I don't feel strongly for or against black diamond daypacks. My experience is that most daypacks are "ok". The carry stuff, they have various features. Most are too heavy. Every now and again someone makes a daypack that stands out... and then they discontinue that really great pack and replace it with something that isn't as good frown

As to a pack that works for hiking and photo work... well it sort of depends. If you are going for maximum protection of camera gear then there are some Lowe Pro bags which might work depending on how many bodies / lens / etc you carry.

Normal daypacks work for me because of two things. First, I tend to think of my camera and lens as tools. I purchased them to use so while I am careful, I don't baby them. If I damage something - has happened... but not while it's in the bag) I will repair or replace it. Second, I tend not to carry a huge area of lens... max 5, only one lens longer than 90mm. I typically have the camera out all the time hanging from a harness or a pouch attached to my shoulder strap with whatever lens I am using at the time (tends to be a 17-35/2.8 or a wide or normal prime). The bottom section of my daypack would have a Domke F-5xb bag which I insert sideways (e.g. the top of the camera bag faces the opening in my pack holding several lens that I might put out for something special. If I have additional lens they will be in Domke wraps in the top section of my daypack. I will typically have a long lens in one of the side water bottle pockets in a padded container... for smaller lens this tends to be a padded / insulated holster designed to hold a water bottle. It is insulated with foam to keep water cool... which provide a good bit of protection. I have the long lens outside so I can get to it quickly for when I could across wildlife that is likely not going to stick around for long.

This summer I switched to using only u4/3. With the Olympus OM-D the image quality is "good enough" for my need when outdoors and is way lighter and more compact than a full size DSLR. A OM-D with the 35mm equiv of a 17-35/2.8 attached, 45/2.8 macro, 20/1.7, 90-400/4-5.6 fit (slightly cramped) into my Domke F5-xb that I installed a couple extra divided.