Chivote CamCarry Camera Case

Chivote Design CamCarry Review

So I backed a Kickstarter campaign a few months ago.
It’s from a small company called Chivote. They make various leather products and have also ran a few successfully funded Kickstarter campaigns. This time they are making a leather camera case called CamCarry. The quality and price seem pretty good so I decided to back it and ordered one for myself.

Chivote Design CamCarry Review

The campaign was successfully funded and after a few months of waiting I’ve finally received my Chivote CamCarry.
For something like a camera bag, it was quite a long wait and about 2 months later than the original expected date.
It’s understandable sometimes things can take a bit longer to get done than originally expected, but the creator’s slow/lack of update and reply to their backers message on Kickstarter doesn’t really help us ease the pain.
What made it worse is, as part of the Kickstarter deal, the camera case should come with a separator and a free mini leather strap. But none of them came with my CamCarry case and by reading the comments on their kickstarter project, I’m not alone on this. So I tried to contact them and after leaving a few comments and messages and a week’s waiting in between, I got a reply telling me they will send the missing bits to me that day. But it’s been almost 3 weeks and I still haven’t receive anything.
[EDITED: I’ve now received my separator and mini leather strap]
So anyway, back to the product itself, the CamCarry is basically a box shape leather camera case with a leather strap. While the simplistic boxy shape design may not be everybody’s cup of tea, I really like it and think it looks beautiful. It almost look like it’s something from 1950s. I said almost because it is brand new case so I need to wear it in a bit to make it look like something from half a century ago.

Chivote Design CamCarry ReviewLeather + Metal = Awesomeness

The craftsmanship is pretty good overall. The stitching, cutting..etc are all done nicely and the case is made of pretty good quality vegetable tanned leather. The real leather smell comes to my nose immediately when I took it out of the original box it came with.
There are different colour options available and I picked the more classic orange one which I think matches the retro design the best.
While the CamCarry may look quite simple, Chivote have obviously put a lot of thoughts into the design and you can carry it a few different ways .
You can wear the CamCarry over the shoulder or you can wear it around the waist by either run the strap through the hole at the back or just use your own belt.

Chivote_Design_CamCarry_Review_6

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATop: Wear it over the shoulder Bag  
Bottom: Put the strap through the hole at the back and you can wear it around your waist

The length of the leather strap is adjustable and it can also be separated into two straps. While the shorter strap is permanently attached to one side of the case, the longer one can be completely removed. And if you remove the longer strap, you can connect the shorter strap so that it becomes a short handle.
I have a feeling most people would just wear their CamCarry over the shoulder. But it’s good to see some clever design which makes the product different to what everyone else is doing and make the product more flexible .

Chivote Design CamCarry ReviewCamCarry in short handle mode

There is also a little interior pocket and some elastic bands inside the case so you can put some small items like memory card or earphone inside it. Unfortunately anything bigger or thicker like a wallet wouldn’t fit.
The case is quite rigid and should give reasonably good protection to your camera. But since there is no soft padding at the bottom of the case, if you do drop the case onto the floor accidentally, you could still damage the camera inside.
I thought my Nikon Df and D800 with a smaller lens attached would fit nicely inside the Chivote CamCarry and it was my plan to use it to carry one of my full frame Nikons. But it was a big mistake. Yes my Nikon Df could fit inside but it is a really quite tight and that makes it hard to grab the camera out. My D800 just can’t fit in at all. This is not their fault as they have listed the dimensions of the CamCarry clearly but I thought I should point it out in case anyone want to buy one for their full frame DSLRs. APS-C DSLRs or mirrorless cameras on the other hand should have no problem fit inside the CamCarry case.

Chivote_Design_CamCarry_Review_3My Olympus OMD EM1 with a Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 lens fits nicely inside the case. But full frame DSLR probably not so much.

One complaint I have with the CamCarry is that in the original design they showed on the Kickstarter campaign and also their website, the strap attached to the lid has three holes on it. But the one I received only has one hole, and the position makes it really hard to lock/unlock the lid. And if I put something big in the bag so the lid cannot be closed 100% flush, then I just can’t lock the lid at all. Hopefully the leather will soften up a bit after a while and it can lock/unlock easily. But it would be really good if they had stick with the original design instead or at least tell us when they are changing the design so we would have a chance to raise our concerns. I’ve messaged them and (again after a few messages and a long wait) they replied and told me  “We thought that the one hole that was made allowed the case to be close in just the right place” Frankly it doesn’t make too much sense to me but they did also say they would go back to the original design in the future production.

Chivote Design CamCarry Review

Despite a few issues I mentioned above, I’m still quite happy with my CamCarry case. The CamCarry is a beautiful camera case, well made and I think it is very good value for money. None of the issue I mentioned is serious and they are primarily caused by the poor communication with their customers/backers which is totally avoidable. It’s a bit sad as otherwise it would be a company I will be raving about.

 

Note: And if you are interested in getting a CamCarry at less than normal price, Chivote is running another campaign on Kickstarter at the moment and one of the reward is actually there new camera strap (CamStrap) + a CamCarry.

This is the link to their current Kickstarter campaign:  (The campaign will be finish on Jul 23 2015)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/740337841/2-sided-premium-leather-camstrap-lifetime-guarante

 

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