Page 1 of 3Vast Choice of Camera Cases in a Growing Market
If you think its difficult to select the right HD camcorder in today’s crowded marketplace, just wait until you turn to acquiring case for it. Not only is there a wide choice of types of cases, but the list of manufacturers keeps growing and growing and growing.
Excellent cases of many types—production, rolling, bad weather, to name a few—abound from companies like Kata, Porta Brace, Petrol, ThinkTank, 16x9, f.64, Cinebags and others. Many specify that the case is suitable for specific camcorder models, which makes it a bit easier to hone in on a selection.
However, since it’s difficult to see and assess all the cases at once, many users buy one brand and end up switching later when they find something more suitable for their purpose. This in one of the invaluable reasons to attend trade shows.
Kata (www.kata-bags.com) and Porta Brace (www.portabrace.com) are both long-time makers of high quality cases and offer dozens of choices for any camcorder size and use. For example, the Kata CCC-1A Camcorder Case is a 1000 denier Cordura shoulder bag designed to carry full size professional camcorder with battery and lens installed. It’s lightweight, yet highly protective due to the thermoformed laminated foam layers.
The streamlined ergonomic shape keeps the center of gravity close to the body, and eases the burden while carrying the load. A double flap top opening ensures quick top handle grip access to the camcorder. A mini light can stay installed during transport as the flaps will zip up around it. It has “click” interlocking handles, car transport front grip, dedicated seat belt securing slots and an optional DTS Insertrolley for rolling the case around. Street price is $329.95.
Porta Brace’s CC-22-PW Quick Draw professional camcorder case, at $389.95, provides a convenient way to carry and protect a camera on the ground, in a car and in the air. This padded nylon case has hard-shell construction and an aluminum viewfinder guard for protection. The case is much lighter and more compact than shipping cases. A double layer of urethane-coated Cordura keeps out moisture and dust.
The lid closes with a touch fastener for quick opening or is secured with zippers. There are two foam blocks for lens and camera side support. The case holds a camcorder with an on-board battery and most wireless microphone configurations attached. A dual-purpose rear pouch expands the main compartment three-inches or it can be an all-purpose pocket.
When it comes to camcorder rain cover users, Petrol (www.petrolbags.com) has become a star with its new PRC-25 Raincover, priced at $149.95. Cameraman Richard Campbell, who has shot video in 25 named hurricanes and spent five weeks on assignment for The Weather Channel with a tornado researching crew, gives the raincover an excellent review.
Campbell’s assignment had him embedded with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) mobile crew. This group of scientists with weather instrument equipped vehicles roamed the southern and central Plains from mid-May through mid-June, 2009 to understand how, when and why tornadoes form. His live video from the resultant tornado observations was seen on The Weather Channel during this period.
When working in hurricane conditions, Campbell was in serious driving rain and wind. The Petrol raincover protected his Panasonic HPX-2000 camcorder from elements coming from all directions. Petrol’s extensive use of zippers rather than Velcro material to fasten the raincover was a major advantage, Campbell found. Velcro works loose during rainy, windy conditions and can fail, allowing the cover to be blown off the camera.
Another benefit of the Petrol raincover was the hotshoe connector at the rigid front hood section. Most traditional covers have to be opened to access the camcorder’s hot shoe when attaching an on-camera light. The connector features a ¼-20 threaded bolt that is accessible through a waterproof opening at the top of the PRC-25, a major advantage when needing a light in rainy conditions.
For smaller camcorders, 16x9 Inc.’s large-size Grab & Shoot bag, priced at $274.00, fits most DV and HDV cameras with an attached mattebox in place.
An exterior layer of extra heavy duty waterproof Cordura provides optimal equipment protection. The top-front tongue panel unzips for quick access to the carrier’s central chamber. Inside is ample space for securing a camcorder without disturbing the microphone, viewfinder, or mattebox system.
A secondary anterior chamber is for holding lenses, filters, batteries, and more. Once in place, contents are protected on all sides by layers of brightly colored cushioned fabric. Interior front and rear mesh dividers and exterior side pockets offer additional storage for accessories.
F.64 (www.f64camerabag.com) makes a series of camera bags for both video and still cameras. The VTX video bag is a universal case that will accommodate most camcorders, accessories and tapes. It’s priced at $56.50.
One padded inside divider separates the video camera from accessories and the organizing features in the front pocket give quick access to smaller items. A generous over flap protects all zippers on the main bag and the front pocket from rain. The VTX can be carried by its handle or shoulder strap or converted into a comfortable waist pack with its hide-away waist strap.
Cinebag’s (www.cinebags.com) CB-30 Camera Daddy bag, priced at $214.95, is a 600 denier waterproof ripstop nylon bag with heavy-duty padding. It is designed to carry and protect a camcorder and accessories from impact and inclement weather.