For those who are regulars here, you’ll know that while not professional photographers, we enjoy taking shots of what we see in the Loin, especially when it comes to the foods (yes, we enjoy inducing the “nom nom”). For those who are regulars in this neighborhood, it’s a pretty well-known fact that slinging about with a decently expensive DLSR is often not the brightest of ideas. At best it puts people off and gets really bizarre catcalls you have to ignore on certain blocks. At worst, you might be a target for theft, although I’ve never really felt that to be an issue. Being what it may, I tend to keep my camera stashed in my very sweat-a-licious five year-old Timbuk2 bag that has a Lowepro camera bag inside which I cut the top off of. It’s not the best setup, but it’s served me well and proudly here and in many trips.

A couple of weeks ago, through associations with them from a previous project, Timbuk2 contacted us to take a look at their brand new Snoop Camera Messenger bag that they’re starting to sell today to see what we thought–given that we’re running around a lot taking urban photos here in the Loin.

After several days using it, yes, this is definitely a solid replacement for my rigged up Lowepro crap setup. First off, the appearance of being just a basic Messenger bag is great. A straight-out camera bag screams, “tourist!” or “steal me!” so this makes you blend in like never before. The camera section is completely removable, which means that if you want to ditch the gear at home, you still have a regular bag. Also, within it there are movable compartments so that you can have a sandwich one day and then a six pack of beer the next (obviously lunch options need to be varied). And last but not least, they also added in a a great slot to the back to store a small laptop for professional photographers to send their pictures from the field right away (check out all the new features here).

But, enough about my bag, what do you photogs out there use? Are you guys stealthing it up like I usually do or are you out in the open? Just today, we were walking down Hyde to be cautioned by a geared-up photographer coming up the street that folks around Turk were in a bad mood. We didn’t see a problem and wondered if others out there have been harassed while taking shots? Has anyone actually had their gear directly stolen from them while walking out and about?