Sony A5100 Review

October 8, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Sony A5100 is the world’s smallest, lightest interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C sensor, built-in flash and Wi-Fi connectivity. Successor to the 6-month-old A5000 model, the Sony A5100 features a 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, Fast Hybrid AF for optimal fast and precise autofocus as quick as 0.06sec with 25 contrast-detect and 179 phase-detect points covering 92% of the image, BIONZ X processor, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600, full HD AVCHD (60p/50p/25p/24p) recording including support for the XAVC S video format at 50Mbps and clean HDMI output, a 3-inch 180° tiltable touch enabled LCD panel with 920k-dot resolution, built-in pop-up flash, a zoom lever, 6fps burst shooting with subject tracking, 1,200-segment exposure meter, Auto Object Framing mode, a range of Picture Effects, wi-fi and NFC connectivity, and 400 shot battery life. The Sony A5100 is available now in black priced at £420 / $549.99 body only, £550 / $699.99 with the 16-50mm power zoom lens, and £760 with the 16-50mm power zoom and 55-210mm lenses.

Ease of Use

The new Sony A5100 is virtually identical to its predecessor, the A5100, the main changes being internal rather than external. The A5100 weighs a mere 224g and measures 109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7 mm. Despite weighing so little (admittedly without the lens and battery fitted), the A5100 still feels solid gripped in the palm, with a tall, large grip with a subtle indentation near the top. With the supplied 16-50mm power zoom kit lens attached the Sony A5100 doesn't look or feel too top heavy, as the lens retracts back into itself when not in use, making for a very compact overall package, although the tiny body isn't such a good match for some of the larger E-Mount lenses. The downside of using a collapsible power zoom is that it causes start-up (and wake-up) times to be longer than usual. Those who aren't keen on the idea of shooting with a power zoom can of course buy the camera in a body-only configuration.

The 3 inch LCD screen on the rear of the Sony A5100 can be tilted back and forward through a full 180° - if not, unfortunately swung outwards at 90° - to allow for low and high angle compositions we might not have attempted without. You can even fully turn it to the front, proving very useful for those ubiquitous selfies, although you can't close it inwards against the camera body to help protect it. New to the A5100 is higher resolution and touch-screen control, something that it's bigger brother, the A6000, doesn't offer. Although it's limited to either setting the focus or firing the shutter, being able to track your subject or take the picture simply by tapping the screen is a nice upgrade from the previous model.

The A5100 also offers much improved video shooting, with full HD AVCHD (60p/50p/25p/24p) recording with stereo sound and the added bonus of XAVC S video format at 50Mbps (if your memory card supports it), which is based on the professional XAVC codec and records full-pixel readout Full HD video footage at up to 50Mbps. The consumer A5100 is the second Alpha-branded camera to do so after the much more expensive full-frame A7S camera. It also features a useful dedicated red camcorder-style video record button for instant thumb-operated video access on the rear, although it's a little too recessed into the camera body for our liking.

Low light sensitivity without flash also theoretically looks set to show rivals a thing or two by ranging from ISO 100 to a maximum ISO 25600 equivalent setting. Impressive stuff, and matching the sort of spec we're used to seeing on mid-range DSLRs. There's no in-body image stabilisation offered by the A5100 unfortunately, so this is via the lens only. It appears to work well, at least as effectively as the in-camera or lens based anti-shake methodology deployed by rival brands.

Sony A5100
Front of the Sony A5100

The A5100's design is pleasingly pared-back, particularly when viewed from the front. Sony branding and black plastic DSLR-style lens release button aside, all we find on the faceplate is a small porthole-shaped window for the AF assist/self timer lamp, and the handgrip with a dimpled surface for a firmer hold. Oh, and the "APS-C" moniker just in case you want to brag about the size of your sensor to your Micro Four Thirds friends.

