When I bought my first (and so far, only) digital SLR, the bundle offered included a fully-padded and compartmentalized backpack that could carry the body with a 70-200mm lens attached, at least four other lenses, a flash unit, and all the other accessories you could think of. Besides being too huge for someone who’s just starting out, it none-too-subtly had the camera’s brand emblazoned all over the bag. Not really something you’d want to use if you want to keep a low profile. The solution? A Crumpler “5 Million Dollar Home” camera bag.
At first glance, the “5 Million Dollar Home” looks more like a lunchbox than a camera bag. The bright and contrasting colors also gives it a more fun feel. Inside, you’ll find a padded interior with two configurable dividers. The 26 x 20 x 14 inch bag will comfortably hold a compact DSLR with attached zoom lens, your other lens, and the external flash unit. The external and mesh pockets hold your memory cards, extra batteries, manuals, and the like.
1. It doesn’t look like a camera bag. This is Crumpler’s primary selling point. Less conspicuous bag = less likely that thieves will take an interest.
2. Great padding. It’s fallen and landed on its top quite a few times but the camera’s unharmed.
3. The shell is made of water resistant 1000D nylon. The bag’s gotten splashed but it’s still good.
4. The interior lining is a color other than black. A minor cosmetic difference compared to other camera bags but hey, it makes stuff like an extra battery easy to see.
1. No easily reachable pocket on the outside. This is my major peeve, as I can’t just reach in and grab a memory card in an emergency. Nowhere to store maps and other scraps of paper either.
2. The shoulder strap is slippery. Not really an issue if you’re carrying just the one bag but becomes a big issue if you’re struggling with luggage.
3. The two hidden internal side pockets are pretty small. My mobile phone barely fits.
4. No way to attach a tripod to the bag.
5. Price tag. Crumpler’s bags are slightly more expensive compared to others of comparable specs.
All in all, the “5 Million Dollar Home” is decent. It does what it’s supposed to do (keep your gear safe) and looks good at the same time. The only thing you need to worry about is filling it up.