A trip to a local camera store revealed a wealth of bag possibilities; though it turned out most of them were camera bags. I could pull out the dividers on some of the larger ones, but it seemed like you’re paying a lot for that padding. Even for the few straight video camera bags, it was obvious there was no cheap solution.
I ended up focused (pun?) on a range of bags made by Kata. I hadn’t heard of them before; turns out they are owned by Bogen.
They have a website that let’s you find bags based on cameras, and their selector recommended the: CCC-10-A ( about $240 street) for the AG-HMC70U. Interestingly, I managed to try the CC-195 at the store (about $150), and the camera fits in there quite comfortably (if the camera was any wider or taller, it wouldn’t.)
After dithering around, I ended up getting the CC-195 because it was cheaper, and really, it was all I need (The CCC-10-A looks to be a huge bag too!)
the top hinges on the left edge (not shown)
The CC-195 definitely feels like it will protect the camera, and do it’s job. It’s still BIG, but I can live with it.
Frankly, I don’t love the way the top works; it has two zippers that run across the top, and pulling the zipper is a bit awkward (particularly over the handle of the bag.) This means you have this long piece of material to deal with when the bag is opened, and it also makes putting the camera in a little more awkward as the top isn’t quite as wide as the bag itself. My other bag opens more traditionally, bending on the long back seam, rather than the short end seam.
I’ve also seen some complaints from other users about the plastic fasteners for the strap. I don’t use bag straps all that much; but I do sometimes, and the thought of the clip breaking is rather sobering. I think the fault is not the plastic hook, but the fact that the plastic hook is connected to a rotating plastic ring. Points for avoiding tangles, but I think this plastic ring compromises strength (the strap on my other bag also has plastic hooks, but there’s no rotating ring; the hook has a belt clip that the belt runs through.)