The top plate looks similarly functional rather than fashionable. The A5100 is turned on or off via a flick of a chunky, nicely rigid switch to the far right, rather than via the recessed button that we usually find on cameras with such a small form factor. Do this and it's a wait of 1-2 seconds before an image materializes on the LCD allowing the first shot to be framed - slightly slower than we expected in this regard, and no match for a DSLR proper.

One feature on the A5100 that's designed to make it more accessible to upgraders is a power zoom switch, very similar to that found on many compact cameras. This allows the 16-50mm kit lens to be zoomed in three different ways; using the zoom lever on top of the camera, which is good for one-handed operation, via the zoom ring on the lens, and finally using the zoom control on the side of the lens. If you don't have a power zoom lens attached, the the zoom lever less adjusts the digital zoom instead (it that's enabled), and it can also be used to zoom during image playback regardless of the lens that's fitted.

Sony A5100
Front of the Sony A5100

Underneath the On/Off switch is the thumb-operated dedicated movie record button. Press this and the user is instantly recording video, whatever alternative shooting mode might previously have been in use. Like the same control found on the Panasonic G-series and Olympus PEN cameras, this proves essential with regard to spur of the moment filming.

Also positioned atop the camera is the integrated pop-up flash, positioned inline with the centre of the lens. Note that the A5100 doesn't offer an accessory port for attaching optional accessories like the FDA-EV1S electronic viewfinder or the ECM-SST1 microphone, unlike the more expensive NEX/Alpha models. Two small holes either side of the flash for the stereo sound complete the camera's top-plate.

Press the shutter release button down halfway and, after a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment of focus/exposure adjustment, the AF point/s highlight in green accompanied by a beep of affirmation to indicate that the user is good to continue on and take the shot. Do so, and in single shot mode to the sound of a satisfying shutter click, a full resolution JPEG is written to memory in about 2 seconds. There is the option to also shoot Raw files, or even more usefully for those who wish to hedge their bets Raw and JPEG images in tandem. You also get Fine or Normal compression levels offered for JPEGs.

Sony A5100
Rear of the Sony A5100

Press the Menu button on the rear and six icons appear on screen - Camera Settings, Custom Settings, Wireless, Applications, Playback and Setup (this step can be turned off). Choosing one of these opens a text-based menu system with with white text on a black background aiding visibility. The six Camera Settings folders allow users to select image size, ratio and quality and - if JPEG (RAW and RAW+JPEG also available) - compression rates too, plus features like long exposure and high ISO noise reduction - all in fact activated as a default, and also contains the video quality and audio options, while the four Custom Settings folders allow you to tweak the A5100 to your way of working.

Just like Olympus and Panasonic, the Sony A5100 offers a range of creative Picture Effects, including posterisation, partial colour, retro, high-key, mono and toy camera. These effects can also be applied when using the Intelligent Auto shooting mode. The Soft Skin mode automatically retouches portraits, removing any minor blemishes and wrinkles for a more conventionally good-looking appearance.

The Auto Object Framing mode uses face detection, By Pixel Super Resolution technology and the rule of thirds to automatically take better pictures of still lifes, moving subjects and macro close-ups. Sony's catchily named Pixel Super Resolution Technology ensures that the resulting image is still a full 24 megapixels in size, and the original uncropped image is also saved for easy comparison.

Sony A5100
Tilting LCD Screen

The various shooting modes are rather inconveniently buried away as the first option in the Camera Settings menu, including standard P,A,S,M, 9-strong scene mode, intelligent auto and Sweep Panorama modes. Even in Intelligent Auto mode users still have the ability to get hands on to a degree thanks to the Photo Creativity mode. This provides easy-to-understand control over a number of key parameters via a series of interactive on-screen sliders, with the real-time preview on the LCD providing instant feedback to the beginner target audience.

In addition to controlling the background defocus, with a half moon shaped indicator appealing on-screen to the side of the scroll wheel, defocus at the bottom of the arc, 'crisp' at the top, you can also change the vividness, brightness and colour of the image, plus add a Picture Effect or the Soft Skin Effect, and set the self-timer and burst shooting options. You can even apply more than one option at a time and go back and individually change them if you wish.

