Home Accessories Oberwerth Tag Case: Ding dong, you’ve left your Leica Q3 in...

Oberwerth Tag Case: Ding dong, you’ve left your Leica Q3 in Starbucks

Camera cases come and go. But they are all much of a muchness. This one is different. It uses the latest technology to trace your valuable Leica. Read on for the full lowdown...

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The Oberwerth Tag Case for the Leica Q3 is, by half-case standards, a technical masterpiece. Cases aren’t generally intelligent, but this one will tell you if you’ve left your camera in Starbucks. Or, it can even help track the thief who has made off with your pride and joy. Of course, none of this would work without Apple’s nifty little Air Tag.

Some mishaps I have had…

Air Tags are a godsend for forgetful people. Only last month, they saved my bacon at Heathrow Airport when my carry-on luggage disappeared without trace in the security hall. Even before Air Tags were more than a glimmer in Tim Cook’s eye, the previous Apple “Find My” system, which used a different technology based on cellular connection, proved invaluable on several occasions. Once, in Athens, my bag containing my laptop and iPad was stolen from a restaurant. Thanks to Apple’s system, the police were able to track down and arrest the thieves as they attempted to sell my belongings ten kilometres away in the Monastiraki market.

Above: The Macfilos review Tag Case (All image Oberwerth)

As usual, I was an early AirTags adopter and now wouldn’t be without the pack of four which I bought for around 100 US dollars or GB pounds. AirTags as much cleverer than the earlier Apple location tracking. They connect through Bluetooth to piggyback off neighbouring Apple iPhone or iPad devices using the Find My network. Occasionally, I’ve even misplaced an AirTag at home and the system will lead me to the exact spot (nearer, further, almost there). For forgetful people, as well as careless types, they are a wonder and a comfort.

Air Tags to the rescue

Up to now, though, AirTags have not been an option for cameras. The problem with a camera is that there is no way of disguising the AirTag. Even the dimmest of dim pilferers would instantly rip off the AirTag and throw it in the nearest waste bin. No, it doesn’t work. The best you can do is secrete the AirTag in the lining of your camera bag and hope that a thief doesn’t ditch the bag and keep just the camera.

However, German case and bag manufacturers, Oberwerth, have now solved this little problem. Their new Tag cases allow you to hide an Apple AirTag inside the camera (or, more precisely, inside their case).

The AirTag slots into a little pocket covering the Leica Q3 battery door cover. It would take the brightest of bright bag snatchers to rumble this little trick. Result: You stand a much better chance of not losing your Q3 if you clothe it with an Oberwerth Tag Case.

Fortunately, this isn’t just a tech gimmick. The case is definitely worth buying in its primary guise as a camera protector. The standard of workmanship of the Oberwerth Tag Case is right up there with the best. The smooth black leather is exceptional, and the fit is good.

Usefully, a sandwich filling of metal between the leather allows the outer edges of the case to be bent inwards to ensure a body-hugging fit.

Access for battery and SD card

The Oberwerth Tag Case which I have been reviewing features two doors on the bottom, one to allow access to the SD-card slot and the other (with AirTag pocket) covers the battery compartment. There are alternative designs.

Inserting the Apple AirTag is initially something of a fiddle. The elastic pocket is quite tight, and I had to press hard to get the AirTag to slot into place. However, I have since removed and replaced the AirTag several times, and it now slots in easily.

This version of the case (there are others, including one to permit tripod mounting, which you can see on the website below) screws to the tripod thread on the base of the camera. Because of this, the case does not need press-stud fastening “ears” that are a frequent feature on half-cases. This helps create a neater appearance overall.

Grip and handling

The case incorporates a front small grip which is helpful but not as useful as, for instance, the finger section of the Leica hand grip which I have been using up to now. However, as with similar cases, the softer surface of the leather does improve grip, and I find the Oberwerth Tag Case just right in this respect.

All half cases with access doors (battery, card slot) increase the height of the camera, but the provision for the relatively bulky AirTag adds more than usual to the height of the camera. In all, the body becomes 10 mm taller. It has about the same effect as adding the Leica hand grip. When I first attached the case, I was very aware of this extra height and the relatively top-heavy appearance of the camera. However, after a few weeks, I feel I am used to the extra height, and it no longer worries me.

Confidence booster

As you can tell, I am a great fan of Apple’s AirTags, especially when travelling. Hold luggage, hand luggage, keys and, now, camera, are all suitable cases for the AirTag treatment. I now feel much safer when out and about with the Leica Q3, and I would recommend the Oberwerth Tag Case purely because of the Air Tag feature. The fact that it is an attractive, functional and well-designed product is a bonus.

If you are security conscious, and who isn’t these days, then the Oberwerth Tag Case is the one to go for.

Oberwerth cases are made in Koblenz, Germany. The company specialises in Leica accessories, including bags. The review Tag Case for the Leica Q3 comes in premium black leather with black stitching. It comes with twin doors and screw fixing. This version costs from £296, plus Value Added Tax and shipping. You can choose from various leathers and colours. The company also supplies similar cases for the M11.


View the Oberwerth website

More on half cases for Leica cameras


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2 COMMENTS

  1. What a nifty idea! I don’t typically use a half case, but this article is making me reconsider. An even better solution would be a tagging device that could be slid into a spare SD-card slot. Most modern cameras (although, ironically, not the Q-series cameras) have two, one of which could be allocated for this purpose. That would make the tag even more integrated into the camera. Thanks again, Hywel.

  2. Dear Mike, thanks for sharing this review. Sound pretty cool, and for forgetful people, such a half case might save real money at some point. I don’t have too much trouble with that, and if, I am lucky. I forgot a small bag with two M-Mount cameras in a museum bistro this summer. I got it back after I noticed the loss half an hour later and rushed back. This was in Sweden – one more reason to love this country. JP

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