I have been keeping my eyes open for a shoulder type camera bag for my mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, its lenses and various accessories. What I have been looking for was a shoulder bag that was compact, yet roomy enough for all my mirrorless gear, durable and rugged, but still looked stylish. By consequence, Think Tank Photo had just released a new line of camera shoulder bags, the Mirrorless Mover series, designed to carry mirrorless type cameras. Mark and I have several of Think Tank Photo’s camera backpacks and other products and have always been exceptionally happy with their functionality, quality and durability, so I thought that I should have a look at what these new bags have to offer. Thanks to the good people at Think Tank Photo I was able to get my hands on the Mirrorless Mover 30i to try out. I have used it extensively for the over a month, and think that it is just wonderful.
The Mirrorless Mover 30i (MM 30i) is the largest of the four bags in the series, but still relatively compact (28 cm W x 15.5 cm H x 14.5 cm D / 11” W x 8.9” H x 5.7” D), just slightly larger than an average sized purse. Although it is lightweight, (0.5 kg or 1.0 lbs) Think Tank didn’t scrimp on quality as it is made with high quality fabrics, metal hardware and YKK zippers. Its classic smooth exterior design combined with a pleasing matte black and charcoal colour gives it a very stylish appearance without looking overall like a camera bag. It is rugged enough to withstand use in the backwoods while still looking great on downtown streets.
At first glance one would think that you would access the main compartment by lifting up the covering flap, however, that isn’t the case as the flap just covers the outer front pocket. Instead, to get at the main compartment, the MM 30i has an innovated design where there is a zipper that runs along the back and sides of the bag and opens away from your body. This is a really great feature that allows easy and quick access to your gear.
In the main compartment there are two movable dividers that allow you to customize the interior to best accommodate your gear. I can fit my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, with a lens attached, two additional lenses, and numerous accessories including a cable release, dedicated Olympus flash unit and a pair of gloves for cooler mornings. One of the two dividers is designed as a padded smart phone slot. However, as I don’t have a smart phone, I instead use the slot to hold my Singh-Ray Cokin P-sized polarizing filter, which allows me quick access to it. When traveling I like to be able to have room for my iPad, the MM 30i has a separate tablet pocket in the main compartment just for that. In the top of the main compartment there is a pocket that I use to hold a lens cleaning cloth and my spare camera batteries in a Think Tank DSLR Battery Holder 2.
A large flap covers the front of the MM 30i and creates the sleek, stylish appearance that I find so appealing and conceals the zippered outer front pocket. In the outer front pocket I carry my GEPE Card Safe Extreme with four extra SD cards, an x-rite photo ColorChecker Passport, an Allen wrench, step-up ring and my Olympus BCL 15mm f/8 Body Cap Lens. Also in the front pocket is where I store the included rain cover. There is a magnetic closure that keeps the front cover in place while still allowing quick access to the front pocket. The MM30i has a small pocket on each of its ends that are large enough to hold my Cokin P filter holders and spare lens caps. The shoulder strap is comfortable with its wide, adjustable shoulder pad. There is also a waist-belt slot so you could use the MM30i as a belt pack, although I haven’t used it that way yet.
The only issue that I have with the MM30i is that I wish the back of the bag was a bit stiffer. When I am not carrying my iPad with me I found that the back of the bag, which is where the tablet pocket is located, tends to bend inward at the centre, thus causing the top zipper to not slide as easily. My solution to this has been to slide a piece of reinforced cardboard, the size of my iPad, into the tablet pocket to help stiffen the back.
I am really impressed with Think Tank Photo’s Mirrorless Mover 30i and use it to carry all my Olympus mirrorless camera system when I am out and about in my travels and it still has a little room to spare for a few future accessories. In my opinion Think Tank Photo has created another excellent product and I look forward to many years of use with it! – Leslie