Review of Foto Club Inc Printer Carry Case vs “Theirs”
By: Bryant Sentosa of Photoboothless.com
I manufacture this printer case that is being carried by Foto Club, Inc. So take this review with a grain of salt, but I am also not a guy to fudge something that can be proven or dis-proven easily. Some of this information might be my opinion, and some are fact. Only you the purchaser can truly make the final decision and decide what features are important to you, and which is the best one of the two.
A little history: As a photo booth owner and operator, I understand the day-to-day operation of what you all go through. A carrying case did not exist on the market for what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel around locally (So Cal) and protect my printers, but I also didn’t want it to be bulky or heavy.
So I designed a carrying case initially for the use of Sony CRX1, but made it just a tad bigger to carry the DNP RX-1 as well. Eventually, customers started to use it for other printers that also fit. The cases were sold by two known industry distributors. One was Foto Club, Inc. in Southern California, and the other was a company in Texas. Well since then, the company in Texas has ceased ordering our cases and decided to source their own. Interestingly, it looks and has features A LOT like ours. That’s okay. After all, business is business.
Their bag boast two main “improvements” and possibly a third. First, is it’s 1 inch of padding. Second, it’s Made in the USA. And third, it can carry a human being and sells for the same price! I didn’t think it was possible.
The first two improvements concerned me. When I first heard they made their case for the same price, bigger, and Made in the USA, I said to myself “how was it possible???!!!!”
Well here is where we begin. Again this is a review of “Our” bags sold exclusively at Foto Club Inc. and “Theirs.”
The bag I will be using for testing is a case I have been using day to day since January. It has been used to carry my DNP RX-1s. So it is NOT a new case or a case that has been specially selected. It is just a random case off my shelf, which I have been using for months.
“Their” bag is a NEW bag that was purchased on Saturday, July 7th and arrived on July 9th. As far as speed of delivery and all that, it was great. I’ve dealt with both companies and was never dissatisfied with either company’s services.
Again, I want to clarify. I do manufacture this bag. All statements I make are my honest opinions and observations. If you have both these cases, you should be able to validate and prove what I have done and seen.
Ours: 11.5″(H) x 17.5″(W) x 15″(D)
Theirs: 19” x 17” x 12”
Theirs is bigger. Does it matter to you?
As pictured on their blog they have an RX-1 and pack of media in the case. Don’t know about you but that’s a combined weight of 54lbs. You guys might be stronger than I am. I want to save my back. The printer is plenty heavy for me.
Ours: 1/4″ foam that lines a rigid puncture resistant solid center core on ALL SIDES. It creates a box like structure around the printer. Theirs: 1″ foam padding for the walls and top cover and rigid bottom.
Ours: All foam and center solid core are sewn into the walls of the case creating a strong sturdy structure.
Theirs: A “cover” that slips under the foam insert. Sorry I can’t describe it better. It’s almost like a slipcover that goes around the foam insert. (see photo)
Opinion Alert: I personally don’t like it loose. How would I describe it? Basically, our case has bones (rigid internal structure), muscle (foam), skin (outside material), and is all tied together so nothing floats around.
They have no bones, bigger muscles, skin, but every thing floats around.
We integrated the foam and ridged center so that it created a box like effect. Our case does not sway or fall.
I’m sure most of us have a professional equipment bag. ALL professional equipment bags have the foam or structure integrated into the walls of the case. Even in the cheapest camera bags, the foam is sewn into the case. It’s what creates its form and offers better protection.
It’s cheaper to make it separate instead of making it into one piece.
The type of case that does not have the foam insert integrated into it, is a duffle bag.
Ours: We have a front zipper for small tools, biz cards and whatever else.
Theirs: They advertise that they have a front pocket, but clearly they do not.
Ours : We use #10 zippers (basically it’s the size of the zipper.)
Theirs: They advertise that they use #10 zipper.
Their case manufacturer might be using a different scale to measure zippers perhaps, but regardless, I think ours is a larger zipper. You be the judge.
We both feature hard rubber plastic feet under the case.
Ours: We have 5.
Their: They have 6.
Opinion Alert: I have to be honest; I think it’s a small detail.
