Lowepro Nova 1 camera bag

from Shutter, by Lewis Collard

LowePro Nova 1 camera bag

That's right, kids, even my camera bags are obsolete. Also I'm writing an article on a camera bag, which is the last thing I thought I'd ever do (literally; as in right after doing so, committing suicide out of shame). Thing is, though, I like it that much that I'm willing to write an article on my website about a boring camera bag.

Oh God, what have I done...

So yup, here's the Lowepro Nova 1, a tiny and Tardis-like camera bag which I've been using all the time for the last six months. For lugging around a massive camera like my D2H, it's saved me a lot of sore necks and sore shoulders.

Lowepro Nova 1 main compartment
The main compartment of the Nova 1. There's actually two removable section dividers; I removed one because it got in my way and I lost it from there.


There are five of them:


Excellent. I would happily (and have) carried this around while on my feet for ten hours at a time.


Excellent, as if anything less could be expected of a Lowepro bag.


Plenty good enough; lots and lots of padding. I suspect from the dense nylon-ish material that it'll be shower-proof too. I've been caught out in the rain once and didn't get the camera wet, so make of that what you will.


Nope. It's not as bad an invitation to be a crime statistic as, say, a bag with "Nikon" marked on it would be, but the name "Lowepro" screams "HELLO I HAVE A CAMERA PLEASE STEAL ME". If this bothers you, stitch a My Little Pony patch over it or something. I'm tempted, but only because I think it would be hilarious carrying a Nikon D2H in a My Little Pony bag.

The Ouse with a tree
Picture unrelated, but it breaks up the text.

How much can you fit into it?

I find it's just about wide enough to stash my massive Nikon D2H length-ways. Here's how much you can fit with the D2H and still be able to close the top cover (the main compartment doesn't zip up too easily):

LowePro Nova 1 with Nikon D2H
Main compartment: Nikon D2H with mounted 55-200mm VR and 18-55mm buried underneath. Front pocket: Nikon 50mm f/1.8D and an Olympus Trip 35. Top pocket: three 35mm film canisters. Anything smaller than a D2H wouldn't be such a squeeze, so if you want to get an averaged-sized pick-up truck in there, you're golden.

And in the name of science, here's what you can cram in if you're carrying a Canon A-1:

Lowepro Nova 1 camera big with Canon A-1 and tons of other junk.
Main compartment: Canon A-1 with a 35-70mm lens lens cap (buried), Canon 135mm f/3.5 (buried), Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 (buried), Olympus Trip 35, Konica C35, Canon Power Winder A, and my ten-year-old Nokia 7110 (even my cell phone is obsolete, baby). Front pocket: Pentax ZX-M with mounted 28mm f/2.8 (!), asthma inhaler. Top pocket (not shown): three 35mm film canisters. Back pocket: photograph of my dog.

Don't be deceived by this bag's small size; that little space goes a long way. Honestly, I never carry this much stuff these days, not even when I'm shooting multiple cameras. Just as building wider roads never leads to less congestion, if you carry a bigger bag then this you will find yourself filling the space. Carry a little bag and you'll be amazed at how little you'll miss.

What you can't fit into it

Long, fast telephotos are way out of the question, sorry. Obviously, you can't carry a tripod in it, either, which is good because that means you'll leave your tripod at home.

Getting one

These come up on eBay from time to time. I paid £10 for mine, used. If you can't find one, today's Nova 160 looks like it's about the same size. This is one of two things I have never regretted buying for so much as a moment. If you don't already have a small camera bag and you run into one of these, get it.