With a camera in every phone, a phone in every pocket, an iMac in every house, and iMovie on every iMac, it’s beginning to feel like you need a production crew and a four camera shoot to differentiate your #adventure from the next adventurer.

We exaggerate, of course — but in every exaggeration; an element of truth. 

At our core, we’re communal creatures that not only delight in discoveries — but sharing them with the world. And, if we happen to plunder a bag of red hearts along the way — well, that sure is a bonus. So, how do the folk slaying landscapes and winning hearts on Instagram, VSCO and Vimeo, get it done?

Hint: they didn’t snap it with an iPhone on auto.

Yes, as sure as you need boots and a backpack — you need a real camera to capture real adventures. And there’s only one real choice for the discerning adventurer: 

The Sony a7S.

The internet is plump with debate over megapixel and megabit — so let’s forget the specs and keep this simple. There’s just two things you need to know before passing your plastic:

 

It’s small.

Not as small as your cellphone, sure, but a whole lot smaller than most other professional full-frame DSLRs. And, if you’re using it to capture clips — here’s the clincher. On most DSLRs, shooting video in any sort of sunlight means squinting hopefully at the LCD and praying for at least one thing in focus. The easiest solution to this problem is bolting a loupe to the backside of your rig. I had a Canon 60D before the a7S. Not a bad camera, but with the loupe adding considerable junk to its trunk — the supposedly simple act of heaving it from its cavernous camera bag, hefting its considerable bulk to my shoulder, then hauling it skywards, just seemed like a whole lot of effort. Not so, with the Sony. The a7S lets you shoot video not just from an articulated LCD, but also a high quality electronic viewfinder. Add to the EV everything from histograms (to help nail exposure) to peaking (to help nail focus) and you’ve got yourself a highly compact camera that shoots sensational photo and video. Which leads us to…

It’s stunning.

If you weren’t worried about quality, you’d just slip a phone into a pocket and be done with it. But you’re here to bring heat, and the a7S sizzles. Specifics? It’s full-frame for starters. That means it’s easier to capture sweeping landscapes using full-frame, wide-angle lenses. It also means shallow depth of field, and bokeh (sounds quite filthy, but just means blurring of backgrounds). All your current lenses are compatible using an adapter, even crop lenses in APS-C mode. Want more? Greedy! How about the fact that it captures the detail and dynamic range (light to dark) of cameras three times its price. Ridiculous! But none of these things are the reason it’s well on the way to cult camera status. That reason, is low-light performance. Yes, the ‘S’ in a7S must stand for ‘Sees in the dark’ because you can keep spinning that ISO dial all the way to a crazy/amazing/amazingly crazy 409,600. It goes without saying that this opens a world of possibilities — not least that your thumb will cramp up before you max out your ISO. 

If it’s good enough for National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and North Face athlete/filmer, Renan Ozturk to grab instead of his RED Dragon when he’s hanging off a rope, it’s good enough for your next stroll through the local hinterland.

Become the King/Queen of Hearts —