The center rubber feet placed in the center so that when I set the bag on the floor of a nasty and wet loading dock in the basement of the hotel, it will hopefully keep the case decently clean and dry. Because theirs is “Bigger and Badder,” I feel the space in between the feet might be prone to getting wet. What do you think?
PUNCTURE TEST: Sorry I didn’t do any. 🙂 I didn’t want to destroy their case or mine. I’m not one of those guys that have the need or want to set an IPAD on fire to see its temperature resistance. I do believe that both cases will be adequate for minor bumps from loading in and out of the car.
As mentioned above, our case incorporates a solid rigid center on both sides sewn into the walls. Theirs: 1″ foam padding insert
Here is why I think this is important:
As event professionals we use, carry, store, mishandle heavy equipment, IE cart, cables, stands, pipe and drape set, speakers, photo booths and so on. When I created the case I wanted to put as little pressure on the printer as possible. I am super uber careful with my printer. Heck their almost $1k each. We need to protect our investment. How many times do you stack something or throw something into your van because you’re in a hurry? Things happen. I might be in a rush, and I might stack something incorrectly.
I placed a DNP RX-1 filled with paper, on the corner of each case. Please note my case is 7 months old and have been used constantly. I wanted to see how well it stood up if I were to accidentally put a toolbox on the corner of the case.
^ Personally, I think our case held its own.
In their bag, it compresses under the weight of the printer, and quite honestly made me a little nervous. I thought my printer was going to take a tumble.
If you take a look at the photo, carefully note the “Pull” label on the printer. That shows the center of the printer. In our photo, the corner of the case is almost directly under the label.
In “their” photo, note how far off center the corner of the case and the label is. The reason for that is because when I put the printer near the center, the foam in the bag would collapse, and the printer would fall off the bag. But I really did try and want to show the compression of their bag.
SO what if I need to stack something directly on top of the case? Maybe a pipe and base setup? tool box? another printer? If you do happen to do this, you want the weight to be distributed among the entire surface area, and not one single section (main your printer). With the rigid center core, weight can and will be distributed evenly throughout the case, and not just on the printer.
As you can see the case is empty, and although you can’t see the sides of the piece of wood, I assure you it is solely being suspended by the case. You can test it for yourself. Also know that our case comes with a solid core divider as well. I didn’t use it on our test. Theirs comes with what appears to be two 1/4″ foam dividers. I didn’t use it on our test.
Now just to let you know, I really did try and position the foam in their case to make the printer stand. I did not make the foam fall intentionally. I did not position the foam so that it would collapse. I did this several times, but no luck. It would be stupid of me to try and fool anyone. It can easily be disproven. The walls would collapse once I put the first printer on.
Another important factor is the rigid center wall that is integrated into the wall for transportation efficiency. Our case has a strong structure. With our case you can efficiently pack your car. Because of its strong internal structure, ours retains the basic square shape of the case.
To end this review, if they had a superior product, I would tuck my tail between and legs, admit defeat, not do a review, and go back to the drawing board. But I do believe with what I have seen and tested, I’ve proved that we have the better case.
BTW their description for the case on their website is incorrect. It’s the description for our case. I’m sure they “forgot” to change it.
Back to what I said in the beginning,
“When I heard first they made their case, for the same price, bigger and Made in the USA. I said to myself how was it possible???!!!!”
Now that I have seen and felt the case, yes I could see how it was possible.
In creating our case, every detail was put there for a reason. Cost was not a concern, this was not about selling the most cases, this was to produce a great case for an affordable price.
If you stuck around to read to the end, thank you for your attention. I know it was a super long post.
– BRYANT SENTOSA
Well-padded Printer Carrying Case can be purchased here.
It can fit any of these printers:
• HiTi P510S Printer
• HiTi P510Si Printer
• HiTi P510L Printer
• HiTi P520L Printer
• HiTi P910L Printer
• DNP DS-40 Printer
• DNP DS-620A Printer
• DNP DS-80 Printer
• DNP DS-RX1 Printer
• DNP SL10 SnapLab Printer
• Mitsubishi CP-D70DW Printer
• Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Printer
• Sinfonia CS2 CHC-S6145
• Sinfonia CE1 CHC-S6245
• Sony UP-CX1
• Sony UP-D70
• Sony UP-D75
• Sony UP-DR80