I don’t often use a camera bag and have never been very interested in any of the leather cases that are available for cameras. They always seemed to be more trouble than they were worth, requiring you to remove them to get to the battery or memory card – and on the NEX-7 that is a frequent occurrence. Then I saw the Gariz case and was instantly intrigued, for here was a beautiful case that would protect my “baby” (NEX-7) AND let me remove the battery and SD card without removing the case!
In the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you that LoveCases provided this case to me at no charge. I think I can still be objective.
The first thing you notice is the quality of the packaging … a simple black box with “GARIZ” in silver on the top. Next, as you open the box, you find the case safely ensconced in a protective cloth bag. Then … the Camera case itself … rich black leather with a shiny metal base and a soft lining to protect the finish of your camera.
The base appears to be finely machined metal with a hole (for access to your battery and SD card), a separate tripod socket, and what they call a “Gun Shot Ring” for attaching the case to your camera’s tripod socket. By the way, this Gun Shot Ring would be perfect for attaching a camera strap if, like me, you don’t like to have a strap permanently attached to the rings on the sides of the camera.
So, let’s see what the pros and cons are for this case.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the only reason I considered a case for my camera was because of the the way it allows easy access to your battery and SD card (see below).
Generally, the case fits like a “glove”, except for where it wraps around the inside of the grip, next to the lens. But this is acceptable because that is a tight space already and they obviously had to use thin leather without the sort of stiffening found in other parts. If you have large hands and find that your fingers just barely fit between the grip and the lens, then this case could worsen that situation. For me it just makes it nice and snug – a perfect fit.
The case allows access to all camera controls (except the USB/HDMI ports on the left side) and even lets the LCD screen articulate through most of it’s designed range. It will go all the way up to 90 degrees, but the down angle is very limited due to the way the Gariz case fits up against the bottom of the camera in back. If you frequently take overhead shots and that could pose a problem, see an easy way to overcome that problem at this post on ThruMikesViewfinder.com : Downside Up with the NEX-F3
About the only other minor gripe I would have is that since the attachment point uses the existing tripod mount on the camera, Gariz has elected to add a new tripod mount in the bottom of the case (… which is a good thing). But now that new tripod attachment point is offset to the right of the lens (you panorama purists may not like that) and if you attach a tripod plate, you lose access to the battery and SD card. That really doesn’t affect me that much because I rarely just leave a tripod plate attached to my NEX-7.
For me, this case is definitely a keeper. Fine leather just adds a look of luxury to anything and the Gariz case is no exception. Everything about it speaks of quality, from the moment you see the packaging until you have it on your camera. It looks great and has a wonderful feel in your hands. The case adds very little weight, and about an extra 1/4″ of height which just gives the NEX-7 a little bit of extra heft and slightly more to hang onto.
At LoveCases, it’s priced at $85.99 (USD) which is not cheap. But if the added protection saves your NEX-7 just one time, it’s well worth it. I highly recommend it.
NOTE: These Camera cases are available for many different cameras: Most of the NEX models, Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E1, Olympus OM-D E-M5, Sony RX1, and many more. Check out this page to see if one is available for your camera!
I would like to thank LoveCases in the UK for providing this fine Gariz leather Camera case for me to review.
More Photos below: