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Q about Co-Pilot: Considering for SLR Camera Bag

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  • sdophoto
    replied
    First of all I have the tristar, have had it for a few years and it has become my fav bag. Its gone to Europe, Mexico and around North America.

    I have a camera bag that I bought before the camera insert was released......
    I like it a lot but it is more so a bag that I would use for those huge trips where I need to take my macbook air, my 7d, 17-85, 24-105, flash, maybe another lens, and various accessories. I love the bag for what it can store its a shoulder bag. When I will travel with it I will use the tristar as a backpack or else my partner will carry the camera bag and I carry the tristar as he ussualy takes on a roller suitcase....

    Unica V Messenger Black MB SM390-5BB - Stile | Manfrotto

    So this bag is just too big for everyday lugging around when I am traveling. I was thinking about getting another bag that I could either store in the camera bag and pull out when I arrived at my destination that would fit my camera and one or two lenses Max and use it is as my daily walk around bag.

    I find that I have so many bags for so many purposes and I really want to get down to two bags....one for all my gear and one for a walk around bag that I can also take with me.

    I have been thinking about the co pilot and using it for this reason...

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    Originally posted by Darcy View Post
    Update! We decided to add Black/Ultraviolet and Cardinal/Steel for pre-order/backorder in the Co-Pilot. This is instead of Navy/Solar, which we won't be making this time.
    Does this mean my Black/UV Synapse will have company at last???

    Leave a comment:


  • Lani
    replied
    Originally posted by Darcy View Post
    Update! We decided to add Black/Ultraviolet and Cardinal/Steel for pre-order/backorder in the Co-Pilot. This is instead of Navy/Solar, which we won't be making this time.
    Wow. Talk about customer service!

    [Psst: There's also a discussion about Cardinal backpack strap WFs! ;-) ]

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    Originally posted by Darcy View Post
    You're welcome! Glad the photos helped. We're making Black/Steel, Navy/Solar, Forest/Steel, and Steel/Iberian in the Co-Pilot this time, so no Ultraviolet is planned.
    Update! We decided to add Black/Ultraviolet and Cardinal/Steel for pre-order/backorder in the Co-Pilot. This is instead of Navy/Solar, which we won't be making this time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    You're welcome! Glad the photos helped. We're making Black/Steel, Navy/Solar, Forest/Steel, and Steel/Iberian in the Co-Pilot this time, so no Ultraviolet is planned.

    Leave a comment:


  • deltagorno
    replied
    Huge help! Thank you so much!
    Now the only obstacle is stock...
    Maybe when the ballistic Co-Pilots come back we can see a black with a colorful interior? Ultraviolet perhaps?

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    Here you go! Does this help?

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  • deltagorno
    replied
    Thank you, Darcy! I really appreciate it!

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    I'll get a photo of my camera gear in the Co-Pilot for you this week, deltagorno (actually, a 20D body will have to be the stand-in for the 7D)

    Leave a comment:


  • deltagorno
    replied
    Thanks for the replies everybody. I submitted a rather long response (with links and everything!) before leaving for work this morning, but it was seemingly lost in the ether.

    >>>>>EDIT: it seems my previous reply was simply held up for moderation. How embarrassing. Please excuse the overlap between this post and my preceding one.

    To Badger:
    I have quite a history with camera bags, including the Thinktank Retrospective 10, Manfrotto Veloce V backpack, and a pathetic Timbuk2 thingy. I'm pretty much done with dedicated camera bags & camera inserts. I'm currently using a 3-Way bag from YOSHIDA & Co. which is in no way padded and works great.

    The problem is my YOSHIDA bag is 1.5kg empty. That means even with only 1 lens change and 1 flash, I'm still pushing 3kg. I'm looking for a small day-to-day number.

    Padding is really overrated. The 7D and its ilk are built like tanks. I've seen one dropped on concrete from 6ft. and remain completely functional (battery door fell off though). Likewise, Canon's mid-range lenses and higher are built pretty solidly. I'm not looking to use an insert for the body, and my lenses have homemade sleeves to protect from bashing about inside a bag.

    My camera lives strapped to me when I'm out and about, and I'm mainly interested in body storage in the case of rain.

