Cycling camera bags for the Sony A7RIII, Sony A7 and A9 cameras
The Sony A7 series of cameras have become the biggest selling range of full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. They are compact cameras (for full-frame) and offer a wide selection of prime and zoom lenses across a range of prices and sizes. We always take a camera on our road, gravel and MTB rides and we also run cycling photography tours throughout the year in the Valencia region. Here's our camera bag recommendation for Sony full-frame cameras. Our Sony kit and bags We use a Sony A7RIII having previously used a Sony A7II. It offers 42 megapixels and can be used in full-frame or APS-C crop mode, to effectively extend the reach of a lens by the 1.5 crop factor whilst retaining a good resolution of 18 megapixels, which is more than good enough for social media and decent sized prints.
Lens selection The A7RIII is not usually our first pick as a camera for road riding and mountain biking, where the main purpose of the day is road riding or mountain biking, not taking photographs. If however, we are using the bike to get to and from landscape locations and the main focus of the day is photography, then it's often our weapon of choice, with one to two lenses. We use the following lenses when cycling with our Sony camera. Sony Zeiss ZA 16-35mm F4.0 OSS FE This a great lens and at the top end of the size and weight scale that we are prepared to carry on a bike. With the Super 35 crop mode on the camera, it gives up to 50mm focal and 16mm at the wide end.
Sony 28mm F2.0 Part of our compact full-frame set up, this a great lens and usually covers most of the landscape shots when on the bike. We rarely need wider. However, when we do the tiny Samyang 18mm F2.8 is small and lightweight and easy to carry in the bag.
We rarely use this lens on the bike, as it's just a little too long and awkward when in one of the bags our choice. We have been known to take it on shorter local rides. Other lenses and kit We normally use M43 (MicroFourThirds) kit when cycling, as it offers a big size advantage and good enough quality for most of our needs. However, if we were only using Sony Full frame kit, we would probably add a small 75mm or 85mm prime to cycling camera kit such as the Samyang 75mm 1.8 or Sony 85mm 1.8mm, which on the A7RIII give us 135mm and the option of ClearImageZoom for even longer reach. Our bags of Choice After extensive research and trying many different types of bags, we are currently only using two bags for our cycling photography. Evoc Hip Pack Capture 7
We'll have a full review of this bag coming shortly, but after testing countless alternatives we've finally settled on this bag for the vast majority of the rides we do. We can fit the A7RIII, Sony 16-35mm F4.0 and two other lenses in the bag. The 18mm Samyang lens comes supplied with a perfectly sized camera pouch that fits the Sony 28mm too. We could fit filters in the front compartment of the bag, along with memory cards and other accessories.
It is actually possible to fit the Tamron 28-75mm and the Sony A7RIiI mounted with 16-35 into the bag.
Evoc Hip Pack Capture 7 and Sony A7RIII - Performance and Verdict
It is generally not ideal to cram as much as possible into the bag as it compromises one of its main advantages - ease and speed of use. With the appropriately sized kit, the bag offers rapid top-loading access to the camera, without the need to take the bag off. It is simply a matter of swivelling it around your hips and grabbing the camera. When you're on a trail or stopping at the side of the road to take photos, maintaining quick and easy access to the camera is essential. If it becomes a chore, you become increasingly likely to simply not bother taking the camera out. This is compounded when you're riding in a group, some of whom may be not be taking photographs. In practice, we've found that when riding with larger lenses like the Sony 16-35 F4.0, it is massively more convenient not to use the lens hood. Taking the camera out of the bag is a tighter fit when it is on your hips and putting it back in with the lens hood on starts to become a faff. So much so, that at times, you end having to slacken the belt. put the camera back and then re-tighten the belt. Longer full-frame zooms like the Tamron 28-75mm fit less well when mounted on the camera. Whilst it can be carried as a second lens. we don't like changing lenses too often once on the bike. Carrying it as a second lens might mean changing the primary lens to take a photo and changing it back to store in the bag. Recommendations for Evoc Hip Pack Capture and Sony A7RIII With a larger lens mounted onto the A7RIII, we tend to operate a "one lens one camera" policy. In our case, the Sony 16-35 F4.0 is a better option than the longer Tamron 28-75mm. On most days and most rides, we can get away with the 50mm equivalent Focal length and crop a little further in post. We generally prefer using small primes on our Sony A7RIII with this bag. This gives us the flexibility to pack several lenses or to use a small second camera, mounted with a small prime at a complementary focal length e.g. Olympus 45mm 1.8.
Don't use larger Full Frame 2.8 Zooms, especially telephoto zooms or wide angles zooms.
Don't carry large lens hoods - or store them in the front compartment
On a lower resolution Sony A7 camera, consider compact superzoom for a "one lens one camera" approach
A7RIII works really well compact primes. The Samyang 18mm 2.8 and a 75mm or 85mm 1.8 pairing is small, light and covers 18mm. 28mm, 75/85mm and 105/135mm.
Think Tank Turn Style 5 Another superb bag that we mostly use for road bike rides rather than MTB or gravel rides. It has a smaller capacity than the Evoc bag and the shape does not lend itself to larger body cameras or longer lenses. We can fit the A7RIII, Sony 16-35mm F4.0 and one other lens in the bag at a very tight squeese. The Tamron 28-75mm fits too or two small primes. We could fit filters in the front compartment of the bag, along with memory cards and other accessories.