Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lowepro CompuDay Photo 250 Review

It's always a giddy feeling when you receive a package. And this is especially true when it is either Apple- or photography-related. This time around, I got something from the latter camp.

The Lowepro CompuDay Photo 250 is a really good bag. First, it can house a 15-inch MacBook Pro. Then, there is an easy-access door on the side so you can easily get your DSLR which, in my case, is a Canon 5D Mark II fitted with a Canon EF 24-105 f/4L lens. And when you don't have your DSLR with you, you can actually compress the camera compartment to the side and make the bag an "ordinary" laptop backpack.

A list of what the bag is capable of.
There are plenty of pockets and the bag can actually contain a lot of non-camera gear, especially when you compress the camera compartment. The bag is made up of good materials and, as to be expected from Lowepro bags, the construction is also top-notch. The paddings are thick and I wouldn't hesitate putting my gear inside. By the way, as you can see from the photos, the paddings are colored orange.

An added bonus: if you look at the photo above, this backpack has a luggage sleeve so you can attach it to the handle of your rolling luggage whenever you go from one terminal to another; or when you simply feel like doing it. :) There is also an outer mesh pocket for a water bottle.

The camera is easily accessed from the side-entry pocket.

My old but trusty MacBook Pro. The removable pocket is provided.
You can see here the camera compartment on the right.
Some caveats though. There is no space left for a flash in the camera compartment. I try to minimize the gear that I bring but there should be a subdivision in the camera compartment for a flash at the very least. What I plan to do is, while I am moving about, like when I am in a train, plane, driving, walking, I'll put my Canon 430EX-II speedlite inside the bag in the case that the flash came with. But, when I am already in the shoot, I'll transfer my speedlite in the front outer pocket (see the photo below).

Also, there aren't any compartments for your CF cards, something I cannot understand for a camera bag, though a wallet for your cables and other small stuff is provided. Since this bag would be heavier because of the laptop, I was hoping that Lowepro put a sternum strap and a waist belt. And again, I wished Lowepro put a thicker wider strap to the bag. As bags go, and as I always said before, you cannot go wrong with a thicker, wider strap.

With the camera compartment compressed, the bag can serve as an
everyday backpack.

The front pocket can house a lot of stuff also. Check out the speedlite...
and my orange iPhone bumper!
There is no all-weather cover though I don't know if, given the chance, I'd bring a laptop to a rainforest, so to speak. I got caught under some rain several times already and, with my current Lowepro bags, I didn't feel it was necessary to use the all-weather cover - the bags' materials were enough. I'd think twice about running under a heavy downpour without an all-weather cover though...

There is no space for a tripod though it isn't much of an issue for me for I don't bring one most of the time.

All in all, I am very happy with this bag. It can house a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a DSLR and a set of overnight clothes. The Lowepro Versapack 200AW (my review of that bag here) is still my most favorite bag but the CompuDay Photo 250 is a very close second.

The frontmost pocket can house maps and other things like lens caps
and filters.

Oh, finally, the wife said that the bag looks like a school bag, quite affectionately, but that is something I can live with. I am fine with it. :)

The books that can be found inside the bag are Martin Evening's Lightroom 3 Book and Scott Kelby's Photoshop CS4 Down and Dirty Tricks. In the front pocket, together with the speedlite, are my Kindle 3 and Lumiquest Promax System.

All shots made with a Canon Powershot G12 (my review here). Want the best bag for your G12? Check out my review of the BlackRapid SnapR here.

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