DIY Camera Bag for m43?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by birdie, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. birdie

    birdie Mu-43 Regular

    I'm considering making a DIY camera bag to suit my m43 gear. I do have a Lowepro Event Messenger 100, and works great for 1 body and a couple of lenses but it doesn't work for two camera bodies plus lenses (they will fit but too difficult to work out of).

    So I'm considering designing and making a camera bag to suit my complete kit for when I want both bodies and lenses plus iPad Mini and a couple of other bits. I'm unsure if I should make a complete bag or just a bag insert for a messenger style bag...

    Anyone else got a DIY camera bag/insert? I'd love to see photos to get some ideas and inspiration :)
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    One thing to check out - get off the shelf padded inserts and check their fit in military surplus shoulder bags. These are often designed for gas-masks, first aid-kits and similar items. They're pretty tough with wide straps and a few internal pockets - they just need padded inserts.

    I picked up a few for my earthquake kit (the joys of living on a fault line!) dirt cheap recently and was amazed at how similar they were to the Domke line up.
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    What exactly are you looking for in a bag as far as shape, style and size goes? I simply modified an old video camera bag with Pelican case inserts and it's done great service in many variations when I've changed my m4/3 system. It now just serves as a lens/filter case and I have a smaller Sony handicam case of similar style which holds my four FL-50 flash units and batteries etc (but could easily hold a couple of Pen bodies and lenses.

    Main lens case:


    The Sony case looks something like this:

  4. Kai

    Kai Mu-43 Regular

    May 5, 2014
    Well here's my old camera/everyday bag. Just a military gas-mask bag (actually came with the gas-mask) with an Ebay insert. Nothing actually diy here, just 2 products put together. I also have a larger insert with 3 compartments but couldn't find it right now. This is the rights size for me as I use 2 camera bodies with a lens each. I don't like switching lenses in the field so I switch cameras :smile:. The space next to the insert is for a water bottle.




  5. Viktor1135

    Viktor1135 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 23, 2014
    I like that a lot!

    Very stealthy and everyone will think you're a poor student until you pull a camera pout of it.
  6. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Cool, I used to use a "Global Trading" canvas shoulder bag with Neoprene inserts to hold my camera gear. It also had to hold non camera stuff on my outings. It was great - and cheap. It taught me I didn't really need to invest in a "camera bag" (after a few that were disappointing.) Much better to make my own.

    The closest I've gotten to that feel with non-canvas has been Crumpler - so I use Crumpler bags now - not their camera bags though - I use a "Moderate Embarrassment" for day to day + Camera. For photo outings I use a "Dry Red 2" with neoprene camera covers and lens holders. Their bag material feels and moves WAY better than most of the ballistic nylon stuff out there and I got them both on sale.

    I also have a CBC Radio canvas bag.

    Interestingly enough, I've found that with brands like Domke, that hype the cotton/canvas thing to the hilt, unless you invest in one of their top-tier bags (which tend to be large) the quality of their canvas material is not up to the el-cheapo military canvas bags out there.

    Just keep in mind that eagle-eyed camera thieves are not stupid. You could have a natty old diaper bag, but as soon as you whip out a camera, a potential thief has already sized you up.
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    In college, I would just use whatever bag I had and wrapped stuff in towels. Worked fairly well considering the cost.

    Now, my daily is a Fossil city bag with an Domke insert (when carrying a camera). I have several bags that I simply throw in an insert. You can find better/cheaper inserts of various sizes on ebay. Of course, I also have a few "camera bags"; Ona bowery and the Domke F6 are particularly well sized for MFT systems

    For a while, it was always difficult to find camera bags designed for smaller cameras. Now as DSLR bodies shrunk and other compact camera systems have appeared the availability of various types, shapes, sizes have really grown. Its hard to believe that you won't find the right bag for the right price. F6 is capable of holding two E-PL1s with their lenses attached and additional 4 lenses with room to grow.
  8. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Real Name:
  9. Kai

    Kai Mu-43 Regular

    May 5, 2014
    I've been meaning to make my own inserts, infact I already have the padding ready. I just need to figure out the dimensions, cut it and sow a fabric over it. Who knows when I'll finally get it done. Our sowing machine is broken and I've been too lazy to do it by hand (or get the sowing machine fixed).