I went shopping with my wife the other day. We went to WalMart and I walked by the camera bag shelves. I know. I know. I should know better, right? Well, right! I saw another bag in Lowepro's new Streamline series, the Streamline 250. (I swear to you. They know I'm standing there and, like the sirens for Ulysses, they call to me! It's really not my fault!) As I looked it over and checked out pockets, I kept thinking, "Hmmm. This might work better for me than the Streamline Sling bag I bought just last week. (http://www.infotor.com/blog/journal-the-lowepro-streamline-sling-may-the-perfect-bag-for-micro43/) " Dangerous thinking. Clearly. That night, I checked out some review videos on this bag (GearDiary: ) and decided to have a closer look. Today, I went back to BestBuy with my Streamline Sling bag fully loaded (including the tags and receipt from it. I never throw them away!) to take a closer look and to try my camera in the pocket meant to hold the camera.
You know the rest. I emptied the Sling, returned it, bought the 250, and loaded it up. And, yes, I did keep the tags and receipt, in case you were wondering!
I hope this was a good decision. I really like the idea of a sling that rests on my back but is easily slid around to your front to get your camera or change lenses. Though I had only had the Sling a few days, one thing that was beginning to bother me already about the Streamline Sling was that I would have to take several things out of the bag in order to access whatever was down in the main cavity corner, behind the camera section. The bag had plenty of space for what I chose to carry in it and I'm okay with putting those things in smaller bags so they're more accessible in the Sling, but I wasn't liking having to take so much out to get to that area.
The Streamline 250, on the other hand, is more like a small messenger style bag with lots of areas where I can store things. The bag has a front flap that covers small, narrow pockets that are perfect for extra batteries, memory cards, small note pad, cell phone, etc., i.e., small things. There's also a hook for a key. Just above the flap for these pockets and below the top of the bag there is a zipper that opens up the width of the bag to reveal two padded pockets meant for your small (read: perfect for a micro 4/3) camera and a lens. In my case the OM-D E-M10 with the 17mm lens attached fits quite nicely in one pocket and my 14-42 kit lens and 15mm BCL fit in the other with room to spare. However, I'm sure, for example, that a camera with normal sized kit lens will fit fine in one and a longer lens, such as the 40-150mm, in the other.
The zipper across the top of the bag opens into the main cavity of the bag, all nicely padded with soft material. The only sub-division of this compartment is a padded sleeve along the back "wall" of the bag for a larger tablet, such as the standard iPad. This sleeve can be secured with a small hook and loop tab and I am now storing my FlashBender diffuser in it. The way I see myself using the main cavity of this bag is by standing vertically side-by-side my Neewer flash in its pouch, one Eagle Creek utility bag with additional lenses (I currently still have my Canon 50mm EOS lens and my old FD 35mm lens, both with adapters attached, in it), and another with battery charger, bungee cord, extra AAs for the flash, and other miscellaneous items. These all fit snugly in this space and, unlike in the Sling, they are all easily accessible without having to remove anything.
On the exterior of the back of the bag is another, non-padded sleeve. In the accompanying images you can see that I have my 3rd gen iPad in there with its bright orange cover. Then, finally, as with many suitcases, one can expand the interior size some by unzipping a zipper that goes from one side across the bottom and up the other side of the bag.
Of course, only time will tell whether I made a wise choice exchanging bags. However, everything fits nicely and that's Test #1, right? Test #2 is that things are easy to get to at all times. This bag passes that test for how I plan to pack it. The last test, then, is to use it and see if it is comfortable and convenient. Stay tuned for the results of that test, #3. I should know within the next week as we will be traveling and I will really be able to put the Lowepro Streamline 250 to the final test!
I will be offering a morning session of my “Mastering Manual: Taking Control of Your Camera” class starting in just over two weeks and continuing into April in Lynchburg and an evening session through Albemarle Open Doors in Charlottesville. In addition to these classes I am also available to do one-on-one tutoring or small group lessons designed to meet YOUR needs and what you want to learn in the area of photography, using flashes, or the use of Apple products and software. Give yourself the gift of learning: http://www.infotor.com/photoclasses! Check out my tutoring bundle: http://www.infotor.com/photoclasses/tutoringbundle.php as well.