The A5100's external backplate is once again a sparse affair, the majority of it taken up by the 3-inch widescreen ratio tilting LCD that stretches from base to top plate. To the right of this are the main controls, with the aforementioned Menu button at the top. Underneath is a scroll wheel, used to move through the various menu options and make selections, which has its own central, unmarked set button. Th scroll wheel is quite responsive to the touch, which, on a positive note, means that tabbing through options is a swift process, but on the other hand it's easy to slip past the setting you actually wanted when hurrying through them as a photo opportunity suddenly presents itself.

Sony A5100
Top of the Sony A5100

Set at the four points around this scroll wheel/pad are a means of adjusting the Display (top), ISO Speed (right) the Exposure Compensation / Picture Effects (bottom) and the Self-timer/Drive mode options. Note that all of the buttons around the navigation wheel and the center button too can optionally be assigned to a custom function of your choice.

Sitting alongside the self-explanatory dedicated playback/review button, the last button on the camera back provides a means of activating the Help function, which Sony no doubt hopes to provide a crutch for new users trading up from a bog-standard point and shoot compact. Examples of textual advice, complete with small pictorial thumbnail alongside, include 'increase the ISO sensitivity to make the shutter speed faster', and then, the thoughtful addition: 'higher ISO sensitivity may make noise stand out.' Hand holding for those who want it then, while more experienced users can reconfigure the button to something more useful.

As denoted by symbols on the side of the camera, the Sony A5100 is wi-fi and NFC capable and the functions can be adjusted in the Wireless main menu. You can choose to transmit the images to either a smartphone computer, or a compatible TV set. One cool feature of the wi-fi is being able to link the camera to your smart phone using the PlayMemories Mobile app. You can then use the phone as a remote so those outstretched arm 'selfies' will be a thing of the past. The A5100 also features NFC (Near Field Communication) technology (the same technology that's used for mobile payments), which allows you to connect it to a compatible internet enabled device or another NFC-enabled camera by simply tapping them together. You can also use the WPS Push option to locate a hot spot, access settings, edit the device name, display the MAC address or format all settings if you wish.

Sony A5100
Front of the Sony A5100

In addition to the built-in wi-fi/NFC connectivity, the A5100 supports PlayMemories Camera Apps. As the name suggests, this is a downloadable service that lets you add new functionality to the camera, either via wi-fi or USB connection. Smart Remote Control, which allows you to control the exposure and shutter release via your smartphone, is preinstalled on the A5100. Other optional apps available include Picture Effect+, Bracket Pro, Multi Frame NR, Photo Retouch and Direct Upload, and Sony plans to provide more new apps in the near future. Note that only some of the apps are free.

Peaking is a feature that provides a level of hand-holding for manual focus users. When turned on to one of the three levels (low, mid, high), this essentially draws a coloured line (red, white or yellow) around the areas of highest contrast in the image when you're manually focusing the camera. Used in conjunction with the magnified focus assist, this makes it a cinch to focus accurately on a specific part of the subject, something that the majority of digital cameras have struggled with. It can even be used in the movie mode, which along with the Zebra function again provides a real boon to your creativity.

At the base of the A5100 we find a metal screw thread for a tripod directly beneath the lens mount, and a compartment storing the rechargeable battery. The memory card slot is located on the left-hand side of the camera when viewed from the rear, here Sony reaching out to a wider audience by offering SD/SDHC/SDXC compatibility alongside its own Memory Stick. The left hand flank is also where users will find a covered port for HDMI connectivity and Sony's Multi port. Only the USB cable was provided with our review sample; there's no standard definition AV output. There's also a small built-in speaker for reviewing audio in the field on the bottom and protruding metal strap eyelets on either side of the camera.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Sony A5100 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The Sony A5100 has an extensive and very usable ISO range of 100-25600. ISO 100-800 is noise-free, whilst ISO 1600-6400 produces more than acceptable results, and even ISO 12800 and the fastest setting of 25600 are OK for emergency use. The RAW samples illustrate just how much processing the camera does by default, though, as they're much noisier at all ISO values than their JPEG counterparts.

