Growing up in North Finland, the outdoors have always been a way of life for me.
I think the story of how I got into photography is quite similar to many other outdoor photographers. First, I just had a passion to be outside and do all kinds of different activities from mountain biking to backcountry skiing.
Then at some point I realized that it would be cool to have a camera with me on these trips to photograph these beautiful landscapes surrounding us.
From there, trip by trip, photography grew to be equally as important a part of the experience as the activities we were doing.
I have been a Sony Alpha Ambassador since 2012 and I use Sony cameras for my work.
My first Sony camera was the Sony a99. Alongside the a99 I was using a Sony NEX-6 and that camera was my first introduction to mirrorless cameras.
It was an amazing camera and I really liked the form factor of the NEX models, but still preferred the a99 as my main camera because it had a full-frame sensor, and I love the look that the bigger sensor produces.
The Sony a99 also had similar features to mirrorless cameras because it has an electronic viewfinder. So when the original a7 mirrorless full-frame camera was announced back in 2013, it was quite natural for me to start using the Alpha 7 system.
The system has matured quite a bit since the first model and now I carry a Sony a7RIII and the Sony a9 with me. I think that these two bodies complement each other quite nicely.
The a7RIII with its 42Mpx sensor is great for landscape and portrait work or in a situation where I know I have to crop a bit in post. The a7RIII is also my main camera for video because it has the video-specific picture profiles. (See a7RII vs a7RIII here.)
The a9, on the other hand, is a perfect companion in action and sports photography. The unbelievable AF functions of the a9, together with the shutter speed of 20FPS, make my job a lot easier and more efficient.
I shoot more and more video together with photos and for that I feel that this mirrorless system is great. Transitioning between the photo and video modes on the Sony Alpha Mirrorless cameras is really fluent.
My selection of lenses varies and have varied quite a lot. Because the Sony FE mount is still quite new and every year new lenses are launched for this lens mount, my lens selection has changed quite a lot in recent years.
The lenses I now mostly use for outdoors sports are Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM, Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G, Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G, Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM, Sony FE 55mm f/1.8.
What I really like about the Sony E-mount system is the option I have to go small and light if I want to.
I can, for example, use the a9 body with 24mm f/1.4 + 55mm f/1.8 and 70-200mm f/4G. With those lenses, the system is really light and compact.
And then again in situations where size and weight are not an issue and I just want to get the best IQ and most light possible to sensor I can equip the a9 or a7RIII with the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Then I can even have a couple of specialty lenses with me like the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM and Sony FE 35mm f/1.4. With those lenses, the weight of the system is quite similar to a normal DSLR system.
Usually during the midwinter, when the light is not the best for action photography, I tend to use the f/2.8 lenses. Then in the spring and summertime, I prefer the more lightweight f/4 lenses.
As mentioned earlier I’m a hybrid shooter and do video and photo together. For that I find the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G lens to be quite perfect. So usually on an outdoor shoot I have the 24-105 lens attached on the a7RIII to take care of the video and some still photos as well.
Now that I’m shooting more and more video as well, I usually carry the DJI Mavic Pro 2 with me. Drones can really open up your artistic creativity. For some reason, I do not enjoy taking photos with the drone and almost only use it for video.
For me, the passion for action and outdoor photography started with the passion for the outdoors itself and I feel that with the small mirrorless system in my camera backpack I get to enjoy the skiing, mountain biking, trail running or other outdoor activities more.
That was the most important reason I started using the mirrorless system and stayed with it although I felt that there were some compromises when compared to traditional DSLR cameras.
Now, with the third generation a7 cameras and with the Alpha a9, I feel that there are no compromises anymore.
Of course, with outdoor sports, camera gear is only a small part of what you have to carry with you.
The additional gear depends on the activity that I’m shooting, but one thing I usually always have with me is shell jacket. It is kind of a must in the ever-changing nordic weather.
Other common items that I have with me on outdoor shoots are a first aid kit, a multitool of some kind, a headlamp, water bottle and some snacks.
Because of the other gear I have to carry with me, I try to have as compact a camera setup with me as possible. But, for example, in shoots where I don’t move around that much, like events or such, I can have pretty much all the gear with me.