    To nbc4:

    Thanks a lot for offering pictures. I'd really love to see those. Given the ballistic Co-Pilots are out of stock, I'm in no hurry.

    I checked out the specs for the E620. It's 130mm x 94mm x 60mm versus the 7D's 148mm x 110mm x 73.5mm. Hearing you also pop your's in a padded insert has given me a lot of confidence that this might work!!

    It's funny you mention the Synapse because I actually am hoping to get both the Synapse & Co-Pilot for weekend jaunts.

    I have an Original Ristretto for MBA11 which I sometimes pop my 85mm and flash in, but it's vertical design and resulting cavernous maw make it less than ideal for the job (also, it's fun getting new bags).

    Despite Badger, AVService, and plume's comments on how small it is (thank you guys a lot for your opinions), nbc4 has given me hope. Maybe some other people will chime in as well.

    Here's hoping this message doesn't get lost in the ether as well.
    Last edited by deltagorno; 03-29-2012, 06:47 PM.

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  • ncb4
    replied
    The estimable badger is right: I am currently using my Co-Pilot as a camera bag, having just transferred my gear into it last week. If you can bear with me for 48 hours, I'll post some photos for you. (I'm juggling two work deadlines in the next two days, or I'd do it now.) I don't know the size of your camera and lenses, but let me at least list for you what I have in my bag.

    In the largest zippered compartment, I've got my Olympus e620 DSLR in a single-sized Billingham padded insert. Currently a 25mm pancake lens is attached, but I could still fit the camera in the bag if I had the larger 14-42mm or even the 40-150mm kit lenses attached. I've laid a piece of foam on the bottom of this compartment as well, just to add a bit more padding for when I set the bag down on its bottom. The 620 is considered a full-size DSLR, but since it's in the 4/3 Format (NOT micro 4/3rds), it's one of the smaller DSLRs out there. Which is one of the reasons I bought it. The 620 body is 5.1 x 2.4 x 3.7 inches; larger when the slender pancake lens attached. Plus I've got it in a padded organizer, which adds bulk. And yet it fits in the large rear compartment of the Co-Pilot: there is some give in the bag which its stated dimensions might not lead you to believe.

    I've also got three other lenses in pouches in this compartment: the 14-42mm, 40-150mm, and 35mm macro lens. In the two slip pockets in the back of this compartment, I have four filters: two in individual cases, and two more in a repurposed neoprene floppy disk case.

    I've got nothing in the outside slip pocket in the rear of the case, though you could easily carry your Kindle there. I might want to carry my iPad, and I could probably squeeze it in there, but that might be a bit much.

    In the center front pocket, right now I've got my Panasonic Lumix LX5, in a Small Padded Organizer Bag. But I could put a 16 ounce water bottle in there on a hot day; or my 200mm Olympus OM lens, with 2x teleconverter attached. That's a very long lens when it's all assembled, but it fits perfectly in this center pocket. Its dimensions are approximately 67mm diameter (2.6 inches) by 177mm (7 inches) long with the teleconverter attached.

    In the right front pocket, the one with the pen slots, I've got a couple of Moleskine Cahier notebooks, a pen, a pen-like lens cleaner, a small Giotto rocket blower, lens cloth, Joby Gorillapod, and another repurposed neoprene case that carries spare lens caps.

    In the left front pocket, the one with the Ultrasuede pocket, I don't have much. I can put my keys, iPhone, sunglasses, and Clear Organizer Wallet when I head out, so I don't have to carry a purse as well. I've also got a little neoprene pouch that carries two spare batteries for my camera, my wireless remote, and a slim metal card case for spare memory cards.

    I'm delighted with the way everything fits, and I think the Co-Pilot is the perfect "Goldilocks" bag—not too large, not too small—for a day trip with my camera.

    Note that I've also used my Synapse and my Imago as camera bags: they're both wonderful for that purpose as well. It may be that if your camera and lenses are larger than mine, you'd do well with the Synapse—which you could also carry high on your pack. It's an amazing bag that swallows a lot, but retains a streamlined, compact shape on the outside. I can fit even more camera gear into the Synapse than I can the Co-Pilot.

    I hope this helps. And as soon as I can, I'll take those photos and post them here.

    ~Nancy
    Last edited by ncb4; 03-28-2012, 05:32 PM.

