Friday, 24 January 2014

Ortlieb Snap camera case, a wee looky see

So, while I started to get to grips with the LX7 it wasn't long before I realised that I'd need a few bits and bobs to go with it. I needed a case of sorts to protect my new toy and after a long time trawling the net I plumped for the Ortlieb Snap. It was a bit of a gamble as I couldn't find any decent reviews on it and hadn't seen one in the flesh but my initial impressions are very good.

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My old camera case was a Lowe pro something or other and has served me well. It's protected my old camera well over the years and was just perfect hanging from my Rucksack straps, however waterproofing has never been its strong point. It did have an integrated rain cover like you see on some rucksack but it was only good for short showers. Anything longer had me hiding the whole thing away either in a jacket pocket or in the rucksack itself. I'm always nervous about jacket pockets now after I once drowned a mobile phone when I left the zip open a centimetre and I find I stop taking photo's if I can't get to the camera easily. A waterproof/weatherproof case it had to be then, and that narrowed down my choices somewhat...

I've had my hands on the Ortlieb for a few weeks now and I must say I'm mightily impressed with its simplicity and construction. It's all you need and nothing else, which is a good thing when backpacking or mountaineering. To start with it's made from a very tough feeling Cordura type fabric that feels like it will laugh off years of abrasion damage and rough handling with gay abandon. The inside of the fabric is PU coated with welded seams and puts me in mind of those curtain sides you see on lorries. I know that they're made from thick PVC coated canvas but trust me, this wee case is a tough wee bugger.

On the back there is a simple and again tough feeling belt loop made from Hypalon type rubber that's literally bolted through the case. There's also a couple of sturdy plastic loops here too if you want to use the supplied shoulder strap. What I'll be doing is threading my rucksack waist belt through the rubber loop which is quite tight so it won't slip off when I remove my pack but it's not so tight that it won't go on.

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Access to the camera inside is via a simple fold over flap. held down with a velcro square. The inside of the opening has a stiff but flexible strip of plastic sewn inside it which encourages the flap and body material to fold over sharply creating a very weather proof seal. It's not a dry bag seal though by any stretch of the imagination, and if you expect to be submerged then look elsewhere but this bad boy will keep even the heaviest deluge out. I did look at a few dry bag style cases (Aquapac for instance) but I ruled them out as quick access is a priority for me.

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Inside there is a strip of closed cell foam or rubber lining the bottom and a sort of structure round the sides and rear of the case to offer some effective feeling bump or butterfingers protection. The structure feels like it's made from a sheet of thin pliable plastic coated in velour and vacu-formed to give it some shape that will absorb knocks and bumps like the crumple zones in your car. It also provides somewhere for the belt loop outside to bolt onto. This thing has a proper engineered feel to it.

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Still inside but suspended down the front are a couple of mesh pockets which I've found to be easily big enough to take a spare battery and SD card along with one of those wee cloths you get for cleaning your glasses. I figure the cloth will come in handy cleaning my paw prints off the lens. There isn't really much in the way of bump protection on the front, but with the pockets plus anything you put in them and the added thickness of the folded over flap there is a little padding that to be honest feels more than adequate.

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All in I'm plenty chuffed with this case as I can get to my camera fast and I can stop worrying about either the weather getting to it or me smashing it on a crag whilst scrambling. If I was to try and find a bad point about it then I suppose that some might view the noise from the velcro as a negative if they spend a lot of time trying to sneak up on deer and ptarmigan or something... Anyway, I bought this with my own hard earned gear tokens and I really do recommend giving it a look if your in the market for a camera case.

1 comment:

  1. Alpensneeuwhoen21 June 2014 at 16:18

    Thanks for the tip/review Sandy. Seems like a durable and practical bag and I'll certainly keep it in mind. I bought a medium Optech Soft Pouch today (for my newly acquired Ricoh GR V), but if that doesn't work out I will give this Ortlieb a try. The Optech is not waterproof, but not much of an adventurer/hiker. The first thing I found out when I came home (why didn't I think of it in the store?) is that it doesn't have a compartment for my two extra batteries and memory cards. I brought the pouch to a local tailor and asked them to stitch a small compartment in it for me. There should be enough room (the GR V is very small) and if it's not to deep I can still reach the stuff inside. I hope it works out. Other than that, it's a nice flexible pouch and the Ricoh camera fits easily. It has a waist clip to connect it to a waistband, backpack or belt.


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