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Your Guide to Determining the Right Case for Your Camera

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Your Guide to Determining the Right Case for Your Camera
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Your Guide to Determining the Right Case for Your Camera


Having gone to a great deal of trouble to choose exactly the right camera, there is little point in buying a case that isn't suitable. A casual photographer may have chosen a small compact camera that is always ready to point and shoot. Others may have opted for a mid-range camera with a few more features, but is still simple and convenient to use. Serious photographers are likely to have selected a DSLR camera with many features or one of the newer compact DSLR cameras.

The Needs of Different Kinds of Cameras

Whatever the kind of camera, determining the right case for it involves thinking about two main points; the level of protection needed, and the ease with which the camera can be carried and accessed. Just as each kind of camera is different, so the requirements for a suitable case are different.

Small Compact Cameras

These cameras are very small and light.

Small Compact Camera Characteristics

 


Size and resilience
 

Small and robust.

 

Shape
 

Everything is already well protected – lens usually retracts, buttons for use are flush with the body, and there are no camera parts sticking out to get caught.

 

Level of protection needed
 

Low level of protection needed due to the camera design.
Some cameras are waterproof, and their compact design makes them dust-proof

 

How the camera is used
 

Likely to be carried in a handbag or similar bag all the time rather than carried separately. Used mainly for taking snapshots on informal occasions. Needs to be easily accessible and ready to shoot at any time.

 

Accessories needing to be carried
 

Minimal accessories likely – e.g. a spare memory card or spare batteries

 

Suitable Cases for a Small Compact Camera

Cases for small compact cameras are small and are usually intended to be carried within a larger bag. However, most have a wrist strap for added security when carrying. They may also have an internal or external pocket for accessories.


Soft zipped pouch
 

Convenient style as it is small and the zip guards against theft.
Usually thin material (e.g. PVC, fabric, neoprene, leather) as the camera needs little protection from damage.
Can be brightly coloured or patterned – becomes a fashion accessory.
Zip closure may make access slower

 

Soft flap pouch
 

Similar to a zipped pouch, but closes with a flap. May be secured with velcro, a popper, or a magnetic catch. This makes access quicker, but may be less secure.

 

Hard case or shell
 

Offers better protection against knocks, but may make the camera slower to access. It may also be less suitable for carrying in another bag.
Usually made from plastic or aluminium

 

Mid-sized Cameras

Mid-sized cameras may look more like a traditional camera.

Mid-sized Camera Characteristics

 


Size and resilience
 

Relatively small and resilient

 

Shape
 

Similar to the smaller compact cameras although there may be some parts which need an element of protection

 

Level of protection needed
 

Slightly more protection from damage may be needed if the camera design is less sleek and parts are sticking out.

 

How the camera is used
 

Less likely to be carried all the time as may be too large to fit in another bag.

 

Accessories needing to be carried
 

Minimal accessories needed.

 

Suitable Cases for a Mid-sized Camera

The case requirements for a mid-sized camera are similar to those of a compact camera, although there is likely to be a means of carrying the camera separately, e.g. neck strap, belt loops, or key-ring clips. Pockets are usually included for a few accessories.


Soft zipped or flapped pouch
 

Similar features to a case for a compact camera.

 

Hard case or shell
 

Offers better protection against accidental damage but may be too large to fit in a handbag or similar.

 

Shaped case
 

Cameras with protruding lenses may be safer in a shaped case, which hugs the camera better than a pouch and stops it slipping around inside.

 

Compact DSLR Cameras

Superficially, compact DSLR cameras may appear to have similar requirements to those of a mid-sized camera. However, these high-end cameras have all the functionality of standard DSLR cameras, but in compact form, so they need a case with higher specifications.

Compact DSLR Camera Characteristics

 


Size and resilience
 

Similar in size to mid-sized cameras, but with delicate parts.

 

Shape
 

Look more like traditional cameras, with protruding parts which need protection.

 

Level of protection needed
 

Need a high level of protection from accidental damage and the elements.

 

How the camera is used
 

Unlikely to be carried all the time, but its smaller size means it could be carried frequently. Could be used for informal snapshots but may also be used for specific photography excursions.

 

Accessories needing to be carried
 

Has similar accessories to a standard DSLR although they are smaller in size. This may include: interchangeable lenses and filters, spare memory cards, batteries etc.

 

Suitable Cases for a Compact DSLR Camera

 


Universal shaped case
 

Shaped to house the camera but not specifically designed for a particular model, so the fit may not be exact.
Outer material may be neoprene or similar, providing protection and flexibility
May have space for additional lenses and pockets for accessories
Likely to have an adjustable neck strap.
Usually a flap closure – flap makes the camera more easily accessible.

 

Specific case for the camera model
 

Shaped to house the camera exactly – more like a traditional camera case. Likely to be produced by the camera manufacturer.
Offers good protection.
Often made of leather, although neoprene or fabric may be used.
Can be left on while camera is in use – some can even be fitted to a tripod.
Less likely to have additional space for accessories – they may need to be carried separately.
Adjustable neck strap.
Shaped flap closure – easy access to camera.

 

Standard DSLR Cameras

Standard DSLRs are the largest and heaviest kind of camera.

Standard DSLR Camera Characteristics

 


Size and resilience
 

Large

 

Shape
 

Traditional camera shape with protruding lens and additional parts needing protection. May have a zoom lens fitted.

 

Level of protection needed
 

Needs a high level of protection.

 

How the camera is used
 

Not likely to be carried all the time – more likely to be used for specific photo shoots or events.

 

Accessories needing to be carried
 

Only a limited number of possible accessories can be fitted in a camera case.

 

Suitable Cases for a Standard DSLR Camera

 

Universal shaped case
 

Broadly shaped to fit the camera with lens fitted – may be designed to take camera with zoom lens.
Outer material strong and durable – may be padded for protection.
May have suspension system to cradle the camera safely.
Some cases have memory foam inserts, which provide a soft protective inner surface to avoid scratching sensitive areas, e.g. lens glass, LCD screen.
Lens is generally fitted to the camera, plus space for spare memory card, battery, and perhaps a couple of filters.

 

Specific case for the camera model
 

Will fit the camera extremely well, providing very good protection against accidental damage.
Other features are similar to the universal case.

 

Buying the Right Camera Case for a Camera

Buyers looking to purchase the best camera case for their camera will need to consider all the factors involved before making a decision.
Naturally, if the camera is a simple one, it will need less in the way of protection, and only a few accessories are needed. It is a matter of personal choice whether to opt for a soft or hard case, what material the case is made from, and what kind of closure is preferred.
If the camera is more valuable and has a higher specification, it is essential to research the different options available. Consider whether a universal case offers the best level of internal and external protection – a case designed for the specific model may fit better and keep the camera more secure during movement. If the camera needs a zoom lens, then search for a case that can accommodate this, and ensure that there is ample room for accessories.

Buying a Camera Case on eBay

To buy a camera case on eBay, start at the home page, and navigate to All Categories. Next select the Cameras & Photography menu, and then Camera & Photo Accessories. Select Cases, Bags & Covers, where the Type menu will display several options, including Wallets/Mini Cases, Compact Cases / Pouches, and Carry/Shoulder Bags. It is also possible to search using key words.

Conclusion

Owning the right camera case can make all the difference to a photographer. Having chosen a suitable case with care, they can be safe in the knowledge that their camera is protected from damage and that all the accessories they need are at their fingertips, allowing them to relax and concentrate on taking their photographs.

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