Jill-e Designs Compact System Camera Bag Review

Can you get a DSLR camera bag that’s also stylish? The Jill-E Compact System camera bag aims to do just that! It’s a camera bag that could easily be mistaken for a Burberry – now that’s high praise. However, did it rock our world? Read on to find out.

Design

The first response to seeing the Jill-E camera bag was that of disbelief. Firstly, it didn’t look like it would fit a DSLR camera, and secondly it looked less like a camera bag. The checkered design (available in purple or a Burberry-esque tan) is covering a material that feels sturdy and is labelled as ‘weather resistant.” I appreciate the quality of the real leather strap, and the suede added inserts offer a sturdy feeling to them and are also easily removable, to adjust for different camera size. Initially, I was not blown away by the overall look of the bag, but since then, there have been numerous comments of surprise when I have revealed that this is a camera bag—  and it’s always nice to think that no one knows you’re carrying a DSLR.

Usage

Though small in size, the Jill-e EGO does actually fit my Canon T4i DSLR into its main pocket. The inserts needed to be adjusted to the maximum width, but then the camera fit in snugly and securely. I’d initially thought I’d have to remove the lens to make this fit, but it was a comfortable shape.

There is even enough room to place the charger next to the camera in the main compartment, and the front zipped pocket keeps the wires in too. The zipper has a nice amount of give and feels strong.

I also like that the inside zipped pocket serves as place for storing more valuable documents or USB sticks. However, there is a compartment for SD cards alongside the top of the zipper, and this was unsatisfactory, since its Velcro fastening made me worry that the SD cards could be easily lost. Also, this is all that can fit in the bag – there is no room for pens, notepad, cell or anything additional, but this is really meant to be a pure camera carrier.

Daily

The top fastening zipper has proved to be a really helpful way of easily extracting the camera on the move. The size of the bag makes it suitable for taking into all situations, even those where cameras are seen as clunky – award ceremonies for example, where it won’t stand out.

Final Verdict

A great fashion camera bag if you have a small DSLR, and want to be able to tote it inconspicuously around town.

The Good: Small bag, very light, and discrete for carrying a DSLR. Looks like a ‘fashion’ bag and we like the leather trims.

The Bad: A tight fit for some cameras, can’t fit extra lens inside, and SD compartment isn’t very secure.

Get it from Jill-E  for $89.99 or for 49.99 from Amazon.