A good camera bag is like the best pair of jeans you can own: comfy, rustic and beat up. You know you’re in love with photography when your camera bag has absorbed the dust and flavors of the sojourn, much like how a cast-iron skillet cooks with the spices of the last hundred meals.
That being said, the Cobram Outpost is part of my lifestyle regimen to make the logistics of underwater photography more bearable. This 2014, I’ve been shooting exclusively with Sony’s RX-100 Mk II and I still can’t stop hankering as to how I’m enjoying myself a lot more with the upgrade in technology and the downgrade in size. Lugging around more than 5 lbs of equipment that was not SCUBA gear can be a huge impediment so the move to a compact camera was a welcome one.
Available in two sizes, both iterations of the Cobram Outpost have the same form factor with multiple hard foam compartments for your camera body and lenses. Since I don’t carry a micro 4/3, I keep my compact camera inside its Nauticam body with my wide and +10 I-DAS wet lenses pocketed in the other compartments. The large version actually fits my camera tray with the cover flap hugging it. For non-divers, this feature is actually intentional, allowing you to fit your tripod on top of your camera gear.
Traveling with stobes, each of my YS-110a’s occupy its own lens compartment leaving me with **some** space for the wet lenses. In fact, without storing a MacBook Air, I can store the following inside:
– RX-100 Housing (w/ camera inside) in center compartment
– two YS-110a strobes in both lens compartments
– wide angle wet lens adapter on top of the RX-100 housing
– +10 macro diopter in side pocket
– camera tray where the tripod is usually located, strapped in using the laptop velcro
– dive arms inside the laptop compartment
– miscellaneous tools such as o-ring grease and bolts in other side pocket
It’s portable, easy to access with the cover-zipper and the velcro covers provide convenient protection between your gear and whatever else you store inside. There’s also a tight front pocket for keeping anything thin from filters, adapters to an iPad.
The Cobram Outpost from Crumpler goes for P6,950 and is probably the last camera bag you will fall in love with, whether you’re shooting above or below water. This one is for keeps.