Friday, January 12, 2018

That Mysterious Tiny Camera Bag - HAKUBA Shell City Messenger from Japan

A while ago I was blogging about the Lowepro Campus + bag which was designed to be a travel or everyday bag. I did a video showing how I pack for my short trip home to Kuching. In that video, I packed my Olympus PEN E-P5, Panasonic 14mm F2.5 lens and Olympus 25mm F1.8 into a separate, tiny little camera shoulder bag. Since then, that article has received more questions about that tiny little camera bag than the Lowepro bag I was blogging about instead. The same post was also on Instagram and due to popular interest, I thought why not I do one entry about this mysterious little bag that I have had with me for a while now.

The tiny little camera bag looked so good, with simplistic, clean and basic design. Perfect for smaller camera systems. 

This was the original image I posted about the tiny bag for the Lowepro Campus + bag post a few months ago. 

So where did this bag come from?

Remember my trip to Hokkaido, Japan last year? During that particular visit, I stopped by Tokyo for one night before flying off to Sapporo the next day. Similarly, before leaving Japan, we stopped by Shinjuku on the final night, and flew off the following day. Being in Tokyo is extremely dangerous for any camera and gadget geeks like myself. The multi-level gigantic electronic stores (with one full floor dedicated to cameras/imaging equipment) had EVERYTHING that anyone would ever want. Thank goodness I only had about less than 3 hours shopping time on my final night before the stores closed at late night. 

In that very few hours I had, I bought a few items for myself. Bear in mind I did not plan to buy anything originally, but after seeing what was available, I just could not resist. The price was already about 20-30% cheaper than the retail price in Malaysia for most items, and we have an additional of 8% instant cashback tax rebate! I bought a new bluetooth wireless mouse (for use with my tablet, since it only has one USB port), SD cards hard case (as seen at the bottom right corner of the image above), a spanking new long camera neck-strap and TWO camera bags. One of the camera bags was the tiny little shoulder bag, which I bought at about RM80 after all the discount (USD20). 

Honestly, I have not the slightest clue what brand this bag was. The only indication was the "shell" logo at the front. I then tried Googling, and found the result instantly, oh the wonders of Internet. The bag is HAKUBA camera bag: Shell City 03 Messenger. 

Though the bad is small, it has plenty of compartments and storage pockets. There is the front pocket (for spare batteries, memory card cases), side pockets (name cards, more spare batteries, or any cables) and front zipped pocket where I normally store my in-ear headphones. 

The bag can comfortably fit an Olympus PEN E-P5 and two small prime or kit lenses. As you can see from the image, the bag still has plenty of room to breathe. However, this bag is NOT recommended for E-M1 or any larger sized cameras. E-M10 Mark II is still ok. 

Well, who does not like cute and adorable looking things?

I generally do not use this bag a lot, because I have a larger camera bag to fit my laptop, E-M1 Mark II (which I use mostly these days) and at least 3 lenses. I also brought along laptop chargers and phone chargers, when I need to survive outside of my home for a full day. I do most of my blog article writing (both for this site and Ming Thein's) outside somewhere in cafes sipping some over-caffeinated drink. However, I do all my image post-processing tasks with my home desktop PC which is a lot more powerful, with a 32 inch LCD monitor. 

When I am out for maybe a half day for a quick shutter therapy, or not planning to do any writing for the day, then this tiny bag will be the bag of the day. So convenient, so small, so easy to carry around. And honestly, it does raise some eyebrows, especially when I go street shooting with those gigantic DSLR shooters. How the hell can Robin Wong shoot with anything from this impossibly tiny little bag?  Well, you just have to come to this blog to see the results. 

The bag was a steal. So cheap, and so functional. Yet looking dashingly sharp and minimalist. Just the way I like it. 

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