I own some fairly roomy camera bags — but some trips just don’t allow me space for much photography gear. For situations like that, and for trips when I need a protected way to carry a second camera body (with a lens or two), I purchased a Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 10 camera bag.
The Mirrorless Mover 10 is advertised to hold one medium size mirrorless body (e.g., the Olympus OM-D EM-5) along with one to two lenses and additional accessories. So since my photo gear is increasingly EM-5 based, I thought I might as well put one of these bags to the test, and let you come along for the ride.
To get the specs out of the way, the Mirrorless Mover 10 measures 5.3″ (13.5 cm) wide, 6.1″ (15.5 cm) high, and 4.5″ (11.5 cm) deep on the outside; 4.9″ (12.5 m) wide, 5.3″ (13.5 cm) high, and 3.7″ (9.5 cm) deep on the inside. It comes in two color combinations — I bought the black / charcoal one, you can also get it in black / taupe. As is usual for these folks, the bag is sturdily made and while being water resistant, also comes with its own rain cover.
The photo above shows you the main parts of this kit — the bag, its padded divider (with its own storage pockets), and a web strap. The strap is unpadded, about an inch wide, and fitted with high-quality hardware. There’s a carry handle on top of the bag, it’s well balanced and the handle works well so long as the main compartment’s zipped closed (more on that later).
Like all things Think Tank, this bag has all sorts of pockets. Starting on the outside — the bag has expandable pockets on each side, one’s made of the same material as the rest of the bag, but with a stretchy section in the middle (left image, below); the other’s made of an elastic fabric (right image, below).
On both sides, there’s a tab of webbing behind the loop for the shoulder strap — this avoids damage to the bag and main zipper from the strap’s clasps (thoughtful touch!).
The pockets are about 3″ (8 cm) wide and 3.5″ (9 cm) tall, and can hold items up to about 1″ (3 cm) thick. Here are a number of typical things that will fit in the side pockets, alone or in combination:
The bottom line is that the side pockets are big enough for compact things (like munchies, the bag’s rain cover, a GPS receiver, a battery case like the Battery Holder 2 pouch here), but a bit too shallow for a filter wallet or similar long skinny things.
Not to leave out the back of the bag, it has a very sturdy strap that will let you use the Mirrorless Mover 10 on a belt (so long as the belt’s less than about 3″ / 7.5 cm wide):
The bag has a front pocket as well, just under the magnetically-held front flap. The good news is that you can open this flap silently (say, at a wedding); the bad news is that the magnet isn’t strong enough to hold the bag closed if you’ve unzipped the main compartment and pick the bag up by its handle.
The front pocket is about 4″ (10 cm) tall by 5″ (13 cm) wide, and will hold up to about 1.5″ (4 cm) thickness of stuff. It has an internal divider, and comes to you from the factory holding the Mirrorless Mover 10‘s tethered rain cover — but of course you can move that elsewhere.
On the left, you can see the front pocket (just) holding a Battery Holder 2 with 2 BLN-1 batteries, along with an SD Pixel Pocket Rocket. On the right, you can see this would make a good munchies pocket, too (hungry photographers make bad photographs!).
But obviously this pocket is not large enough for either a regular size pen, or a normal size “Lens Pen.” Get a short version of either if you want to take one along.
Time to move inside, now. There is the main compartment, a storage-filled divider, and an additional small (velcro-closed) mesh pocket in the compartment’s lid.
The two long sides of the main compartment are lined with the fuzzy “loops” kind of velcro, while the divider is edged with the “hooks.” The divider then has its own internal pocket, pretty well sized for my iPhone 4 — but the pocket is wide enough, and the main compartment tall enough, for a variety of other smartphones.
But of course, you can also use the divider’s pocket for other things — on the left (below), you can see it holding an SD Pixel Pocket Rocket. Flip the divider open, and you’ve got two small sleeves — apparently meant for spare media.
These sleeves don’t have any sort of closure — so I think they’re well-sized for a compact flash card, but an SD card moves around a bit freely in one for my tastes.
The pocket on the inside of the compartment’s closure does, though, secure with velcro — and is just barely roomy enough for two BLN-1 batteries. It’d also be a good place to stash memory cards, or a single battery, or a lens cloth.
But what about the “main attraction,” or at least the main compartment? I normally carry an E-M5 all decked out — with an EP-11 eyecup, the flip-up flash, and a J. B. Camera grip. That with the stock Olympus 12-50mm lens makes a package that’s just a bit too tall and wide for this bag. But take off the flash and eyecup, and it’s a tidy fit (you still have room to tuck batteries, the flash / eyecup, a memory card wallet, and a filter wallet along the lens).
But lets see what other combinations will fit. The camera & grip will comfortably fit with a 45mm lens — and leave plenty of room for batteries and memory cards (but again, with the eyecup and flash removed).
I found this bag to work better with extra lenses in “beer cozys” on the bottom of the bag — and with the stock divider oriented horizontally rather than vertically. Here Olympus’ stock 12-50mm lens and the 60mm macro are hiding out “under the floor:”
Now you can carry the camera in a variety of modes on top of the divider. The E-M5 will just barely fit with a 45mm lens, if you take the flash and eyecup off (left, below). With the “body cap” 8mm lens, the E-M5 and eyecup fit with room to spare (right, below) for an SD Pixel Pocket Rocket.
Or, you could remove the divider entirely, lay one lens in a “cozy” down on the bottom, and the E-M5 with 12-50mm lens will fit in beautifully “nose down.”
Flip the 12-50mm and 60mm lenses up on-end (in their protective “cozies”), put a body cap or thin pancake lens on the E-M5, and you’ve got a fast-access layout:
Bottom line — the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 10 is a surprisingly versatile camera bag for its size. I’ve just started playing around with mine but still can’t recommend it highly enough.