Domke Next Generation Director Camera Bag – Review

Domke Next Generation Director Camera Bag
Manufacturer:
Tiffen
Price: $329.99 – Internet: $244.74

Photographers are so focused on the hardware and the image that the importance of a camera bag to transport and protect this costly and delicate the gear can be overlooked. Domke has these objectives squarely in its sights. My first impression of this bag was that it can withstand being dragged for several kilometers across the Serengeti tied to the bumper of your Land Rover. The Domke Next Generation Director is a tough little bag with many good features and few flaws.

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This small bag is sized to accommodate a full sized DSLR with lens and an additional lens of medium to larger size. The exterior is made from durable Cordura Nylon. The padded interior has movable dividers to customize the fit to your exact specifications. This combination gives the robustness to survive a safari in Africa or an urban jungle closer to home.

Features of note:

Shoulder straps
The unpadded shoulders strap is woven with anti-slip rubber cords on the underside. This desirable feature is balanced by the fact that the clips that hold the bag are plastic and not sturdy.

Zippered top access
There is a zipper along the top to allow access to the main compartment. This will be welcome during inclement weather or when in a crowd of strangers.

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Quiet Velcro?
What would Velcro be with out the ripping sound? There are times when you don’t want the sound. Perhaps when stalking the Blue Wildebeest or during wedding vows. Domke has come up with a clever solution to hide the hooks from the loops when silence is needed. You do give up the security but this trick is reversible. Once seen it is one of those why didn’t I think of that moments.

Luggage Loop
There is a strap on the back of the bag to allow it to slip over the handle of wheeled luggage. Great for running through the airport or when the photoshoot requires additional gear.
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Main compartment flap
The top flap covers the main compartment and a couple of expandable pockets on the front. The flap is secured with custom steel hardware but these clips are a little fussy to open, taking more time to open than anticipated. This can cause you to miss the shot. Leaving the clips undone is not an option as this is how the carry handle is supported.
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Expandable side pockets
These pockets have gussets that are held closed with zippers. Opening the zippers will expand the pockets giving welcome supplemental room. When open the space provided is perfect to use for an additional lens. However, the pocket is unpadded, leaving the lens less protected than desired. One of the side pockets on my demonstration unit was very difficult to open. I was unable to fully open the other side.
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The Domke Next Generation Director camera bag is tough and will give many years of service. It will also hold more equipment than appears at first sight. But at this price point I expected fewer flaws.

MyMac.com Review Rating: 7 out of 10

Serengeti
Blue Wildebeest

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About Bob Wood

I am a nearly life long photographer now doing commercial as well as fine art work. I have almost 20 years as a Mac User Group officer and enjoy the people and imparting help and knowledge to our members. There is nothing like seeing the light go on in the eyes of your, Mac or Photography students.

2 thoughts on “Domke Next Generation Director Camera Bag – Review

  1. Considering the price of a lot of bags I do find myself often disappointed to find niggly flaws that just feel a bit “cheap”. Plastic fittings and fixtures are one of them, and an unpadded strap is another. One of the things i have to say ThinkTank’s bag I recently reviewed avoided very well (yes that was a laptop bag, but ThinkTank’s main output is photographers’ bags). Quiet Velcro sounds interesting… not quite sure how that works, but I like the thinking for a camera bag in exactly the ways you described. I am not sure about the front fasteners either from the photos and your description (though it is at least nice to see the designers thinking of different solutions to the usual.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Simon. I don’t mind this unpadded strap as it has the rubber “treads” on the underside. I would much rather have a strap that sticks to your shoulder than a slippery padded strap that is constantly trying to jump off your shoulder and run away. Quiet Velcro has a little flap that will cover one half of the Velcro set to keep it from sticking to the other half. Good solution.

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