Joe asks 'What cheap case can be used for small equipment?". If we're not talking about fragile equipment, I know a few people using these Plano 4 Pistol Foam Lined Cases. These aren't your waterproof air tight 'Pelican-Like' cases, but they still offer a fair amount of protection. With an internal dimension of 16" x 10" x 6", these pistol cases are large enough to hold monitors, portable audio recorders, microphone systems, battery chargers, and more.
For smaller equipment that I feel can take a few bumps, clear Organizing Tackle Boxes work great. The clear boxes take the guess work out of finding gear, all without having to open the box. You can organize and label areas such as 'new' or 'used' for batteries.
Example of how I use these cases
The trick is finding a good set, and the ones I use are also from Plano. Not just durable, but 3" deep to hold fairly thick camera accessories such as LP-E6 Batteries. Overall storage dimensions are 10.5" W X 7"H X 3" Deep, and these run under $7 dollars (found here).
If you've had to travel with a combination of personal luggage + camera equipment before, then these transforming roller bags may be of interest. The Porter Cases are unique rolling cases that convert from a carry-on sized travel roller into a hand truck a.k.a dolly that you can stack up to 150 lbs of gear on. I can see how this could make life a little bit easier during travels.
From what I can tell there are two main Porter Rolling Case models. One is the The Porter PCX Lite Roller which is a semi-hard carry-on sized hard case (just the sides). The other is a complete hard case (think Pelican) which are sold under several different models, due to the interior you choose. For example, there's a version for computers with an organizer lid, and another for Camera Equipment that has padded dividers and foam.
The Porter Full Hard Cases are made from injection molding, have a built in combination lock which is handy when you're walking away from your bag at an event, and offer gasket seals around the lid to help prevent moisture and dust from creeping in. Maybe not the best looking cases, but i'm most interested in the functionality of the Hand Truck feature to cart around extra luggage after a trip to baggage claim. You will often find them cheaper via eBay (click here).
Porter PCX Lite Semi-Hard Camera Carry-On Case + Hand Truck Cart Dolly
Someone over at YouTube was asking me about a travel bag for a Steadicam Vest, and I had mentioned at times I use a rolling duffle bag. A duffle is an inexpensive way to lug around a bunch of gear including light stands, tripods, monopods, etc. but doesn't always provide the best protection when everything is thrown in one area. This question reminded me about a cool looking Hybrid Rolling Duffle/Hard Case I ran into the other day which might be a better way to haul large odd sized equipment while keeping them separated.
This unique bag has a hard case at the bottom, might be good for storing items you'd like to have protected such as the Steadicam Arm, Light Stands, Monopods, or maybe even create a padded divider for lighting. The top is a flexible Duffle area for storing larger items like a padded stabilizer vest, cloth backdrops, extension cords, or other grip gear.
Listed on a daily deal, here's an Aluminum Hard Case with 'Pluck Foam' for customizing the fit of your equipment. I wouldn't trust them to handle my Lenses or DSLR video cameras, but for every other accessory they work great to keep things where they need to be and i'm able to store them on shelves or rack space.
Here's a great little roller bag kit that normally runs well over $200 dollars. The kit can be separated into two separate bags or just used as one padded roller. The small roller can be emptied to hold clothes, and a padded insert can hold a camera body + lens with two additional lenses and room to spare for a laptop computer. On Amazon they are still listing the X50 for $213 (seen here). Currently on B&H they have a huge huge discount dropping the price down to just under $80 bucks via B&H (click here).
Mike writes in and shares an update about a product that was currently out of stock for a while. It's a tip I shared a while back about Creating a Padded Camera Roller Bag. Although in the video I state it's under $30 dollars, the item is now back online for a slightly increased price of $39.99. Still it's a great tip for making a padded roller bag, and if you're like me I travel with three. Huge cost savings overall, even if it's just for your accessories and not your main camera bag.
You can find pretty much the exact style insert i'm using via Calumet finally back in stock right now following the link (click here).
Here's a great LowePro camera backpack design shared by Habez [Thanks Habez]. The DSLR Video fastpack was released more than 6 months ago, but it's pretty much set up for something I would use. I normally always carry a laptop (mobile blogging) and enough camera equipment to do a basic shoot including a small portable tripod. The LowePro FastPack 150, 250, and 350 are designed to hold a decent amount of Photo or Video gear for fast access. The largest 350 version is wide enough to support a 70-200mm Lens, and room to store a large 17" Laptop, along with Tripod holder and Rain Cover.
Other highlight features
Security Flap for additional protection to outer compartments, Built-in Memory Card Holders, 180-degree Side-entry Panel, Adjustable Dividers, Triple Compartment Design, Harness Pocket, Outer Accessory Pockets, Mesh Side Pocket, Tough Water Resistant Outer Fabric, Side-entry Access. Starting at about $100 dollars for the smallest on Amazon (Click Here).
Did you know some at some places it's prohibited to use a tripod? At the same time, those places 'will allow' use of a Monopod. I wonder if the same rules apply to a Click Elite backpack with built in Camera Stand? Click Elite, best known for their camera back packs with built in camera stands are on sale at a whopping 50% off for a limited time on select models. Personally for small bags, I prefer my LowePro setup. Anything heavier, and i'm into a roller bag. But if you've been eyeballing some of the Click Elite multifunctional bags and backpacks, but were less than flattered by their high prices, this could be a small window of opportunity following this link (click here).