I bring my DSLR camera with me to all sorts of places, as I never know when some crazy scene might break out that I would not want to miss photographing. (Actually, my life typically isn’t really quite that exciting. But I digress.) However, a DSLR isn’t a point-and-shoot camera, and most times the bulkiness of a DSLR in a full-sized case is more than I want to lug around. Sometimes I just want something with minimal protection that is slim, lightweight, and provides quick access to my camera. The CaseLogic DSLR Day Holster seemed to fit that description, and I recently tried one out.
The DSLR Day Holster’s packaging is simple, descriptive, and easy to remove from the product. It points out the main features of the Day Holster and how it can be used. It also gives prospective buyers a chance to not only see the actual item, but get a bit of a hands-on with it: feel the stiffness of the material, and so on.
Options & Specs
- Options – The DSLR Day Holster is available in three colors: black (as reviewed here), tannin (a dark purple color), and ink (a slate blue color).
- Price – $24.99
- Material – EVA Foam
- Weight – 0.24 pound
- Accepts camera dimensions up to – 5.9 in (15 cm) wide x 4.6 in (11.8 cm) high x 7.5 in (19 cm) long
- Location of Manufacture – China
The design of the DSLR Day Holster is fairly simple. It is basically a semi-rigid foam pouch in the shape of a DSLR camera. The foam material has some stiffness and rigidity, which gives it good protection against scratches and minor bumps, but retains some flexibility.
I tried out the DSLR Day Holster with my Nikon D5100 DSLR camera. I attached the 18-55mm lens, which I consider my “standard” lens for most of my everyday shooting; the Holster will not accommodate a lens much larger than this, but I don’t think the intent of the design is to carry everything and the kitchen sink (hence the name “Day Holster”). I also attached the stock neck strap to the camera’s strap lugs.
Due to the shapes of both the camera and the Holster, the camera is really intended to fit into the Holster one way. Also, I don’t think any other type of camera strap except the type that attach to the camera’s strap lugs, as pictured here, can be used with the Holster. I tried attaching both the recently-reviewed CapturePRO Camera Clip as well as the previously-reviewed Carry Speed DS-SLIM Camera Sling Strap. However, both of those items attach to the threaded tripod hole on the camera’s bottom and therefore added extra bulk to the camera which prevented it from easily fitting into the Holster due to space limitations. It was a very tight squeeze; the EVA Foam material is flexible, but not quite that flexible.
I attached the DSLR Day Holster’s Tether Strap to the camera’s neck strap. The Tether Strap is a plastic ring with a small slot that allows it to slip onto the camera’s strap easily. It is not imperviously secure, but will prevent accidental removal in most situations. I think this design could perhaps be improved. While I realize that the Tether Strap is designed to be attached and removed quickly, it seems as though there are many robust, one-handed locking mechanisms that could have alternately been employed here.
The DSLR Day Holster is easy to grip with one hand. One of the aspects of the Day Holster that is really appealing to me is that there is only one strap. In the past, I have had to deal with two straps: one attached to my camera, the other attached to my camera bag. It doesn’t take long before this becomes a tangled mess. The Day Holster avoids this by allowing you use only the strap that is attached to the camera.
The camera’s lens cap slides down into the small interior pocket. It’s a bit of a tight fit, which is good, because this makes it feel like it is fairly secure. The pocket could also be used to hold a memory card, but probably not both a lens cap and memory card. I think this is a bit of a miss; if it were just slightly larger and included a simply flap, this pocket would work well for holding both items securely.
The packaging of the DSLR Day Holster claims that it can “turn any bag into a DSLR bag.” I’m not so sure about that, but because it takes up only a bit more space than the camera itself, I was able to place the Holster inside my GoRuck GR1 backpack and still have lots of room for other items. I think this would be the case for other, non-camera-specific bags as well, like a messenger bag or purse.
Attached to my camera’s stock neck strap, The DSLR Day Holster hangs at my side almost as if it were just the camera itself. This is because it is quite slim and adds very little to the bulk of the camera. I realize that the neck strap is not really intended to be used as an across-the-shoulder strap in this way, but this is how I typically use it, and it worked fine like this.
…and you are ready to shoot. (Of course, a good photographer would remove the lens cap first.) While holding the camera, the DSLR Day Holster simply hangs from the camera’s neck strap, ready to be used to protect the camera again when needed. Also, this means I never need to put the Day Holster down, preventing me from misplacing the case and allowing me to replace the camera into it quickly.
This brings up my only real criticism of the DSLR Day Holster, lack of ambidextrous capability. Since the camera can only be placed in the holster one way, and the Tether Strap can only be attached to one side of the camera’s strap, this could be a limitation on which side it can be worn and used depending on your preference. I am right-handed and my tendency is to wear my camera so that it hangs to my right side so that I can grab it with my right hand and use it. However, using the Day Holster in this way, the situation shown above arises: when I remove the camera from the Day Holster, the Holster hangs from the left side of my camera. This seemed to be somewhat backward from what I would have expected, which is that the Holster would hang from the right side of the camera to keep it out of the way when shooting. I then reversed it, placing the Day Holster so that it hung on my left side. This felt backward at first, but then I realized that it actually allowed me to reach across my body from right to left to grab the camera and the Day Holster hung down to my left side, out of the way as expected. However, a left-handed person might find this awkward. Follow all this? I’m not sure I completely do either. But here’s the bottom line: in my view, the Day Holster doesn’t offer true amidextrous use. Maybe this is just me, or maybe I’ve missed the point of the design, but it just seems that this could have been improved, perhaps by simply allowing the Tether Strap to be moved to either side of the Day Holster per the user’s preference by employing a quick-release or some other method.
Sometimes the best designs are the simplest, and this seems to be the situation for the CaseLogic DSLR Camera Day Holster. It is slim and lightweight, providing minimalist bump and scratch protection to your DSLR camera without adding much bulk, and allows quick access to your camera. Its limitations are that it does not allow true ambidextrous use, larger zoom lenses, nor any type of strap attachment other than the type that attaches to your camera’s neck strap lugs.