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What’s In My Bag: A Two-Zoom, Lightweight, Alpha APS-C Adventure Kit

Clarisse de Thoisy (@clarissedethoisy) is a conservation photographer and videographer. As a visual advocate for wildlife conservation, she travels to wild places with her camera to capture stories about endangered wildlife and what is being done to protect them. Her purpose is to show the beauty and fragility of nature, inspire action and invite others to explore and reconnect with the natural world. On her solo expeditions in the wild, she needs light, effective and reliable gear. She gravitated towards the Sony Alpha 6600 camera at the start of her photographic journey and has found great satisfaction with it since. Keep reading as she shares the Sony lenses she pairs with the camera to photograph nature, landscapes, wildlife and more.

Clarisse de Thoisy's adventure photography kit

For conservation photographer & videographer Clarisse de Thoisy’s solo expeditions in the wild, she needs light, effective and reliable gear. See what she carries in her pack.

Camera

Sony Alpha 6600: I use the Sony Alpha 6600 because it is lightweight, sturdy, easy to use, and renders stunning image quality. I need my photography gear to be light and reliable as I hike on my own across the wildest places and in sometimes difficult conditions. The Sony Alpha 6600 delivers just that. It has a high-capacity battery which means I can go on for days in the wilderness without needing to recharge. I’ve purchased a second battery that I have fully charged with me wherever I go as a backup, but I never need it because the battery life is so good.

I love that it has real-time tracking and real-time eye automatic focus (AF). This makes my job so much easier when I am shooting wildlife. The Sony Alpha 6600 has steady image stabilization and amazing 4K HDR movie shooting, which helps me capture cinematic videos and share important conservation stories with my audience. Finally, its silent continuous shooting mode enables me to secure the perfect wildlife shot without disturbing or scaring the animal off.

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G. 1/2500-sec., f/6.3, ISO 8000

“It was a dream come true to photograph hummingbirds in Costa Rica thanks to my super quick Sony Alpha 6600.” Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G. 1/2500-sec., f/6.3, ISO 8000

Lenses

Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6: This lens delivers high-quality images and precise AF in a minimal and lightweight design (it's only 325 grams). Its high-magnification zoom lens makes it very versatile and allows me to cover a wide range of subjects, both for landscape and portrait shots. I love its beautiful background bokeh (even with the variable aperture) when I am photographing close-ups. The quality of this lens is truly outstanding and makes it such a pleasure to use.

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. 1/125-sec., f/5, ISO 320

“The 18-135mm lens is so light that I can carry it up mountain tops. I love getting creative with this lens because of its versatility and quality.” Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. 1/125-sec., f/5, ISO 320

Sony 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G: My 70-350mm G lens is my go-to lens for wildlife photography. It is a 5x super-telephoto zoom lens and yet is very compact and light at only 625 grams. I am often carrying 10-20kg backpacks for several days in a row, so limiting my load as much as possible is crucial for me. I also like to stay mobile and shoot handheld when photographing wildlife and this light lens enables that. With its built-in optical image stabilization, I often don’t need a tripod and can capture crisp images of fast-moving wildlife handheld. Its dust and moisture-resistant design is perfect for when I am shooting in challenging conditions.

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G. 1/800-sec., f/6.3, ISO 2500

“The 70-350mm G lens allows me to get close to wildlife for the perfect animal portrait without it being too big or heavy.” Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G. 1/800-sec., f/6.3, ISO 2500

Accessories

The Vanguard VEO 2S 235AB Tripod: This is an affordable, relatively light tripod that has never failed me.

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. 1/60-sec., f/4.5, ISO 100

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. 1/60-sec., f/4.5, ISO 100

The Peak Design Capture v3 has changed my life. I used to carry my camera with my telephoto lens around my neck or in my hand on my long hikes looking for wildlife. It was exhausting and would lead to neck and arm pain. Now I don’t even have to think about my camera when I am walking, and I can take it out quickly if I encounter an animal.

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G. 1/320-sec., f/6.3, ISO 160

Photo by Clarisse de Thoisy. Sony Alpha 6600. Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G. 1/320-sec., f/6.3, ISO 160

Other accessories: NiSi polarizing CPL Pro Nano HUC filter, Lend Lenser MH8 frontal lamp for when I am hiking in the mountains and coming down after sunset, CaseLogic camera backpack and a first aid kit for safety.

See more of Clarisse de Thoisy’s work on Instagram @clarissedethoisy.

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