Hawkesmill St. James’s Street Camera Bag Review:
Because I don’t live in a metropolis, when I go out shooting street it usually means a full day out, including a couple of hours each way on a train into London.
I need to take quite a bit with me, but at the same time, I want to travel light and be comfortable too.
When I do go into London, it’s often mixed in with a business or client meeting so I felt my old cameras bags, which looked very much like camera bags, were not cutting it and so, for most of this year I’d been keeping my eyes out for a new one.
I wanted something that was functional, long-lasting and would be a great camera bag as well as a smart enough bag for me to attend meetings with.
I stumbled across the Hawkesmill brand of camera bags, which were new to me and eventually opted for the St. James’s Street Camera bag.
It’s not a cheap bag by any stretch of the imagination but I have to say, having used it for several months, I can see this bag lasting me for a very long time.
What drew me to the Hawkesmill St. James’s Street Camera Bag was both the smartness and the functionality.
It’s easy to access all the compartments and big enough for me to take everything I need for a whole day out.
It’s a really a beautifully created piece of, I suppose, luxury craftmanship but that really does stand out in the crowd.
The webbing is strong and durable and I’ve no doubt that will last unlike some of my previous camera bags.
A neat little feature is that the solid nickel feet are replaceable should they get damaged (I’m guessing you’d have to get those from Hawkesmill themselves).
Obviously the Hawkesmill St. James’s Street Camera Bag has all the compartments you may need, including easy-access front pockets and a large rear pocket and all the space you need inside for, in my case, three cameras, lenses, hard disk drives, a tablet or laptop too.
It’s like the tardis in there.
I went for the brown leather option which is fully waterproof and honestly, I think it’s amazing.
I’ve been fed up with bags that fall apart after a couple of years of heavy use and I can see this one growing old with me.
The bag has loads of space and comfortably holds my general day shooting equipment of:
- Microsoft Surface Book Laptop
- Fujifilm X-Pro3
- Fujifilm X100F
- Fujifilm X70
- XF 35mm F2 & XF 50mm F2 lenses
- My Samsung Sold State Drives
- Manfrotto Pixi tripod
Plus of course wallet, keys, notebooks and pens etc.
Now, as I mentioned, the Hawkesmill St. James’s Street Camera Bag is not particularly cheap and so I made my choice based on value over what I hope will be many many years of usage.
I want this bag to weather with age and use (like me) and be a bag that I am still using in 10 or more years time.
I remember when I was little, my dad had a sturdy leather briefcase and it always fascinated me.
The smell of it, the weight of it. and the fact is he still has that bag.
It’s part of my memory of him and maybe this is the kind of camera bag that my kids will remember me with.
Hawkesmill St. James’s Street Camera Bag – In Summary
I know this is a little different to the gear reviews I post, but I wanted to make a specific point about this camera bag.
As photographers, we can all get a bit over-excited by bags (ask my wife!), but I genuinely love this bag.
Even though it has a lifetime guarantee, I do honestly think this will be my day-bag for street photography, meetings and general travel for many years to come.
This isn’t an affiliate review – you can make your own mind up on the bag itself over at the Hawkesmill website.