Other equipment worth mentioning and that I use quite a lot on my shoots are camera clips from Peak Design. It is really nice to have the camera on hand all the time and I like that you can capture some really cool moments you wouldn’t be able to get if the camera were inside a backpack.
Also, I really like the foldable solar panels from Goal Zero. On longer shoots or adventures it is quite cool that you can charge the battery pack with solar panels and then charge the camera batteries through the USB port in camera.
If you want to see more of my work and ask some questions you can find me via the links below.
My main camera for just taking photos. This thing is a beast for action and event photography. A9 also shoots beautiful video but there are no picture profiles so if I want heavier grading and color correction I tend to use the a7RIII.
I use this camera as my backup photo camera along with the a9. I tend to bring this one out if I need the absolute best IQ and most pixels possible. Also, I use this camera for video.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM
Love this lens. I use this for events, portraits, action and landscapes. Love the IQ and AF of this lens and it beats the f/4 version, but it is also a lot bulkier. For that reason, I use this as tele lens for shorter trips and situations where I need or want that larger aperture.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G
I use this lens when I want to have my camera gear as compact as possible but still have a quality tele zoom with me. I personally love the 70-200mm focal length and on outdoor shoots I almost always need to have either this or the GM version with me.
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
Love to use normal zooms in events and on days where I don’t want to be changing lenses that much, like during high winds or snowstorms.
For events, I use this f/2.8 GM, and also during mid-winter when the light conditions are not that ideal for fast apertures and I need all the light possible to hit that fast shutter speed.
Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G
Usually on outdoor shoots I prefer this one to the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM because it is smaller and it has stabilization so it also works great for run & gun video making.
Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM
This is my newest lens and it is hard not to like it. It is quite small and light but still the IQ is great even on the largest aperture.
Nowadays I hardly shoot wider than 24mm. That is why I don’t have any wide-angle zooms in my kit at the moment. At some point I felt that I was shooting too wide all the time and got a bit tired of that look.
I usually have this with me if I want to have my camera gear really compact and don’t want to bring normal zooms with me. Also, the large aperture opens up great compositional opportunities.
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8
Small, great quality lens. It is actually so small and light that I don’t usually have to even think if I take it with me or not.
I like the focal length for video also. Small size makes it also a great lens to use with gimbals. Usually on holiday trips I have this lens with me along with the Sony FE 28mm f/2, or even better maybe the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8.
Sony FE 28mm f/2
This lens is mostly used when I’m filming and especially when I’m using a gimbal. It is small and light, so it works great on gimbals.
I think this is one of the best lenses from Sony when you consider the price/IQ ratio. Lens is pretty sharp and the 28mm focal length is really great for different types of situations.
Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
This is definitely one of those specialty lenses for me. I use this at events and on portrait shoots. Just love the creamy bokeh. For outdoors this lens is not the most usable because it is heavy and big. I might have this lens with me on an outdoors shoot to get some more special looking lifestyle photos around the camp.
Sony FE 35mm f/1.4
Another of those speciality lenses of mine. I use this mostly at events and for portraits. Great lens for environmental portraits but quite heavy and too big to justify carrying with me on an outdoors shoot.
Like the 85 GM, I might have this lens with me at the accommodations or in camp to make some more unique lifestyle photos.
Sony Tough SD cards
The toughest and most durable SD cards made. Most important thing us photographers have to do after we have taken the photos is to keep those photos safe. Tough cards give me more confidence that the files are safe until I get to upload them to external hard drives.
Peak Design Capture Clips and Slide Straps
I have used these clips for several years now and it would be really difficult to go on a shoot without one.
I really like the ability to have the camera in hand all the time when climbing a mountain, for example, to capture some moments that I wouldn’t capture if I had the camera inside the backpack.
I do have the camera inside my backpack when I’m skiing down a mountain. The Peak Design straps are also great and I especially like the anchor connectors, which make it really easy to attach and disconnect the strap from the camera.
SmallRig Cage for Sony a7RIII
Great functional camera cage where I can easily attach different kinds of accessories like wireless mic receiver, external screen and Sony XLR-K1M Audio Adapter. Also, I can add some additional grips to this cage so I can have more stable handheld video.