The 24 megapixel images are a little soft straight out of the camera using the default Standard creative style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level. The built-in flash worked well indoors with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and the Bulb mode offering lots of scope for creative night photography.

The effective Dynamic Range Optimizer function extracts more detail from the shadow and highlight areas in an image, without introducing any unwanted noise or other artifacts. The High Dynamic Range mode combines two shots taken at different exposures to produce one image with greater dynamic range than a single image would produce. It only works for JPEGs and for still subjects, but does produce some very effective results. Sony's now tried-and-trusted Sweep Panorama is still a joy to use. The 13 creative Picture Effects quickly produce special looks that would otherwise require you to spend a lot of time in the digital darkroom, while the 7 Creative Styles provide a quick and easy way to tweak the camera's JPEG images.


There are 8 ISO settings available on the Sony A5100. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:


ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg  

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg  

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg  

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg  

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg  

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg  

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg  

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg  

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg  


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Sony A5100 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

24M Fine (6.28Mb) (100% Crop) 24M Standard (3.93Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_standard.jpg
24M RAW (23.9Mb) (100% Crop)  


The flash settings on the Sony A5100 are Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow sync and Rear flash sync, with Red-eye reduction available in the Main Menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (16mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (16mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (50mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (50mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Neither the Auto setting or the Red-eye reduction mode caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red-eye reduction

Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Sony A5100's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Dynamic Range Optimizer

D-Range Optimiser (DRO) is Sony's solution to improve shadow detail in photos taken in contrasty light.


dro_01.jpg dro_02.jpg
dro_03.jpg dro_04.jpg


dro_05.jpg dro_06.jpg

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range Optimiser (HDR) is Sony's solution for capturing more contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one image.



hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg



hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg



hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg



Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony A5100 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.


Creative Styles

There are 6 Creative Style preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images.



creative_style_01.jpg creative_style_02.jpg



creative_style_03.jpg creative_style_04.jpg



creative_style_05.jpg creative_style_06.jpg



Picture Effects

Just like Olympus and Panasonic, the Sony A5100 offers an extensive range of eleven creative Picture Effects.


Toy Camera

picture_effect_01.jpg picture_effect_02.jpg

Pop Color


picture_effect_03.jpg picture_effect_04.jpg


Soft High-key

picture_effect_05.jpg picture_effect_06.jpg

Partial Color (Green)

High Contrast Mono

picture_effect_07.jpg picture_effect_08.jpg

Soft Focus

HDR Painting

picture_effect_09.jpg picture_effect_10.jpg

Rich-tone Mono


picture_effect_11.jpg picture_effect_12.jpg



picture_effect_13.jpg picture_effect_14.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony A5100 camera, which were all taken using the 24.3 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Sony A5100 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Sony RAW (ARW) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 50 frames per second in the XAVC S format. Please note that this 15 second movie is 96.5Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 25 frames per second in the XAVC S format. Please note that this 15 second movie is 93.4Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 50 frames per second in the AVCHD format. Please note that this 16 second movie is 51.8Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 25 frames per second in the AVCHD format. Please note that this 20 second movie is 55.5Mb in size.

Product Images

Sony A5100

Front of the Sony A5100

Sony A5100

Front of the Sony A5100

Sony A5100

Front of the Sony A5100 / Pop-Up Flash

Sony A5100

Side of the Sony A5100

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Side of the Sony A5100

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Side of the Sony A5100

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Side of the Sony A5100

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Rear of the Sony A5100

Sony A5100

Rear of the Sony A5100 / Image Displayed


Sony A5100

Rear of the Sony A5100 / Turned On

Sony A5100
Rear of the Sony A5100 / Main Menu
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Rear of the Sony A5100 / Main Menu
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Rear of the Sony A5100 / Help Menu
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Rear of the Sony A5100 / Tilting LCD Screen
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Rear of the Sony A5100 / Tilting LCD Screen
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Top of the Sony A5100
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Bottom of the Sony A5100

