I used to think of myself as a solid LowePro kind of guy. Sure there was that one Tamrac case I bought and used once. And Tenba and Domke have some interesting concepts. But all that changed when I tried out the Torkia TD-4900.
The design of this DSLR camera case is simple: holster style with front pocket for extra accessories, three slots on the inside top lid for SD/SDHC/SDXC or CF cards, and (the best feature of all) two padded inserts with Velcro.
Now I know what you’re thinking: sounds like every other case out there. A lot of cases give you room for some extra accessories, including memory. And most cases now offer some sort of customizable insert. The cool thing about this case though, is the way the materials and the implementation come together.
For instance: those top card slots? They’re made from basic padded fabric, but with a little band of elastic at the top. So if you slide and SD card in there, you get some wiggle room but the band keeps the card from falling out. If you place a CF card in the slot, it fits perfectly.
Then of course there are the inserts. My old LowePro case had them too, but they were flat, card-like inserts that would always bend beneath my DSLR. So much for protecting my kit lens! This case comes with two sturdy, thick padded “struts” that Velcro into place. They hold the DSLR up inside the case, regardless of the lens you have on it. So you could fit the standard 18-55 kit lens in there, or smack on a short, fat, and heavy lens and still not have it smashing into the ground if you were to, say, drop the camera bag. The effect isn’t unlike a crumple zone on a nice car: extra room gives you extra protection.
Speaking of extra room, this DSLR camera bag has some. It’s not a cavern or anything, but if you’re looking to fit a spare battery in, or maybe bring along a couple of filters, the front pouch has you covered.
The back sports a belt loop for those who are interested in such things, and you also get a carrying handle on the top – if you should ever get tired of the padded shoulder strap (which probably isn’t very likely).
The outside is supposedly “water resistant” but it’s clearly thick nylon over some sort of padded foam, so I can’t imagine it isn’t waterproof, but I’d have to spend more time testing that part.
So what does it fit? With those rough-and-tough little inserts holding up your camera while you bounce around, it will fit most DSLRs and DSLR-style mirrorless. The Torkia TD-4900 DSLR camera bag works great with entry level cameras like the T3, T3i, and T5i, for instance. Even Nikon’s entry level cameras, from the D3000 to the D5300 would fit snugly. My friend’s 70D could fit in this case just as easily too, I imagine, though the camera strap might make it a little snug. Slightly smaller models like the Canon SL1, Olympus E-M1, or the Fuji XT1 would also fit in this case, albeit with a little extra room.
The case itself is 7 ½ inches deep. Couple that with the fact that most collapsed kit lenses (including some of the 18-135 lenses) aren’t so big, and you can fit most camera setups into this case – all with relative ease.
While the other manufacturers out there are offering some okay DSLR camera cases, it’s hard to find a case this reasonably-priced with not only great design and materials, but great implementation of both. I could tell right away that I’d gotten my money’s worth, and I recommend other photographers do the same.