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What’s In My Bag: A Lightweight Sony Kit For Travel & Landscape Photography

Connor Scalbom (@connography_) is a full time photographer, located in Crested Butte, Colorado. “My journey into photography started just over four years ago, and it’s been nothing short of exciting,” he explains. “Photography is not only my career, through the company I work with, ‘Travel Crested Butte,’ but it's also my passion. Capturing the beauty around my home and working with Travel Crested Butte converted me from a diehard Nikon user, to living and swearing by Sony cameras. My other passion with photography lies in architecture, and I’m proud to say I've been published in, and I got the cover of Luxury Home Magazine in Denver. My Sony kit has allowed me to achieve my dreams.” We caught up with him to learn more about the Sony Alpha cameras and Sony lenses he relies on for his work.

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“The workhorse and the megapixel beast.” See which two Sony Alpha cameras and two Sony lenses photographer Connor Scalbom uses for travel, landscape, nature, architecture and more.

Cameras

Sony Alpha 7 III: This is my workhorse, and it has gone everywhere with me. With a shutter count of over 40,000 photos in just a year and a half of use, it has certainly seen its use. The first time using a mirrorless camera was game changing for me. I couldn’t go back to my old Nikon. The EVF adjusting with the exposure right to my eye, it’s nearly impossible to mess my exposure up. And my favorite part? The low light capabilities. This is where my Alpha 7 III gets the nod over my Alpha 7R III and why it’s my primary shooter. Having so many megapixels packed into a sensor is great for some things, but for low light shooting, and video capabilities, I prefer my Alpha 7 III. I shoot quite a bit of landscapes and architecture in low light settings. I’ve never felt held back by the quality or abilities of this camera body. I shoot hand held primarily, which means I need to crank that ISO up. I have yet to notice a loss in quality or too much noise in my time shooting in those situations. For the price and incredible quality, my Alpha 7 III is the camera I recommend to all my students, and friends. The dependability of these cameras are something I think is almost the most important. I live deep in the mountains and shoot in temps as low as -20 on some mornings, heavy snow, rain, etc. Sometimes I think to myself “Can my camera handle this much snow or rain?” and yet, it's never once failed me.

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Photo by Connor Scalbom.

Sony Alpha 7R III: The megapixel beast. This camera is incredible, and was actually the first mirrorless camera I shot with and it's the camera that made me a die hard Sony user. The main difference between these two bodies is the megapixel size. I like to print VERY large when printing my photos and my Sony Alpha 7R III gives me the megapixels to keep that sharp detail no matter how large I print. The solid feel of the camera gives me a sense of the build quality, too. Sturdy, dependable, and high quality.  

Lenses

Sony 100-400mm f/4-5.6 G Master: This lens is probably my favorite lens of all time to shoot with. Shooting with a very long lens certainly brings its challenges at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can make compositions out of nearly anything. The sharpness, the colors, the mobility are what make this lens amazing for me. I get incredible compression of the mountains and my town together, and especially on snow days taking photos on our main street. This lens is my go to for those scenarios because it compresses the perspective so well, and I can get compositions with it that I couldn’t with any other lens. Having a dependable lens is just as important as having a dependable camera. Countless times have I gotten this lens covered in snow, rain, you name it, and yet it works just as perfectly as it did new. The autofocus hits perfectly, and I find sharpness is astonishing.

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Photo by Connor Scalbom.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master: My second favorite lens in my bag. Having a wide lens is essential, and no one does it better than Sony. I’ve already touched on dependability and confidence in various weather, but it's the color quality, and how light it is that makes this lens perfect for me. I hike, ski and snowshoe multiple times a week with my camera bag. Keeping it light is important, and this lens does the job. I also love the focal range. 16mm gives me plenty of wide angle, and the 35mm keeps me from having to put on a 24-70mm on most occasions. For me it's just the perfect wide-zoom range.

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Photo by Connor Scalbom.

Accessories

Peak Design Travel Tripod: Like I said before, keeping it light is essential. Having a tripod that is compact, sturdy, and light is the trifecta of tripods for a landscape photographer. It fits perfectly on my bag without ever having to worry about hitting a door frame walking through it. Even when shooting with my heaviest set up, Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM and the Alpha 7R III, it holds up just fine. 

See more of Connor Scalbom’s work on Instagram @connography_.

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