Sony a5100

Sony Alpha a5100 front

Sony a5100 overview

Sony a5100 is Sony's Entry-Level Mirrorless digital camera first revealed on August of 2014. The camera has got a 24MP, CMOS APS-C sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 6000 x 4000.

Sony released this model in an effort to improve the earlier Sony a5000 (Read Full Comparison)

The a5100 is positioned #28 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and all round #178 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to use our Smart camera search to see camera rankings based on your personalized criteria.

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Here is a diagram of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony a5100 history

The Sony a5100 comes with a history of related cameras. Underneath, you can discover all earlier and most recent models as well as important specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-Alpha-a6700 front thumbnailSony A6700
a5100 vs A6700
26MPAPS-C11.0 fps2023
Sony-Alpha-a6600 front thumbnailSony A6600
a5100 vs A6600
24MPAPS-C11.0 fps2019
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Sony-Alpha-a6100 front thumbnailSony A6100
a5100 vs A6100
24MPAPS-C11.0 fps2019
Sony-Alpha-a6400 front thumbnailSony A6400
a5100 vs A6400
24MPAPS-C11.0 fps2019
Sony-Alpha-a6500 front thumbnailSony A6500
a5100 vs A6500
24MPAPS-C11.0 fps2016
Sony-Alpha-a6300 front thumbnailSony A6300
a5100 vs A6300
24MPAPS-C11.0 fps2016
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Sony-Alpha-a5100 front thumbnailSony a510024MPAPS-C6.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-a6000 front thumbnailSony A6000
a5100 vs A6000
24MPAPS-C11.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-a3500 front thumbnailSony a3500
a5100 vs a3500
20MPAPS-C4.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-a5000 front thumbnailSony a5000
a5100 vs a5000
20MPAPS-C4.0 fps2014
Sony-Alpha-A3000 front thumbnailSony A3000
a5100 vs A3000
20MPAPS-C3.0 fps2013
Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images
Sony-Alpha-NEX-3N front thumbnailSony NEX-3N
a5100 vs NEX-3N
16MPAPS-C4.0 fps2013
Sony-Alpha-NEX-F3 front thumbnailSony NEX-F3
a5100 vs NEX-F3
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Sony-Alpha-NEX-C3 front thumbnailSony NEX-C3
a5100 vs NEX-C3
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-NEX-3 front thumbnailSony NEX-3
a5100 vs NEX-3
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010

Sony a5100 Pros and Cons

Below is a collection of positives and negatives of the Sony a5100 based on factors which are normally viewed as important in a digital camera.

above average high ISO (25,600)
above average min ISO (100)
boasts touch to focus
change lenses (Sony E mount)
decent megapixels (24MP)
flash built-in
good battery (400 per charge)
high resolution screen (922 k dots)
includes HDMI socket
manual focus
NFC connectivity
offers face detection focusing
offers tracking autofocus
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
saves RAW files
screen tilts up and down
sensor has phase detect AF
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
video res high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
can't use external flash
doesn't offer selfie friendly screen
lack of external mic socket
lack of headphone socket
no image stabilization
slow frames per second (6.0 frames/s)
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Sony a5100 Sensor info

The Sony a5100 houses the Bionz X processor. The sensor specification in the Sony a5100 is 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 367 mm² sensor can resolve 6000 x 4000 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 24MP and provides a standard ISO range of 100 - 25600. RAW format is supported which means that you have wider margin for error.

The picture underneath shows the a5100's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The a5100 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is presented in green.

Sony Alpha a5100 sensor size Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony a5100 dimensions

Sony a5100 weighs 0.62 lbs (283 gr or 9.98 ounces) and the volume of the camera is 110mm x 63mm x 36mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.4"). The weight of normal Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329 gr so the Sony a5100 is lighter in comparison with its competitors.

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Here is a shot of the Sony a5100 with a soda to help you to have a feel for its scale.

Sony Alpha a5100 dimensions scale

The top view underneath will highlight the button arrangement on the a5100.

Sony Alpha a5100 topview buttons dials

Sony a5100 Lens info

The a5100 uses the Sony E mount and has 170 lenses that are available. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our database which will work with the a5100.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Tamron-28-75mm-F2.8-Di-III-VXD-G2-Sony-FE lensTamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G228-75mmf/2.8540g
Lensbaby-Burnside-35-Sony-E lensLensbaby Burnside 3535mmf/2.8374g
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Sigma-30mm-F2.8-DN-Sony-E-NEX lensSigma 30mm F2.8 DN30mmf/2.8 135g
Sigma-56mm-F1.4-DC-DN-C-Sony-E lensSigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN C56mmf/1.40g
Sigma-20mm-F2-DG-DN-C-E-Mount lensSigma 20mm F2 DG DN C20mmf/2.0 370g
Sony-Distagon-T-FE-35mm-F1.4-ZA lensSony Distagon T FE 35mm F1.4 ZA35mmf/1.4 630g
Photography Glossary
Sony-E-10-18mm-F4-OSS lensSony E 10-18mm F4 OSS10-18mmf/4.0 225g
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Sony a5100 Connectivity

The a5100 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • NFC Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that come with NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity can easily be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily copy images and sometimes change camera settings without the hassle of connecting physically to the camera.

