Update: check out the new Cosyspeed Streetomatic bag in our review here!
“The world belongs to mirrorless heroes” is one of the slogans by Cosyspeed, an emerging German company specialised in accessories for mirrorless cameras. After using the bags intensively for the past month, I can easily adapt that slogan and say that mirrorless cameras belong to Cosyspeed bags. Why? Because Cosyspeed takes the main philosophy behind mirrorless cameras, which is smaller and lighter gear, and adapts it to bags. The results are the Camslinger 105 and Camslinger 160, two belt bags that allow you to bring your camera anywhere more easily than with any other bag.
Camera Beltpacks Reinvented
Beltpacks or waist packs aren’t really a novelty. You can easily find some models by the most well-known bag manufactures such as Lowepro or Thinktank. The problem is that they are all relatively big and designed to host bigger cameras and lenses.
The Cosyspeed Camslinger bags however are designed for CSCs and include some very smart features. The most notable is the possibility to adjust their size. The bags are made of two main parts that are securely linked with an elastic band and velcro. The velcro allows you to adjust the depth of the bag according to the size of you camera.
For example, it proves very useful when housing an Olympus Pen E-P5 with its external EVF attached. With a traditional small bag, you would have no option but to remove the EVF from the hot shoe.
Each bag can be closed with one of the two Tenax knobs. They are very easy to lock and unlock. There is also a bungee cord to add even more security to the bag when closed. They work very well, and you can easily open or close the bag without even looking at it.
The belt provides a plastic buckle with an extra safety release button, and the size can be adjusted with velcro as well. We noticed that the belt fits best on a man’s waists but may be more uncomfortable for women. Heather tried both and couldn’t adjust the belt optimally because the velcro doesn’t extend along the entire belt surface.
The design is sport/adventure orientated and will suit most casual outfits well. The material is dust and splash proof.
There are two side flaps that keep water droplets out when the bag is closed. However if you extend the depth of the bag and place a camera inside that only just fits, the side flaps aren’t as effective due to the small gaps created near the opening. On a rainy day, water could enter the bag more easily.
This isn’t a huge problem because if you are outdoors taking photographs in the rain, you probably have waterproof rain gear anyway. However it pays to be aware that the bag may be less protective in certain situations (depending on the kind of gear you are carrying of course).
Another nice thing about Cosyspeed bags is that they offer additional accessories to carry extra gear. There is an additional lens bag that can house a lens as large as a M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 with the metal lens hood or a smaller accessory bag that can house extra batteries and a small flash unit for example.
Cosyspeed also offers a finger strap, a nice pillow made in Burundi where your camera can rest, and a smartphone bag. All these accessories can be purchased separately.
The Camslinger 105: no more excuses for not bringing your camera with you
The Camslinger 105 is the smallest of the two and I find it to be the perfect companion for cameras such the Fuji X100s.
I was easily able take out and put away my X100s with the Photomadd Grip attached, while having space left over for my smartphone and a second battery. The bag doesn’t have any inside pockets but using the dividers, you can organise the space according to your needs. This version was perfect for me and allowed me to have the X100s on me at all times.
I found it useful when working on video sets, where I sometimes wanted to take a quick backstage photo. Removing the camera, taking the picture and putting it back took a matter of seconds. This is the main concept behind the Cosyspeed bags and they worked perfectly. Whenever you need to have your camera ready and want to be free of any sort of traditional bag, the Camslinger 105 is the best option. Moreover, its small dimensions mean you will hardly ever need to remove it. I had it on me even when driving or sitting.
If you want to have your camera with you at all times but don’t want the encumbrance of a traditional shoulder or backpack, the Camslinger 105 is the answer.
The Camslinger 160: a great addition for professional work
I love to test cameras and accessories in the field because you are often in situations where you rarely accept compromises. Things need to work and be comfortable, otherwise you won’t bring them a second time.
The Camslinger 160, being the bigger of the two, allowed me to host an OM-D E-M1 with the M.Zuiko 9-18mm mounted plus the Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8. I also used the extra lens bag for the 75mm f/1.8.
I brought the bag with me during the Cosmoprof Event in Bologna, where I was hired for three days to mainly do time-lapse shots during the festival. I travelled there with my Lowepro backpack where I kept many different things including my Macbook Pro. But once inside the festival, I easily travelled around with just my tripod and Camslinger.
While the Camslinger bags certainly cannot replace a complete bag option when you need to bring many lenses and accessories, it can be a complement in those situations where you need just a few lenses and a camera. For me it was a blessing during those three days of non-stop walking between stands at the festival.
I also used it for some of my basic assignments at the Cinema Museum, where small events are routinely held every month in the same place. At these events, I know exactly what I need. The E-M1 with the 12-40mm and 75mm in the lens bag are more than enough to cover everything, and since I often go there directly from my office, it means one less bag to carry.
The Cosyspeed Camslinger bags won’t replace a more complete solution like a Lowepro backpack or Thinktank Retrospective bag. Rather, they have been designed as an everyday solution or as a complement. Imaging travelling, leaving your backpack at the hotel for one day and just walking around the city with the 105 or 160 bag. It can make a difference. More over, the accessories and dividers allow you create different configurations according to the size of your camera and the lens you want to bring.
These bags also turn you into a minimalist. If you want to use them you’ll have to choose your gear wisely and bring only what you really need. This may prove helpful to those with the tendency to overpack an excessive amount of gear.
There aren’t any major flaws but the belt size can be a problem for woman’s waist. Also, varying the depth of the bag can make the side flaps less effective at protecting the camera from rain.
Apart from that, the Camslingers are an easy and practical solution, and above all, a joy to use. I cannot imagine setting out on a photography outing or assignment without one anymore.
Cosyspeed is a new company so I hope that these bags sell well and that we can see more models coming out soon. Maybe one more suited to women, or perhaps different design and look as well. Normally, users who like mirrorless cameras such as the Fuji X line also like traditional looking bag such as the Billingham series. A Camslinger bag with a kind of retro look and leather casing could also be very attractive.
On Wednesday we will go to the Cinque Terre in the Liguria region and I will be bringing the Fuji X-T1 with the 10-24mm and a spare battery inside the Camslinger 160. That’s it. The battery charger can go in the suitcase. 😉
Update: check out the new Cosyspeed Streetomatic bag in our review here!