Best looking camera accessories: making your gadgets beautiful
From the flash bulbs of the catwalk, to the pavement or the beach, cameras are strangely sexy. The people behind them, the people in front of them, there is an undeniable allure to photography. It's about capturing the moment, it's about sharing, it's about creativity. It's also about looking good, and that's what we're concerned about in Style Week on Pocket-lint.
Now cameras themselves can be hugely stylish, from the heavyweight Leica to a classic vintage model or one of the new retro mirrorless devices. But you don't just want to lift it out of the box and head out of the door with it do you? There might not be much you can change on the camera itself, but you can certainly dress it to impress.
Strap it up
Your camera can be hidden away in a bag or can hang beautifully around your neck. Stock straps can be a little boring, but there are plenty of options if you want something a little different. Take a look at Riley G Designworks. We love the limited edition straps, even if the one we want - cut from the leather of a 1967 Aston Martin - is permanently sold out. Plenty of choice and totally original.
Of course, if you can't afford the most desirable camera, you can probably afford the strap and the Leica strap is readily available as an accessory. There are a number of varieties and it's worth getting the type of strap that your size of camera requires - no need for a really thick strap on a compact, unless that's the look you want. They're practical as well as sporting one of the biggest names in the business.
If it's just design you are after, then the world really is your oyster. Check out Capturing Couture and Sizzle Straps, which both offer a wide range, for both guys and gals. They both also have a array of camera bags to go with their straps, so it's worth taking a good look around.
Get on the case
Step into any high street store and you'll probably find a camera case. They're often one-size-fits-all and made from Cordura and that's no way to treat the camera that you love. If you want it to look good, the first place to start is with something tailor-made.
We've not talking Saville Row (quite), but you can't beat the leather made-to-measure cases for your camera. Picking up a slice of vintage chic for your Olympus Pen is fantastically easy. If you pick the right camera, you might find the manufacturer has some very stylish cases ready to go, like the Olympus Leather Body Jacket, which completes the Rangefinder look perfectly.
Sony, Leica and Panasonic all offer similar types of jackets for your camera, so you can shoot and keep the protection in place. We can't help thinking that wrapping your camera in a tough leather case really is the best thing for it.
Smaller compact camera aren't ignored either, with many high-end compact cameras getting "deluxe" cases that look fantastic. It might be boring, but nothing makes your camera look better whilst keeping it safe, than something made for that model.
In the bag
When it comes to camera bags, you probably have more choices than you can imagine. There are a lot of utilitarian bags available which, whilst practical, don't really do anything for your look. Ladies no longer have to feel left out, as there are more and more options for you. In recent years a number of companies have started just to cater for women who want to carry photography gear, be that for professional or casual use. An example would be Shootsac from Jessica Claire or Epiphanie bags by Maile Wilson.
Perhaps you fancy Diane Von Furstenberg's Harper camera case from Selfridges (above), or the wider selection from Kelly Moore who has a range of, perhaps more practical, bag styles and colours, which are all importantly designed to carry your camera gear. It's also worth looking at Jill-e Designs, who also have a great selection, including smaller clutch bags.
Men also have a huge choice of cameras bags and not just from the ubiquitous Crumpler. You might find that Billingham's range of bags are a little too Country Life, but there are plenty of options out there. Check out the Lomography Sidekick for example, and if your style is more '80s Adidas, the take a look at Olympus' Street Case: camera manufacturers relying on retro chic to sell their cameras have been much more savvy in supporting them.
Domke is a classic name in camera bags and their designs aren't really retro, they just haven't changed. Etsy is also a good source of original designs and something a little more unique that you won't find stuffed into every high street camera shop, so it's well worth looking around to see what they have on offer.
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