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  • deltagorno
    replied
    Thanks for the responses, folks.

    I suppose I should clarify my current situation and how I envision using the Co-Pilot.

    I am no stranger to camera bags. I have used the Thinktank Retrospective 10, Manfrotto Veloce V, and a rather poor bag by Timbuk2 whose name I can't recall. I used to be a True Believer in the Church of the Camera Bag, but no longer. I hate to say this just as Tom Bihn & Co. are launching their new camera insert, but I don't think you need that much padding.

    I finally switched to a 3-way bag by YOSHIDA & CO. that I had originally bought for short business trips. I load this bag with any combination of 3-4 lenses, 2 flash heads, light stands and modifiers, and various other tools and goodies. I sometimes even strap my tripod across the top. Oh, I almost forgot... I use a Freudian Slip from Tom Bihn in the main compartment to keep small things organized.

    This has become too much. Most of the time I strap my camera across my body and rarely switch from my go-to lens. Even if I limit my gear to one lens switch (mostly the 85mm mentioned before) and one flash head, the bag itself weighs a whopping 1.5kg. That means I'm pretty much over 3kg with my minimum accessories.

    I'm looking for a minimalist bag. I also have an Original Ristretto for MBA11 (which is awesome) which I can fit the 85mm and a flash into, but it's vertical orientation means it hangs a little low on my back.

    I saw this post where someone fit a Nikon D3100 into a Co-Pilot, so I thought that maybe it would be the perfect answer. Everyone is stressing how small the bag is, and honestly it looks like a different size in almost every photo I've seen.

    Anyway, that is where I'm coming from. Can anyone help me with perspective photos?

    Leave a comment:


  • plume
    replied
    I just bought a Co-Pilot to use as a camera bag, but with a micro 4/3 system. The main compartment is only 2 inches deep (it could stretch a bit), so a full-size DSLR plus accessories would not fit comfortably. It does work perfectly for my Olympus with 14-45 lens attached, plus the m/43 40-150 and 100-300 lenses in padded lens cases. I also have in that space and its two pockets a macro converter, EVF, filters, and lens cloth. The three pockets on the front have no gear in them at the moment--I'm reserving the space for personal items--but that central water bottle pocket could certainly hold a lens in a padded pouch.

    Hope that helps.

    Leave a comment:


  • AVService
    replied
    I have never seen a Co-Pilot in person but i do have a 7d and I have never imagined that the C.P. would hold a full sized SLR in any combination?
    Like Badger says it is not a large bag.

    Leave a comment:


  • Badger
    replied
    Welcome to the forum. I believe some other members here have a 7D (MisterN??); I don't, but I want to take a stab at your question.

    Unfortunately, I think you may be imagining the Co-Pilot is bigger than it actually is. This thread will show you what some people are carrying in their C-Ps, and you'll note there's not a DSLR among them, although ncb4 was planning to use it that way--maybe she will have some insight into how you might do it.

    I'm not sure a large camera would fit in the back pouch, which is conducive to holding flattish, rectangular objects like books, notebooks, and lunch containers; I believe people also use those pouches to contain organizer pouches and other relatively small/squishable things. It's important to note that the C-P isn't padded in any way, so I would personally be nervous to carry a camera without some kind of case or insert, which you could do with the 7D if you kept it in the main compartment. The Kindle would fit in the back pocket with no problem, and I'm fairly sure the lens and flash would fit in the front pockets, although once again, the lens might cause the pocket to bulge.

    To answer your last question: I doubt such a photo exists. A man wearing a C-P high on his back would look like a guy wearing a purse as a messenger bag. I don't mean this in terms of how the bag looks, but in terms of its relatively diminutive size.

    For one DSLR, one lens, one flash, and a Kindle, I would probably want the Imago with a small camera insert. You could then also fit in some other goodies like a collapsible tripod, a tablet or small laptop, an extra battery, filters, etc., if you had to. With the Q-AM strap, you could wear it messenger-style and it wouldn't look weird. Of course, many others here (MisterN, Walker, cough cough) will tell you to get the Camera Insert/Outsert and that too is worth a look when it comes out. It holds a lot more than what you've specified here, but might be useful if you expect to accumulate new kit.
    Last edited by Badger; 03-28-2012, 06:55 AM.

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