A Tale of Two Tenba’s – Review of Switch 10 and DNA 11 Camera Bags

I have been researching online for aprox 4 weeks reading reviews of camera bags and suggestions for the MFT (Micro Four Thirds) cameras.

I ended up getting two bags since I saw features in each model that made it hard to decided which model I would prefer.

This review is is written after using the bags for three months on a daily basis both at the office and on assignments in the field.

My previous bag was purchased 6 years ago it was as Domke and was not large enough to accommodate the Olympus 40-150 2.8 Zoom Lens.

1) So the main feature I was looking for in a new bag the ability to hold the new large lens and other camera gear.
2) The second feature was a camera bag that did not advertise itself was a camera bag which is what I did not like about the Dome.
3) The third feature was a way to hold a tripod which non of the previous bas I owned had a great way.

When I was comparing the size of my lens and camera e bodies I figured the Switch 10 and DNA 11 would accommodate the Large Zoom on my EM1 or EM5 in the bag.
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Features I liked about both bags.

Top Cover Zipper Access.

DNA11 Top Zipper
DNA11 Top Zipper

I never had a bag that permitted unzipping the top before. I have found it does permit accessing the equipmet with less chance of stuff falling out.

In previous bags you had to open the cover completely. If the flaps are fastened with Velcro it makes such a commotion during events that it draws attention to you. In the past I placed some velcro on most of the velcro on the bag so that a smaller portion was used to close the bags. So when you open the bag it produces less noise.

The Switch 10 uses two magnets and snaps to secure the flap.

Switch10 Magnets and Snaps
Switch10 Magnets and Snaps

the DNA 11 uses Velcro and external Snaps to secure the flap that are unique since they are close by placing them over the snap and then release by sliding off to one side.

DNA11 Front
DNA11 Front

DNA11 Fastener
DNA11 Fastener
DNA11 Slide
DNA11 Slide

One thing that I did notice was if the covers are not fastened shut the content does spill out which happened twice.

The Switch 10 has an external padded back pocket large enough to hold an iPad Air with out a case.

Switch10 Back Pocket
Switch10 Back Pocket

the DNA 11 has in internal padded pocket large enough to hold an macbook air 11. I was also able to fit an iPad Pro (not in a case) between the internal sleeve and the padded pocket.

DNA11 Back Internal Pocket with Velcro Strap
DNA11 Back Internal Pocket with Velcro Strap

Camera Compartment

Both camera bags have a configuration of three compartments. There is a main difference between the way the top flaps of the bags work.

On the Switch 10 the top sections have velcro that can fasten the tops and lock off the compartment.

Switch 10 Internal Compartments
Switch 10 Internal Compartments

The DNA 11 top sections are free folding.

DNA11 top Compartments free
DNA11 top Compartments free

Front Pockets large enough to hold Filters or external hard drives.

The main difference is on the Switch 10 the Pockets are contained in a zipped compartment and the front pockets on the DNA 11 are open in the top.

Switch 10 Front Pockets
Switch 10 Front Pockets

There are two front pockets that stretch and one large zippered pocket to hold content.

DNA 11 Front Pockets
DNA 11 Front Pockets

There are four pockets on two on each side with a thin pencil slot on each side. The pockets are thin yet can hold a filter.
The external flap has two pockets one on the left that is zipped and I place keys and small items that I don’t want fall out. The pocket on the right I place headphones.

Side mesh pockets are good to hold glasses, battery chargers, the rain cover

DNA 11 Side Mesh Pockets
DNA 11 Side Mesh Pockets
DNA 11 Side Mesh Pockets
DNA 11 Side Mesh Pockets

Straps and Loops.

DNA 11 Suitcase Straps
DNA 11 Suitcase Straps
DNA 11 Suitcase Straps
DNA 11 Suitcase Straps
DNA 11 Suitcase Straps
Switch 10 Tripod Straps

Here is where I see a difference between the two bags.

The Switch 10 contains some side loops above the mesh pockets. I have used those loops to hang items off of. The Shoulder strap is connected and does not detach from the bag. The padding on the strap is a little minimal. One of the main features that made me consider getting the switch bag was loops at the bottom of the bag for securing a tripod on the bottom. Tenba provides two straps for securing the tripod. However with the small tripod I carry the length of the velcro was too short the strap was longer than I needed and would not hold the tripod. I made my own velcro straps and used them with my Siri Tripod.

OK The idea that looked so good on paper was not to my liking in practice. The reason I did not like it was the Tripod is triangular and when attached to the bottom of the bag it would not permit the bag to sit up but fall over. I guess if you keep the bag on your shoulder and don’t set it down it might work.

Some of the other ways I tried to carry my tripod was to have it stick out the top of flap with one end zippered opened. The second way was to have it sit over the top of the camera compartments under the cover. but I have to remove it to get the gear out. The last way was hold it in the mesh side pockets.

The DNA 11 has straps in the back that permit you placing the bag over the handle of a suitcase.

The shoulder strap disconnects which I like.

The top cover has a handle that permits you hold the bag by the handle. I like that.

My Ideal bag would mix and match between the two.

The mounting straps from the DNA 11
The strap and padded section from the DNA 11
The Zippered Cover options of Switch 10
The Side Loops from the Switch 10
The Velcro Top Dividers from Switch 10
The Pockets in the Cover from DNA 11
The Removable Camera sections from DNA 11

Add a new feature to both bags. A velcro strap that would go around the shoulder strap with excess to hold the top of a tripod. The bottom of the tripod is held in the side velcro pocket.

Rain Cover. Both bags come with a rain cover that can be used cover the bag and keep it try when it rains.

Rain Cover Closed
Rain Cover Closed
Rain Cover Opened
Rain Cover Opened

The Pringles Size comparison

Tenba Switch 10
Tenba Switch 10
Tenba DNA 11
Tenba DNA 11

Conclusion

With the purchase of the new iPad Pro and the features of the Handle and removable strap the DNA 11 would be a better match for me. Follow me on Twitter @photodisneyblog for giveaway of the Tenba Switch 10.