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What’s In My Bag: A Lightweight Kit For A Thru-Hiking Photographer & Filmmaker

Titouan Le Roux (@titooo_lr) is a thru-hiker, documentary filmmaker and photographer and a former high-level soccer athlete. A few years ago he discovered the world of hiking and since then he's developed a deep connection with the wilderness and epic wilderness treks. He explains. “In the summer of 2023, I embarked on my greatest journey yet: the Pacific Crest Trail. Armed with my camera, an insatiable curiosity and a burning desire for adventure, I hiked for 2,650 miles while documenting the challenges, triumphs and deep human connections forged on the trail.”

Product Preview:
Sony Alpha 7S III
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II
Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master
Sony NP-FZ100 Batteries

He continues, “Through my lens, I aim to not only showcase the breathtaking landscapes but also shed light on the resilient spirits of individuals who find solace, purpose and joy in the great outdoors. In telling their stories through my documentary films and photography, I hope to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and venture out into the outdoors to discover the many natural wonders that surround us. This year, I will attempt the Continental Divide Trail in pursuit of the Triple Crown of hiking. As a thru-hiker, every ounce counts since I have to carry it for long periods, and over high mountain peaks. Therefore, I keep my kit very minimalistic while still valuing quality in order to capture the best videos and images possible.” That kit includes a single, full-frame, multi-purpose Sony Alpha camera body and a carefully selected trio of Sony G Master lenses. Keep reading as Le Roux walks us through his complete kit for creating while thru-hiking.

Titouan Le Roux's kit for photo and video while thru-hiking

Cameras

Sony Alpha 7S III: While I started with the Sony Alpha 6500, I quickly realized that I wanted to make this newly-found hobby my main career path. Therefore, as someone who brings as much emphasis on photography as filmmaking, I was searching for a camera that could do both with quality. That’s when the Sony Alpha 7S III knocked on my door. This camera has never ceased to amaze me since I got it. It is the perfect hybrid for pictures and videos, making it a great versatile tool. Its video quality is similar to a cinema camera, with Slog-3 Cine being my favorite profile to color grade. It is probably one of the best, if not the best, cameras on the market for low-light capabilities. While on the trail, I was able to shoot videos during nighttime with very minimal light and still get a clean image that even included the stars. It is a camera that is compact and fairly light, which for a minimalist like me is a great asset. The customization of the menus is a great tool for a run-and-gun type shooter like me. Since a thru-hike can be very unpredictable, I need to be ready to shoot whenever something happens. And did I mention 4k 120fps?

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIIl. Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master. 25-sec. f/1.8, ISO 3200

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master. 25-sec. f/1.8, ISO 3200

Lenses

Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II: Whether I need more reach to capture a small detail in the wilderness, focus on one mountain peak in particular, or even create compression within a scene with a subject, this lens is my go-to. In the wilderness, you are subject to the terrain and sometimes you can’t get close enough to a subject to get a good picture of it. That’s where the 70-200mm comes in clutch. Its colors and sharpness, paired with smooth bokeh, make it my favorite lens for landscape, wildlife, and sports photography.

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIIl. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/800-sec. f/2.8, ISO 12800

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/800-sec. f/2.8, ISO 12800

Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master: While I have used this lens on many video projects, taking advantage of its wide and dynamic look, I carried this lens during my thru-hike for a more specific purpose: night sky time lapses. Its 1.8 aperture allowed plenty of light in to shoot the starry sky and capture the Milky Way moving through the night during my journey through the high Sierra Nevada thanks to the built-in timelapse mode of the Sony Alpha 7S III. Plus, this lens is small and light, which makes it easier to carry with me on a hike.

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master. 25-sec. f/1.8, ISO 3200

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master. 25-sec. f/1.8, ISO 3200

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master (not pictured): Just like the Sony Alpha 7S III for photos and videos, this lens is a perfect hybrid between wide-angle and telephoto zoom. This lens follows me whenever I am out on a hike. Its focal range allows me to be versatile in the way I shoot and saves me from the struggle of having to change lenses while hiking under extreme weather conditions, like in a snowstorm at 12,000 feet of altitude.

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIIl. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec. f/2.8, ISO 800

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec. f/2.8, ISO 800

Accessories

Peak Design Aluminum Travel Tripod: This travel tripod is small, compact, light, and easy to set up whenever I need to shoot a video clip or picture of me walking on the trail. Its camera plate also fits my shoulder strap clip where I hang my camera while walking, making it convenient and quick to attach and detach the camera from the tripod without having to switch plates.

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIIl. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec. f/2.8, ISO 1600

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec. f/2.8, ISO 1600

Peak Design Capture Clip v3 (not pictured): This accessory allows me to keep my camera at reach on the shoulder strap of my backpack while hiking so that whenever I need to quickly grab it and snap a shot, I can do so with ease.

Polar Pro Variable ND filter Peter McKinnon Edition: People need sunglasses, so why not lenses too? Thru-hiking usually requires us to walk from sunup to sun down. Having this ND filter attached to the end of my lens means that I can shoot freely with a low aperture without worrying about over-exposing my shots, especially during the bright sunlight hours.

Dust Blower (not pictured): You have to keep your sensor clean, especially when you walk in the dusty desert of Southern California.

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIIl. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/50-sec. f/2.8, ISO 800

Photo by Titouan Le Roux. Sony Alpha 7S IIl. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/50-sec. f/2.8, ISO 800

Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II: When I am not on a hike which requires me to carry a tent, sleeping bag, and other backpacking gear, this backpack is my go-to. It has space for every piece of gear I own, including my laptop, thanks to its well-made compartmentalization. Plus, it is robust and weatherproof, which gives me peace of mind when traveling outside in the rain.

Additional Sony NP-FZ100 Batteries (not pictured): Here are a few grams that can make a big difference whenever you are in an environment where electric outlets don’t exist.

See more of Titouan Le Roux’s work on Instagram @titooo_lr.

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