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I suffer from backaches and cannot currently carry heavy materials. My camera weighs slightly more than 1kg, though. I have no problem carrying it on my shoulder, but it's not something I enjoy doing for obvious reasons (theft, damage, etc).

I am currently looking for a camera bag that doesn't hurt my back and doesn't call much attention. I am also thinking of buying a non-camera bag and adapting it with an insert.

Any suggestions? I've seen a ton of casual-looking bags that interest me, but I'm not sure if they are proper for my back. I had my eyes set on a vntage canvas casual camera bag, but I'm not sure it's what I'll need. Still, I'd appreciate some advice, since I understand nothing about this subject.

  • Google "camera harness" to see if that kind of thing interests you. – Esa Paulasto Oct 10 '13 at 19:58
  • If I were you I'd try to find out the cause of the back aches as well (posture etc....). Will help with your well being and comfort in the long run :D – Peng Tuck Kwok Oct 11 '13 at 9:17
  • From your question it's not clear to me if your 1 kg camera is too heavy, or what a carry limit is for you. – Dan Wolfgang Oct 13 '13 at 13:03
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I usually carry my camera in an ordinary fabric satchel which i have at my side, slung over one shoulder. This is roughly the same weight distribution as carrying the camera slung over a shoulder, so if you are physically comfortable carrying your camera like that, you could try this approach. The satchel adds some weight, but not a lot.

I bought my satchel for something like twenty pounds from some random luggage shop, and it looks like total junk. I mean, it is total junk. I don't think it attracts much attention.

The volume inside the satchel is much larger than that occupied by my camera and the one or two lenses i usually carry, particularly since i shoot Micro Four Thirds, so my gear is dinky. Happily, the excess of space is just about right to carry a jersey or light waterproof jacket, which serves double duty as packing material and aftermarket weatherproofing for my body (that is my body - the camera's body is already weatherproof).

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To avoid back strain, I would avoid carrying anything on my back, shoulders, and neck. That leaves a few great options:

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There are camera bags available that look like lunch bags but big enough to carry a small additional lens or hot shoeflash.

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I'm not exactly a bag or back expert, but I don't think a satchell will work for you; the lopsidedness tends to pull you down and overtime you get tired compensating.

What I would recommend is finding a bag with a sternum (chest) strap. Without the sternum strap the backpack straps pull your shoulders backwards and the sternum strap will relieve that and then you're just holding the weight up on your shoulders without having to exercise any muscles. Also make sure that the bag is high and snug; don't be like this teenage idiots that let the bag sag as low as it'll go.

Alternatively, find something that sits on your waist, commonly referred to as a holster.

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