses, including one attached to a camera body. For more info or to purchase, see http://www.caselogic.com.

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