We’ve researched small camera bags that will fit your mirrorless camera, smaller dslr or point and shoot camera nicely. You’ll be fully protected and padded and have a few small stash pockets for keys, money, and smaller items.
2 of the 5 bags below come with rain covers to give you an extra level of protection in downpours. We are including messenger style small camera bags as well as holster style small camera bags on our list because both styles are great solutions to your camera carry needs.
Ultimately, the best small camera bag is up to your personal preferences aesthetically, functionally and price-wise.
Best Small Camera Bags:
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- Best Small Camera Bags:
- Holster Style Small Camera Bags:
Lowepro is one of the best camera bag companies for photographers. They have a wide range of camera bags for pretty much any type of photographer you are and pretty much for anywhere you are going.
While you may only need a small camera bag today, you should check out their line as you grow as a photographer and increase your lens and camera body assortment.
With the Lowepro Event Messenger you get one perfectly sized main compartment for your camera, a padded adjustable divider system which is perfect to arrange a couple of options for your mirrorless system or if you want to carry your smaller dslr and a battery charger this one is a great option.
It will hold an entire micro-four-thirds system – a much smaller system than a dslr. Slide your mirrorless into the middle section and then place your lenses in the side divided sections. Three vertical dividers, the body fits on top with the attached lens in the center section. Side sections can then hold additional lenses.
The Lowepro Event Messenger features a wide opening top, adjustable divider sections, easy grab and go access for your camera and allows for interior customization. It’s fairly boxy at 8.7 x 8.7 x 8.5 inches – but most smaller camera bag/holster types are boxy because they are generally fully padded all the way around and offer excellent protection. If you want to remove the straps and drop it into a backpack or duffel bag when traveling, go ahead! It’s the perfect padded protection for your camera. Read Reviews
2. Ruggard Streak 25 Shoulder Bag for Mirrorless Cameras
The Ruggard Streak Small Mirrorless Camera Bag is the right size for your mirrorless camera and one to two lenses – although it may be a tight fit depending upon the lens size. If you are using a point and shoot, you will be able to carry it in the Ruggard Streak easily.
The Ruggard Streak Small Mirrorless Camera Bag comes with an adjustable main compartment and will hold a standard size mirrorless camera such as Sony a6000 or Fuji X-E1 kit. The interior is a flannelette material, which is soft and not scratchy. It has a fixed strap. You won’t be able to remove the strap to use this as a stand alone carrying case insert into a larger bag. But, at its small size of 9.8 x 4.7 x 5.9″ you can easily carry it inside a backpack or tote bag when traveling then take it out and carry your camera around with you all day.
Reviews of the bag are great – people do love the size, that it’s small and a perfect fit for the mirrorless camera. People love that it has two rugged bottom feet to protect the bag when it is on the ground. People love that it is has a couple of external pockets to stash extras like your passport and money. You will not be able to carry a tablet or laptop. This bag is perfect for your camera only.
In general, The Ruggard Streak 25 is an excellent small camera bag option if you want an affordable messenger style camera bag for your mirrorless kit. If you are a dslr user, you will likely be able to fit your dslr and a short prime lens such as a 50mm or a 35mm, but you will likely not be able to carry your dslr with anything much longer.
3. Olympus CBG-8 Casual Camera Bag and Foldover Tote for Mirrorless or Small DSLR Cameras
The Olympus CBG-8 foldover tote bag is a small cross body that easily holds your mirrorless camera plus one extra lens. It can also carry a point and shoot or a small dslr kit if you adjust the interior padded camera box.
If your goal is to completely hide the fact that you have a camera in your handbag then this is a great option for you.
Reviews of this stylish camera bag are stellar. Ladies love that it hides their camera well… and they just love the bag because it’s cute.
We love this style because it fully protects your gear, gives you some extra space for your wallet, keys and a few other essentials without making the bag too large or heavy.
And, just because it’s made by Olypmus, it doesn’t mean you have to own an Olympus to carry it. If you have a Sony, Fuji, Leica or any other mirrorless kit, you are more than welcome to make this bag yours, too.
Made from synthetic materials and featuring a simple design, Olympus has given you the basics for getting around with your camera in tow. Learn More!
Holster Style Small Camera Bags:
The Manfrotto Pro Holster is a great smaller camera bag and holster for inclement weather. It comes with a built in rain cover that can be quickly pulled over the bag to protect your camera from downpours – and you can keep the side straps attached with cleverly cut out spots for the clips to attach to the bag.
That’s a nice feature if you know you’ll be outdoors on rainy days or traveling somewhere that you are unsure of. I was recently on a trip to Panama exploring and would have benefited from having a rain cover built into my bag.
