Your Complete Guide to the Sony A5100

Sony A5100

Sony added the A5100 to its alpha series in 2014. There are more recent products to consider, but the Sony A5100 still has some impressive features thanks to its performing 24-megapixel sensor. It’s a great option for portraits, travel, and street photography. We think the camera is a great buy for any amateur photographer and will help you determine if this camera is a good option for you.

What Is the Sony A5100?

The A5100 is one of the best mid-range cameras on the market in terms of performance and value. Sony released this product in 2014, and it has remained a popular option because of the affordable price tag and impressive performance.


Unless you are a professional photographer or can justify spending more to get a high-end camera packed with the latest features, the A5100 is an option worth considering. It’s a great entry-level camera, and we think it’s an investment that will last for years since you can explore the different settings of the camera to create more complex shots as you progress.

Dimensions and Controls

Sensor and Processor

Performance

Battery and Accessories

Sony A5100 Specs

The A5100 is one of the best mid-range cameras on the market in terms of performance and value. Sony released this product in 2014, and it has remained a popular option because of the affordable price tag and impressive performance.


Unless you are a professional photographer or can justify spending more to get a high-end camera packed with the latest features, the A5100 is an option worth considering. It’s a great entry-level camera, and we think it’s an investment that will last for years since you can explore the different settings of the camera to create more complex shots as you progress.

Product name

Sony A5100

Dimensions

4.33x2.48x1.42”

Weight

9.98 ounces

Depth

1.4”

Sensor type

24.3-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS

Sensor size

15.6x23.5mm

Crop factor

1.5

Zoom

4x

Autofocus points

179

ISO range

100 to 25600

Image formats

JPEG, RAW

Shutter speed

1/4000 sec to 30 sec

USB

USB 2.0

Additional features

  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Supports SD memory cards
  • 1080p video recording
  • 6fps continuous shooting
  • Timer
  • Compatible with E-mount lenses
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Where to Buy

Sale
Sony a5100 16-50mm Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)
  • Ultra-fast auto focus with 179 AF points and 6Fps
  • Capture life in high resolution with 24MP APS-C sensor.Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
  • Instant sharing via smartphone with Wi-Fi and NFC1
  • Record Full HD 1080/24/60P video3 up to 50MB/s. Compatible OS - Windows Vista SP2*6, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Mac OS X (v10.7-v10.9)
  • Contains- Rechargeable Battery (NP-FW50) AC Charger (AC-UB10) Lens cap Shoulder strap Micro USB cable. BIONZ X engine for superb detail and noise reduction

There are a few different shopping options to consider for the A5100. You can find the black and white version of the camera on Amazon.

There is a bundle with a 16-50mm lens and another product page that lets you choose between the base, or the camera with a 16-50mm lens and the A5100 with a 55-210mm lens.

There are several used models available on eBay. If you look around, you can find sellers who have an A5100 still in its original box for sale. Shopping on eBay is a great way to save money on your new Sony camera, but keep in mind that you might not get a warranty with the product.

How Does the Sony A5100 Compare to Other Cameras?

We found three other cameras worth considering in a similar price range.

Canon EOS M

Sale
Canon EOS M 18.0 MP Compact Systems Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-M 22mm STM Lens (OLD MODEL)
  • 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor, ISO 100-12800; expandable to 25600 (H)
  • Hybrid CMOS AF and Multi Shot Noise Reduction
  • EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects
  • Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S lenses (Optional EF Lens Adapter is required)
  • Compatibility with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, including new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards

The Canon EOS M is a mirrorless camera with a compact design.

Some features are comparable to the A5100. The ISO range goes from 100 to 12800, and you can extend it up to 25600. You can use the Canon EOS M to record 1080p video.

The display is similar, but you can’t tilt the screen. You can use Canon EF and EF-S lenses with this camera if you get an adapter. Canon has a larger selection of lenses and accessories compared to Sony.

There is an important difference to consider when it comes to the sensor. The Canon EOS M comes with an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor. It’s a crop sensor that is similar to the one you will find in the A5100, but there is a significant difference in terms of resolution.


The shooting speed is also inferior to the A5100. The maximum continuous speed for the Canon EOS M is 4 fps. However, you will get a hot-shoe with the Canon camera!

