Works With: Cameras, iPad mini
I have a kind of standing checklist of things I like and things that annoy me in bag design. Booq’s Python Mirrorless Bag flags just one of my “annoyances,” and that’s a purely aesthetic matter. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it’s pretty damn good at what it does.
First, that list.
- Is the strap long enough?
- Is the bag heavy even when empty?
- Are there too many fiddly pockets? Or not enough pockets?
- Can I get in and out quickly?
- Is it safe? Secure?
- Can I tweak the configuration?
- Is there a spot for my iPad?
- Does stuff get lost inside it because the lining is frikkin black?
- Is it ugly? Does it look like a camera/computer/iPad bag?
A lot of that is subjective, but then so is bag choice. And the only place the Python Mirrorless falls down on is the last one, but only because I’m not a fan of the high-tech design. But even that’s a halfhearted complaint – the bag is actually pretty low key.
What It Is
The Python Mirrorless is a shoulder bag that carries one mirrorless-camera-sized camera, plus a lens, you iPad mini, your iPhone, plus a few sundry items batteries, SD cards and so on. It’s tough, it’s made from ballistic nylon with a plush interior, it has oversized zippers and the inside can be divided up to suit your needs. And it is very cleverly designed indeed.
The Python Mirrorless is sized perfectly for use with a small mirrorless camera, and it’s also light when empty. The strap is long enough that even a tall person can sling it low on a hip, and the adjustment buckle is on the opposite side to where these buckles usually live.
That is, when you wear the bag on your right hip with the strap over your left shoulder, the buckle is behind you. This keeps it out of the way. I never understood why the buckle is usually at the front. It’s not like I adjust it that much anyway (the cinch-able straps of messenger bags are a different matter).
The bag also opens backwards, the flap opening away from you when the bag is on your shoulder. This lets you get inside without having to open the lid all the way, or you can leave the lid partially open and not worry about anything falling out, or pickpockets getting a look inside. In fact, the bag’s design makes it hard to even open the top flap past vertical. This lets you use the bag whilst open without anything flopping around.
The iPad mini pocket is on the inside, next to your hip and away from danger, and the end pockets, while a little tricky to access on the go becasue the bag’s tapered shaped angles them away from you, are lined with pockets made entirely from elastic strips.
Talking of smart material choices, the shoulder strap and grab handle are made of seatbelt webbing, making them tough, light and comfortable.
I also like the little pocket on the top which gives a handy spot to stow your iPhone. It too has a zip-up closure, and the top lid is stiff enough that you can sue this pocket even when it’s open.
Finally, the pocket round the back is also iPad mini sized, and can be used as a quick place to stow the tablet if you are constantly pulling it out to check, say, your Eye-Fi transfers. It’s also a good spot for documents when travelling.
There’s not much for this section. I’d prefer a design that didn’t say “I’m a camera bag,” but as I said, the Python Mirrorless is actually rather stealthy when compared to stuff from, say, Lowepro.
More objective is my complaint about the way the bag tips up when you lift it by the shoulder strap. Yank it when it’s loaded and the bag tips forwards. It shouldn’t spill anything, thanks to the clever lid design and the internal pocket which has a lid to protect the camera even while the bag is open, but it’s disconcerting.
Then again, the strap anchor points are at the back of the bag, so this is probably unavoidable. And given that the strap positioning makes the bag comfy to wear, I’ll take it.
A fantastic bag for folks who use small cameras and carry iPad minis. Yes, this is a relatively narrow demographic, but the specialisation makes the result so much better for the people it fits. And even if you don’t use this with an iPad, this is a great camera bag period.
Product Name: : Python Mirrorless
The Good: Perfect for it’s purpose. Light, comfy, tough, and so well designed you will forget it’s there.
The Bad: Worrying lurch when you pick it up by the shoulder strap.
The Verdict Pretty much the only camera bag I’d consider for my Fujifilm X100S. Perfect for mirorrless minimalists.
Buy from: Booq