Fancier is a Chinese camera accessories manufacturer who specialise in bags. Not surprisingly, given the Chinese penchant for ‘imitation’ (shall we say) most of their bags have more than a passing resemblance to other, more famous, manufacturers’ offerings. And of course, they also tend to be cheaper than the more ‘name brand’ camera bags. We like less expensive – right?
Well yes, we do like less expensive – but only up to a certain point. If the bag is cheap, but rubbish, then it’s certainly worth paying a bit (ok, sometimes a lot) extra for ‘quality’. Are the Fancier camera bags worth taking a serious look at – or are they disappointing rubbish?
I’ve been looking for a decent sized backpack to use for my medium format film gear, but, as per usual, I didn’t want to spend a lot to get one. Second-hand is the best option for cheaper gear without necessarily compromising on quality, so I started looking on Trademe (NZ’s internet auction site) to see if I could find a backpack to suit my needs.
Even second-hand, most of the Lowepro and Tamrac large backpacks were out of my price range, and the ones that weren’t were of the more ‘well used’ variety. And then I saw a listing for a large backpack, hardly used, that looked to me like a larger version of a Lowepro Mini Trekker.
|The Lowepro 'Mini Trekker'. A classic backpack|
Luckily, the seller was local to my area, and I was able to have a good look at the pack before bidding. I didn’t go in with high expectations, especially since the pack I have been using is also a cheaper Chinese bag with Velcro dividers that are next to useless and drive me crazy. So to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. But I have also briefly owned a smaller Fancier shoulder style bag, and it really wasn’t a bad bag – so I figured it was worth the look.
|Fancier Large Camera backpack. Look familiar?|
The one thing that the Fancier backpack has that the mini trekker doesn’t is a laptop compartment at the back of the bag – big enough for a 17” laptop. Not that I will use the compartment for a laptop. But it’s there for future use.
|Heaps of space for a Bronica ETRS Medium format kit and more!|
So yes, I’m impressed, and happy to report that the Fancier backpacks are worth taking a very serious look at.
A very solid 4 out of 5 stars.