Lowe Pro has announced the July availability of two shoulder bags designed to hold digital camera gear, a Powerbook G3-size laptop and accessories. Called the Stealth Reporter 600 AW and Stealth Reporter 650 AW, they join the Stealth backpack and Madison 1300 AW in Lowe Pro's expanding line of bags designed to meet the needs of digital photojournalists.
Stealth Reporter 650 AW
The 650 AW will hold two digital SLR bodies, three lenses, a Powerbook G3 and a variety of accessories. The internal compartments are configurable; one configuration allows for a lens the size of a Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 or Canon 70-200mm f2.8, with hood extended, to be left on one camera body and still fit inside the bag. It has 2 built-in rain covers, a monopod holder, outer loops for attaching additional lens or accessory pouches and a carry handle in addition to the included shoulder strap. It can be converted to a fanny pack or backpack with the addition of the appropriate optional Lowe Pro strap or harness. Like the Stealth backpack, the 650 AW will be available in black only.
Stealth Reporter 600 AW
The 600 AW is not as deep front to back as the 650 AW, and therefore holds only one camera body. It otherwise has the same feature set as the 650 AW. Of the two, the 600 AW will likely be more practical to use, because it should still be a manageable weight. A fully-loaded 650 AW, however, is going to be big, and a bear to carry.
If you need a bag to transport your digital camera and computer gear city to city or even assignment to assignment, the Stealth backpack is a great choice. If you prefer to carry your computer gear separate from your camera gear, the Madison 1300 AW laptop backpack, a recent addition to my bag collection, is worth a look. If you need a bag to work out of that will hold it all, either the Stealth Reporter 600 AW and 650 AW shoulder bags should fit the bill. My money is on the 600 AW, as I suspect that many shooters will find the weight and bulk of a fully-loaded 650 AW too much too handle.
Pricing on the Stealth shoulder bags has not yet been announced. They are expected to ship later this month.