Quick Tip: The Miniature Camera Bag

Miniature Camera Bag

Camera bags are great — they allow you to carry all your important equipment around while you’re out shooting. But as great as they are, sometimes it’s nice to leave them behind and free yourself up a bit. Then what do you do with those bare-minimum pieces of equipment that you absolutely must have with you?

Put ‘em in your pocket. For me, the bare minimums (in addition to the camera and lens) are a spare battery, spare memory card, and a lens cloth. These are all pocket sized items and can easily be carried without a bag. But rather than tossing them in your pocket to rattle around with your keys or cell phone, why not package them together in their own little unit?

Doing this “packaging” allows you to keep everything together. It also allows you to toss the unit in your bigger camera bag one day, then pull it out and stick it in your pocket the next day. I’m able to fit my battery inside of my memory card pouch, and my lens cloth has a clip that I attach to the keyring on the pouch. These three things ALWAYS stay together and they ALWAYS travel with me when I have my camera.

What are your essential items? And how do you pack them around?

This entry was posted in Equipment, Quick-Tip on by .

About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

13 thoughts on “Quick Tip: The Miniature Camera Bag

  1. the_wolf_brigade

    Well seeing as I’ve been shooting so much black and white film recently a red filter is my number one essential…

    But when I take the digital out, I take the items you’ve mentioned as well as a book to note down potential photo opportunities where the light or the timing might not be right just then – I note down the time I think will work as well as my proposed intentions for the shot so I can come back later.

    Additionally, I hardly ever leave my manual at home. I think it was Jim Goldstein who posted this a while back, as his secret trip? Murphy’s law tends to dictate that on the odd occasion I don’t have it with me, I need to use a function I’m not so familiar with meaning I end up with a shot that could have been so much better had I been able to double check my method.

  2. Brian Auer Post author

    The notebook isn’t a bad idea. I’m always scouting locations when I’m out shooting, but I probably forget about 95% of them as soon as I leave.

  3. libeco

    I do nearly all my photographing when cycling around. I have all my gear in my backpack, a Lowepro (with AW which came in handy when it started puring two days ago!!). The only thing I just have to leave at home is my tripod, unless I know I’m going to use it. I really have to think of something to attach it to my bicycle, it’s just too large to carry around.

    I have my EOS 400D with my 70-200 L IS USM attached, my kitlens with a polarizer attached and a spare memorycard and battery. I guess that would be my bare minimum if for some odd reason I wouldn’t take my backpack.

  4. Brian Auer Post author

    You might look into a semi-compact tripod that would be a bit easier to deal with. Some are small enough that you could probably attach it to your backpack. You might also be able to rig something up to house it on the downtube or seat-tube of your bike frame — kind of like a water bottle holder, but a little more secure.

  5. Dave Mac

    Great tip! Those are the 3 essential items for me as well. My biggest challenge is the pre-shoot debate that I have with myself to leave items/lenses at home! I’m always paranoid I’ll regret not bringing my wide angle or 200mm zoom! :)

  6. Brian Auer Post author

    That’s always my biggest challenge too, Dave. I have 3 totally different lenses, and I always have a hard time figuring out which one will be most useful. Half the time, I just end up picking a random lens. It can be good to limit your equipment like that sometimes — it forces you to get creative and work with what you have available.

  7. Ryan G

    If I’m carrying a bag, essentials are My 30D body, 17-85 IS (or 24-70 L if I’m lucky enough to steal it from a friend), 70-200 f/2.8 L IS, if I know there is going to be low-light or portraits the 50mm 1,4, 580 EX Speedlite, Giottos Blower, lens cloth, backup CF.

    If I’m traveling light, its just the body, 1 lens, backup CF and lens cloth. I’ve never needed to bring an extra battery because the battery life on the 30D is ridiculous. I’ve had days with over 1000 shots, without the battery dying.

  8. Stephanie

    Cool I just love compact carrying of things! I always find it hard to keep my lens cloth clean especially when I keep it in my purse. I am surely going to look into this little gadget holder as soon as possible. I see it says ScanDisk on the mini bag that is pictured so I will make sure and see if that is the one I want.

  9. Stephy

    Oh cool I just love that bag because I use the same one to keep all of my camera stuff together and most importantly clean. I love how it clips on because I am always on the go and I always make sure to keep it clipped to my purse or my camera bag at all times.

  10. Stephy

    Also what is that bag that you are using to hold your lens cleaning cloth? I always have a problem keeping my cloth from getting all kinds of debris all over it and I can’t tell you how many times I have scratched a lens using a dirty cloth by accident.

  11. Pingback: Less Gear Equals More Enjoyment

  12. Andrew M

    I typically carry a 28-105 and 100-300 when I’m on a shoot… the predominant on-camera lens is the 100-300, as I shoot a LOT of water ski racing, and this seems to be the best lens for the job…

    Depending on the size of the race, I’ll carry the 40D, and the 350D, so I can switch lenses fast, and minimize dust ingress, as most of my locations are dusty.

    I typically carry a spare battery for each camera, a spare 2 GB CF card (that I can use in either camera), and a lens cleaning cloth (or t-shirt if I forget the cloth).

    If I’m carrying a bag, I use a Crumpler 6-billion dollar home, which fits both bodies with lens attached, and everything I need aside from the laptop, which is usually in the back of the car, in hibernate or sleep mode, so I can dump a memory card quickly using a 6-in-1 reader…

    Pocket sized goodies, memory cards, batteries, etc, I carry in a soft sunglass case that an old pair of Oakley sunglasses came in…

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