Several applications even give a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it could be connected to an external screen. Most cameras enable you to charge the battery through the USB port.

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Sony a5100 Video info

The maximum video quality in the Sony a5100 is 1920 x 1080 and it can shoot in MPEG-4, AVCHD and XAVC S file format. 1080p quality can provide a good balance between video quality and file sizes but FULL HD will not give you much room to crop. The camera doesn't feature a mic and / or headphone port which means you have little control over your audio. It is probably a better idea to look at another model if you want better audio in your videos.

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Sony a5100 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing on the Sony a5100 so you need to be cautious in wet or dusty conditions.

Sony a5100 Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony a5100 has got a 3" tilting screen supporting a resolution of 922k dots.

Moreover the screen is touch friendly which means that you will be able to adjust focus points and change settings using your finger.

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The ViewFinder specs regarding Sony a5100 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be quite beneficial during sunny outdoor conditions which might make the camera screen washed out and hard to view.

Sony a5100 Shutter info

Sony a5100 continuous shooting rate is 6.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Sony a5100 Flash and Hot shoe info

Sony a5100 boasts only built in flash lacking external flash ability.

Sony a5100 Autofocusing info

Sony a5100 boasts both Phase Detect AF and Contrast Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot faster and precise in comparison with Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera has got Face detection which makes it helpful for portrait photography.

The AF system has got 179 focus points to pick from. Sony a5100 has touch to focus. You can easily use your fingers in order to change focus points. It also features Tracking AF for subjects on the move. Sony a5100 has manual focus if needed during low light occasions or you require more precise control on focus.

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Sony a5100 Battery life

The battery (NP-FW50) on the Sony a5100 is designed to last for 400 images as per the CIPA standards making it higher than average ın comparison with its class. The general Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 offers the highest possible (750) battery life within this group of cameras.

Here is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras that come with the highest battery life:

Sony a5100 for various kinds of photography

The following graph presents a overview of the Sony a5100 for various kinds of photography. To look at more, scroll to the specific paragraph underneath.

Sony a5100 Portrait photography advice

The Sony a5100 receives a score of 72 which is nice, meaning that it is a fine fit for portrait photos. Taking portraits leans heavily to sensor dimension, support for RAW photos and flexibility to work with external lighting.

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you can focus manually
good megapixels (24MP)
good sensor size (APS-C)
offers face detect autofocus
exports RAW files
can't use external flash

Sony a5100 Street photography information

Getting a terrific points tally of 82, the Sony a5100 is a wonderful option to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera features a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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tilting screen
good sensor size (APS-C)
exports RAW formats
features focus by touch
great ISO range (25,600)
does not have image stabilization

Sports photography with Sony a5100

A above average sports photography rating of 68 indicates the Sony a5100 is a good pick for taking pictures of sports. A camera should have good autofocus and continuous shooting for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
decent megapixels (24 megapixels)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
has tracking autofocus
great battery (400 CIPA)
supports phase detect auto focus
continuous shooting slow (6.0 frames per second)
no image stabilization

Sony a5100 Travel photography info

Size is extremely crucial in choosing a travel camera. Over-all, the Sony a5100 gets a tremendous 80 for a travelling camera which makes it a excellent choice to buy for your travels.

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good battery power (400 CIPA)
includes focus by touch
sensor resolution is decent (24 megapixels)
has built in flash
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen

Sony a5100 Landscape photography advice

For those who are planning to pick a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most important factor will be image quality. The Sony a5100 with it's tremendous grade of 79 for a landscape camera is a great pick within the current marketplace.

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manual focus
change lenses (Sony E mount)
pretty good screen size (3")
megapixel count decent (24 megapixels)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
very good ISO range (25,600)
saves RAW formats
good battery (400 CIPA)
lack of image stabilization

Sony a5100 Vlogging highlights

A vlogging camera really should have a articulating display screen, mic port and ideally IBIS. Considering all things, the Sony a5100 is not very good as a vlog camera as it receives a bad score of 34.

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screen is touchscreen
provides face detect focus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
does not have selfie friendly display
lack of image stabilization
lack of mic port

Sony a5100 Alternatives

If you need replacements to the a5100, here is a list of the top placed cameras that fall into the family of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The graph listed below shows you a bird's eye view of the a5100 versus it's highest ranked competitors listed previously.

There are more cameras you may see as alternative options. To go through a extensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Sony Alpha a5100
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Bionz X
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
24 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
6000 x 4000
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Sony E
Amount of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Screen sizing
3 inches
Screen resolution
922k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Slowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
6.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
4.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash options
Flash off, auto, fill-flaw, slow sync, redeye reduction
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p, 25p), 1280 x 720 (120p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
283 grams (0.62 lbs)
Physical dimensions
110 x 63 x 36mm (4.3" x 2.5" x 1.4")
Battery life
400 photographs
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, continuous (3-5 shot))
Time lapse recording
With downloadable app
Storage type
SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Card slots
Launch cost