US 20040251151 A1
This invention is an insulating and protective piece of equipment for cameras and their attachments. This invention will relieve the problems photographers face shooting in extreme temperatures and inclimate weather. These problems include frozen batteries, failing shutters, slowed flash speeds, and impaired manual dexterity (frozen fingers). Made of sturdy neoprene and lined with polar fleece, the product fits snugly around the body of the camera and the hand, wrist, and forearm of the photographer. Clear plastic windows allow the photographer to view the camera settings and continue working through a wide range of conditions without removing his hand from the invention. Providing protection, warmth, and insulation from the elements, the invention would ultimately increase the performance of the equipment and the photographer.
1. What I claim as my invention is the product entitled “the PIG Bag” (PIG-Photographic Insulation Gear) which will hopefully be the first in a series of products made by myself, and my business, Eclipse Photography Inc. The basis of this invention was brought on by my work as a professional photography in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. While shooting many cold weather sporting events; extreme skiing, freestyle snowboarding, snowmobiling, etc., I found that there was no product on the market that provided any type of insulation and protection from the elements of cold weather, snow, and ice for the photographer and his equipment. This resulted in painfully cold hands when adjusting the dials and settings on the camera during events, daytime or night, as well as draining batteries and lagging equipment. A common effect of the cold on battery operated equipment in cold surroundings. It also tended to be a bit of an issue, as well, when sprayed snow and ice from athletes would get into the workings of camera equipment. In effect a working camera bag. the invention is made of neoprene material, such as wetsuits are made, and will be insulated with a layer of polar fleece material, thus, keeping the camera and photographers hand warm and dry while working. After talking to many fellow pro photographers, I found out that even top photographers use nothing more than heat packs rubber banded to their equipment, that's it. After hearing that, I am sure there is nothing at all on the market to fill this demand, so the PIG Bag was conceived.
 As a professional photographer I observed a need for this invention while working in the professional field of photography, specifically shooting outdoor and cold weather events in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.
 While talking with other professional photographers, it became more and more obvious that the problems of shooting photos in cold weather situations were substantial. This invention will relieve the problems of equipment seizing up, equipment slowing down, batteries draining, and basic discomfort experienced by the photographer when working in extreme cold weather. Along the same vein, this invention will also protect expensive camera equipment from many foul weather conditions, including protection from water and moisture from conditions experienced while shooting outdoors. I realized the void in the photographic field that this invention should take hold in.
 Construction of a handheld insulated camera case for use in extreme cold weather. Made of sturdy neoprene and lined with polar fleece, the product fits snugly around the body of the camera and the hand of the photographer while being held by the photographer. Providing protection, warmth, and insulation from the elements, the invention would ultimately increase the expected performance of the equipment.
 To protect professional camera equipment from extreme cold weather, moisture, and foul weather elements allowing it to perform at its expected performance level while providing comfort and warmth to the photographer as he works.
 This invention was devised after myself, a professional photographer, was working many cold weather sports events in which my equipment, due to the extreme cold temperatures, began to falter badly. Besides draining batteries and slowing flash bursts, my hands became bitterly and painfully cold after having to remove gloves to adjust camera settings and change batteries which in turn affected my ability to achieve my job objective; to get the best photos possible.
 After noticing that all other professional photographers at these same events were in the same situation. I began to think about what would provide solutions to these problems and decided that a product that would provide protection from the elements; cold, snow, rain, while at the same provide warmth and insulate both the camera equipment and the photographer's hands while not inhibiting the photographers ability to work I began talking with other photographers asking them if there were solutions to these issues created by shooting in cold weather conditions presently in the photography market. I found that up to now all they did was use rubber bands to attach hot packets directly to their equipment.
 [Looking at the Front View Illustration]
 The basic body of the invention is not much bigger than the actual camera body. It would fit snug around the shape of the camera body leaving just enough room for the photographers hand to accompany the camera comfortably within the case. (FIG. 1) On the front side of the invention there is an elastic opening to allow a wide selection of different size camera lenses to point through (FIG. 2). Since there is no electronics in the lenses, the need to insulate and protect them is not there.
 [Looking at the Top View & Rear View Illustrations]
 On the top panel and on the back panel there are windows made with heavy gauge plastic (FIGS. 3 & 4) to allow the photographer to see the settings on the camera as he adjusts them accordingly while working. Also on the top panel is access to the camera “hotshoe”, or flash attachment (FIG. 8).
 [Looking at the Rear View & Front View Illustrations]
 On the right side (right side from the photographers perspective), the camera shooting hand, there is an extension off the body of the product, similar to a glove, (FIG. 5) that covers the upper wrist and hand. A drawstring at the bottom allows for added comfort and warmth (FIG. 7).
 [Looking at the Rear View and Bottom View Illustrations]
 To insert and remove the camera, there is an access zipper that runs from the upper left side of the product down and along the bottom portion to the far side (FIG. 6).