The good people at Thinktank photo have just announced the release of another innovative and well made product that will no doubt leave me with a grin on my face but another hole in my wallet. The SKIN system takes its cue very much from the newswear pouches that I'm very fond of. Newswear are well respected and well used by photojournalists and their products are simple but effective, they always had one up (in my opinion) on the thinktank systems because they pack flat and can be used for a variety of products because they are not rigidly designed. Therefore I was always in two minds and used both newswear and thinktank products. (left photo; Carmen Valino, right photo; Danfung Dennis)
For me the newsear gear and a couple of problems, one being that when worn on the chest vest system they could look slightly suspect - and sometimes in some situation you wouldn't want to take that chance. NOT running around in the Middle East with one of these things on should probably be on the safety instructions. However plenty of people never seemed to have a problem with that and the new SKIN system still looks pretty similar when all worn together. (picture below is of the newswear chest vest courtesy of their website)
The other problem I did have with newswear, although it was a minor problem, was that sometime the Velcro they used became a pain during in events where silence and subtlety were needed. Nothing more is more distracting than a massive tearing sound coming from the sheepish looking photographer during the father of the brides emotional ode to his soon to be married daughter. Thinktank seem to have tackled this with their dramatic sounding 'Silencer flap' which allows the Velcro to be an optionally tucked away when not needed. The photos below show just how similar the products appear. The one at the top is the thinktank SKIN 50 and the one below is the newswear small press pouch (which I currently own)
The SKIN system employs a number of ingenious modifications such a rain cover, internal dividers, bungee cord access, pockets etc. And if their other products are anything to go by the quality will be top notch. I'm unable to say when the new system will be available in the UK, but snapperstuff sell both thinktank and newswear gear whilst Jacobs and Fixation (London) also sell both products. I currently own the thinktank lens changer 25 and the whip it out. I'd recommend both, but then again I'd be very tempted to swap them both for this new SKIN system when it hits the UK.