A growing number of photography enthusiasts are migrating away from larger digital SLRs and into the world of compact system cameras or so-called hybrid cameras. And what we are finding is that traditional "camera bags" designed for larger DSLRs are inherently too big for these more compact cameras, so what is a shutterbug to do? Addressing this very concern is the Case Logic DCB-305, a smaller kit bag that just might be bigger on the inside.
The Goldilocks Bag for Compact System Cameras?
Something that I mentioned in my video review of the Case Logic Griffith Park backpack is that I want to have a bag where I can suitably stash my Ultrabook, my compact camera and a few accessories. When I only want to have my camera, I want to have a far more compact bag.
That's the philosophy behind the decidedly smaller Case Logic DCB-305. It's bigger than the little pouches you might see for small point-and-shoot cameras, but it's smaller than the more elaborate bags for digital SLRs. As Goldilocks might say, "It's juuuuust right." The DCB-305 measures 7.9 x 5.5 x 5.9 inches and can hold devices up to 5.5 x 3 x 3.5 inches in size.
Build Quality and Design
Inside the main compartment, you'll find a flexible divider that is permanently stitched to the interior. This is unlike what you might find in larger bags with more adjustment with Velcro attachments. Thankfully, you can easily collapse this divider against the internal wall if you need a larger main compartment.
The top flap contains an internal zippered pocket for small accessories like memory cards. On the outside, you'll find a small pockets on either side for additional items, like lens caps and spare batteries. There is no additional pocket on the front or the rear.
Adjusting the Space Requirements
Just as with the Griffith Park backpack, Case Logic has done a good job of including high quality materials and zippers for the DCB-305 camera bag. The smaller bag provides a decent amount of organization, but I would have preferred additional organization by way of mesh pockets for memory cards inside of the interior pocket.
At first, it seemed like the decidedly compact Case Logic DCB-305 would really be the perfect size for my Olympus E-PL1 and a spare lens. Opening the main compartment, my Olympus with the 14-42mm kit lens fit perfectly resting on its side, barely touching the interior divider where I could place an additional lens. However, I quickly discovered that the width of my camera was too tall for the height of the bag. Closing the zipper was a challenge unless I removed the second lens and tilted my E-PL1 slightly.
This could be an even bigger issue if you're carrying around something like the Samsung NX series with a larger lens, unless you really plan on going with a single lens with this bag. The exterior pockets, which have an internal capacity of about 2.5 x 3 inches, aren't going to hold a heck of a lot either.
MEGATechie Hybrid Theory or MEGATechie One Step Closer?
I cannot fault Case Logic for much in terms of build quality or overall design. The DCB-305 is a well-constructed little bag that should provide more than adequate protection for your compact camera or camcorder. However, it is very important that you pay attention to the "compact" part of that statement, as it was a struggle to fit both my Olympus E-PL1 and a second lens in that small main compartment. If you're going with just a single lens on your Sony NEX series or something similar, you should be just fine.
The MSRP on the Case Logic DCB-305 kit bag for compact system cameras, hybrid cameras or camcorders is listed at $22.99, but it can be found for less online. If you're not sure how your compact system camera will fit in there, I suggest you try this bag out in person before buying.