Monday, May 1, 2017

Travel gearbag

Like most people who work making promo films and TV spots, I will sometimes need
to travel to shoot something 'on location.'  If you are anything like me, you shudder at
the thought of your expensive camera gear being tossed into the belly of a jet by some
uncaring airline worker.  So normally, I try to carry on my camera body and lenses in
a camera bag.  Now the ideal camera bag would have lots of room inside.  You need
to pack a camera body or two, several lenses, filters, batteries, chargers, memory cards,
and a laptop.  And that's before even starting to think about audio, lighting, tripod, or slider.
Making sure you have enough gear when you are 'on location' but you are not turning
yourself into a pack mule, has been the subject of quite a few film and video discussions.
I have read several articles about this, and know I'm not the only one that sometimes
has a hard time balancing bringing everything I need, with making sure I can quickly
move around and not worry about having to make 5 trips just to get all my gear with a matter of fact, other bloggers have written about this conundrum.

Here I have a FS700 body, an A6000 body, 5 lenses, a shotgun mic, a Tram 50 lav mic,
headphones, extra batteries and chargers, 12 memory cards, MacBook Pro, AC adapter,
2TB external hard drive, a couple ND filters, a screw on adapter for each lens, adapting it
to 82mm so I can use the ND filters on any lens I have in the bag, a GoPro 4 Black with
Peau Productions modified lens, and a Jobypod tripod for the GoPro in the bag.  The bag
has slots for a laptop, a iPad, and an iPhone.  Which bag is it?  (Keep reading and I will
get to it....but first I'll tell you about my requirements.)
Loaded up

Ideally the bag would have wheels so you could roll it along when in the airport.

My carry on

But for me, many of my locations end up being in fairly remote Alaska locations.

Sunrise in Unalakleet

Bush plane flying in Alaska

Having wheels is great for airports like Seattle, Anchorage, Portland or the like, but when you are in Unalakleet, it will be more useful to be able to put the camera bag on your back like a backpack, because those wheels won't roll so well in snow or mud.
Backpack with iPhone holder on straps

So after a bunch of research, I found the bag shown in the pictures above.  It is
the Vanguard Heralder 51T rolling backpack.  B&H has it for sale here.


Holds plenty of gear.

Has 4 wheels so can roll in an airport or on pavement.

Has backpack straps so can be used as a pack.

Has a laptop slot, iPad slot, iPhone holder so you can
bring your edit bay and other devices with you.

Seems to be very well made


Can get heavy quick.  Partly because it holds a good amount, but also having
the heavy plastic base with wheels makes it heavier than it would be otherwise.

It will fit in overhead bin (at least on Alaska Airlines) but just barely.  If you load
it up (like I did) it is a tight fit.  I did find out on the way back, that if you take your
laptop out of the bag to edit while on the plane, it fits in quite a bit easier.

A bit spendy, but often you need to pay for good gear!

In my next post, I will talk about what other gear I packed on my last
'remote' shoot, as well as reviewing a flexible LED panel light.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions Digital Cinema

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