Digital Holster 40 v2 from Think Tank Photo (Review)

Before I get into the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2, I want to talk about my history with Think Tank Photo. Years ago when Think Tank Photo first came to the market, I was working for one of the first US dealers. During my six years at the company I had time to try to purchase many Think Tank Photo bags. I would use them, and then sell the ones I did not consider a favorite.

At one point in time I owned the first Digital Holster 40. It fit a Nikon D700 body, grip and Really Right Stuff bracket attached. During my time with the holster, I did not like it. The reason was because it was limited to the inside section for the camera, and one small pocket on the outside where the rain cover also got stored. The original DH 40 also had the zip out pop down for longer lenses, just like the v2 version currently does.

think tank photo digital holster 40 v2 vs v1

Until recently, my ongoing use of Think Tank Photo bags consisted of the Shape Shifter, the Pro Speed Belt and a bunch of the modular pouches. I have also been using the Spider Holster on the Think Tank Photo belt for instant access to my holstered camera.

After a trip to Arizona I had to give the v2 another shot. You see, I noticed two friends using the Digital Holster 40 v2 on their Think Tank Photo belt while hiking. It made their hike so much easier as they didn’t have to worry about anything over the shoulder or on their backs.

It wasn’t just the fact that friends were using it, but rather something more important than that. The case was redesigned, looking amazing, had extra storage and the ability to add further storage. (more on that later).

So I sent Think Tank Photo a note asking if I could review one, and at the same time give one away on my website. (in this review) So without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2.

Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2 Review

The Digital Holster 40 v2 is designed for pro size DSLRs such as the Nikon D4 or the Canon 1DX. It also accommodates standard-size camera bodies with battery grips. It is also designed to hold a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D size camera with a L Bracket. The shape of the Digital Holster 40 v2 conforms to the camera itself, with one straight side and one curved side, and it can actually stand up by itself, which is pretty cool to see.

Design

  • The business card pocket has been changed in Digital Holster 40 v2. Originally the pocket had a clear cover so the cards were exposed. Now the pocket is covered by the same fabric used for the bag, so it flows nicely and doesn’t stand out.
  • The shape of the bag has changed since the first version. Now it’s more form-fitting to the camera and sits nicely when up against your body.
  • The curved lines of the bag are more pronounced and modern. While most won’t care about it, I think it’s fantastic to see such awesome lines on a camera shaped bag.
  • The padding is pretty thick compared to the first version. I feel safe that the camera is protected. Both the Digital Holster 40 v1 and Digital Holster 40 v2 have the LCD pad that can be attached from multiple sides of the bag. However, the Digital Holster 40 v2 has a new pocket (mentioned below) that has additional padding for the back of the camera.
  • The pop down feature increases the bag height so you can store a lens with its hood in position, or a long lens (like the 70-200) with the hood in reversed position.
  • The bag holds my Nikon D800 with its Really Right Stuff L Bracket room. When I put my D700 with grip and L Bracket in the bag, it still fits, but it is very snug.
  • The holster’s lid opens forward, away from the body, for fast and easy access to the camera without struggles.
  • The bag includes a seamless rain cover that protects the entire bag from the elements if needed.

I think that the bag protects the camera very well and I love that I can carry light on a daily basis without leaving important items at home, like extra batteries or memory cards.

Connections

  • The bag comes with a shoulder strap that is thin enough to be lightweight but thick enough to add enough padding for the weight of the bag completely filled.
  • The Digital Holster 40 v2 has the ability to attach to the Think Thank Photo belt systems, or to your own belt. While it is possible, the bag is best used when attached to the Pro Speed Belt. (Amazon)

I am using the bag on a daily basis to keep things light, but to have a camera with me. I’m using it with the strap for daily use, and on my Pro Speed Belt when doing paid work or out for landscape photography.

Optional Connections

The Digital Holster 40 v2 has the ability to be used with the Holster Harness (Amazon) in order to keep the bag against your chest.

The Digital Holster 40 v2 can also be attached to a Think Tank Photo backpack using their Backpack Connection Kit (Amazon), which also keeps the bag against your chest.

Storage

  • There is an elastic type stretchable pocket on the outside of the bag, which could hold items you might need often. Maybe an iPhone, or glasses. Currently I am not using the pocket, but will as needed.
  • If you are using a shorter lens, like a prime (35mm, 50mm, etc), then it is possible to use the bottom of the bag as additional storage. For daily use, I have the Nikon 35mm f/2 attached to my D800. So I keep my di-GPS Pro hidden under the camera when not attached.
  • On the side of the bag is a small pocket that holds the built-in rain cover. Inside the pocket is a small pocket where I store two extra batteries for the D800.
  • There is a small underneath the lid, on the inside of the bag. In it, I’m storing my ColorChecker Passport.
  • One of the biggest advantages of the Digital Holster 40 v2 over the original bag is the integrated side attachment system. With it, you can connect many of the Think Tank Photo modular bags, like the Strobe Stuff (Amazon) which holds a flash. That means that if you are carrying light, but want a little extra storage, you can attach an additional small bag. Or if you run out of space on your belt, you have one extra spot thanks to the Digital Holster 40 v2.

I could easily store a few additional memory cards in one of the pockets, but decided clip a Pixel Pocket Rocket (Amazon) and a Spuds lens clothe to the outside of the bag, at least for the time being.

