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My Review of the Nadine Weekender Camera Bag for Women

I’ve just come back from a week at the beach. Lucky me eh? Well, it wasn’t all work and no play.  When you work for yourself, vacations always involve a little bit of “work” so my days of hopping on a jet with merely my toothbrush and overnight bag in hand are long gone!

These days you are more likely to see me with 10 different bags for 10 different purposes. A bag for my laptop. A bag for my camera. A bag for my other electronics. Never mind the snack bag, the toy/entertainment for the kids bag and of course a sick bag for my littlest bad traveller 🙁

So you can image my delight when the kind people at Aide de Camp sent me the beautiful Nadine camera bag to review.  They were adamant that I gave it a thorough testing and let me tell you, I jumped at the chance to give it a work out!


The Nadine bag is much bigger than my previous camera bags – yes – I’ve had a few! This is because not only does that Nadine comfortably fit my Canon 7D + additional lens and speedlight, it can also accommodate my laptop.  And friends, my laptop is not one of these svelte wafer thin things, but a very desperate-for-an-upgrade MacBook 15″ dinosaur.  And it all fit in the Nadine bag! PLUS I even had room for my external hard drive that I felt necessary to take as a back up due to the age of my computer – did I mention I need an upgrade?

Make no mistake, this mean’t that Nadine was packed to capacity but it still zippered closed no problem , with a double zip to help me out.  It also mean’t that it now was quiet heavy and I wouldn’t recommend carrying this lot on a shoot, but for the proposes of my trip and having everything contained it was excellent.  If I had have been hopping on a jet, Nadine even has a little trolley sleeve in the back to slip over your luggage handles to make it easy to navigate the airport. Perfect for weekend getaways.

So lets take a closer look at this beauty!

The Nadine is positioned as Aide De Camp’s Weekender bag so your getting a lot more bag than something which will only fit your DSLR. First off, she arrived beautifully packaged within her own dust bag and in a gorgeous black box. No danger of it getting damaged in transit.

Unlike my previous camera bags, Nadine is made from a wonderful lightweight but durable premium canvas material.  I can’t stress enough how important this is as camera gear can get really heavy.  It’s also water resistant.  I have the beautiful slate color which is a delicate grey, but she’s also available in cream and charcoal.  I was a bit worried that it might show the dirt but so far so good and I think a quick rub with a dampened sponge would clean up any messes.

Two long shoulder straps means that it easily carried and I found that it sat really well on my body. Because its so light weight, I would have no problem using this as an everyday bag – I love its “oversizeness” and I’m known for carrying everything but the kitchen sink in my purses!

nadine over head

The interior like I have said, is super roomy with several zippered pockets which I used for lipbalm, and business cards. But here’s my absolute favorite thing about Nadine.  The padded camera insert is fully removable and she turns into a regular bag!  This means you can cut down on yet another bag when traveling as I nearly always take a ginormous purse with me. Now I can just leave all the lenses and stuff at the hotel if I’m heading out for an evening, armed with just my cell phone in my bag for all the usual selfies 🙂

If you are a mommy with kiddos still in diapers you will absolutely adore Nadine.  Not only does she have enough room to stash a few diapers and wipes and a spare change of clothes for your littles, the laptop protection sleeve can double as a diaper changing mat.  Totally ingenious!


As you can see from my photos this bag really packs a hell of a punch in both functionality and style –   both of which are extremely important to us ladies!

You can check out the Nadine bag here at Aide de Camp or order from B & H Photo here.

Happy snapping




Thinking of a Bridge Camera? – Nikon P100 Review

What’s a Bridge Camera?

I’m lucky enough to teach a wide variety of students in person and get my hands on so many different cameras.  Lot’s of my students are DSLR users and some people just have a compact camera that they want to get the most from.  But a trend I’ve been beginning to notice is the popularity of the bridge camera.

A bridge camera is not a DSLR  – it doesn’t use the mirror system that a  digital SLR uses, you can’t change the lenses and the sensor size is much smaller –  but it’s not quite a compact either.

Bridge cameras usually have lots more features and mainly lots more controls than you get with the average point and shoot.  The biggest bonus is usually the inclusion of a super dooper telephoto zoom lens.  In the following article I’ve taken one of the very popular bridge cameras by Nikon  – the P100, and reviewed it for you so you an get an ideas of what I mean by a bridge camera and if you’re thinking of buying a new camera, perhaps this is the next step for you.

A closer look at the Nikon P100

As you can see from the picture below, on first look, the Nikon P100 is a really compact little machine.

Nion P100

It weighs in at  a mere 3lbs which means it’s perfect if your going to be traveling or out walking or even dare I say it fit, to into your diaper bag!  It’s packed with really useful features, most of which you’ll find on most bridge cameras but some are unique to the P100.   One of these is the 3 inch vari-angle LCD screen with you can pull out and adjust to suit your shooting position.

The camera comes with a brilliant Lithium ion battery and charger which, by all accounts, really holds it’s charge for a long time.  I’m not really an advocate of buying a spare battery as they can be quite expensive.  Instead I suggest that if you are going on a trip, just take your battery charger with you and charge up every night.  Of course if your climbing in the Himalayas this might not apply…

Lots of Options

As you can see from the image of the mode dial below, the P100 has many of the manual modes you would expect to see from a DSLR camera. 

