Manfrotto has also today announced their new line of Pro Light camera bags for professional photographers and filmmakers. In this instance, “professional” literally means that it’s that person’s profession. That photography and filmmaking is what they do day in and day out to keep a roof over their head. These bags are designed for workflow and the tough demands of working gear.
There are six different models in the new Pro Light lineup. There’s the Flexloader, Multiloader, Frontloader, Backloader M and Backloader S backpacks, with each offering different ways to access your gear depending on your needs and workflow and the Pro Light Tough for when your gear needs serious protection.
The Manfrotto Pro Light Backloader comes in two sizes – small and medium. Access to the main gear compartment is provided securely in the rear, although there’s also a second top access point for grabbing your most useful items. The front section holds small accessories and there’s also a slot inside the back for holding up to a 15″ laptop.
The Backloader models feature a built-in DuoFace rain cover for when you find yourself in less than ideal weather and the rain cover also acts as a heat reflector for when you’re in very hot conditions, helping to keep your gear a little cooler inside your bag. With the number of overheating problems that seem to plague certain brands, this will be very welcome for a lot of folks.
The Manfrotto Pro Light Frontloader opens up from the front, rather than the back. This allows for easy access to gear when it can’t easily be taken off the back and put down on the ground – at least, it can if there’s two of you. One can access it while the other’s wearing it. A side-access panel also offers easy access to your most often used items.
As with the Backloaders, the Frontloader also provides a slot for laptops up to 15″. You also get the DuoFace cover to protect your back and its contents from rain and the heat of the sun. Both the Frontloader and Backloader models also feature a side handle for mounting to a roller case.
When it comes to versatility and catering for different quantities and types of gear, the Pro Light Flexloader is almost certainly the king of this collection. It can carry the usual array of DSLR and mirrorless gear, but also features multiple attachment points for tripods and even camera sliders. There are also a number of pockets for storing small items, an accessory organiser pouch and the DuoFace sun/rain cover.
In the back of the bag, you’ve got the usual laptop slot, that you can see in the images above, but next to this is another expandable pocket that can hold items as large as a 3-axis motorised gimbal – like the Manfrotto 300XM announced early today. Of course, some gimbals are larger than others, so it may not hold all 3-axis motorised gimbals. When you add in the ability to strap a slider and a couple of tripods to this thing at the same time, it makes for a fantastic adventure filmmaking back.
The last model in the lineup is the Pro Light Multiloader. The Multiloader offers four points of access for maximum flexibility to get to your gear. The main front access opens up to the main padded gear compartment while two side doors allow for easy access to your most useful kit – a couple of separate camera setups, for example, for easy switching.
The modular bag allows for three different carrying modes, in a similar fashion to the Manfrotto Advanced2 Hybrid Backpack. This allows you to carry it however best suits your gear depending on which access panels you need to… well, access or just for general transport to and from your shooting location.
A side attachment allows you to load up a full-sized tripod (up to something the size of Manfrotto’s 055 series) and a front attachment adds the ability to carry up to two monopods or small light stands. And, of course, you get that 15″ laptop slot and the DuoFace sun & rain cover.
The Pro Light Tough is a trio of new roller cases. Two of them (TL55 and TH55) were designed specifically to conform to the most common airline carry-on luggage restrictions while the third (TH83) was created for checked luggage. These are hard cases, with airtight compartments, telescopic handle and padlock compatible points for increased security.
The cases withstand dust and moisture and offer an IP67 rating as well as impact resistance and shock absorption. They come with Manfrotto CPS dividers or foam in various forms to protect the gear stored within. So, they might even be able to withstand the wrath of a baggage handler having a bad day.
As with other Manfrotto items announced today, there’s no word on prices or release dates yet, but we’ll update this post as we hear more.