My current choice for carrying my cameras:

The Think Tank System and Field system Lowepro Toploader 75 AW Lowepro Toploader 65 AW

Until October of 2007 I used a modified version of the Lowepro Street and Field system. Unfortunately; "out of the box, LowePro Street and Field just didn't seem to work the way I wanted it to. It took me several years to perfect the system. Finally, with the help of a shoe repair guy down in the Peruvian Amazon, who sewed it all together permanently, I got working the way I wanted it to. My modified LowePro system served me well for many years, but in early 2007 I had to have the zippers replaced for the second time, the bags were getting pretty ragged, and I had worn out another "Snap Pouch", so I started looking at new gear.

In the process of trying to locate some new LowePro holsters and a snap pouch, I walked into a camera store (which I rarely do because I order just about everything on-line) and got my hands on the Think Tank system, immediately, I was pleasantly surprised.

I've just finished my first two assignments using my new Think Tank system. The first trip was a few weeks in Cambodia, the second was a month in India. I can honestly say that this system is FANTASTIC!

Here's a review of my findings to date:

What I like about the Think Tank System:

I like the streamline, less bulky, custom fit. The Think Tank bags are really made to fit the Mark II bodies with the lenses I have.

I like the ability to slide the bags around on the belt. This makes it much easier to get into my pockets, and to use the restroom (sorry ladies, this does not apply to you).

I like the storage pouches in the tops of the bags are oriented such that when the top of the camera bag is open the contents don't spill out. Again, this is a small but very important thing that obviously the folks at Think Tank observed.

I like the business card / credential / luggage ID tag pocket in the top of each bag. This is where I keep business cards, which I can grab at a moments notice.

What I don't like about the Think Tank System:

I didn't like the zipper pulls, they were just pieces of string, so I swapped them out with the zipper pulls from my old LoweProw system. Zipper pulls may sound like a small thing but I just get a much more "positive" feel when I grab the wedge-shaped LowePro ones, than I do with "string". (Think Tank has corrected this now)

The didn't like the belt buckle. It seemed a bit hard and potentially more "brittle" than the more flexible and "supple" LowePro buckle, so I swapped it out from my other system, just like I did with the zipper pulls.


Here are a few shots of what my new Think Tank system looks like.
Total weight of this is 18.8 lbs or a little under 9 Kilograms.


Here are the components that make up my new Think Tank system. You attach the bags to the belt using the built in Velcro straps, then the components can be slid around on the's really ingenious!,

I've got the Digital Holster 50 which is designed for pro-size SLRs, such as Nikon D2Xs or D2Hs, or the Canon EOS 1D Mark series with a 70 – 200 2.8 with the lens hood reversed, or in position ready to shoot.
Order it by clicking here and you will receive a free camera bag (such as the Lens Changer 50)

I've got the Digital Holster 40 Designed for PRO size DSLR Canon 1D Mark II, III Nikon D2Xs, D2Hs Inner Height: 8-11.5” Body: 7.25 x 6”
Order it by clicking here and you will receive a free camera bag (such as the Lens Changer 50)

The belt you need is a Steroid Speed Belt. The Steroid Speed Belt is a fully padded 3.5” waist belt that allows you to “Rotate or Lock” Modulus System components for even weight distribution HALF WAY around the belt on special rails. Especially designed for use with lots of gear and the Pixel Racing Harness (sold separately). Features: Curved padded waistbelt with extra support. EVA padding for comfort. Belt can be fixed in one position. Pixel Racing Harness can be attached. Modulus components can “Rotate” or “Lock” on the Pro Speed Belt. Order it by clicking here and you will receive a free camera bag (such as the Lens Changer 50)

For my Flash and other stuff, I use the Large Lens Drop In™ it gives access to accessory lenses, flashes and other stuff. It's lightly padded and compressible. Seam-sealed raincover. Attaches to Pro Speed Belt™. Attaches to Speed Belt Packs. Includes “Rotate or Lock” mechanism. Webbing shoulder strap attachment. Works with regular belt. Closes and opens quickly, but it takes two hands to do it, unlike the no longer available LowePro Snap Pouch
Order it by clicking here and you will receive a free camera bag (such as the Lens Changer 50)

My Canon 580EX flash lives in the Large Lens Drop In™, along with a lens brush, lens cleaning cloth, press passes, aspirin, and Rolaids.

The Large Lens Drop In has a built in "rain cover" in case of rain or when situations requiring protection from water pop up. (overloaded ferry boats, canoes and other water transport in the developing world).

In addition, to the belt buckle, I use a secondary safety measure, which also doubles as a convenience handle, I have a full sized carabiner linked to a 6 inch strap which I fasten to metal loops on the camera bags. This keeps the whole thing from falling in the event the buckle fails or is accidentally opened. When not around my waist, the carabiner and strap doubles as a great "carrying handle".

Here are a few shots of the belt system in action at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, on my recent
Southeast Asia Photo tour
...left photo by Armand Thiebolt, right by Eva Grodberg



Using the belt system means that during travel between countries, my shoulders are free so that I can carry my backpack (luggage).

When traveling with all my stuff, the cameras are safely around my waist, my large backpack with my clothing is on my back and in one hand is my small day-pack (with all essential photography support items, like battery charger and laptop). This leaves my other hand free for handling airline tickets, filling out entry visa paperwork etc.

Having all your personal belongings "on your person" while still having a free hand is absolutely essential...this stops porters from grabbing your bags and trying to hustle you off to a cab, or worse yet having two porters grab two different bags and each taking off in different directions.

Often times I arrive extremely tired after a long international flights...scammers know that most people arriving are in the same situation....not only tired, but confused by the new unfamiliar surrounding and not 100% alert. In order not to be taken advantage of, one must be as "together" as possible on arrival.

When stepping out of the relative "protection" of the airport arrival area, into the sea of waiting taxi drivers, hotel hawkers and other folks, I want be perceive as having all my gear "under control".

If I appear to be in control of all my stuff, opportunists will look for "softer targets"....While the "sharks" hassle all the other arriving travelers, I am free to look around, find the transportation I need, select an honest looking cab driver, negotiate a fare and get on my way. Read more about "how not to be a target".

Once I get to my hotel, check in, safely lock up my computer and other valuable equipment with my PacSafe, I can head out into the world to start working...often times that means getting my own transportation...a scooter.

Wearing a belt camera bag system, I can travel easily on motorcycles, my favorite transportation option in most countries. As opposed to a backpack system, I am ready to pull over and shoot at a moment's notice..

.Laos 2003


Read more about transportation in developing countries here on my "Honda Dream page"