Entries in camera bag (3)

Could this be your Ultimate iPad Bag?

A few weeks ago we posted 8 Great Etsy Finds for Your iPad in which we highlighted a handmade iPad Messenger Bag by UK based Etsy seller 'MadebyGrandad' aka Roy Stephenson.

Roy was kind enough to send us one of these bags to try out. We have used it every day now for nearly two weeks and we have to say we love it! In fact we like it so much we made a video showing just how roomy this bag is and how well it is constructed.

The video is at the bottom of the post, but first a few details about our requirements as iPad users and about these bags.

The Search for the Ultimate Bag

In our search for the ultimate bag we were looking for something that would securely accommodate our iPad and also act as a small camera bag or every day bag for general use. Another requirement was that the bag shouldn't advertise itself as a camera bag or declare the valuables within, unlike many of the main brand dedicated camera or iPad bags do.

Design and Construction

This Messenger Bag definitely ticks most of the boxes in our search for the ultimate iPad bag. The quality of construction is very high. Roy has done a fantastic job in using top-notch materials, carefully reinforcing the stress points and providing adequate padding where it is needed, which keeps the bag light.

It feels great to have a handmade item too with the care and attention that goes into making each one of these bags and the inherent uniqueness.

Suits You

Each bag is handmade by Roy, mainly from a standard design which costs £50 from his store. Of course the advantage of each bag being made from scratch on order is that you can have your bag customised to your requirements.

Extra or re-arranged pockets, different patterns on the lining or outer materials, contrast coloured zippers, key chain on the other side, within reason you can have whatever you want on your iPad Messenger Bag.

If you want something special you only have to ask when you visit Roy's Etsy store, where you can see a few more examples of his bags.

Custom designs currently being worked on for customers

Who Is It For?

As well as what you will see in the video below, this Messenger Bag has room for anything up to A4 size sketchpads or documents, so we think it will suit iPad owning: 

  • Artists 
  • Designers
  • Photographers
  • Journalists
  • Musicians
  • Students
  • Bike commuters
  • Parents

...and just about anyone who needs to carry their iPad around with them as well as their other daily bits and bobs. 

The easily adjustable, and fairly wide, strap  distributes the weight well when worn across the body. It was very comfortable when worn this way on a bike riding a few miles into / around town and back home.

We even used it sans-iPad as our main bag on a family day out last weekend, carrying lunch and drinks for four of us along with the usual iPhone, keys, wallet, season pass in the back pocket (plus the unused iPad pocket was very handy for carrying spare nappies and baby wipes).

Video Time

So here's the video, please check it out and let us know what you think.

After watching the video be sure to see the details below on how you can order your own iPad Messenger Bag.

Want One?

Hopefully we have whetted your appetite enough that you want one of your own iPad Messenger Bags from Roy. 

To order your bag just go to Roy's Etsy store or you can find out more about him and how he makes his products at his website

If you want something special or a different configuration just contact Roy via the 'Contact' button on the Etsy page. Be sure to let him know we sent you!

Thanks again to Roy for letting us road test this bag and his support in writing this review.

8 Great Etsy Finds For Your iPad

Every now and then we like to pass the time by doing a search on Etsy for iPad accessories. Try this yourself and you'll find a plethora of handmade creative solutions both for sitting your iPad on your desk and for cosseting it when you're more mobile.

So if you are looking for a special and unique gift for the iPad addict in your life (yes, you can include yourself, we do), then here are a few of the many handcrafted accessories that caught our attention recently. 

1 - Jabba the Hut Oak iPad Dock

This was our favourite to be honest, a one of a kind Star Wars figurine welded to a piece of solid wood to enhance any geek's desk. We love it, so be quick and grab it now!

Jabba iPad Dock

Jabba iPad dock back


2 - iPad Acoustic Dock in Maple

We liked this dock because as well as being clean and simple, it acts as a naturally amplified speaker for your iPad's audio - no plug-in, power sapping, accessories needed. There's also a smaller version available for your iPhone. Very nice.

IPad acoustic dock


3 - Retro TV iPad Dock

We happen to know that we are not the only Etsy browsing iPad lovers to spot this one recently, but we didn't want you to miss this one. It doesn't look terribly sturdy if we're honest, but the wooden retro design wins our hearts and this is often the duty our iPad performs when it is sat on our desks while we work.

TV iPad dock


4 - Leather Messenger Bag

We could have picked any of the Copper River bags and cases to recommend. They all feature the thickest leather and chunkiest stitching we have ever seen, backed up by a 100 year warranty. These things are built to last and be loved by generations.

We chose this one as it is specifically for iPad sized devices., but would be more than happy with any of the range, if anyone is reading this and fancies buying us something nice. Please...

