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Backlit tree, Tones Paddock, Middlehurst
Fujifilm X-H2, XF 55-200mm lens, f7.1 @ 1/75 second, ISO 125
Minor Generative AI on left and right edges to extend the frame - is this what will happen in the future?

Is there such a thing as a perfect camera bag for travel photography? The type of photography you're doing while travelling could have a big impact – the bags needed for Antarctica are quite different to those when taking a tour around Bhutan. So, let's discuss a general purpose bag for general purpose travel photography.

My preference is for a backpack design, mainly because it keeps the weight evenly distributed across my body. I have too many old friends who after a lifetime of professional photography with a camera bag slung over one shoulder are suffering the consequences! Of course, I'll probably suffer different consequences (when I get old), but I find a backpack is the most comfortable design – and comfort when travelling is very important, especially if you're out and about all day for several weeks on end.

A downside of the backpack design can mean you have to take the backpack off and put it down to change lenses or swap cameras. In a crowded market environment, this might not be easy, while a camera bag slung over the shoulder would make lens changing much simpler. On the other hand, using a one or two camera strap (like those from Black Rapid) can solve your camera access issues, while some backpack designs can be swung around your waist to give access without having to take them off your body (e.g. MindShift BackLight series from Think Tank).

One thing you shouldn't do is take the largest bag you can find and put in as much gear as you have. A lighter camera bag will keep you shooting longer and let's face it, you will hardly use half the gear in a crowded camera bag anyway (although you're sure to miss the lenses you leave out at some stage). And when packing your camera bag, leave enough room so you can put away your gear no matter which lenses are attached to the camera body. If you have to change lenses to pack your gear away, your camera bag is too small – certainly for travel.