In an effort to share information with this community I'm continuing my quest to review my various pieces of photography equipment. Today I’m going to be writing about the Think Tank Shapeshifter Backpack.
Disclaimer: I am now part of the Think Tank Affiliate program, If you follow my Affiliate link (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/affiliates.aspx?code=AP-593) and purchase something from Think Tank of $50 or more you will receive a free gift of your choosing! Sweet deal huh?
First off, if you’re not aware of what this bag is, check it out on ThinkTank’s website:
This is, in my opinion, the ideal photojournalist bag. It is built to ThinkTank’s awesome standards, with all the best materials, and like every other ThinkTank bag it carries their typical level of pricetag, this one’s $250. Not cheap, not by a long-shot, but to me, it was worth it. I was looking for a bag that would hold my regular kit, plus something that would be convenient for travel. I will typically have the following gear inside of it:
1- 5DmkII body w/ BG-E6 grip
1- 7D body w/ BG-E7 grip
1- 16-35mm f/2.8L
1- 24-70mm f/2.8L
1- 580exII Flash
batteries, cards, pens, notebook, chargers, cable releases etc. etc.
*note: 7D not in bag because I used it to take the photos.
*Upper front pocket
Depending on the situation I can also take (w/o removing anything)
1- Zoom H4n digital audio recorder
1- set of in-ear headphones (for monitoring)
1- 13”-17” Laptop (I personally use a 13" Macbook)
1- Laptop charger (I have the older large magsafe power adapter)
1- USB memory card reader.
*lower front pocket
*rear compartment for Laptop
All-in-all it can hold a very reasonable amount of gear for the size of the bag. This is not meant to take every piece of gear you own, but it is meant to take a solid “photojournalist” setup, and COMFORTABLY! This has been my biggest gripe for just about any camera backpack I’ve owned, and I’ve owned a bunch of them! They never seem to sit right on your back, or the straps just aren’t adjustable enough to be comfortable. The other thing I greatly appreciate is the chest and waist compression straps fit me comfortably. Now, this may not be an issue for everyone, but for me, being 6’3” tall and 285lbs, I’m not exactly a small person. Every backpack I’ve ever owned has never had compression straps made long enough to fit me. The shapeshifter does! Rejoice!
That’s great and all, but what’s so special about this bag? ...... Well, let me tell you!
With a name like Shapeshifter, it’s got to do something crafty right? Right! This bag has a compression zipper along the middle that allows you to squash it down to a measly 3 inches when the gear is removed. This is a WONDERFUL feature. How many times have you bumped into things/people/walls, etc, because your bag jets out 3 feet behind you? I can tell you that happens to me all the time and it gets quite frustrating. When I take both bodies and 2 lenses out I can freely compress the bag so it’s much smaller on your back. I am so pleased with how simple and useful this feature is!
*uncompressed - Fully Loaded
*compressed - cameras and 2 lenses out of the bag
So, just a quick summary:
If you need a bag to carry a moderate amount of gear on-location, on a plane, at a sporting event, whatever the situation may be. Give the shape-shifter a look, I’m glad I did!
If you have any questions or need to know any more info please don't hesitate to email me!