Equipment Cases

On this page are some equipment cases I recommend for both cameras and lighting equipment.

Lightware

Lightware is a U.S. company that produces, in my opinion, the best series of equipment cases in the world. The reason is covered in the book, but in short, hard cases with foam cut-outs for your equipment are heavy and still transfer shock to your equipment if dropped.

Lightware cases are made of a Lexan shell surrounded by foam and sheathed in a very tough synthetic canvas-type material with movable velcroed partitions inside. You could throw one out of a moving vehicle with near impunity for both the case and your equipment inside, as the case will flex and absorb the shock while your equipment will simply be jostled around slightly within your padded partitions. They’re also light.

Primarily designed for still photographers, they work perfectly well for a video cameras of the consumer or prosumer size such as my NX30 and X70. In my case I have both those cameras, a GoPro and a Canon 600 DSLR along with all my microphones and all related accessories.

Joe's camera case

 

Here’s the link to their site:

Lightware Cases

Nikon ForensicsMainSize url 31408

 Orca

At the February 2015 BVE (Broadcast Video Exposition) in London I discovered a new case made in Israel (Orca) that rivals the Lightware case and is built on the same principle. Though maybe not quite as robust as the Lightware models, it is less expensive, even lighter, and comes with a very smart built-in LED light that comes in very handy when you’re backstage during a show looking for a spare battery or something.

orca_shoulder_video_bag_or_12_1082105Orca Shoulder Bag

Here’s the link to their site: Orca Cases

 5.11CAMS2.0

The Perfect Lighting Case

If that sounds ‘military’, it is.

This is an exciting new discovery I  made for the perfect lighting and stands case (lights, lighting accessories, microphone stand, tripods, etc.). It was designed for S.W.A.T teams and commandos–who, I guess, were the original run and gunners.

If it’s good enough for a commando, it’s good enough for me.

For years the bane of my run and gun life was my lighting case.

The soft light boxes and fluorescent bulbs themselves were feather weight. But added to that were 6 light stands (different sizes and heights), two different tripods, microphone stand and all the related accessories and tools including steel toed shoes. It made for a relatively heavy case.

For a while I used an oversized suitcase with wheels and a handle. I could just barely fit in my longest piece (the longest part of the disassembled microphone stand) by placing it diagonally. Everything fit and it was easy to transport, but with no compartments, it was rather clumsy to access what was in it. I had to practically empty it to get at the stuff I needed.

So I switched to an extra large wheeled cargo bag with a handle. It was a ‘heavy duty’ bag made in China which should have told me something before I bought it. It was the right size. I was able to construct and add a partitioned box inside of it so that everything wasn’t all jumbled together, but it wasn’t long before it started tearing in a couple places after hauling it up stairs, and not long after that that one of the ‘heavy duty’ wheels broke off.

So that went to the dust bin.

Then I got smart in my Google search.

‘Heavy duty wheeled cargo bag’ lead me to a military supplier in the UK Military First.

There are other suppliers, so matter where you are, the bag I got is called 5.11CAMS 2.0 (and that’s just the link to Google it).

This bag was made for Commados and S.W.A.T. teams for loading out their gear. There’s a great video on the Military First site, linked above, that describes the bag and how and why it was designed. This thing gets thrown in and out of trucks and helicopters full of guns, ammo and other kit. It’s truly ‘heavy duty’, with large wheels, grab handles in all the right places, a top zipped compartment with divider (and you can modify and add in your own additional velcro dividers), as well as a zipped bottom compartment designed apparently for guns, but which is perfect for all your stands and tripods. There are also 5 zipped compartments on the side and velcro straps that allow you to strap on a tripod or similar piece of equipment on the outside of the case. Importantly it has heavy duty skids on the bottom that allow you to drag it up stairs without ripping up the bottom. And you can stand it up on either end.

Here’s my case fully loaded.

lighting_and_stands_case

lighting_and_stands_case_top_and_bottom_compartments-2

 

And here’s what’s inside of it (with the exception that the contents of the grip bag shown in the photo are now in a couple of the side zip compartments of the new bag)

lighting_and_stands_case_contents.jpg

I may be the only videographer in the world with a lighting kit in a commando bag, but I must say, I consider this situation totally sorted.

I couldn’t be more happy and confident.

My Lightware camera case has been on the road for 8 years and still looks new. I expect it will last a lifetime.

I feel the same about my ‘Lighting case’ now. It cost £270, but it’s worth it. The Lightware case wasn’t cheap either, but then, when it comes to assuredly safe transport and ease of access to contents, it’s worth the piece of mind to have cases designed to do the job.

 

 

 

4 responses

    • Orca. Thanks to your question I found out the link in the blog article to the Orca site came back to the blog posting–so I’ve corrected it so it goes to their site. Backpacks are specifically here: http://www.orcabags.com/product/orca-backpack/
      The reason I recommend is both for the lightweight aspect and similar technology to Lightware cases. But also, those built-in LEDs are great. I’ve very often had to shoot productions in a theatre when it’s dark and you can’t see inside the case without fiddling around looking for your flashlight (if you even remembered to bring one), or worse, a lighter! These cases handle that problem nicely with a built-in LED lighting system so you can see what’s inside in the dark. I was very impressed with the build quality and user-friendliness of their bags and they’ll be my next choice if I ever need another case.

      Like

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