What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Camera Hard Cases

How should you store and transport your camera and camera accessories? Picking the right camera hard cases depends on a handful of things: the size and amount of equipment, where you’ll be taking it, the material of the case, and the price. The best camera case will suit your needs and make a photo session or trip as painless and damage-free as possible.

Camera hard cases are very significant as they provide your expensive camera the ultimate protection. There are different types of camera cases available in the market, some are more lightweight than others. Camera hard cases usually have foam on the inside that protects your equipment.

Should you use a Camera Case or a Camera Bag?

The big difference between a camera case and a camera bag is its durability. Camera slings, shoulder bags, and camera backpacks are great for carrying photography gear on your person and will offer some protection against bumps. They are typically soft-sided, though they provide padded dividers inside the pack. They also generally have storage space for things beyond cameras and lenses, such as dedicated laptop sleeves and space for water bottles and jackets. However, hard camera cases are larger, tougher, airtight vaults offering the highest caliber of protection.

Hard camera cases provide optimal storage solutions for your photography equipment when traveling or storing gear. They are waterproof and crushproof beasts that laugh in the face of even the rudest airport baggage handler. They stand up against torrential rain, and most will even keep camera equipment dry if the case is accidentally dunked in a river or lake. There are also some very large options, meaning you can store most or all of your gear in a single case.

What Size Case do you Need?

Knowing what size case to get will depend on how much and what type of gear you need to put in it. For example, you’ll need a big case if you have large DSLRs with long telephoto lenses and lots of accessories. Likewise, lighting equipment can be bulky and take up a lot of space. But if you have a compact mirrorless camera and a few small lenses, something small will be fine. Where you need to bring your case may also impact what size you should get. Luckily, the best camera cases come in a variety of sizes, so you can pick one that’s best for your needs.

Material Matters: It’s What’s on the Inside–and the Outside–that Counts

Is the outer shell up to the challenge without weighing a ton? Polypropylene blends are good for rugged protection without the weight of heavier plastic and metal materials. If you are using the case for travel, you’ll want a material that results in a crushproof case. A sturdy camera case should also be watertight and airtight. If airtight, it should have an automatic pressure equalization valve for any significant changes in air pressure (e.g., air travel). And the airtight seal should be rated at IP 67 or above, meaning dust and water can’t get inside.

Do you Need a Portable Case?

Hard camera backpacks are an excellent tool for photographers needing on-the-go durability. But any wearable case must be comfortable, and some hard cases will dig into your shoulders at an uncomfortable angle. So when possible, you’ll want to try on a hard backpack case before you buy to check how it fits. And be sure to make the proper size adjustment to avoid injury and annoyance. Also, know that some so-called hard shell backpacks are only reinforced on the outside panel. As a result, the entire pack is not crushproof, leaving your gear at risk.

Final Thoughts on the Best Camera Cases

Whether venturing outside or staying in a home studio, keeping your camera equipment protected with the proper case is essential. While bags, camera slings, and backpacks are great for carrying gear around. Sometimes you need the rigid protection only found in a hard waterproof camera case. Be sure to measure your cameras and look at the specs of the cases to ensure everything you need will fit comfortably.

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