I have been told…
When a bag comes in a bag, it's a sign of quality. Well, things are looking good as I unwrap the Billingham Hadley Digital Camera Bag- it's in a cloth bag.
To be honest, with the Billingham brand I would have expected quality from previous experience, so when I extract the camera case, I'm not disappointed.
So why a new bag?
You can read about my first impressions of the camera, however, part of the reason was for a camera we could take out of an evening without looking like the Paparazzi had arrived. So I was on the market for something stylish, that wouldn't look out of place at a nice restaurant.
So enter stage left, the Billingham Hadley Digital Camera Bag in Khaki Canvas with Tan Leather trimmings.
Rather nice, don't you agree?
It's worth noting that as well as the rather conservative combination I opted for, it also comes in 14 other colour combinations.
Also, as well as catering for my little camera, it will carry a mid-size DSLR, with a small to mid-sized lens attached.
So does it do the job?
Well my requirements were;
Stylish, small camera bag
Room for my Canon EOS M6
Space for a spare lens or two
Space for the odd accessory
Dividers to keep everything separate
Space for a mobile/cash/wallet
So the short answer is yes, but there's more.
You can open it one handed
Can be worn cross-shoulder
A level of weather proofing
Expandable (Via Billingham's Avea pouches)
What else did you consider?
Lowepro has some products that potentially suited my needs, the Scout SH100 for example. This benefitted from and additional carry handle, and the strap was detachable. However, it wasn't weather proof, so if I was caught out in a shower, could be problems. And the styling was errrm, well not for me.
Lowepro also had other alternatives in its Apex, Nova & StreeLine Ranges but none grabbed me.
Then there was Manfrotto; it had ranges to suit too with the Amica, NX & Professional. However, again, none sang to me.
And the price?
Well in the UK, and the time of writing (August '17), it can be had for £119 at my supplier, WEXPhotographic, which puts it at the top of the scale compared to the Lowepro Scout £39/ Apex 140 AW £34 / StreetLine £74. The Manfrottos came in at a similar price. (Amica 30 £23/ NX £22-26)
I have replaced and discarded old Lowepro bags. The Manfrottos are still new to the collection but do I feel they'll last a lifetime? - probably not.
My Billingham will last - you just know it. It comes with a 5 year guarantee, but you won't need that.
So money well spent.
So would you recommend the Billingham Hadley Digital?
Oh yes, it's a beautifully crafted item, made in England.
You know as it ages it will continue to look good, but that process is going to take time because this is also built to last. I love it because it's timeless.
The style of the bag is similar to the rest of Billingham's range; it has a classic look. And it's look great at the Goodwood Revival - but that's another story...