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Side of the Sony A5100
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Side of the Sony A5100
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Front of the Sony A5100
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Front of the Sony A5100
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Memory Card Slot
Sony A5100
Battery Compartment


The Sony A5100 is proof that appearances can be deceptive. Although it looks almost identical to the previous A500 model, the new A5100 is a much more capable camera, especially when it comes to focusing and recording video. It's also a much more compact alternative to its big brother, the A6000, especially as it offers a lot of the same features and even out-performs that model in a few areas.

One of the main reasons for considering the A5100 is the significantly improved Fast Hybrid AF system that's trickled down from the A6000. With 25 contrast-detect and 179 phase-detect points covering 92% of the image, the Sony A5100 is one of the few mirrorless cameras on the market that can successfully track a moving subject and keep it in focus. Coupled with the capable 6fps burst shooting rate with subject-tracking and the fast 0.06 second AF speed, the A5100 is the best mid-range compact system camera for capturing fast moving subjects.

The A5100 also uses the same 24.3 megapixel sensor and Bionz X processor as the A6000, which ensures that image quality is excellent, with results easily rivalling even the DSLR competition and beating most of its compact system camera rivals. Noise doesn't rear its ugly head until ISO 3200 for JPEGs and even the faster settings prove eminently usable, although the A5100 does apply some pretty aggressive noise reduction to keep the files clean as shown by the much noisier RAW images. The myriad of creative effects such as HDR, Dynamic Range Optimisation, creative styles, picture effects and the innovative sweep panorama mode also help to get the most out of the A5100.

The introduction of a touchscreen interface, although limited to setting the focus point and firing the shutter, definitely broadens the appeal of the A5100 to smartphone users. It makes things like setting the AF point much easier, something that is particularly long-winded on the more expensive A6000, which doesn't have a touch-screen. Support for the XAVC S video format is also something that the A5100 uniquely offers at this price-point (and which the A6000 doesn't offer).

Looking and feeling very much like a compact camera, thanks to the combination of the finger-tip zoom lever and the 16-50mm power-zoom kit lens, the small and lightweight Sony A5100 is a great introduction to interchangeable lens cameras. Despite its diminutive size, the new A5100 still manages to retain its predecessor's built-in flash and 180-degree tilting LCD screen, while the built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity make it straight-forward to share your photos and remotely control the A5100 itself. The scarcity of of external controls, a viewfinder, multi interface shoe for attaching a more powerful flash and a rotating LCD screen may push enthusiasts towards the A6000, but the new Sony A5100 is a simple to use yet powerful interchangeable lens camera that outperforms all of its main rivals.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Sony A5100.

Canon EOS M

The Canon EOS M is a new compact system camera that boasts 18 megapixels, full 1080p high-definition videos with continuous auto-focusing, and a touch-screen interface. Other key features of the EOS M include a 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-25,600, and a flash hotshoe. Is Canon's new mirrorless model a real contender? Read our Canon EOS M review to find out...

Fujifilm X-M1

The Fujifilm X-M1 is a new compact system camera that's designed to expand the appeal of the X-system. The retro-styled X-M1 offers the same image sensor and lens mount as the more expensive X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras in a smaller, lighter body. The X-M1 has a built-in flash, new 16-50mm kit lens, wi-fi connectivity, tilting LCD screen and of course a more affordable price tag. Read our Fujifilm X-M1 review to find out if it succeeds in bringing Fujifilm's mirrorless range to the masses...

Kodak Pixpro S-1

The venerable Kodak name is back with the Pixpro S-1, a Micro Four Thirds compact system camera. Boasting a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, 3-inch 920k-dot articulated LCD, sensor-shift image stabilisation and Full HD video recording capabilities, can the first-generation Kodak Pixpro S-1 compete with its more well-established rivals? Read our in-depth Kodak Pixpro S-1 review to find out...

