Louis Cole (@louiscole) is an award-winning content creator with an online audience of over five million. He is regarded by many as being the godfather of daily travel vlogging, and a pioneer of the format having documented his life, every day, for over 5 years on his FunForLouis YouTube channel. Before becoming a content creator Louis ran community youth projects in the UK for vulnerable inner-city young people and has always had a deep interest in social impact. He was selected as the UK ambassador for ‘Creators For Change’ which is an initiative to highlight YouTube creators around the world that are doing social good and he founded The Social Good Club an organization focused on supporting influencers to use their platforms to inspire social change.
Louis Cole is an award-winning content creator with an audience of 5 million+. He gives us an inside look at the vlogging kit he uses on his epic adventures.
Louis is currently documenting the adventure of a lifetime with his wife Raya as they explore more conscious ways to live. They are sharing this journey on their Raya and Louis YouTube Channel and have moved to an eco-village in Costa Rica in their converted school bus. They are passionate about community, creativity, collaboration and telling stories that matter. Louis gave us a look inside his bag at the gear you'll find in his content creation kit.
Sony Alpha S III: This is our primary vlogging camera – with the flip-around screen it’s perfect for capturing our adventures. We shoot very ‘run and gun’ style so we need to capture moments quickly and feel confident that the camera will focus quickly. We also often vlog in low light conditions and with the extreme low light capabilities and fast focus, the Sony Alpha S III is perfect. I'm also very happy with the battery life and normally one battery will last us all day, the unlimited record time and 4K 120fps are also amazing for capturing anything we need to. It's literally the perfect video camera.
Sony Alpha 1: This is our primary photo camera and secondary vlogging camera, with the 50-megapixel sensor I love capturing high-resolution photos this also allows for 8K video capture! Having a secondary camera means I don’t need to change lenses often and use this camera for more of the b-roll and cinematic shots to complement the storytelling of our videos. It is also capable of 4K 120fps video which makes it an incredible camera for photos and video.
Sony 12-24mm f/4: For vlogging as a couple, having this super-wide lens allows us to vlog hand-held and both be in the frame. It is also wide enough to use in a car and capture both passengers. I used this lens for a 10-part video podcast series and it was perfect. It’s lightweight which means it’s easy to travel with and use throughout the day. I mount my cameras to my belt with clips and lighter lenses like this are way more comfortable to walk around with. Capturing a wider shot also means I could crop the wide 16:9 4K footage to a vertical 9:16 ratio and use clips on social platforms. Finally it's perfect for wide landscape or architectural photography.
Sony 55mm f/1.8: This was one of the first lenses I invested in and I’ve recently started using this lens again. I like how small and compact it is and is beautiful for portrait photo shots also with an aperture of 1.8 it gives a great shallow deep of field and sharp stunning images and video.
Sony 20mm f/1.8 G: We usually use this lens for videos where we sit down and have the camera mounted on a tripod, It’s still nice and wide but with an aperture of 1.8 it allows for a shallower focus and it looks way sexier. This is also a great lens for low light conditions and although it's not 1.4 it's still open enough to film in almost complete darkness, especially when paired with the Sony Alpha S III.
Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3: This also was one of the first lenses I’ve used and, although it doesn’t give the sharpness of a G Master 24-70mm or 70-200mm, it covers such a vast focal range making it super versatile. It's also way more compact than the high-quality zoom lenses. I can vlog and also capture far-off subjects with the same lens. We film almost all our b-roll shots with this lens.
Laptop: Essential for editing and working.
Sony ECM-XYST1M Mic: Having an external microphone is important in windy conditions or if there’s a lot of background noise.
Portable SSD Hard Drives: With the amount of 4K video we capture having multiple SSDs allows us to backup and store video and photos quickly.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones: Noise-canceling headphones are essential for editing whilst on the go.
Teleprompter: When filming scripted sections of our vlogs we can read straight off this device and it mounts directly onto the camera lens, this saves us so much time trying to memorize lines
Spare Batteries: It is always good to have multiple backup batteries so no matter how much we are shooting in a day we never run out
Peak Design Belt Camera Clips: I’ve been using these clips for years and fit the same mount as my tripod so always have the mounting plates screwed to the cameras. They easily and securely clip on and off my belt so I have instant access to my cameras.
Drone: It's always good to complement vlogs with different perspectives and it's nice to capture aerial views of what we are up to.
Car Suction Mount: It's good to have small accessories like this and we are planning on doing a lot of road trips over the next few months so will be using this a lot.
Selfie Pole: Great for use with an action camera or 360 camera.
Lume Cube: When additional light is needed whilst filming this can easily mount on the shoe mount of the Sony Alpha bodies.
Multi USB Charger: Most of our devices charge from USBs so instead of having power blocks for each drive this allows us to charge 6 devices from one plug.
Portable Battery Bank: Always good to have power on the go to charge devices.
International Power Adapter: We will be traveling to the US, UK, and Europe this summer all of which have different power sockets so this is essential to charge everything.
Portable Fan: In the heat having a portable fan is a lifesaver.
Head Torch: We are going to be camping and living out of our van over the next few months so having this hands-free light at night is great.
Tripod: Essential for capturing what we need, locked-off shots of our travels, and sit down videos.
Rubik’s Cube: I like puzzle games and it's a nice compact puzzle for traveling with and keeping my mind sharp.
Mini DJ Mixer: I found this tiny USB mixer I can plug into my laptop and DJ whilst traveling, it's amazing!
See more of Louis Cole's work on Instagram @louiscole and his YouTube Channel.