Final Word

I am a big fan of the Think Tank photo Digital Holster 40 v2. It has come a long way since the original version, and is now suitable for a daily use bag. It’s light, protected and can hold everything a photographer would need for carrying minimal equipment with them anyway. The added benefit of using the bag over the shoulder or on the belt system in amazing.

I highly recommend this bag, and for $79.75 it’s well worth it. Think Tank Photo has a ton of dealers around the world. However, if you enjoyed this review, please show your thanks or support by purchasing Digital Holster 40 v2 from either Think Tank Photo direct, or from my Amazon links. Why? Well, by purchasing through Think Tank Photo, you will receive a small gift from them, and I will receive a small commission on the sale. By purchasing through Amazon you could save on shipping cost, but will not receive a small gift. Amazon would also send me a small commission on the sale.

The Giveaway

Now it’s time for the giveaway. Leave a comment below stating what is your favorite feature of the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2. I will then pick a comment at random, and the winner will receive the bag, courtesy of my friends at Think Tank Photo.

The giveaway will run through April 16, 2013 at which time the winner will be picked and announced through social media. Be sure to join me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to know who the winner is.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. My favorite feature of the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2 collapsible bottom of the bag, which provides versatility for different lens lengths. I’m also a big fan of the extra pockets. It’s touch to pick out just one thing from your review that makes this a great, versatile bag.

    Great review!

  2. Thank you for the review! I’ve had my eye on the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2 for a while. I am also a big fan of Think Tank bags. I didn’t know you could attach another small bag to the side! It’s hard to pick a favorite feature of this bag but the main reason I would choose this bag over another is because it is made by Think Tank. The feature I like most is the extendable bottom that will allow a 70-200mm lens attached to a pro-sized body. The storage in the top lid is a big bonus too. Gaahhh! I can’t pick just one feature!!! Thanks again for the review!

  3. I love the fact that an accessory bag can be attached to the outside of the bag. One can never have enough opportunity to carry more “stuff”

  4. My favorite feature of the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2 is the size. There are so many time that want to go out with just a camera and one lens, and this is the perfect “case” for that. Of course, if it were not for all the other great features, it wouldn’t matter so much how compact it was. Cheers, Don

  5. Thanks for the review. I’m interested in the addition of the external storage added to this new version to give the bag more flexibility. I have a couple of Think Tank bags and have been pleased with the build quality of their bags. They make good stuff.

  6. I have a number of Think Tank bags including the belt system and the Digital Holster 40 would be a perfect addition to my system.

  7. Thanks for the review; I currently own the Digital Holster 40 v1, and was wondering if the v2 was worth upgrading to.

  8. It’s small, yet it can hold a decent dslr with a good glass.
    It makes perfect solution for taking camera in the mountains

  9. I’m an amateur photographer with a Digital Holster 20 that I have had for a few years now. I love hiking and I got the Digital Holster 20 and made my own backpack connect kit and then later I went to their harness. I love the handsfree and yet easy access. The 20 is good for me as I have a Nikon D90 and I hike with a short zoom lense. The expansion is great when I take a longer lense with me while I go bird watching or one of the kid’s sporting events.I have a couple other camera bags (not ThinkTank) for when I need to carry additional lenses or other gear but I get more use out of Digital Holster. It is a very efficient bag but not a lot of room for accessories (but that suits my needs).

  10. Hi Scott
    Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking for a suitable bag Holster type bag for a while. When I go hiking I generally have a 30 litre backpack and I like to have my camera fitted on the hip belt and swung away to the side where it doesn’t impede my walking. My current bag is too small for my 5D and this looks just the job.

  11. The best part of the Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 40 v2 is that is works in so many venues – singularly, attached to the belt, the backpack. There are many other features but this one is the best for me.

  12. With the new Think Tank Holster, I can now carry around my camera AND a tasty sandwich.

    Go Think Tank!

  13. Thanks for the write up, and updates of the v2’s.
    I have many Think Tank products but have shyed away from the original Digital Holsters, probably for the same reason you didn’t like the first Digital Holster 40.
    It makes sense for me to get a Digital Holster 40 v2 now. The way I carry or transport my D800, which is usually in a modular soft pouch on my speed belt, in my Retrospective 10, or in my Urban Disguise 70 Pro v2. A Digital Holster 40 v2 would be very handy to carry my camera around and to keep it covered when I’m not taking pictures. I like the idea that I can bring a flash along too, and have it connected with the holster in a Think Tank pouch.

  14. The v2 holster will solve the problem I have always had with the original version. I could never quite jam the camera AND a flash in the bag. Now, the integrated side attachment system lets you connect the Strobe Stuff which holds a flash. And, if you are using your belt system, and it is already fully loaded, you can attach a pouch directly to the holster.

  15. Great review. Always looking for a better way to carry gear and THIS sounds like its the right solution for me.

  16. I agree with you, I love how much more “stylish” the V2 is. I didn’t think you could make a holster look good, but TT’s proved me wrong!

  17. The size is the reason to consider a bag like this. the fact that it’s capable of carrying allthe itmes I would need for a day trip makes it a winner in my book!

  18. Great review Scott. I have been using the Speedbelt and LensChanger pouches from ThinkTank for a few years now and it really is a great system. This would make a great addition to it. :-)

  19. Hi Scott,
    Do you think this bag can also be used for a camera without a grip? I have a D7000 and very often I use it with a monopod without a grip.

    1. Totally can. I keep my D800 in there without a grip.

      1. Perfect! I already use Speed Pro Belt so it will be logical to add this Holster.
        Thank you very much for review and fast reply.

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