Nikon 1 S2

The Nikon 1 S2 is the new entry-range model in Nikon's compact system camera line-up. The S2 offers 14 megapixels, 20fps burst shooting with continuous autofocusing, Full HD 60p video capture, built-in pop-up flash and RAW support. Read our in-depth Nikon 1 S2 review now...

Olympus E-PL5

The Olympus E-PL5 is a new compact system camera that offers a lot more than first meets the eye. Also known as the PEN Lite, the EPL5 has exactly the same image sensor and processing engine as the flagship OM-D E-M5. It also boasts the World's fastest autofocus system, a 3 inch tilting LCD display, full 1080p HD movies, and an extensive range of creative filters. Read our in-depth Olympus E-PL5 review to find out if it's a true bargain or not...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

At first glance the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 looks like an up-market compact camera, but it's actually a tiny interchangeable lens model. Small enough to fit into a coat pocket yet still offering a large Micro Four Thirds image sensor, the diminutive Panasonic Lumix GM1 is taking aim at not just the obvious CSC competition, but also the growing premium compact market too. Read our full Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 review, complete with full-size JPEG and RAW sample images...

Panasonic Lumix GF6

The Panasonic Lumix GF6 is a new entry-level compact system camera that offers a lot of cutting-edge features for not a lot of money. The diminutive GF6 has a tilting LCD screen, built-in wireless and NFC connectivity, fast 0.09 second auto-focusing, a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, 1080i HD video, and a touchscreen interface. Read our Panasonic Lumix GF6 review, complete with full-size JPEG and RAW sample images...

Pentax Q7

The new Pentax Q7 is the smallest compact system camera on the market. Offering a new 1/1.7"-type back-illuminated CMOS sensor, improved low-light auto focus and an upgraded Shake Reduction mechanism, can the Q7 compete with its bigger rivals? Read our Pentax Q7 review to find out...

Samsung NX mini

The NX mini is the new entry level model in Samsung's compact system camera range. The tiny Samsung NX mini features a a 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20.5 megapixels, 3-inch swivelling touchscreen, 1080p video recording at 30fps, built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity, and 6fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Samsung NX mini review to find out if it's worth upgrading from your cameraphone...

Sony A6000

The Sony A6000 is a new compact system camera that features the fastest auto-focusing system in the world. With a 24.3 megapixel APS HD CMOS sensor, 1080p HD movies, high-res 3 inch OLED screen, electronic viewfinder and built-in flash, the Sony NEX-6 also offers 11fps burst shooting, wi-fi and NFC connectivity, and downloadable PlayMemories Camera Apps. Read our full Sony A6000 review to find out if it's the best Sony NEX camera yet...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony A5100 from around the web. »

Sony is slowly replacing many of the cameras that used to be branded with the NEX moniker, and the A5100 is the replacement for the NEX-5T. Although the camera is the same shape as its predecessor, Sony has fitted it with the same excellent 24.3 million pixel sensor and Bionz X processor as found in the A6000.
Read the full review » »

Sony’s latest compact camera model, the Sony Alpha 5100 features some of the Japanese firm’s latest technology, including the 24.3-million-pixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, with an sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600 and the Bionz X processor seen in the more advanced Sony Alpha 6000. That camera’s 179-point hybrid AF system has also made it inside the Alpha 5100’s compact frame, delivering super-fast autofocusing – claimed to be as quick as 0.06secs – making it one of the fastest cameras currently on the market.
Read the full review » »

The Sony Alpha A5100 is an update to the Sony Alpha A5000, and is one of the smallest APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras with a built in flash. The updated A5100 adds phase-detection focus, a touch-screen, as well as a new 24.3 megapixel sensor, instead of the 20.1 megapixel sensor on the A5000. The Sony Alpha A5100 is priced at £549 (RRP) with the compact 16-50mm lens shown here. The camera features a tilting 3inch touch-screen and ISO sensitivity is manually adjustable up to ISO25,600.
Read the full review »


Dimensions (W x H x D)

