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As camcorders keep getting smaller, so do the bags we use to carry them around. Lowepro's latest line of camcorder bags, called the Clips line, keeps things simple while giving you a place for all the essentials. The bags come with long straps and are meant to be slung over a shoulder. The new line includes four bags so far, the Clips 100 (6.7 by 7.3 by 5.1 inches), the Clips 110 (8.9 by 5.9 by 6.5 inches), the Clips 120 (9.8 by 6.1 by 7.5 inches), and the Clips 140 (11 by 7.3 by 7.3 inches). The company sent us the Clips 140 for review.
One of the coolest things about the Clips 140 is how you access the main compartment. Instead of a cover that opens up, the front of the bag unzips and the main compartment pivots outward. It might seem a strange approach, but when you're wearing the bag it makes sense. The main compartment has two small straps sewn to the back of it that attach it to the back wall of the bag, so when you open it, you don't have to worry that the main compartment will open too far and spill the contents on the ground. Also, all Clips bags except the Clips 100 include an adjustable padded divider, so you can partition the bag however you want to, depending on the gear you're using it to hold. I used the divider to separate a small camcorder from its charger.
The bag's front zippered pouch could have easily fit the charger, but I decided to toss the manual in there, where it tucks nicely behind the mesh divider. Of course, the pouch can also easily fit a few Mini-DVDs or MiniDV tapes, though they'll also fit in the two small pouches on the sides of the bag. A small pocket, with a Velcro cover, located inside the front pouch is perfect for extra memory cards, in case your camcorder can record to SD or Memory Stick Duo cards, or use them for still-image recording.
However, that leads me to the fact that the Clips 140 can make a nice little bag for an entry-level dSLR just as easily as it makes a great camcorder bag. I was able to fit a few different entry-level dSLRs in this bag, and even fit a hot-shoe flash unit into the front pouch. This might not be the intended use, but it worked. In some cases, you might need to take the kit lens off of the SLR body, or remove the bag's padded divider, to make it a more comfortable fit.