The Manfrotto Pro Holster Plus 20 has full padding all the way around the bag and has a dual zippered front flap that opens away from you to make accessing your camera gear easy. It also makes it more difficult for passers-by to see into your bag because the flap protects the view of the interior of the smaller camera bag. There is a little bit more storage space for loose items like filters with the side pockets for storage.
Manfrotto has built-in some sweet details like ergonomic zipper pullers, a hard-shell water-repellent exterior guarding against impacts, and the surprising spaciousness of the smaller feeling camera bag. The dimensions are 7.9 x 5.5 x 9.1. If you are a new or beginner photographer, you should check out the Manfrotto product line. They are makers of fine camera equipment including tripods, lighting, camera accessories and bags – Manfrotto is a brand you’ll fall in love with. They add a level of sophistication to their products by integrating smart details into their design. Read Reviews
Naneu was “founded by former military members whose ideologies were to make high quality bags that don’t look like camera bags for security purposes. Casual in look but smart in design. The result was the inauguration of the Military Ops series which incorporates the back-side opening system (our original concept) in order to conceal the camera and its gear, constructed of military-grade materials and fashioned in military-type design.”
The C5 BK Holster Case is a small camera bag even compared to the Manfrotto and Lowepro bag aforementioned. At 7.5 x 5.8 x 6 inches it is truly a compact bag that will fit your smaller camera snugly. It has MOLLE straps and can be attached to a larger Naneu bag or any type of system that relies upon the conveience of MOLLE. It can also be attached to your belt loop if you want to carry the bag hands-free.
The construction is fully padded, solid and will protect your small camera as well as the other bags. The interior is a nice orange and makes it more hi-vis. You also get a waterproof seam sealed rain cover to protect your gear in a downpour.
And with the detachable shoulder strap, you can also put this into a larger pack or duffel to travel then attach the strap when you want to carry the bag across your body. The lid opens away from your body providing enough privacy to keep curious eyes out of your business. Read Reviews
Why buy a small camera bag?
Small camera bags are great for mirrorless cameras, small dslr cameras, and point and shoot cameras that you don’t want to (or cannot) carry in your pocket, handbag, or on a camera strap around your neck all day.
Small camera bags for mirrorless cameras, small dslr’s and point and shoot cameras are obviously not as big as the average camera messenger, so the interior should be large enough to carry the camera body of choice with a lens attached. You will want a smaller bag if you are traveling or walking around a lot during the day carrying your camera.
If you shoot with a mirrorless system, the bag may have room for a lens or two extra because mirrorless cameras are so much smaller than a standard dslr and lens. If you use something like a Fuji Finepix or a Canon or Nikon with a lens built on (not interchangeable), a small camera bag is also perfect for you.
What to look for in a Small Camera Bag:
Size: Small camera bag dimensions are less than the standard Letter size paper 8.5″ x 11″ (US) and A4 (rest of the world). If you can fit a magazine or laptop into your camera bag, it’s not that small.
Fully Padded: Make sure the bag you buy has padding all the way around it. It will be the only thing between dings and your environment. The bags we’ve featured are all fully padded or have a padded insert to protect your camera.
Water repellent: If traveling, you should also make sure that the body fabric is water-repellent or that the bag comes with a cover to protect your camera from rain and moisture. Not all bags are water-repellent, and that’s generally ok for every day use.
What Not To Buy:
When you carrying 1-2 pro sized dslr lenses, flash, battery charger, cords, laptop or tablet, you need a medium to large-sized dslr messenger to hold your gear properly.
If you are looking for a camera bag that holds more gear than the listed, take a look at this review of the best messenger and camera bags options. You will be able to carry a tablet or laptop along with a change of lenses if that’s what you need a bag to do.
Note: We are bag designers and have done a lot of research on camera bags, read the reviews, tested a lot of bags ourselves and trust the companies we list to make quality products you will be happy with.
Maybe you are still undecided about a camera bag. If you already have something you like to carry and just want to protect your camera, check out the Clik Elite padded pouch.
We write extensively about camera bag inserts, padded pouches and unconventional camera bags because we feel that they are a solid alternative to a padded camera bag. They offer protection inside your usual messenger, backpack or handbag and let you keep carrying what you are used to. At 5.25 x 4 x 8 inches this Clik Elite pouch fits most cameras easily and can be carried in your messenger, backpack or handbag easily. Clik Elite has a few size options to fit your basic carrying needs. See what you can do with what you already have 🙂 Learn More!
Take a look at the options and let us know what works for you. We know you’ll find one of the best small camera bags for mirrorless cameras in our list above.