Billingham meets LowePro in Domke’s newest bag, and it’s a winner.
It’s not that I don’t like my LowePro Stealth Reporter D650AW – I do. It’s well made, easy to carry and packs a good amount of gear. But I miss my Billingham 445, which has that inimitable sense of British timelessness – and which also happens to carry a good amount of gear (admittedly not quite as much) even more comfortably, accessibly and securely.
And my needs – and budget –have changed over time. I no longer pack a Canon 5D Mk II with EF 28-70 f/2.8L, EF 70-200 f/2.8L, EF 17-35 f/2.8L, EF50mm f/1.4 and a Speedlite. Instead, as I’ve shifted the balance of my work to video, I’ve downsized to a pair of Rebel SL1’s with smaller lenses (EF-S 10-18 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 ISSTM, EF-S 55-250 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, and EF 50 f/1.8 II), a Zoom H4n, and a Zacuto EVF with ProFinder. And instead of hauling around my 15” MacBook Pro when I need computing power, I usually take my iPad instead.
Yep, times have changed.
This new set of gear fits beautifully inside the Chronicle, along with extra batteries, SD cards, and a couple of variable neutral density and polarizing filters. It’s a nice, tight, secure package, very unobtrusive, and easy to access either camera (with lens already attached) through the zippered top while keeping the rest of the contents secure from falling out.
And with no heavy Velcro to pull, it’s quiet.
I really like it.
The Chronicle really does feel like a mashup of two of my favorite bags. It’s compact and has personality like the Billingham (and like the Billingham — at least in the RuggedWear version – the kind of heavy waxed cotton fabric that requires occasional refinishing wax which Domke provides); and yet it has a couple of more modern twists to it, relinquishing the leather snap grab handle of the Billingham, for example, to a LowePro-style plain nylon grab strap.
The Domke Chronicle Camera Bag comes in multiple flavors, but for me the Black Ruggedwear with tan straps is the ticket. At a street price of $334, it slots in almost exactly halfway between the Billingham 445 at $499 and the Lowepro Stealth Reporter D650 at $180.
And with that, the Chronicle has become my new go-to bag.
Check out more Domke products Here.
(cover photo credit: snap from Digital Photography School)