Camera Bean Bags – Complete Guide

Camera bean bags have become popular these days. Did you know why wildlife photographers buy camera bean bags rather than tripods?

There is a difference between a tripod and a camera bean bag. Both tripods and camera bean bags stabilize the camera and lenses while capturing the shot. But Camera bean bags are more flexible than tripods in most cases.

Tripods do a lovely job with cameras. You can adjust the height of the tripod. But it is impossible to lower the tripod near to the flow level. Also, it is not changed with the ground. So, you cannot use a tripod in unbalance surfaces.

But the camera bean bag does not have any rigid structure. Because of that, it can adjust to the ground level. Therefore, it is excellent at capturing flexible photography positions. 

This flexibility is the primary reason why wildlife photographers mainly use camera bean bags.

Now you may feel curious about what is a camera bean bag. Keep reading; this article includes the most exciting fact about camera bean bags!

Camera bean bags

Table of Contents

Camera Bean Bags

A camera bean bag is a flexible sac filled with soft beans like cotton, expanded polystyrene beads, rice, or sand. This bean bag is mainly used for wildlife photography. The primary function is to keep your camera stable and safest while you capture the photograph.

Manufacturers introduce different kinds of camera bean bags setups. The typical weight range of the mini camera bean bags is from 3-4 kg, and the weight range of the standard size bean bag is from 6-8 Kg. However, the weight may differ with filler type.

If we consider the size, the mini camera bean bag has 27 cm x 25 cm (Length x Width), and, standards camera bean bag has 33 cm x 20 cm (Length x Width) dimensions.

Rather than filled ones, some camera bean bags come without any fillers. So, when you need to lose your travel pack volume, you can carry them. Then fill it at your destination using a suitable filler type.

bean bags camera

Advantages of Using Camera Bean Bags

Great at Ground Level or Low Angle Shots

You can not use a tripod to capture ground-level photos. Moreover, it is not safe to lay your camera directly on the ground. You may need some pad to apply under the lens in that type of situation.

If not, stones, dust, and sand may damage your camera and lens. So, take support from the camera bean bag. Here you can use it on rocky, dusty, and unleveled surfaces.  

Great for Wildlife Photography

Do you ever shoot a bird’s photos? It is a bit tricky because birds are moving creatures. But if you use a camera bean bag, you can capture moving objects quickly with a stable stand.

A bean bag is an essential part of any wildlife photographer’s kit. Also, some great commercially made camera bean bags are available from Lenscoat, WildRoar, Tamrac, and Wildlife Watching Supplies. 

Moreover, it is possible to use up to 600mm telephoto lenses with camera bean bags. 

Great for Windows Photography

Most wildlife photographers capture shots while running their vehicles. They said that window photography is the best for bird captures as you can move from your car.

In that case, they struggle for stability because of their camera shake. To avoid this dreaded camera shake, they use camera bean bags.

Moreover, it is mainly used for capturing wildlife like bears, bison, or elk. It is the safest method to capture carnivore animals closely. Also, photographers use it for windows shoots while raining and snowing.

So, how do photographers use camera bean bags for windows photography?

Generally, this bean bag has two arms. Then the photographer can place the bean bag on the car window and set his camera lens on it. So, they can capture steady shots even at longer exposures under this facility.

Give Rest for the Camera and Your Hand

If you are a wildlife photographer, you know what I’m going to explain. Generally, there are huge lenses used to capture long-distance shots. So, the photographers should hang on heavy lenses and cameras until capturing the image.

Sometimes they may have to stay hours to take one shot. So, it is impossible to hang on the heavy lens on hand during the whole time. Also, it is not suitable for the camera body. But you can not keep your camera on the bare ground too.

A camera bean bag is the best option to solve these issues, and it acts as supporting gear. It does not give only the rest of your hand but also the safe spot for the camera. On the other hand, this bean bag helps protect your camera and lens.

Water Repellent Ability

These camera bean bags are made with water-repellent material. Therefore it can use in wet or moist environments. 

Moreover, when you do wildlife photography, you may experience rainy days. So, if your camera is waterproof, you can use a camera bean bag with it. 

This is a significant advantage. Because if bean bag is waterproof, it reduces the possibility of fungus growth. It is suitable for both camera and lens. 

Reshapes With Camera Angle and Position

When you hear the word “bean bag,” what is come to your mind? The comfy sac with a unique ability to adjust with your body. Isn’t it?

So, while you use camera bean bags for wildlife photography, they do the same task. The only difference is that a camera is a tool that lies on a bean bag.

However, bean bags help keep your camera in the best position you want. Moreover, this sac is sensitive to every slight movement. It is a great advantage to move your camera positions smoothly.

Not only the camera but the bean bag also reshapes with whatever surface you have placed it. It is a significant advantage! You can use it on a vehicle window, fence post, on a rock, or the ground.

Shoot Natural Scenes

Camera bean bags are helpful to take photographs of all types of nature scenes, not just wildlife. In user experience, they said that window shot could take under 1/6th of a second, slow shutter speed.

So, to take natural scenes photos, use camera bean bags.

bean bag for photography

How to Use a Camera Bean Bag?

It is easy to use than a tripod, especially for low perspective photos. Just place it under your lens. It should bear half or 2/3 of the lens. Because of that, it is easy to move around and reposition. So, camera bean bags should be wide enough to bear the lens.

In addition, bean bags should have small particles that can move quickly as fillers. Also, the filler amount is essential. If the camera bean bag is highly compact with fillers, it lacks enough support.

If you need to capture windows shots, open the door shutter. Then hold your bean bag on the window.

If you need to use them in any other place, place the bean bag directly on that surface. This is a simple tool. Because of that, you can use them without worrying much!

Read our guide on making a camera bean bag at home.

Final Words

Wildlife photography is a great passion. So, some people are addicted to it. They spend hours, days, and months to capture just a single shot. However, wild areas are unpredictable. It may consist of different types of ecology.

Moreover, most photographers use wide-angle lenses to capture wild creatures’ photos. So, all these camera equipment need a flexible quality tool to lay their lenses. Other than the camera bean bag, is there any perfect solution?

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