We have lamented before that good camera bags are hard to find, and one with classic good looks is even more elusive. Add extremely high quality on top of that and your search comes down to only a few select brands and bags. The Billingham Classic 550 Camera Bag (about $758) is perhaps the nicest camera bag we have ever laid eyes on, and it’s smashing good looks are making us a little green with envy. Originally an English brand of fishing bags and gear, Billingham made the switch to camera bags when the company discovered that many of its fishing bags were housing photography gear instead of tackle. The Billingham Classic 550 was the first soft camera bag manufactured in Britain, and we can see why its style hasn’t changed much since then. The canvas and leather construction is in classic British style and certainly won’t be passé anytime soon. The biggest update since the bag’s introduction is rainproofing on the exterior and nylon covered padding inside to keep your gear safe and sound.
The bag is spacious enough to hold at least two camera bodies with a full load of medium-sized lenses and other accessories. Large, convenient side pockets are attached to the sides of the bag and two front buckled pockets hold smaller items. The bag features brass hardware, a zip-top closure with foldover flap, leather carry handles, detachable side pockets, backpack harness, and a shoulder strap with a leather shoulder pad. Spend a large chunk of change on this bag and we bet you won’t ever browse the Web searching for the perfect camera bag again. Its looks are timeless and its functionality just as top-notch. When off-duty, the Billingham Classic 550 would make for a handy travel bag as well.