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ONA Union Street and Bowery Review

Union Street and Bowery

Union Street and Bowery

If you’ve ever found yourself bored with your local camera store bag selection and wish for a day you can be seen lugging around a non-nylon-hey-look-at-me-camera-bag, then you might want to check out ONA.

ONA is going after the idea that Camera bags and Accessories can be stylish and well made. By well made, I mean seriously well made. The two bags I picked up are the Union Street Ranger Tan and the Bowery Field Tan. Each bag is made of canvas, leather accents and brass hardware. The shoulder straps are essentially seat-belts, but in a good way, however not quite as wide. The Union Street, along with a leather bottom has extra padding on the strap to help with comfort and weight. Fully loaded, the Union will start pulling on your shoulder after a while and I’m a big guy so that saying something.

Bowery - Field Tan

Bowery – Field Tan

As for the Canvas used, its waxed to help with weatherizing the bags. It gives them a welcomed rustic look. I’m not going to convey this well in writing but the feel of this is also something to experience. Very well done.

The Bowery

The Bowery is designed to double as a bag insert and It does this by allowing for the shoulder straps to be un-clipped from the bag. The idea being that this makes it easier for the Bowery to fit in a larger bag. While this may be ONA’s intent I don’t see this as a realistic one as you would need quite a large and cumbersome bag to accommodate the Bowery as an insert. But hey that’s just my opinion, I’m sure someone out there is proving me wrong as I type. While I’m not crazy about the clips I found that the ability for them to swivel was a nice surprise. This helped kept the shoulder strap from awkwardly twisting. The Bowery Always seems to lay just right across the side because of this.

My main concern with the Bowery before it arrived was its size. I wanted a bag that would accommodate an SLR and one or two walk around lenses. I was not disappointed. Not only did this bag fit my 6D but I was also able to squeeze in a 17-40mm, 50mm 1.4, charger and extra battery. Now because I intend to use this as just a day bag I don’t plan on configuring it this way but instead, was just interested in how I could organize it.

Canon 6D with 50mm 1.4, 17-40mm, Charger and extra battery.

Canon 6D with 50mm 1.4, 17-40mm, Charger and extra battery.

It should be noted that to do this I use an extra insert I didn’t have use for from the Union Street bag and packed the Bowery with the 50mm attached, not the 17-40mm. I see myself normally using this bag with 17-40mm attached. So far I’ve found the Bowery extremely comfortable to carry around. And even though my wife gives me a hard time about it looking like a Man Purse, I don’t mind. This is one sexy bag.

The Union Street

The Union Street is a large (but not too large) messenger bag with room to spare. It’s tall enough for a 13″ mac book pro/air, 70-200 f4 and a flash like the 580ex. Its also tall enough for a mark 3 with the 24-105 attached. Storage is in abundance on the Union as well. The front pocket has room enough for a plethora of accessories, car keys, cell phone, etc. But even fully loaded the Union sits up right very well. The leather base is designed in such a way the bag does not want to tip over easily. Even the rear pocket has a nice design to it, a magnetic clasp to keep the pocket closed, something I would liked to have seen on the Bowery. But all in not perfect. I do have one complaint, after repeated use the insert material under the Velcro strap securing the laptop compartment is wearing a bit quickly. A minor issue on an other wise great set of camera bags and a welcome addition to my camera gear.

In all I’m very pleased with both bags and believe anyone looking for stye without sacrificing function just may find a bag in ONA. I’ll quit rambling on…Below are some more pictures to give you a better Idea and, hopefully help you decide for yourself.




Bowery with Canon 50D with attached 17-40mm and 40mm pancake

Bowery with Canon 50D with attached 17-40mm and 40mm pancake

Union Street

Union Street

Inseart wear from velcro

Insert wear from Velcro

Union Street Packed with an iPad, Flash, 17-40mm, 50D/40mm prime, light meter

Union Street Packed with an iPad, Flash, 17-40mm, 50D/40mm prime, light meter, Phone, blah blah blah yada yada yada it holds a bunch of camera crap

Union Street

Union Street

Union Stret

Union Street


Long Exposure Photography

Here’s a new one from the median facing south on Hwy 360 at the Bridge. RAW, taken with a Canon 50D using the Canon 10-22 lens at 10mm. Time 10sec, ISO 200 aperture 3.5 and exposure +2 ev. post editing done with Aperture 3.

time exposure photography of austin 360 bridge

Time Exposure Photography of Austin 360 Bridge (1920x1080)

Black and White taken from the same spot but using 22mm of the same lens. ISO was still at 200 and time was also at 10sec but the aperture was at f/10. 0 ev
I’ve also included the 360 B&W.AdjustmentPresets for this one.

time lapse photography of austin 360 bridge B&W

Time Exposure Photography of Austin 360 Bridge B&W (1920x1080)

Common, Easily Fixed Digital Camera Problems

Before you think you have a lame excuse for a digital camera, here are a few things to check before sending it off to be service or replacing it. The following is a short list of issues you may be dealing with on your Compact Point and Shoot or SLR that can be fixed with out much fuss.

