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Camera bags are one of those necessary buys for any photographer. Unless you're built like the Michelin Man, you need something to protect your gear when on the move. Most bags on the market are reasonably unappealing if you value a stylish way to tote around your SLR, but the Lowepro Passport Sling is designed in such a way so it's not obvious that it is a camera bag from the outside.
Featuring a host of zips, pockets and extra spaces for an SLR, the Sling is coated in a durable polyester that can withstand some of the elements — though it's not indicated if it is water- resistant. An interior camera box pads out part of the inner real estate, offering another layer of protection for a camera. It's ample enough to hold any consumer or pro SLR with a decent- sized lens attached, though telephoto primes are probably out of the question. We tried a Nikon D7000 with 35mm f/1.4 and Canon EOS 40D with 17-85mm and both fit well, with room to spare.
The extra interior space outside the camera box area can comfortably fit an extra lens, flash or portable tripod like a GorillaPod, and interior pockets with velcro closures are a good size for batteries or memory cards. There is also a dedicated memory card holder on the side of the camera box insert. The top double zip, as with the other zip on the bag, is sturdy and has a cord tied to it for easy use.
A long cross-body strap can be extended or retracted to wear the bag according to anyone's individual style. It also comes in three colours: black, khaki green and a light blue. The buckle that controls the release of the strap is very easy to use and doesn't require any finicky threading like other camera bags, simply lift the fastener and pull or push the strap to its required length, and close the fastener again.
Around the exterior of the bag are three pockets with no fastening, which is good for things like paper and perhaps a bottle of water that would fit in the pocket that flanks the corner of the bag. We can attest that the Canon lens mug fits snugly in that space, if you wanted to try that at home.
For gear that takes up a bit more space, there is an expandable zip on one side that gives a little extra space within the bag. That said, the area that it exposes isn't padded at all, so be wary of putting lenses here if you need them to be protected beyond a few layers of fabric. The same goes for the base of the interior area not covered by the camera box — it's relatively unprotected.
Though the Sling isn't padded enough to protect equipment from substantial drops, it is useful for casual use to organise gear while on the move. Plus, it can double as an everyday bag should the mood take you.