This means it’s the perfect camera for giving you an introduction to shooting in manual modes and enables you to really get creative with your shots.  For those times when you don’t want to think too much about what your shooting, flip it to one of the 17 scene modes and you’ll be assured of a great result.

26X Optical Zoom Lens

Of course the best thing about the P100 as far as I’m concerned the lens.  Not only do you get a 26mm wide-angle lens which will give you a much wide angle of view than most compact cameras, you also get a whopping 26 x optical zoom lens.   If you wanted this type of magnification on your DSLR you’d have to pay a LOT of money, not to mention tote a massive bag around!  And to have a 26mm wide angle in there as well means that scenery, big group shots or anything where you need to get more of the picture in, is a breeze.
Something which I’m usually not that into as I’m definitely a stills kinda gal is the High Definition 1080i video capabilities of this little camera. It is awesome!  You even get stereo sound.  This really would cut down on the amount of gear you’d need for a big trip.

Who is this camera best suited to?

I would say that this is a great camera for anyone who wants to challenge themselves a little more than what they can do with a simple point and shoot camera.  It is definitely more bulky than a compact but what you get squeezed in there is that massive, high quality zoom lens.  If wildlife, or travel is you thing – then this camera is definitely for you.  Not ready to commit to a DSLR?  Try out this bridge camera for lots of the manual control without the added bulk.  If however you don’t think you’ll ever use the big zoom then maybe this isn’t the camera for you, although truthfully once you get used to a zoom this size it is difficult to adjust to not having one.  I also think this in some ways this camera is ideally suited to females.  The small size and grip might make it a little awkward in a guys hands – perhaps a little too small for them.

So just to give you an idea of what it is exactly I’m talking about when I say BIG zoom we took some pictures to show you what you can achieve without having to move your feet!  Watch for the monument way far in the distance in the first shot.

Zoom 1Zoom 2

Zoom 3Zoom 4

As you can see that’s pretty powerful!  The P100 also has the added bonus of an VR or Vibration Reduction – which means that every shot should be steady as a rock – really important when you have a big zoom like this.

Is it all good?

The one negative I see with the this camera is the electronic viewfinder as opposed to an optical viewfinder.  Being a traditionalist I still like to use this type of camera by peeking throughout the viewfinder and the digital display just doesn’t do it for me.  I guess it’s probably because I’m used to a DSLR.  This probably wont make a difference to most of you though because most people are totally comfortable using the LCD screen to frame their shot.

So all in all I would give this camera very definite thumbs up, for the right person.  As I have said many times there’s no camera where one size fits all and it’s important to choose the best camera to suit your own specific needs.

But if you like to travel, nature, birds or just the all round flexibility of having the convenience of a large telephoto zoom in a small package then the Nikon P100 is for you!  Get Free Shipping from ordering here through Amazon.

Happy Snapping

P.S. Still not convinced?  Check out what other consumers have to say about the P100 here.

Canon Powershot S90 Review

One of the coolest things about my job teaching people how to use their cameras, is  that I get to play around with all the latest camera gadgets and gear.   This week I had the pleasure of meeting a new student and she wanted to learn how to use her Canon Powershot S90.  I was so impressed with the camera that I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you guys.

Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

Firstly, if you are looking for a camera that’s advanced enough to allow you to shoot in RAW, control your Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, shoot in low light conditions but without the bulk of of a DSLR then the Canon Powershot S90 is the camera for you.

It has a super bright f2.0 lens and a high ISO rating of 3200 which essentially means you can shoot in really low light conditions without having to turn on that nasty flash or worry about motion blur and camera shake.  With such a wide aperture lens you’ll also benefit from a nice shallow depth of field (otherwise known as a blurry background!) in your pictures which is great for stunning portrait shots.

The Canon Powershot s90 is so small and compact it will easily fit into a purse, diaper bag or pocket.   I think that this is a great camera for women as it really does just fit nicely in my hand.  I found it really easy to access all the functions but I could see this as being a problem with bigger man hands though, as the controls are set quite closely together.

It also features a brand new design feature namely the Control Ring on the front of the camera that can be set to control ISO, Focus, exposure or White Balance.  This is something unique to this camera and kinda gives it an old school feel for me.  I like it!

Canon Powershot S90

Canon Powershot S90

One more thing that you can do with the Canon Powershot s90 and that is go diving with it. That’s right  –   the addition of an special underwater casing turns the Powershot S90 into one of the best waterproof digital cameras around allowing you to shoot fantastic shots as you scuba, snorkel or just when your messing about in boats. Because of that bright f2.0 lens it’s a fantastic underwater camera.  That’s one of the main reasons why my student bought it and I can’t wait to see her pictures from her diving trip.

S90 Underwater Casing

S90 Underwater Casing

Overall I was really impressed by the level of features and flexibility packed into the Powershot s90’s compact body.  I would definitely say that this camera is an excellent choice if you want to begin to move out of Auto Mode, without having to make the jump up to a DSLR.  Or if you already have a DSLR and you’re looking for a handy point and shoot camera, you’ll find that the Canon Powershot S90 will not disappoint on features or picture quality.  It’s no wonder that this is the compact camera of choice for many professionals out there.

If you’re on the look out for a new camera you can check out the Canon Powershot S90 here from my friends over at B and H Photo and get free shipping if you are here in the US.  I’m thinking this will be my next buy…

Happy snapping


P.S. If you already own the Powershot S90 or end up buying it, please comment below and let me know what you think of it.