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Here is my selection of the best lightweight camera bags for the Sony A7III, A7II A7RII, A7SII or A9 (and also a6500, a6300 or a6000 since they share a similar form factor).

I have created this list since I recently upgraded my camera to a Sony A7III and wanted to share my findings with you.

So what to consider when buying a new bag for your camera? Different bags might be useful for various activities, e.g. you might take a different camera bag with you when you go hiking than when you would go on a kayaking trip or just walk around in the city.

With the Lowepro Nova Sport 7L in Northern Norway.

Weight comparison table
Camera BagWeight
USA GEAR DuraNeoprene DSLR FlexARMOR Sleeve Case100 grams / 0.22 lbs
Aquapac Waterproof SLR Camera Case216 grams / 0.47 lbs
Ortlieb Camera Bag Aqua Zoom340 grams / 0.75 lbs
Thule Covert Camera Backpack400 grams / 0.88 lbs
Lowepro Nova Sport 7L AW Camera Bag500 grams / 1.1 lbs
Thule Aspect DSLR/ILC Shoulder Bag550 grams / 1.2 lbs
ONA The Bowery Camera Bag635 grams / 1.4 lbs
Ortlieb Soft Shot Waterproof Camera Bag781 grams / 1.72 lbs
Thule Covert Camera Messenger Bag - Small880 grams / 1.94 lbs
Pelican 1200 Case1305 grams / 2.87 lbs
Photo Sport BP 300 AW II1500 grams / 3.3 lbs
Gitzo Adventury 30L camera backpack for DSLR2050 grams / 4.5 lbs
Lowepro Photo Sport 300 AW II

Dimensions: 10.63 x 9.45 x 22.05 in

The Lowepro Photo Sport 300 AW II is not the lightest selection in this list but I wanted to add a backpack option as well in case you are planning to carry more gear with you. The Lowepro Photo Sport 300 AW II is especially suitable if you are an active outdoor person e.g. hiking, biking, climbing or snowboarding.

This backpack comes with a toploading compartmentto where you can store items for a day trip. Moreover, you can also pack a 2-liter Camelbak or Platypus reservoir into th backpack.

To protect your gear from the elements such as rain or snow you can cover the backpack with an built-in All Weather AW Cover.

There are also multiple attachment points allow you to secure extra gear to the pack (e.g. a tripod or trekking pole).

S-ZONE Camera Insert Bag

Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 4 inches

The S-Zone camera insert bag is a great option if you have already a backpack and just need something to protect your camera gear.

It’s not expensive and you can combine it with any other bag. It’s also listed as a Amazon’s Choice product. I have the Thule Upslope backpack for my winter day trips where the S-ZONE camera insert bag could fit perfectly.

Aquapac Waterproof SLR Camera Case

Weight: 216 grams / 0.47 lbs
Dimensions: 3.94 x 9.84 x 17.72 inches

The Aquapac Waterproof SLR Camera Case is 100% waterproof to IPX8 and can be submerged to 5m for 30 mins.

The Aquacase case also features an optically-clear acrylic lens for clear pictures.

The case will also float on the water with your camera in it, but Aquapac mentions that you should test the case with your camera before you take the case into the field.

Gitzo Adventury 30L DSLR Camera Backpack

Weight: 2050 grams / 4.5 lbs
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 14 inches / 23 x 16 x 38 cm

The Gitzo Adventury 30L DSLR camera bag is the Red Dot Award winner 2019 and is probably a good choice if you are looking for a premium outdoor backpack for outdoor activities as it has been designed for bird, wildlife, nature and landscape photographers in mind. Beside a DSLR you can also pack a 70-200 mm lens into the backpack as well as another camera body and up to 4 lenses. Moreover, you can also carry a 13” laptop or a iPad Pro 9 inch into the backpack. There are also spots to attach additional accessories to the backpack. The backpack is water repellent and comes with a rain cover.

Lowepro Nova Sport 7L AW Camera Bag

Weight: 500 grams / 1.1 lbs
Dimensions: 7.48 x 6.89 x 9.84 inches

The Lowepro Nova Sport 7L AW is a camera bag with a removable camera insert.

It is available in red and gray and can also store a tablet. The Nova Sport 7L also comes with an all weather cover, so it’s perfect for hiking trips.

However, if you plan to go kayaking or packrafting, then it might be a better idea to store the Nova Sport in a dry sack.

ONA The Bowery Camera Bag

Weight: 635 grams / 1.4 lbs
Dimensions: 10 X 6 X 4 inches

The ONA Bowery Camera Bag has been handcrafted with premium waxed canvas and full-grain leather details. The camera can store one camera and one small lens.

Ortlieb Camera Bag Aqua Zoom

Weight: 340 grams / 0.75 lbs
Dimensions: 9.4 x 4.3 x 5.9 inches

The Ortlieb Camera Bag Aqua Zoom is dust and splash proof, but you should not submerge it under water.

