"Always carry a camera with you." That's not just a mantra one to live by, it's something that I actively try to do everywhere I go. As the years pile on being a photographer, the desire to carry anything and everything I need (carry stupid) slowly turns into carrying just exactly what I need (carry smart) without overloading my kneecaps. I once carried 30 pounds of gear all over Tokyo, I didn't feel tired but my knees weren't exactly happy at the end of the day. I have a habit of over preparing, carrying 2 of everything just on the off chance that something happens to the first. That leads to too many accessories spread over too many pouches weighing just too much. This time, I won't get into this time on how carrying less helps more with creativity, this article from a while back talks about just that.
What seems like a never ending journey of reconfiguring my on-the-go kit has finally saw a new ray of light in the Mod Tablet Mini.
So, it's basically a neat place for everything besides my camera. ThisIsGround makes a variety of inserts for different profession and after fiddling at their LA Headquarters, I've settled naturally on the Shooters insert. The entire thing folds up nicely and carries the following (everything in the list were chosen for their compact size):
- iPad Mini 4 (128GB + cellular, great for doing some work on the go)
- Adonit Jot Pixel (Since Apple Pencil doesn't work with the iPad Mini, this is the next best choice)
- Memory Cards (various, SD)
- Extra batteries (fits nicely in the inside memory card pockets because of the stretchable leather)
- Business cards
- All kinds of cables (short cables to not waste any space, for iPhone and everything else)
- Tile (I cannot recommend this enough, it keeps track of exactly where all your items are)
- Wallet Ninja (Super strong with a lifetime warranty, I use it to tighten screws, open bottles, etc)
- Transcend SD Card Reader (Always useful to have since I always transfer images to the computer)
- Screwpop Utility Knife (I prefer utility blades over fixed blades now because they will always remain sharp, this one has a very low profile.
- 3000mAH battery (I can use this to charge the phone, or the camera in a pinch)
- Caran D'ache Pen (I got this Sakura Print one in the air on JAL, these swiss made pens are smooth and reliable)
- RHA T20i Headphones (Dual drivers in each ear, sounds so good that I can ditch the AMP when used with the iPhone)
- Lenspen Micro (The felt is good for the lens and the brush is good to brush of the occasional dust and sand)
- Pocket sized notebook (Many brands to choose from, Public Supply, Field Notes, Moleskine, etc.)
Camera bags are always so full of pockets, so how do I integrate it into my old camera bags? The answer is easy and is singular. I have found one and only one camera bag with the pocket to accommodate the Mod Tablet Mini, and that is the Billingham L2. They come in a variety of colors and finishes to match anyone's liking. I got the black one because I like the option to black out entirely when I need to remain stealthy. The mod tablet sits perfectly in the front pocket without any play.
Within the bag, I am carrying:
- Fuji X100T Camera (Refer to this link on how to set up the camera)
- EF-X20 Flash
- Custom pouch for batteries on the go
- Extra Filters
- Mod Tablet Mini
The Mod Tablet Mini collects all the items I need into a beautiful, organized space. It reduces bulk but does not affect functionality. In fact it keeps things even better organized than I had before. I high recommend it, and with the abundant amounts of insert available, it's a fit for anyone.