As a bird and wildlife photographer, you often find yourself in places where a normal tripod simply won’t work. That’s where a camera bean bag like the Steady Saddle bag from Focus Rat comes in. This bag has the unique ability to be light, portable, and easy to use, yet at the same time, strong and sturdy enough to securely hold your expensive camera and lenses in the field.
So why would you choose this over a traditional tripod? Simple! You can stabilize your camera quickly and easily on irregular surfaces almost without even thinking. How many times have you found yourself in the field, spotting the perfect shot, and realizing you need a tripod to stabilize your camera? By the time you set up your tripod, the bird or animal is gone. With this saddle bag, you don’t even have to think. Toss it on the ground or wedge it between some branches on a nearby tree—that’s it. Your “tripod” is ready to go. Now you can position your camera and lens on the bag to capture the shot. Especially if you use large prime or zoom lenses. It’s a very quick setup and often fast enough to capture that photo you might have missed with a regular tripod.
Best Camera Bean Bag for Car Window:
With this bag, you can easily use it in your car as well. Having your camera and the Steady Saddle bag on the seat next to you provides the perfect setup for roadside bird and wildlife photography. Just like you would in a wooded area, dropping this bag on your car door allows you to quickly set up your camera in what would normally be a tricky and awkward place to shoot from.
How to Use a Camera Bean Bag for Wildlife and Bird Photography:
Using a camera bean bag in the field is effortless. As mentioned earlier, it becomes an extension of your photography and is a hidden bird photography tip. Here are the simple steps for using a camera bean bag in the field for wildlife and bird photographers:
- Transportation: Clip the Steady Saddle (bean bag) to your camera bag.
- Ground Level: Find a location that best frames your subject and place the bag on the ground. Position your camera and lens so it is both level and easy to access.
- Framing: Frame your bird or wildlife photo to take advantage of the low angle of view to add a dramatic element to the shot.
- Using a Tree as a Tripod: Find a tree with a strong branch fork to support your camera and bean bag. Wedge the bag into the tree and use the attached shoulder pad strap to add further security.
- Camera Placement: Place the camera on the bag, and like the ground level setup, set the camera and lens to balance on the bag. Twist and adjust so that the camera is level and framing the bird or animal correctly. You can also use the camera or lens strap to further secure it to the tree.
Camera Bean Bag for Wildlife Photography:
When you think of a camera bean bag for wildlife photography, you might be underestimating the real value it offers. I often find myself in situations where I need to think outside of the box to make my gear work. I need my equipment to be flexible and versatile, allowing me to strap it onto things like my car or trees or toss it in wet, damp, boggy areas. Doing this without a second thought to the gear I have is essential to keeping me in the groove of taking bird or wildlife photos. Even my external camera monitor that I use when in the elements. You might consider a DIY camera bean bag project, but honestly, when you’ve invested thousands of dollars in your gear, why trust it to something you’ve hacked together?
About the Steady Saddle Bag for Wildlife Photographers:
Taking a closer look at the Focus Rat Steady Saddle bag, you can see why it’s ideal for those who venture out into the field. Built to last and capable of taking some abuse, you can toss it about without worrying whether it can handle it or not. It’s perfect for both bird photographers and wildlife photographers alike. Here’s the lowdown on the specs:
Key Features for the Steady Saddle (Bean Bag) Camera Bag:
- Removable strap, air compress shoulder padding, and an included camera cover.
- Eliminate camera shake without the need for tripods or gimbals.
- Versatility: Can be used on wet ground, wedged in trees, car doors, hoods, boulders, tree branches, and more.
- Comfortable and Portable: Air compress shoulder padding enhances comfort during extended use and reduces pressure on the back and spine.
- Lightweight design (1.4 kg – 3 pounds) depending on size.
- Camera Cover and Protection: Water and dirt-resistant camera cover made from ultra-light Nylon material with a PU coating. It can be used as a sun cover for your camera, offering protection in adverse weather conditions.
- Build Quality: Load capacity (up to 10 kg), water-resistant Cordura fabric (510gsm), easy access zipper for filling and emptying.
- Bonus items: Velcro pockets for storage, removable strap with industrial-grade snap hooks, secure mounting hoops for cars, and the non-slip rubber bottom.
- Warranty: One-year warranty.
As you can see, this product goes well beyond what an average camera bean bag offers. For wildlife and bird photographers, having something this durable and rugged is important. It allows you to work with confidence in the field under all conditions and keeps you focused on your photography!