[Gear In Review Podcast] GIR3 - Pro Bags

Hosted by Reed Smith & Bobby Rettew

Welcome to Gear In Review. Learn more about how we’ll be bringing reviews, recommendations and insights around the many gadgets, gizmos, and widgets used everyday to capture and tell stories inside hospitals.

In the previous episode, we talked about what everyday bags we use to carry our laptops, iPads, and even the gadgets we use everyday. Now it’s time to talk about the professional camera bags Bobby uses to carry all his team’s video and photography gear. We’ll cover everything from day-to-day professional, sling bags, and the big bags pros use to travel both domestic and international. We’ll talk you through what works for us and what might work for you. We hope you enjoy!

Here are a few links to the bags we review:

1) Laptop Bag (15″ MacBook Pro, iPad, Cords, Hard Drives, etc.)
Vanguard The Heralder 38 Bag

2) The Quick Bag (Camera, iPad, Cords)
Think Tank Photo TurnStyle 20 Sling Camera Bag V2.0

3) Bags inside of Bags (Cord Management)
Think Tank Photo Cable Management 10 V2.0

4) Camera Bags (Cameras, Lenses, Laptop, iPad, etc.)
Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II
CineBags CB25B Revolution Backpack

—— [TRANSCRIPT] ——

Reed Smith:
Hey everybody, this is Reed Smith.

Chris Boyer:
And this is Chris Boyer.

Reed Smith:
And we are co-hosts on a show called Touch Point, which is a podcast that’s dedicated to the discussions on digital marketing and online patient engagement strategies, not only for just hospitals but health systems and physician practices.

Chris Boyer:
In every episode, we’ll dive deep in a variety of topics on digital tools, solutions, strategies, and other things that are impacting the health care industry today.

Reed Smith:
And while you listen to this show we would certainly love you to check out ours.

Chris Boyer:
All you have to do is swing on over to Touch Point dot health for more information and also some of the other shows that are featured on the Touch Point Media network.

Reed Smith:
Welcome back to Gear In Review. I’m Reed Smith, joined by Bobby Rettew. Bobby, how’s it going?

Bobby Rettew:
What’s up, man? How are you?

Reed Smith:
Good. We’ve done a few episodes at this point. Last time around we talked a lot about bags, kind of focusing on the everyday bag and what people may be carrying, would need to consider, especially if they travel and things like that, to carry things, not just your laptop, but other little gadgets, and all of that kind of good stuff. Good feedback on the episode. One thing specifically I wanted to expand upon or talk a little bit more about was gear-specific bags. A lot of people may consider this a thing about this is like a camera bag, although that’s probably not fair to call it just a camera bag, but that may be the most common use case, right, is carrying a camera-plus or something along those lines?

Bobby Rettew:
Yeah, you know, yeah. Reed, you and I have talked about this a lot. You know, you’ll call me and I came in. I’m thinking about getting this bag to put my camera and a couple of things in. What do you think? I get that question a lot, like which bag are you using for what when it comes to camera-plus something. It’s all about size. Not everybody wants the big; not everybody wants the small. I live in this world of the different sized bag, based on the different size of scale, based on what I want to do. You know?

Reed Smith:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Bobby Rettew:
I don’t know. I assume you kind of live in that world, too, when you’re traveling, right?

Reed Smith:
Yeah. It will, and even just running to meetings and things like that. It’s like you weigh the what-am-I-taking-with-me kind of thing. Do I need a laptop, or really is an iPad fine? And really, only is an iPad needed, in case I need to show something? Am I just going to be part of a meeting and take a few notes? Whatever it may be. Again, it may slant towards just the laptop sleeve, or kind of the small, you’re taking zero cables, you’re taking a moleskin and an iPad kind of a deal, or something to that effect, up to having to be somewhere all day long, so I’m going to need the charger, adapters. I need some way to record, so the Shure MV88 that we’ve mentioned a few times, the IOS microphone that we like to use, maybe it’s a camera, maybe it’s multiple cameras kind of a thing, earbuds, maybe additional headphones, depending on, again, what we’re doing.

Reed Smith:
There’s a lot of reasons to have different bags and things like that. I think what we wanted to talk about was the recommendations around more of, I guess, that category of camera bag or gear bag. So, again, still not the equipment-specific stuff, the stuff that holds lights, drums, things like that. It is built specifically for one item, but more of that larger, more all-inclusive bag, right?

Bobby Rettew:
Yep. I kind of have four bags I rotate through. I figured I’d start small. I just kind of what’s the smallest piece that I use, the smallest bag, and what can I get into it, and why do I pick it. The first one I have is a Think Tank Photo. It’s called the 20 Sling Bag. It’s literally a bag you can put across the front of your body. It’s small enough, just big enough to hold a DSLR with a lens and a hard drive. Also, I can put my iPad in the back of the sleeve, and then it’s got one compartment that I can put batteries in.

