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Looking for a shoulder bag or backpack for your Mirrorless or compact DSLR camera system, one that can also hold a tablet or laptop? Think Tank Photo has just released the Urban Approach 15 backpack, the first backpack designed specifically to hold a complete mirrorless or compact DSLR camera, as well as a 15” laptop, up to a 10” tablet, smart phone, and extra space for gear and personal items. The Urban Approach 5 shoulder bag holds one medium to large mirrorless or compact DSLR body with lens attached, one to three additional lenses, and an 8” tablet. The Urban Approach 10 shoulder bag holds one medium to large Mirrorless body or compact DSLR with lens attached, two to four additional lenses, and up to a 10” tablet. And don’t forget that with my special arrangement with Think Tank, when you place an order for $50 or more you will automatically be able to receive a Think Tank item for free!
Last week I received the Perception Tablet from Think Tank Photo and had a chance to get out this weekend to give it a quick first look. I was going to be doing some Urbex shooting in and around abandoned buildings in Detroit and this was a great bag to have for that type of shoot. When I go out to shoot abandoned places one of my first rules is to pack as light as possible and only take the essentials. This is not the time you are hauling more gear than needed. With the size and weight of Micro Four Thirds gear it’s easy sometimes to pack too much because everything is small and light. I resisted those urges and went very minimal and I was very happy I did. Below are some of my initial thoughts with pictures included of how I packed the bag. Please read on.
Looking inside the bag I have my Olympus OM-D E-M1 as well as the 12-40mm Pro Lens and the 9-18mm wide angle all pulled tight into the top pouches. These pouches held the gear very firm and were reliable while crawling over small walls or up ladders.
Below the top pouch system is an open area which worked very nicely for two more lenses. These lenses were protected with my neoprene covers and fit will with two mini bottles of water below. I like this open area for flexibility in what you might want to carry under the top pouch system. I had a Panasonic 8mm Fisheye lens as well as a Tamron 14-150mm lens in the bottom area.
When working in tight spaces and having to walk to your desired location it’s always nice to have your hands free. The Tablet Backpack has a unique tripod holder that comes out from the top and the leg is held in an outside pocket. Very nice indeed to keep all of your gear on your back. Pictured here is the MeFoto Roadtrip Tripod.
Some size perspective of the Perception Tablet. One of the features I was amazed about was how thin the bag felt even when packed with gear. No bulging at all.
Here is what I carried with me today on the shoot.
Overall I am very pleased with the quality of the bag in every way. The durability, size and flexibility would be my top three qualities. Two items not covered in this mini review is how a tablet might fit into the system and the included rain cover. I wouldn’t normally take a tablet on an urban explore but they area was still unrestricted where it could have easily fit and the included rain cover is always a bonus when needed. This bag is definitely worth checking out the next time you are looking for something to keep yourself minimal and easy to maneuver.
After receiving the new Perception Pro from think Tank Photo I was excited about taking it on my next trip to Austin, TX. I utilized it for my camera gear as well as carrying some items for work. My plan was to shoot some skyline shots as well as some street shooting. I had a separate very small bag in my luggage for the street shooting. Needless to say I was taking more gear than I normally would so having the largest model of the Perception series was very welcomed. This would be a good test for the new back pack.
I will go through a few of my initial thoughts of this very versatile bag. I have included some pictures of the packed and unpacked bag as well as the convenient pouches inside. Please read on.
This is looking into the bag with all the pouches full. I have two camera bodies,
6 lenses and a bag full of miscellaneous accessories as well as my iPhone
holder and a small 3 legged tripod all contained within the 5 pouches.
below that the 9mm Body Cap Fisheye.
draw strings are fantastic. Because mirrorless equipment is usually smaller,
these pouches are a welcome addition to this series.
The one thing that would make this bag even better would be a sleeve to
hang the bag on a rolling piece of luggage. The waist belt is what I am using
here but that is probably not the intended purpose because it is very low on
the bag. This makes your luggage a bit top heavy.
A shot from inside the fully packed bag. All the gear mentioned above plus
some folders for work as well a MS Surface Pro 3.
The pouch with accessory bag, iPhone holder and small tripod.
All of these items were packed into the Perception Pro. The Mac is a 15″
Retina Pro. Amazing how useful and versatile this bag is.
Overall my opinion is the Perception Pro is a home run for the Mirrorless Photographer. This bag can be used to hold so much mirrorless gear it’s amazing. For those shooters who have been struggling with deep large DSLR bags, this is your answer.
ONE MORE THING:)
I recorded a short video of me packing the bag in under 16 seconds…