Leather messenger bag


5 - Vindicated Vinyl iPad Case - Sgt. Pepper's

With cases made out of recovered vinyl records and album covers, brindakaydesign makes some of the most unique cases we have seen. It will cost you, but if you want something really special for the music lover in your life or just someone who loves the nostalgia, you can't do much better than one of these cases (she does bags, trays and belt buckles too).

A fleece lined internal leather pocket holds your iPad when mobile and there is also a stand arrangement built in (see the page for more photos):

SgtPepper iPad case


6 - iPad Messenger Satchel - Made by Grandad

We chose this one because it is actually something we would seriously consider ordering (as with the next pick). We have been on an endless search for a camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag, and something that can keep our iPad safe too when out and about or on holiday as carry-on bag.

IPad messenger bag

IPad Messenger bag open

This bag from UK based Etsy seller MadeByGrandad may be just the solution we have been looking for. With its inside padded and zippered iPad pocket, a number of iPhone and other accessory pockets, and central space big enough for a small DSLR in a padded wrap, this seems to fit the bill perfectly. If only it came in black, oh wait...


7 - iPad 2 Padded Case

These 100% wool made iPad cases from France look top notch quality, with three layers of protection, offering good internal padding too. We liked the range of colours available, the material used and attention to detail plus the external zippered pocket for cables, iPhone, etc.

IPad 2 cases


8 - Wolf iPad Felt Sleeve

This sleeve caught our eye because we thought it was weird, as well as fairly unique. There is an owl design too which also has scary eyes, plus a not so scary penguin or elephant for the more playful gift.

Designed to fit an iPad with a Smart Cover attached, these 100% wool felt sleeves also include a strap if required so you can use it as a messenger bag.

Wolf iPad sleevel


What have you found?

There are so many different bags, cases and docks available on Etsy, hand made by people all around the world, that it was quite difficult for us to select just these few to show you and we wish we had time and space to show all of them.

But what about you? Have you got any creative accessory finds for your iPad, or do you fancy one of ours? Let us know in the comments.

iPad Photo editing apps hit the App Store

In the last few days a number of photo editing apps have gone live in the app store ready for the iPad launch.  You are not going to be editing your RAW files yet on the iPad, it doesn't seem to have the processing power for that at the moment, although we would like to see just how slow it is as processing RAW files.

But if you have JPEG files in your iPhoto library, or presumably on a camera/SD card although we haven't confirmed this yet, then you can have a go at editing them on your brand spanking new iPad.  Here are a couple of notable mentions.



Filterstorm screenie.jpg


The best looking app and the one that got us most excited is Filterstorm.  The interface looks really nice and the app is FREE for a limited time after launch day tomorrow, so if you are getting an iPad, go and get it now and let us know what you think.  The app takes the approach of having three Image Editing modes: 1) affecting the whole image, 2) brushing on colour and effects to selected areas, or 3) applying filters to a specific colour range.

The ability to use an adjustment brush on your photos, much like you can in Aperture or Lightroom, really appeals to us and makes this app stand out from some of the others. Do check out the Filterstorm´╗┐ site and have a look at the screenshots.  The developer, himself an accomplished photographer, is honest about why he is giving the app away for free, basically because there are some features that he has not had time to put in, such as image rotate and cloning/healing tools, and he has not tested how fast it runs on a real iPad!  There is a work-through tutorial on the developer's site too, which helps you see in practical terms how useful this app will be. 



photogene screenie.jpg


Photogene is an app we have been using on the iPhone for a while, and which now has its own iPad optimised version out in the app store for £3.49.  In our opinion the iPhone version of this app is quite powerful but the interface and interaction is not as well refined as some apps.  When you get used to the interface for the app though, and discover where all the key tools are hidden, it provides a lot of useful features.  Nothing out of the ordinary really, but it is good to see Photogene on the app store and being developed for the iPad platform.


Camera Bag

Camera Bag iPad.jpg


Another little heart flutter came upon us when we saw that Nevercenter had announced a version of their wonderful retro-filter app Camera Bag for the iPad.  It is a firm favourite of ours on the iPhone, but it has always felt a little cramped at that screen size, so we are salivating over seeing this running at fullscreen on our iPads, and at a special launch price of £1.79, we think it is a bargain.

New for the iPad are interface optimisations and increased resolution, but also a new 'Vary' feature, which allows personalisation, maybe a little randomisation, of the filter effect that you have chosen, to give individual results for your images.

We can't wait to try it.

Over to you

If you have tried any of these apps on your iPad and can tell us how well they run, or you have used another photo editing app that you think we should be looking at, please let us know in the comments.