PhotoPlus Expo is always a bright spot during the fall, and although sore backs and aching feet are usually two of the side effects, it's worth the endless walking around the show floor to discover new and interesting products. For a look at some of those products, check out tech editor Greg Scoblete's coverage.
One of the highlights of the show for me was a women's-only get-together hosted by Think Tank Photo senior camera bag designer Lily Fisher and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer (and co-founder of ThinkTank Photo) Deanne Fitzmaurice. In addition to their warm welcome and wonderful hospitality, I spent some time with ThinkTank Photo's new line of Lily Deanne camera bags for women.
The bags are well-designed both esthetically and functionally. Neither the design nor the colors (Chestnut Brown and Black Licorice) scream "This is a women's camera bag," and I think that's a good thing. I also liked that the bags are attractive without being overly fussy and feminine.
The Lily Deanne series is available in three sizes: Lucido, Mezzo and Tutto (from smallest to largest). The 1.9 pound Lucido will fit a standard-size DSLR and one to three lenses or a mirrorless system with three to four lenses, accessories and an 8-inch table or iPad Mini.
I was surprised to see one of the tiniest photographers at the gathering immediately pick up the largest of the three, the 3.3-pound Tutto, which can hold a gripped DSLR with mid-range zoom attached, two to five additional lenses and two flashes, along with a 15-inch Macbook Pro.
The bags themselves are relatively light and are well made, with full-grain Dakota leather flaps and accents, nylon, metal hardware, all of which are durable yet somewhat elegant. And the materials feel soft and smooth to the touch. The flap has a silent magnetic closure (great for wedding receptions and other events), with a top zipper opening for easy access. I would prefer a slightly larger zippered opening but once I get my hands on a review unit and fill it with gear, I'll know whether or not my initial assessment is really an issue.
A dedicated padded compartment for a tablet or laptop is always a plus and I especially like the Robin's egg blue padded interior. It's attractive and, more importantly, it's bright enough to allow you to find anything that would disappear into the abyss of a dark-colored interior. Pockets and compartments will hold memory cards, cell phones, business cards and other assorted accessories. Dual side pockets expand thanks to a single snap that holds them closer to the bag if you don't need the extra space.
Worn on the shoulder or cross-body like a messenger bag, the adjustable strap is comfortable, especially due to its adjustable shoulder pad.
Prices range from $200 (Lucido), $250 (Mezzo) and $300 (Tutto). Head on over to Think Tank Photo and check them out in more detail.