I'm not known for my physical exercising prowess - in fact, thinking of going to the gym sends me into cold sweats, which means that I felt I've exercised, so I don't go. When I realised I was going to have to spend six days straight at Photokina, on my feet, demoing demoing my little heart out for my day job, it served as a great reminder for why I stopped carrying a full-size SLR camera: Less weight = less exercise. Perfect. At Photo Plus back in October, I first saw the Sony A7, and I fell a little bit in love. I traded in my Canon 6D in favour of a Sony A7, and I haven't looked back - to my particular photography needs (I travel a lot, I want high quality photos, I don't really do sports, and I don't need fast auto-focus), the A7 is a perfect camera.
However the A7 is still an expensive piece of kit, and carrying it around safely for six days straight was always going to be a challenge: I need it to be easily available for demoing Triggertrap to people, but I also need it to be safely stashed away. That's where Cosyspeed Camslinger 160 comes in.
Cosyspeed is a relatively new company, and they're focusing on making product especially for mirrorless cameras (hence the name - Cosy, I'm going to guess, is short for Compact System, which is one of the names that didn't quite stick for mirrorless cameras, alongside 'EVIL' - short for Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens). The camera bag comes in two sizes, the slightly smaller 105, and the larger 160. Both of them are designed to wear at the hip - and it does make you feel a little bit like a cowboy wearing them.
I've tried a great many carrying systems in my life; some of them - especially Peak Design's offerings - are fantastic for large SLR cameras with honking great lenses attached. But the one problem all other carrying systems have, is that you have to keep your camera exposed to the world: Unprotected from rain or bumps. Of course, with a full-size camera, you don't really have the option of protecting it - but surely, these kinds of innovations are precisely why we are looking at more compact cameras in the first place?
I was amazed by the Cosyspeed Camslinger bag - I wore it for 6 days, 12-16 hours per day, and I was constantly demoing, so I found myself accessing the bag hundreds of time per day. It's a great quick-draw solution, meaning that your camera can stay protected whenever you don't need it - and easily available when you do need it.
At this point, I briefly have to sing the praises of the closing mechanism...
I've never seen these kind of pushbuttons used on a camera bag before, but they're brilliant. To close it, you simply push down, but at that point, the bag is securely closed (you can also use the bungee cord to add a second layer of security on top). It takes a little bit of time to get used to, but it's a fantastic system, meaning I can have my hands free, then suddenly just magic my camera out of the bag to show someone something (or to take a photo, of course).
With the bag, it doesn't really make sense to use a camera strap - good job, then, that the guys have also created a finger-strap. I think in the longer term perhaps a proper hand-strap might be a better way go to, but in the couple of weeks I've used the fingerstrap, I've grown to love it - it's small and simple, and just means you have a second chance in case someone bumps into you and you drop the camera - another advantage of the mirrorless cameras, of course: Try trying to save a full-size camera with one finger!
All in all - if you shoot with a compact SLR or a mirrorless camera, I think it's very much worth giving the Cosyspeed bags a closer look - They are by far the best camera bags for mirrorless cameras out there - They're well designed, well made, and I'll certainly be using mine for many years to come - it's a perfect match with my Sony A7 and the way I like to shoot.