02 February 2010

Lowepro Magnum 650AW bag review

I just received my new Lowepro Magnum 650 AW shoulder bag and I love it! I have been on a bit of a Lowepro bag spending spree these last few months as I upgrade all of my camera bags. The Magnum 650 AW replaces my Commercial AW shoulder bag as my main bag that I always keep my gear in.

I have been quite impressed overall with the design and quality of the new Lowepro bags coming out in the past 12 months and the Magnum 650AW is no exception. Below is a picture of all of my standard gear that I keep in this bag:

2 x Nikon D700 bodies with MB-D10 grips
Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8 lens
Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 lens with Hoya PRO1D UV filter
Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 lens with Hoya PRO1D UV filter
Nikkor 105mm F2.8 Macro lens with Hoya PRO1D UV filter
Nikkor TC 20-E II Teleconverter
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash
Nikon MC-36 Remote Control
5 x Nikon En-EL3e batteries
2 x Nikon MH-18a Battery Chargers
2 x Nikon battery adapters for MB-D10 grips
7 x SanDisk 8Gb Extreme (60MB/s) Compact Flash cards
SanDisk ImageMate card reader
Apple iphone 3Gs
HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop
Western Digital 320GB external hard drive

Believe it or not, I actually still have room for more stuff if I need to.

The Magnum 650AW comes with ample dividers to customise the bag to suite your own specific needs. In fact I even had a few extra dividers to spare once I was done configuring the bag. I do though have one issue with this bag. Lowepro advertises it as being able to fit a pro DLSR with 70-200 F2.8 lens attached. Now the only way this would fit is to fit it in horizontally. The trouble is if you do that, there is not enough room to fit a second camera with lens attached in the bag with the way the bag is designed. If you try and fit it in vertically, it sticks out too far to close the bag properly, and that is WITHOUT the laptop case that needs to fit in the main compartment as well. This was a BIG positive for me with the Commercial AW as I could fit my Nikon D700 with a 70-200 F2.8 lens attached and lay it horizontally and also have a Nikon D700 with another lens attached fitted vertically in the bag. I think that Lowepro could have made the bag a few centimetres taller and then you would have no problem fitting a DLSR pro body with a 70-200 F2.8 lens attached in the bag. I mean that bag is not meant to be Airline carry-on approved anyway, so why skimp on the height?

Overall though, I absolutely love this bag, as I do all of my Lowepro bags. I know have 5 Lowepro bags, all of which should last me a long time as the build quality is fantastic and they can really take a beating in all climates and terrains and most importantly keep your camera gear safe and secure.