When you’ve invested a couple of thousand dollars into a camera, toting it around in a backpack or other soft case isn’t enough to give you confidence that it’ll make it to a shooting location without damage.
But when you start thinking about hardshell cases, some fairly costly options come to mind — and the thought of shelling out even more cash might be unappealing. Fortunately, there are always options.
When I started searching for hardshell cases, my budget was fairly tight. I’d just dropped quite a bit of money on a camera, lenses, lights, and more, and had to curtail my spending.
It took me a while to find a cost-effective solution, but my search was worth it.
The case I selected is made by Eylar and sells on Amazon for just $46. So far, the case has done a fantastic job of protecting my investments. I wound up purchasing one case for my camera and one for my lenses, and haven’t regretted it once.
The first thing you’re going to want to know are the specs of these cases. Here they are:
- Material — Polypropylene (hard plastic)
- Dimensions — Outer: 13.37″ x 11.62″ x 6″ / Inner: 11.81″ x 8.87″ x 5.18″
- Waterproof up to 1 meter fully submerged
- Pressure equalization valve
- Four layers of foam padding, with two customizable pull and pluck cubes, one bottom pad layer, and one top egg-crate layer
- ¼” lockable fittings that are TSA-approved
- Stackable design
- Weight — 3.96 pounds
As I said above, these cases have done an outstanding job of protecting my investments. Keep in mind, however, that I’ve never flown with them and have always handled them with care. I’m not tossing these cases into the trunk of a car or letting them fall from a table.
That being said, I’m fairly confident — thanks to the amount of foam — that these cases are capable of protecting my equipment, even when not handled with the greatest care.
One thing you must understand is that these cases use pull-apart foam. In other words, the middle foam is scored into small cubes that you can pull apart to custom fit whatever it is you need to be stored inside the case. That approach means you do have to take the time to carefully pull out only the cubes you need to encase whatever item(s) will be stored in the case.
Trust me when I say this task can take some time. Most things you’ll want to carry in these cases aren’t perfectly square, so you’ll have to use a bit of caution and design to ensure you pull out only the cubes necessary to ensure a snug fit. Take out too many cubes and the foam won’t protect the item.
In my experience with these types of cases, it’s best to take out the least amount of foam, so that whatever you place inside fits snugly.
I even use these cases to store my camera and lenses. For a while, I was leaving those things out on a shelf. Eventually, however, I grew tired of dusting the camera and lenses and worrying that one of our cats would decide to gravity test the camera or lenses.
Now, the equipment lives in my Eylar cases until I need it.
At less than $50, these cases are an outstanding buy for whatever equipment you need to protect.