Bobby Rettew:
The reason why I like this bag is because it allows me to throw a camera in it with one lens on it, maybe a second lens, maybe, but even with that camera I can put like my DJI Osmo Mobile. It’s a stabilizer for my iPhone. I can stick it in there, and I can put my iPad and a couple of batteries. That literally will allow me to go somewhere, take pictures, Tweet, upload, use my phone as a stabilized video piece, and I’ve got backup batteries, and it’s all in one small bag. It’s small enough that I can just put it over my shoulder. When I walk through crowds, I don’t hit people or knock people out of the way. I love it. It’s a great little bag.

Reed Smith:
Very cool. All right, which one was that? What’s that called?

Bobby Rettew:
That’s the Think Tank Photo TurnStyle 20 Sling Bag. We’ll put these up on the notes, but it’s a great little bag. It comes in like two different colors, like a blue or gray. Love, love this bag. I didn’t know about it until I saw someone wear it. I had to go get it immediately. It’s about a hundred bucks for it. The strap … The one thing I like about the strap is when it’s across your shoulder, or across the front of your body, it’s easy to shorten and extend very quickly with one tug. If you’ve got to really tighten it up, you can just jerk it real quick, and it will tighten down. It can turn into, with one little move, you can turn it into a backpack. It’s super durable. I love it a lot. Very well-built. I have yet to see any of the threads start pulling away off of it.

Reed Smith:
I think what’s interesting about that bag, and some others like it, is the ability that it’s customizable, right, so it’s got the kind of little Velcro sections that you see in a lot of, again, camera bags that allow you to kind of create what you need space for, lenses, or camera bodies, or maybe it’s more your camera’s on one, but maybe it’s some hard drives, like you mentioned, a small gimbal for your phone, or something to that degree. That’s a great recommendation. What do you got up to from there?
Bobby Rettew: I love, my next bag is what I call the Lowepro. It’s made by Lowepro. It’s called the Fastpack BP 250. It’s black. I bought it as a replacement to my Kata bag that I had for roughly 15 years, that I pretty much wore it out. This bag is truly a backpack. It’s not a big backpack, but what it does do is it’s got a section in the bottom that holds the camera. If you look at the bag, it has an easy access on the side that you can unzip with it on your back and pull your camera out-

Reed Smith:
Oh, nice.

Bobby Rettew:
… which is really cool. It’s big enough to hold my 5D Mark III with a 15mm lens on it, plus I can also fit another 35mm lens and my 7200 lens in the bottom of that bag. It’s very well-padded. All I have to do is just open the side and pull the camera out, and not even take my backpack off. Love, love, love it. On the top side of that bag is an upper compartment where it allows me to put a hard drive. I can put my Shure MV88 in there that I use for my iPhone to record audio. I can load it up with my bag in a bag, with my cables and other things. It has an upper compartment that’s big enough to hold and bulk in. I can put a flash in there if I want to, or I can put another lens in there, which is super great. The other part that I love about this is behind that, against your back, I can slip either my MacBook Pro 15″ in there, or I can put my MacBook 12 in there, or I can put both.

Reed Smith:
Nice.

Bobby Rettew:
It’s really, it’s durable enough, and if you drop it, it’s got enough foam to protect that camera and to protect the laptop. It’s super durable. It really can be just a one-shoulder deal, a two-shoulder deal, or a two-shoulder and you can untuck the thing to go around your waist if you want to.

Reed Smith:
Very nice. That’s the LowePro Fastpack BP 250. Again, we’ll have a link to that in the show notes. Again, primarily built for a 15″ laptop. They do make a smaller one, which is the BP 150 that they say is more geared for an 11″ laptop or one of those, I guess, like your MacBook Air, maybe the 12″ MacBook, some of those type things would probably fit in there, an iPad would obviously work really well. It doesn’t have the waist strap, but it’s a little bit of a smaller bag. That’s really cool. I like the independent … You don’t have to unpack the whole thing to get to just your camera. You’ve got kind of some of those individualized compartments, so that’s really cool.

Bobby Rettew:
Yeah, I love it a lot. I replaced … That bag replaced my Kata DR-467 bag that I had for 15 years. The reason why I got it, it was similar build. The other thing, too, is if I really want to scale it up, I can attach my small tripod, too, if I want to. So I can really scale it up or scale it down, but at the end of the day I always have my camera in the bottom of it, which is great.

Reed Smith:
Very cool. Very cool. All right. Where do you go from there?

Bobby Rettew:
From that, we have, I call it the Cinebag. That’s the name of the brand, CineBags. It’s a CB25B Revolution backpack. This bag is a beast. It will allow you to pack just about everything you can need. I can put two cameras in it. I put my 5D Mark III … I can put three cameras in it: 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV, and a Canon C100 with a couple of lenses in it. It opens up and zips open to protect it from the back so that people can’t come up from behind and unzip it to get to your gear. You physically have to take the bag off to get access to the camera gear that’s facing your back. The zipper is facing your back.

Bobby Rettew:
Then it has side pockets to put all your stuff, like batteries, a flash, hard drives, all those things, which is really, really good. Then on the front of it, facing outward, you can fit your 15″ MacBook in it, which is great. Then it’s got these straps on the outside to put your monopod or your tripod, and then what I really like about it is in the top the upper level area of the bag a couple of pockets dedicated to media. It has little itsy-bitsy pockets built into the big pocket where you can store individual media cards that keep them separated, and it’s also protected from weather, so very, very thought out bag. I’ve used this bag internationally, traveling internationally. I’ve never had a problem with someone try to do something to me with that bag. It’s very well-built and protects the gear.

