For the most part, shoulder-carry camera bags are designed for large DSLRs, with plenty of space for accessories like extra lenses, filters, and possibly an external flash. This kind of capacity often results in a bag that’s almost as large as some laptop cases.
But there are a slew of digital cameras that don’t take up that kind of space, nor require loads of room for numerous accessories. The Python Mirrorless Camera Bag from Booq provides a well-padded carry case for a smaller camera, and does so in form factor that’s both stylish and compact. The “mirrorless” refers to the compact interchangeable lens cameras, of course, but you could fit a bridge camera or baby DSLR.
Measurements don’t provide a precise picture of the bag’s form, since it is not a perfect rectangular cube, but rather a bit smaller on the front face than on the rear side of the bag. Overall, the Python Mirrorless measures 12 x 6.9 x 5.5 inches in the rear, tapering to about 6.5 inches wide in the front. This produces a somewhat swoopy look without actually sacrificing significant interior room. It resembles a fanny pack, but tougher. The bag is constructed of 1680-denier (the measure of fabric woven density) ballistic nylon and coated with a water repellant material. It probably won’t keep your camera dry if the case is dropped into a rushing river, but it will survive in a short duration of normal rain and snowstorm.
Booq uses large, heavy-duty zippers on the bag, and there are three of them. The long top zipper keeps the top of the bag shut, while two supplementing zippers seal side-mounted exterior pockets. These pockets are large enough to hold bigger accessories, and have elastic interior pockets that can hold flash media. One of the side pockets even has a removable key ring, and there’s a slip at the top rear of the case that can hold your phone (so you don’t have to fuss with a zipper if starts ringing). Each case also has a unique serial number registered with the Terraling service. If you “activate” your bag, and someone turns it in (should it get lost), Terraling will notify you how to get your bag back. Booq offers this service on all of its bags, but to be honest, we’re kind of skeptical about anyone turning in a camera bag filled with equipment worth hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars. Still, it’s a nice extra and there are good Samaritans.
The interior is covered in a padded orange fabric that’s very soft. This is a plus if you store an accessory lens in the case and forget to attach the lens cap on it. About two-thirds of the interior is filled with a lidded compartment. The walls are held in place by Velcro, as is the lid, so you can reconfigure the interior to some extent, or remove the interior separators completely. There’s even a pocket that accommodates a small tablet.
We placed a Nikon Coolpix L110 point-and-shoot bridge camera and it fits perfectly into the lidded section of the case, with plenty of room for any accessories, like a charger for the AA batteries.
At $80, the bag is one of the more expensive models on the market. You can get a very serviceable bag that will do the job for less than half this price. But Booq makes very high-quality bags, for cameras and for laptops. It’s well earned, and this case looks like it can take a lot of abuse and keep your expensive camera sage under pretty drastic conditions (and look really good doing it). If you have the budget, and want protection with style, it’s worth the money.