Ortlieb Soft Shot Waterproof Camera Bag

Weight: 781 grams / 1.72 lbs
Dimensions: 21 X 27.5 X 15.5 inches

The Ortlieb Soft Shot Waterproof Camera Bag is a great bag if you plan to go on an adventure of if the weather is uncertain. The bag has a volume of 9.7 l.

Pelican 1200 Case

Weight: 1305 grams / 2.87 lbs
Dimensions: 9.25 x 7.12 x 4.12 inches

The Pelican 1200 case is a bit heavier than the other bags and cases, but it protects your camera not only from moisture but also from bumps.

The company claims that you can submerge the case 1 m for 30 minutes. The case also comes with foam which you can customize the case. The case has an atmospheric purge valve and a neoprene o-ring seal.

Thule Aspect DSLR/ILC Shoulder Bag

Weight: 550 grams / 1.2 lbs
Dimensions: 10.2 x 5.5 x 10.6 inches

Thule Aspect DSLR/ILC Shoulder Bag offers space for a mirrorless camera, one lens, and accessories. There are also side mesh pockets to store a small tripod or a water bottle.

There is a front-folding lid to access gear quickly, and smaller items can be organized there as well. A padded shoulder strap makes this camera bag comfortable to carry.

Thule Covert Camera Backpack

Weight: 400 grams / 0.88 lbs
Dimensions: 22 x 17.7 x 7.9 inches

The Thule Convert Camera Backpack offers space for a DSLR and an attached wide angle lens as well as two additional lenses and a flash.

The bag can also store a 15 inch MacBook and an iPad. The bag features a removable pod system. The fabric is water-repellent.

Thule Covert Camera Messenger Bag - Small

Weight: 880 grams / 1.94 lbs
Dimensions: 9.4 X 16.9 X 6.3 inches

The Thule Covert Camera Messenger Bag comes with a removable camera pod system and an iPad pocket. There is room for a compact DSLR and two lenses or a flash.

Best camera bags for hiking and backpacking

When I plan to go hiking or backpacking, I would like to have a camera bag where I can easily access my camera.

My camera bag should also be water resistant or waterproof if I don’t have space to carry my camera in my backpack in case the weather turns bad.

My personal choice for hiking trips is the Lowepro Nova Sport 7L AW

Best camera bags for packrafting and kayaking

For packrafting and kayaking, I would like to have a camera bag which is completely waterproof.

My personal choice for watersports is the Aquapac Waterproof SLR Camera Case or the Pelican 1200 case.

Best camera bags for urban exploration and traveling

When I take my camera to the city, I prefer to have a camera bag which looks a bit more stylish and has more pockets. I would probably pick the Thule Aspect DSLR/ILC Shoulder Bag or the ONA The Bowery Camera Bag

Conclusion

From my point of view there is no best camera bag which fits every situation but having the right camera gear for different activities is essential to protect your equipment and also to enjoy photography with your Sony A7III, A9 or a6500 more.

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Recently, I have visited the second highest place in southern Finland called Kammiovuori which has a height of 221 meters.

221 meters doesn’t sound that impressive when you come from nearby the Alps (e.g. my home town Ravensburg is situated 450 meters above sea level) but considering that Finland is mostly flat it’s quite a good height.

It took us around 2 hours to drive from Järvenpää (which is about a 25 minutes drive from Helsinki towards the same direction) to Kammiovuori which is located at the Finnish Lakeland.

The closest National Park is the Päijänne National Park which I hope to visit as well in the future.

Once you arrive at the parking place you only have a short hike of about 2 km to reach the top of the hill (which is actually a 3.8 km round trail) where you can also find a wooden table and benches. There is also a Lavu along the trail where you can also find a hut with fire wood.

On the way to the top there are also a few other sights which you can visit - the seven meter high Linta boulder and the Cave of Hiskias.

Hiskias was said to be a vagaond who used to live in the cave in the last century while he was hiding from the authorities.

I really liked the scenery from the Kammiovuori and would be interested to visit again next autumn when the landscape will be covered with colorful trees.

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In this blog post I would like to share how I created a Cinemagraph as in the example below out of a video footage from my Sony A7III with a Sony 24mm f1.4 lens in Final Cut Pro. Personally, I really like this effect and it’s really easy to do it yourself. There is also no need to buy any third party apps etc.

Warming hands on a campfire in Nuuksio Finland - Cinemagraph - YouTube



Here are the steps to create a Cinemagraph in Final Cut Pro:

  1. Import the video footage into Final Cut Pro
  2. Drag the video footage into the timeline of FCP
  3. Move the playhead to the point where the picture should freeze.
  4. Click on “Edit” in the menu bar and then “Add Freeze Frame”.
  5. Move the Freeze Frame in the timeline above the video footage and adjust the length to cover the whole video footage (or the part which you want to use for the Cinemagraph)
  6. In the timeline select the Freeze Frame on top of the video footage.
  7. Select Effects and then search for “Draw Mask” (see also image below).
  8. Drag and drop it on top of the Freeze Frame in the timeline.
  9. Connect points around the part which should be animated with the video footage.
  10. In the Draw Mask settings make sure to select “Invert Mask”.
  11. Now adjust the video footage and the freeze frame according to your needs.
  12. Add an audio footage. For example I always record my audio footage seperately with my Sound Devices MixPre-3.



