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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:28 am 
Hi everyone,

Just got my new camera bag. It's a Stealth Reporter D100AW and it is the smallest in Lowepro's Stealth Reporter line. It takes 1 pro slr or 1 ordinary slr + battery grip with attached lens and 2-3 additional lenses. Click on the pictures if you want to see a larger image and the notes I have added on flickr.

Bag's exterior
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The bag is a shoulder bag and and despite it's name, it isn't very stealthy. It is thicker and shorter than most messenger bags. I'm not sure if it's because I know for a fact that it is a camera bag but I find it to look distinctively like one. The top flap has a water-proof zipper that allows you to get smaller lenses and items in and out without having to open the main flap and zipper. Useful for smaller stuff but a DSLR cannot be removed this way.

Interior
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Inside I have my film SLR and external flash(my D80 was taking the pics).
On the front of the bag there are three compartments. The one with the flap is thinly padded and has Lowepro's "brushed-tricot lining" just like the inside of the top flap, it has a soft texture not unlike that of felt and doesn't scratch. Its meant to hold media devices such as photo viewers. The other two compartments are large enough hold miscellaneous items such as filters, bounce cards or manuals.


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These are the bag's memory card wallet and accessories bag. The memory card holder holds 12 memory cards altogether and as you can see, I don't have that many yet. 8) It is colour coded with one side for full cards and the other for empty cards. I've put my charger in the accessories bag.

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Lowepro says that the bag can take 2-3 lenses in addition to the lens attached to the SLR body and this is probably accurate. However, if your lenses are small(about the size of the 18-135/18-70), you can probably squeeze in 4-5. As you can see, I don't have enough lenses to fill the bag but I hope to change this! :D Its worth noting that the flash pictured here is considerably larger than present day flashes. The SLR in the picture has the same dimensions as the D80, give or take 10mm but the D80 is "chunkier" and fills up those dimensions better than the Minolta does.

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The bag allows all the padding for the main compartment to be removed. Others have complained that removing this makes the bag useless and unless you use the bag to carry anything other than camera equipment they are probably correct. To be fair, the base padding can be removed while leaving the rest in which makes the back much less rigid and the bag has a slimmer profile if it isn't full. You lose some protection but the bag has the all-weather(AW) cover which is quite "cushy" stored underneath which does give some padding. I wouldn't recommend using that alone though. The bag comes with less dividers than I would have liked. This means that when you have the SLR body stored in the middle, the lenses on either side are not separated and can knock against each other if you store more than 1 on each side. At the moment, I don't see this as a big problem.

Image
A better view of the interior. The bag has a hidden compartment in between the padding and the inner fabric of the bag on the side where the flap joins the bag. It ceases to remain hidden if you remove the padding.

Image This is the all-weather cover that gives the bag the last two letters of it's name. It folds into a small package that tucks into it's own compartment under the bag. It has two slits on either side for the strap to go through but you will need to remove the strap and reattach both ends before you can carry it around as shown. I would have liked my own all-weather cover(a.k.a. raincoat) included but you can't have everything... :(

Image
Here you can see the two straps the bag comes with. The first one is of course, the shoulder strap which is generously padded. The strap attaches to the bag via a solid metal clip and on the side of the bag is a metal D-ring. The second one is a thinner strap that is meant to go around your waist. I would assume that it is meant to stop the bag from falling should the main(non-slip) strap come off. I find it rather odd that the second strap attaches to one side of the bag with a velcro strap that has three layers that need to be secured one time each and a plastic clip that attaches to the other side of the bag. The strap can be released quickly using a plastic clip like the one on the front of the bag only smaller. Oddly enough, the word stealth is embroidered rather "unstealthily" on the back of the bag. Fortunately, it is black so you can't see it.

This bag wasn't my first choice. I actually wanted a Tamrac Adventure Messenger 4 but I am completely happy with this one and would choose it again if I was given the choice. The memory card wallet, second strap and various other things are nice touches, Lowepro seems to have thought of everything. Overall, it's a well designed and thought-out bag and I'm very pleased with it.

Lowepro's product page


Last edited by grahamnp on Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:35 pm 
Awesome! Nice review :D


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:38 pm 
Thanks fearless leader.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:04 pm 
That's a very thought out and informative review, grahamnp.

And you're right. It's easily spotted as a camera bag. Not very "stealthy". But otherwise very good, indeed. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:11 am 
Thanks Luis. While not stealthy it is an improvement over my previous bag. :lol: It resembled a cube and had Nikon embroidered on the front(it was bundled with the camera).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:28 am 
UPDATE: I've been using the bag for several months now and it's holding up very well with no signs of wear EXCEPT in one area. As I mentioned, the D and J-rings are made of metal and are painted black. The areas where they rub together are now stripped of paint. It's a minor issue and does not affect the function of the bag in any way, it's even quite hard to notice.

Thought I'd mention it anyway.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:44 am 
grahm i also have this brand of bags, and its been all over the place. Tho i have the smaller version and i m very happy with it. i can fit my lens camera body and the sb 600 or another lens in it along with the minature tripod, extra batteris, extra memory card, 1 snack bar, and alot more litte spaceses for other things :D

nice review tho!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Scotland
Nice review mate. Don't know how I missed this one previously. I like the look of that bag, particularly as I think it'll accept my Op/Tech strap to replace the supplied one. I may well buy the bag on the strength of this review alone.

Zorro 8)

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http://zorrofox4.deviantart.com/

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Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:34 pm 
Thanks Zorro and Alex.

Zorro, if you've got any existing bag with similar velcro dividers, you may want to keep them as this bag doesn't come with many. The metal D-ring is quite large so it would probably take any existing strap you've got.

Another UPDATE: My estimate of 4-5 lenses was waaay off. I tried to squeeze my SB-600 and the 18-135 on one side and it already was a tight fit.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Scotland
That's good to know. I do have a Lowepro micro-trekker but it's a rucksack and creates too much hassle when I want to change lenses. I end up not bothering and taking compromised shots. Thanks for the update.

Zorro 8)

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http://zorrofox4.deviantart.com/

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Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:42 pm 
After stairng at Z's logo for like 2mintes...i m back

My only complain really about my bag is that the strap doesnt have padding...but that isnt really BIG issue because the bag istels and the stuff that i keep in there are not that heavy!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Scotland
That's why I mentioned it's likely ability to take a third-party strap. I use neoprene Op/Tech straps on my camera and my Tamrac holster. I recently had the opportunity to use a Nikon D200 which had the Nikon black and yellow sandpaper strap. Never again!

Zorro 8)

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http://zorrofox4.deviantart.com/

Image

Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:09 am 
Yea OpTech is excellent, I use one of the older ones without the branding in big white letters. I prefer that.

Nikon makes the worst straps! :evil:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:12 am 
grahamnp wrote:
Yea OpTech is excellent, I use one of the older ones without the branding in big white letters. I prefer that.

Nikon makes the worst straps! :evil:


I like my Nikon strap, sticks to my shoulder :P not really walking around with 100kg of equipemnt tho


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:19 am 
Ahhh...you say that for now... :lol: You should try them and then tell us if you still like the Nikon straps. 8)


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