Everything is blurry

Although blurry images can be caused by faulty cameras and camera lenses. One or a combination of the following can also cause your pictures to turn out blurry or appear blurry and should be looked at first.

  • Dirty lens

Even if the lens may look clean it never hurts to give your lens a good once over just to make sure. Lens cleaning kits are inexpensive and easy to come by. Some kits are made just for small cameras. Your local electronics/camera store should have them on hand.

  • Make sure your camera is not set to macro mode

This setting looks like a flower for most cameras and if this mode is engaged you will only have focus for the first 1-3 feet in front of your lens, blurring everything else.

  • Image resolution

This may be true if the image looks great on the camera but pixelated on the computer screen. Make sure your camera is set to the highest resolution then give it a try.

  • Motion or Movement

Motion or movement by ether the person taking the pictures or people or objects moving while the picture is being taken. To fix this we need to speed up the shutter. however doing that can lead to an under exposed picture. Flash, Aperture and ISO can help. Check out my ISO or Aperture post for more info. The Flash will be covered later on in this post.

  • Optical Zoom or Digital Zoom

Make sure digital zoom is turned off. This is, in my opinion, a worthless feature. It’s only cropping the image and not actually zooming anything. This can result in a very pixelated image. If you still need more zoom, it may be time to step up to an SLR with a telephoto lens or a super zoom point and shoot that has a 10x or more optical zoom. Legs are a forgotten feature in photography, so if you can, walk closer.

Memory Card Problems

Memory cards in general don’t go bad. If one does, it’s usually a DOA issue or some type of physical damage…..”usually”.

  • Format

Your digital camera is like a computer and the memory card is like the hard drive. Remember to format, not delete before you use the card for the first time. Always format the card in camera and never format it using your computer. Formatting before taking pictures is a good habit to get into. Remember formatting will erase all pictures, so make sure you save to your computer first. Formatting can fix things like loading speed, images not being stored, Error messages and other strange behavior.

  • Card Locked

Common to SD. SD cards have a small tab on the side of them that you can lock or accidentally lock. If your camera suddenly tells you it can’t record make sure the tab is in the unlocked position

Short Battery Life

Your camera dies after only a few pictures.

  • Check your camera’s user guide and make sure you’re using the right kind of batteries.

Many entry level point & shoot cameras will use AA’s, but not all AA’s are created equal. Rechargeable Nickel-cadmium battery (NiCd or NiCad) or one time use Lithium AA’s that have a 2000 mAh (Ampere hour) or higher rating will give you improved picture counts before needing to be replaced or recharged. Compare this to a typical AA that has only a few hundred mAh. If your camera came with it’s own proprietary rechargeable battery, remember most only have an average life of about 1-2 years. So it may be time to replace it.

Shutter lag

You’re taking pictures and you always miss the action.

  • Slow Cameras

Some cameras can take 2-3 seconds to actually take the shot once the shutter button is pressed. If this sounds like your camera, my condolences go out to you, this is simply unacceptable. What you can do is prep the camera before the shot by holding the shutter button down half way. This will give the camera time to set up and focus. then press the button all the way down when action is right. For SLR’s you may want to try manual focus to give you more speed.

Over Exposed or Washed Out Faces

You don’t like using the flash but everything blurs if it’s not used.

  • Exposure Compensation

Exposure compensation does just that. It lowers the exposure of your picture to compensate for lack of or too much light. Next time you need the flash try lowering the exposure value (EV) by -.5 to -1 but be carful not to under expose too much as this can add an unacceptable amount of grain/noise on lower end cameras.

  • White Balance

Sometimes the auto white balance is not all that precise. Turn your WB setting to flash.

My Camera just sucks, I want a new one!

Can’t fault you there. Some cameras just can’t cut it. When you’re shopping for a new one keep the above information in mind and remember the following.

“Good, Fast, Cheap, You can only pick two.”