Here is another Cinemagraph which I have created:

Boiling Tea water with a Trangia Gas Burner - Cinemagraph - YouTube
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Last weekend I went with Joni from Leftbound to Nuuksio National Park in Finland to do some serious December winter camping. Serious … ? Well we had around -5C during the night so it was not that bad.

I especially, like those shorter trips. You can take much more gear with you and also fresh food which you could not take on longer trips.

What I like in Nuuksio are those small hills and rocks and its easy accessible from Helsinki.

Joni became creative, taking underwater pictures with his iPhone.

But he also had his new Canon lens with him … a 135mm f2 lens.

An old tree …

Light snow was covering the ground.

And the lakes were frozen.

Joni taking pictures from the top of a hill.

A HMG backpack and a pat to to stay warm when you sit somewhere.

A deep canyon.

And again ice and snow on a lake.

Joni experimenting a bit with his self made spoon.

And the water in the Nalgene bottle got frozen over night.

Boiling water in a 0.6l kettle which I got provided by Trangia. I think it’s the perfect kettle for solo trips as it does not take much space and heats up water quite fast.

Our campfire. We spend quite some time chopping fire wood.

Enjoying the view towards the lake on the Chair Zero which we received from Helinox for testing. It’s actually quite comfortable and packs quite small.

This was our Hilleberg Unna tent where we removed the inner tent so we could both fit in.

It was actually quite cold …

Our campfire …

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A while ago I was looking for a camping chair which is lightweight and packs small to take it on my packrafting or photography trips.

On the packrafting meetup in Sweden I met one guy who had a Helinox camping chair with him and after some test sitting I became interested to get one for myself and here is a short review about the Helinox Chair Zero which I received from Helinox for testing. Helinox is a company from Australia.

The Helinox Chair Zero weights only 500 grams and has a carrying capacity of 120 kg. What I really like on this chair is that you sit close to the ground (23 cm) which makes it very comfortable to sit in it for example close to a camp fire. It has the size of a plastic bottle when folded together and it can be set up quite fast.

Moreover, it also gives you the flexibility to use it for example under a tarp compared to a higher chair.

The Helinox Chair Zero has also been the ISPO Gold Award Winner in 2017. Moreover, the chair does not feel cheap, so I think the higher price tag is justified as it also comes with 5 years warranty.

Where would I take the Helinox Chair Zero?

Some may question if a chair is really necessary on a backpacking trip. Well, it depends. For ultralight freaks 500 grams might be too much.

Personally, I don’t mind carrying more gear with me if I can get comfort in exchange. But the comfort / weight ratio must be reasonable.

I could see such a chair perfectly on my packrafting trips. The advantage of packrafting is that you don’t have to carry the gear. I have an Alpacka Raft Gnarwhal and I can easily throw in all kind of gear into the cargo fly.

Where would I not take the Helinox Chair Zero?

Would I take the Helinox Chair Zero on a trip in the mountains. Well, I am not sure but from my experience when crossing the Alps from Germany to Italy, I realised that I would not appreciate having a heavy backpack on my back when walking up the mountains. In this case the chair would probably stay at home.

Accessories

The Helinox Chair Zero can also be equipped with accessories such as ball feet, ground sheet or a seat warmer. You can also get the Helinox Table One if you are looking for a foldable and light (690 grams) camping table.

You can get the Helinox Chair Zero here. More thoughts about the Helinox Chair Zero after more testing …

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Maria Vanonen tells us about her company Vai-Kø which sells Beanies at the GoExpo Winter in Helsinki 2018.

VAI-KØ Beanies at the GoExpo Winter in Helsinki - YouTube


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Janne Pietilä explains during the GoExpo Winter Helsinki 2018 what you can do in Pyhä during winter time.

Pyhä - Summer and Winter Activities - GoExpo Winter 2018 - YouTube


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Federico Sette explains during the GoExpo Winter Helsinki 2018 what you can do in Engadin / St. Moritz during winter time.

Engadin St Moritz - GoExpo Winter 2018 - YouTube


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At the GoExpo Winter Helsinki 2018 we learned about what you can do in Salla during winter time.

Salla Winter Activities - GoExpo Winter 2018 - YouTube


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Tuomas Luukkonen explains during the GoExpo Winter Helsinki 2018 what you can do in Ruka during winter time.

Ruka for Winter Activities - GoExpo Winter 2018 - Rukakeskus Oy / Pyhätunturi Oy - YouTube


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