Reed Smith:
Very cool. That’s the CineBags 25B Revolution backpack. It comes in a number of colors. If you’re a fan of the bright colors, there’s a super bright orange. There’s obviously the kind of charcoal black version, some camo versions. Like Bobby mentioned holds DSLRs, lenses, accessories. It’s got exterior pouches. It’s got padded shoulder straps, chest connectors, business card. It even has a rain cover included. This is really stepping up here. This is probably, for those of you out there that have multiple lenses, maybe multiple camera bodies, you’re capturing a lot of content. You want to be able to … This would be a great backpack for those that are going and recording with subjects, because you probably … especially if you’re a one-man show … you could carry a lot of almost, maybe everything, with you in one fell swoop versus multiple trips to the car, right?

Bobby Rettew:
Right.

Reed Smith:
You’ve got a way to strap … to your point … tripods and things like that, other stabilization equipment, to you with all the accessories, go in, set up, capture audio, get out.

Bobby Rettew:
The key about these three bags is that it keeps me portable. If you remember in the first show, we talked about, you know, I gave the example of how my tool bag used to be my SUV as a broadcast journalist. Everything you needed in there to capture, shoot, produce, and distribute a story. Now everything, each bag, can basically do all that based on scale. That small bag can still do that. It allows me to carry a camera, media cards, and things that I can still use my phone to distribute media.

Bobby Rettew:
One step up allows me to do a little bit more. The two bigger bags, I can even put a small LED light in, with a battery, and a little stand that I can pop up and I can put a little light on a face. Those lights can be 30 to 40 bucks. So simple tools that allow me to do everything in one bag to capture, create, and distribute, and measure, and engage.

Reed Smith:
Nice. I think that’s great. I think that’s great. Again, a lot of this goes back to who are you, what are you trying to accomplish. It’s a very minimal, I mean, the smallest thing you can do is carry a phone in your pocket. This is getting up towards that higher end. There’s been pre-production planning going into this. This content you’re capturing is probably more evergreen. You want it to last for a period of time. It’s not a quick tweet, right, things like that. A lot of this is where’s the content going to live and for how long. That’s great. That’s great.

Bobby Rettew:
It’s fun stuff, man. I love bags. I’m always looking for the next better bag to stay portable, because I hate carrying multiple bags. There’s nothing more drives me nuts when I’ve got to carry two bags to do something I can put all in one. I mean, it just drives me crazy.

Reed Smith:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Very cool. Any other bags come to mind that you think people should take a look at or consider?

Bobby Rettew:
You know, I’m a big proponent, once I pick a brand, I kind of stick with it. I really love Think Tank. I mean, they do a good job of building things. I really love the Manfrotto bags. They do a great job. Also, these LowePro bags. They’re just very well-built. You spend a little bit of extra money, but you’re getting durability. It’s all in the canvas and the comfort. It’s all about really protecting your gear out of the elements.

Reed Smith:
Yeah, and I think going to some of these websites … again, we’ll have links in the show notes, whether it’s B&H Photography or otherwise. You’re seeing that they’ve got four and a half stars, and there’s 81 reviews, so that’s a pretty good indication that the bags have held up. Certainly some of these more industry-specific websites, like B&H, are going to have a lot of options, a lot of reviews from people that are pretty heavy users. They’re not just … They’re really not even just hobbyists. These are a lot of professional photographers, for example, in this case, that are using these bags.

Bobby Rettew:
Yeah, I love my bags, man. You know, I’m even interested to hear, from the people that are listening, what bags are you using? Tell us what you’re using. We’d love to hear why you chose your bag. If it’s something we can learn from you, heck, we’d like to look it, and maybe a chance, bring it in, and test it out, and let you know what we think.

Reed Smith:
Very cool. Very cool. Well, another great episode. Great stuff. We could talk about bags forever, and probably will, to some degree, talk about bags forever. Again, we’re going to be getting into cables, to IOS apps, to microphones, headphones, stabilization components like tripods and gimbals, and all that kind of fun stuff, cameras certainly, whether that be still photography or videography, lighting, flashes, et cetera, et cetera. Lots more to come. Thanks for listening. We certainly appreciate. We love your feedback. We love for you to subscribe, rate review us, all that kind of good stuff. Head over to touchpoint.health. Check on all our other shows. We look forward to talking to you next time. He’s Bobby. I’m Reed, and we love gear.

Reed Smith:
This show is made possible, in part, by the Social Health Institute. Through research and partnerships with health care organizations around the country, the Social Health Institute explores new and innovative ways for hospitals, health care organizations, to develop and enhance their social media and digital marketing strategy. To learn more about the Social Health Institute, visit them online at socialhealthinstitute.com. That’s socialhealthinstitute.com. This has been a TouchPoint Media production. To learn about this show and others like it, please visit us online at touchpoint.health.

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