Fujifilm X-E2

Fujifilm X-E2 16.3 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD - Body Only (Silver)
  • 16MP APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor
  • 7 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Phase detect AF
  • ISO200 - 6400 (expandable ISO 100, 12800, 25600)
  • 1080/60p, 30p HD video

We like the retro design of the Fujifilm X-E2 and the rubberized exterior of the camera. It’s slightly larger than the A5100, but it’s still a compact camera.

We recommend this mirrorless camera because it’s easy to use and delivers a good performance for the price. It’s ideal for a travel camera.

The Fujifilm X-E2 uses a CMOS crop sensor similar to the A5100, but there is a difference with the resolution. The Fujifilm camera has a 16-megapixel sensor. It’s still a good buy for an amateur photographer, but you can get a camera with a significantly better resolution and image quality in the same price range as the A5100 model.


The depth and focus distance are similar between the two cameras. The display is comparable, but it doesn’t tilt.

The ISO range goes from 200 to 6400. It’s a lot more limited than what the A5100 can do since the Fujifilm camera lacks an extended ISO setting.

However, you will get an electronic viewfinder and a hot-shoe for a flash with the X-E2. The continuous shooting mode delivers 7fps, which is slightly higher than the 6fps of the A5100.

Olympus E-M1

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16MP and 3-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Black)
  • 16.3MP CMOS Four Thirds sensor with 5-axis sensor shift image stabilization
  • 10 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Contrast detect and phase detect AF
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 1080 30 fps HD video (H.264/Motion JPEG)

We recommend the Olympus E-M1 as an alternative to the A5100 because it’s affordable and easy to use. However, the camera is bulkier than the A5100.

The advantage of having a bulkier body is that there is more room for controls. If you would rather use physical buttons and dials to adjust your settings while looking at your composition, the Olympus E-M1 is a great option to consider.

The drawback of this Olympus camera is the sensor. The price range is a little similar to the A5100, but the resolution of the sensor is inferior at 16.3 megapixels. 


The Olympus camera is a better option if you want a fast continuous shooting mode since it delivers 10fps. 

The camera comes with a tiltable screen similar to what you will find on the A5100, and the ISO range of 100 to 25600 is also comparable. You can record 1080p videos with this Olympus camera. 

There are three features missing from the A5100. The Olympus E-M1 comes with a five-axis image stabilization mode, an EVF, and a hot-shoe for a flash. Olympus also offers a wireless flash system you can use with the camera.

Pros and Cons

Sony A5100_4

image source: amazon.com

Even though the A5100 came out five years ago, its groundbreaking sensor for the time still corresponds to what you will find in most recent releases.

There are other cameras to consider in that price range, but none of them has a comparable sensor resolution. Sensor resolution is one of the most important specs to consider since it directly impacts image quality.

There are a few drawbacks associated with the A5100. The compact size prevents adding physical controls, and you won’t find an EVF or hot-shoe.

Unless you absolutely need these features, the A5100 remains your best option in that price range.

Pros

  • 24.3-megapixel sensor
  • 179-point autofocus
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • Simple controls
  • Tilt screen
  • Battery lasts for 400 shots
  • ISO range: 100 to 25600
  • Great value
  • One-year warranty

Cons

  • Lack of EVF
  • Lack of hot-shoe
  • Few physical controls
  • Other manufacturers have a wider
  • 7 fps continuous shooting mode

Final Verdict: Is the Sony A5100 Still Worth Buying?

We highly recommend the Sony A5100. You can easily find this camera at an interesting price since it came out in 2014, and yet the sensor is similar to what you will find in most newer mirrorless cameras.

The 24.3-megapixel sensor alone justifies the purchase of this camera and warrants a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. We like the compact design of the camera, the image quality, the simple controls, and the overall performance.

We think the autofocus mode and ISO range are suitable for a wide range of uses. It’s possible to find cameras with slightly better specs in the same price range if you shop for newer models, but you might not need better specs unless you are an advanced user.

There are a few drawbacks to consider. The 7fps continuous shooting mode is fun to use, but you can find mirrorless cameras with a 10fps or faster shooting mode if you shop for more recent products. The lack of EVF can be a drawback if you often use this feature, but we don’t think it’s a deal-breaker given the image quality and overall performance of the camera.

Featured Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

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