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What’s In My Bag: A Kit For Capturing Outdoor Winter Sports & Adventures

Dietmar Körbler (@didi.koerbler) is an outdoor and sports photographer whose photography reflects his love for being outside. From scenic sunrises to breathtaking action sports, as long as it involves mountains – he's in. Two years ago Körbler moved from his hometown Graz, Austria to the mountains of Salzburg to be closer to the action and be able to spend more time chasing and capturing outdoor adventures. In winter, he devotes a majority of his time capturing freeride skiing and he gave us a look at what he takes with him when heading out in the backcountry for a shoot. Keep reading as he takes us through his kit of two Sony Alpha cameras and four G Master zooms.

Product Preview – In This Article You'll Find:
Sony Alpha 7 IV
Sony Alpha 7R III
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II
Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II

Dietmar Körbler's gear for outdoor winter sports and adventures

Cameras

Sony Alpha 7 IV: I initially got the Alpha 7 IV as a backup body but was just so positively surprised by its capabilities for both video and photo, that it is my main camera on most of my shoots today. Its flip-out screen is a game changer! Especially for action sports, every second counts. With all its custom buttons and the customizable dial I can change any setting super fast and be ready to shoot when it matters.

Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.

“Taken last winter in Obertauern, Austria” (Skier: Benjamin Pichler). Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.

Sony Alpha 7R III: This was the first camera I got when I switched to Sony a few years ago. It has taken quite a lot of beatings out in the mountains but has never let me down. And after all these years, it is still an amazing camera. I mostly use it as my second camera or as a backup. Especially if I need that extra bit of resolution, the Alpha 7R III is the one.

Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7R III.

“When shooting from far away, the Alpha 7R III gives me the extra resolution and the ability to use the shot as it is or crop in if needed.” (Skier: Marcel Hirscher) Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7R III.

Lenses

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master: This zoom is the ultimate sports lens if you want to make use of the wide-angle to show the athlete’s playground. In rare cases I replace this with the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master if I need it to be extra wide, but in most cases I would choose the 16-35mm because of its lighter weight, smaller size, and the possibility to screw a filter on for protection. A filter is quite important in winter sports, as snow and ice will definitely hit the lens when getting into the action.

Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.

“Using the wider end of the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lets me emphasize the scale of large drops like this.” (Skier: Michael Strauß) Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.

Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II: The new version of the 70-200mm f/2.8 GM was a revolution for me. Not only because of the image quality and the faster AF
For all kinds of sports I love the flexibility and range of a 70-200mm f/2.8 but especially when being out in the backcountry, every gram counts. And that’s where this lens comes in. It is just so lightweight, that it has its fixed place in my bag for almost every shoot. It's also the lens of choice for capturing details and emotions. If I could only bring one lens, this would be it!

Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II.

“When I am out skiing, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II is my most used lens. Especially when a skier is coming towards you, it’s super convenient to start at 200mm and zoom out as the skier comes closer.” (Skier: Marcel Hirscher). Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV.

Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master: This is probably one of the sharpest lenses out there and with its 400mm reach, it's perfect to get close to the action. I typically take this lens instead of the 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II if I need the extra reach and the bit of extra weight is not an issue. It can be packed quite compact and is just a little bit larger than the 70-200mm. Also, it is just 250g more than the 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II.

Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master.

“For this shot I used the Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM to get close to the action from the opposite slope. (Skier: Christoph Mitsche). Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master.

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II: The second generation of the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM changed my opinion about this focal range completely. I never really liked this “standard zoom” range but would prefer a 50mm prime lens. I gave this lens a try and it immediately made its way into my camera bag and is with me most of the time. Its image quality is just so good and the bokeh looks super nice. I use it mostly for capturing everything that is going on around the action - details, the hikes, emotions. It’s just a super flexible G Master.

Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II.

“I didn’t have the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II last winter season yet, so here is one from this summer. For this hike, I had a wide angle lens and a tele in my bag, but ended up using only the 24-70mm.” (Hiker: Sabrina Magg) Photo by Dietmar Körbler. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II.

Accessories & Other Gear

Peak Design Capture Clip(s): You will rarely see me without a Capture clip. It let’s me attach my camera securely to my backpack strap so I can quickly access it without hav- ing to take off my backpack. This is essential especially in steep and technical terrain.

Avalanche Transceiver, Shovel and Probe: Whenever I am in the backcountry, these items are with me. Always. Safety first.

Drone: I use drones mostly for video as it lets you get those unique perspectives. Especially when following a skier down a steep slope, it’s super nice to have this kind of footage.

Walkie Talkie: One for me, one for the athlete(s). It is essential to be able to communicate to get the shot.

The Mountain Studio Clothes: When I am out in the snow for shooting, I need to stay dry and warm. Often I sit or lie in the snow and I need to trust my clothes to protect me. For this, I need to be able to trust my shell jacket and pants and that’s why I use The Mountain Studio.

See more of Dietmar Körbler’s work on Instagram @didi.koerbler.

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