I know. I know! I've only had the darn thing a few days and have only taken it out packed for two days, so how can I make such a claim with so little time with it? Well, because it's a great bag! Seriously, though, if you're a photographer with a bag problem like me, you can tell pretty quickly if a bag is going work, to really fit 'most' of your needs (no bag can meet 'all' of one's needs) or is just going to be okay. Don't you agree?
So, what about this bag? Well, as I wrote in my last post, the craftsmanship in the construction of the Cooper Slim is only rivaled by the quality of the materials used to put it together. And, did I mention that it is very stylish and, well, just looks cool? No? Well it is and it does!
As with most camera bags, the Cooper Slim comes with a generous set of dividers. There are three types: one traditional with two 'hinged' end flaps each with a hook and loop strip and another type that has just one 'hinged' end flap so it is like a lift up top when secured on the insert in a compartment. The third type is the length of the height of the insert to be used to create compartments. The interior walls of the insert as well as the tall insert dividers are all made of a material to which the hook and loop on the smaller dividers will stick. (See images in gallery at end of this post.) All of these pieces make the insert “cavity” extremely configurable! As I showed through a sketched “side view” of my insert in my last post, the various dividers let you create levels within a compartment. This may be ho-hum to some of you and it’s probably not a “new” thing, but I have never had a bag that allowed for this. As a result, I can store lesser used things at the bottom of compartments, use a divider as a “ceiling” over it, and comfortably put a camera or lens on that divider.
I show in the video I did on this bag that I am able to get the following items in my Cooper Slim 13 insert easily: E-M1 with the Panasonic 35-100mm lens, E-M5 II with the Panasonic 12-32mm lens, the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker, my Rokinon 7.5mm and Olympus 12-40mm lenses, the E-M5 II pop-on flash in its case, my Nissin i40 flash, and a wallet-type holder with lens filters. I put my iPad mini 3 in the front pocket under the flap and have extra batteries for both cameras, the battery charger, a battery tester, and a case of four AA batteries stored in an old Case Logic hard drive case and that is in one of the expandable front pocket. My 13” Apple MacBook Pro (new model without touch pad) fits in the large pocket on the back of the bag. That’s a fair amount of equipment and it fits without need to stuff. And the bag is not very heavy.
I took the bag out yesterday for a shoot and wanted to use the 12-40mm on the E-M5 II, so I removed the small 12-32mm and attached the 12-40. When I was finished, I started to switch the lenses, but realized that I could store the 12-32mm on top the TG Tracker and fold town the top flap from one of the vertical compartment dividers onto it and my E-M5 II with the 12-40mm fit perfectly back into its compartment with the lens resting on the divider that was covering the 12-32mm! Brilliant! And, I expect, the more I use the bag in different situations, the more I will find other ways to configure it. It so happens on an upcoming trip I do want to take both cameras since I expect to do some video recording for my YouTube series, but that won’t always be the case.
For now, I’m resigned to the fact that I will need to take a second bag on trips where I need some other equipment. However, now both bags will be relatively small and neither will be bulky and over-stuffed! The second bag will be my trusty Lowepro Streamline 250 that I’ve used on previous trips as my day bag. It now, however, becomes my “extra stuff” bag.