  • 109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7 mm


  • 224 g (Body Only) / 283 g (With battery and media)

Lens Mount

  • Sony E-mount lenses

Lens Compatibility

  • Sony E-mount lenses

Sensor Type

  • APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6mm) Exmor™ CMOS sensor

Sensor Type

  • APS-C

Effective Pixels

  • 24.3MP

Number of Pixels (total)

  • Approx. 24.7 megapixels

Image Sensor Aspect Ratio

  • 3:2

Anti Dust

  • Charge protection coating on Optical Filter

Smart zoom (Still Image)

  • M:Approx. 1.4x
  • S:Approx. 2x

Digital zoom (Still Image)

  • L:Approx. 4x;M:Approx. 5.7x;S:Approx. 8x

Digital zoom (Movie)

  • Approx. 4x

Recording Format (Still images)

  • JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

Image Size (pixels), 3:2

  • L: 6000 x 4000 (24M)
  • M: 4240 x 2832 (12M)
  • S: 3008 x 2000 (6.0M)

Image Size (pixels), 16:9

  • L: 6000 x 3376 (20M)
  • M: 4240 x 2400 (10M)
  • S: 3008 x 1688 (5.1M)

Image Size (pixels), Sweep Panorama

  • Standard: horizontal 8,192 x 1,856 (15M), vertical 3,872 x 2,160 (8.4M)
  • Wide: horizontal 12,416 x 1,856 (23M), vertical 5,536 x 2,160 (12M)

Image Quality Modes

  • JPEG Fine
  • JPEG Standard
  • RAW

Picture Effect

  • HDR Painting (High/Mid/Low)
  • High Contrast Mono
  • Illustration (High/Mid/ Low)
  • Miniature (Auto/Top/Middle(H)/Bottom/Right/Middle(V)/Left)
  • Partial colour (R,G,B,Y)
  • Pop colour
  • Posterization (colour, B/W)
  • Retro Photo
  • Rich-tone Mono
  • Soft Focus (High/Mid/Low)
  • Soft High-key
  • Toy Camera (Normal/Cool/Warm/Green/Magenta)
  • Watercolour

Creative Style

  • Black & White
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Sepia (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps))
  • Standard
  • Sunset
  • Vivid

Dynamic Range Functions

  • Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step))
  • Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1-5))
  • Off

Recording Format (Movie)

  • AVCHD 2.0 / MP4 / XAVC S

Image Size (pixels), NTSC*

  • AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 28M, PS), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (60i, 17M, FH), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080(24p, 17M, FH)
  • MP4: 1440 x 1080 (30fps)
  • VGA(640 x 480, 30fps)
  • XAVC S: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (30p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 50M)

Image Size (pixels), PAL*

  • AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 28M, PS), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 17M, FH), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080(25p, 17M, FH)
  • MP4: 1440 x 1080 (25fps)
  • VGA(640 x 480, 25fps)
  • XAVC S: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 50M)

Other Movie Functions

  • Dual Video Rec, AF Tracking Duration, AF Drive Speed, Auto Slow Shutter, HDMI Info. Display

Face Detection

  • On, On (Regist. Faces), Off

Auto Portrait Framing

  • Yes (Still Images)

Clear Image Zoom

  • Approx. 2x

Lens Compensation

  • BIONZ X™

Lens Compensation

  • Peripheral Shading, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion

Touch Shutter

  • Yes

Smile Shutter

  • Smile shutter (selectable from 3 steps)


  • Yes (3 sec delay / OFF selectable)

Compatible Recording Media

  • Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, SD memory card, SDHC memory card (UHS-I compliant), SDXC memory card (UHS-I compliant)

Noise Reduction

  • Long exposure NR: available of shutter speeds longer than 1 sec., High ISO NR: Normal / Low

White Balance Modes

  • Auto
  • Cloudy
  • Custom
  • Daylight
  • Flash
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Underwater

AWB Micro Adjustment

  • Yes G7 to M7, 15-step A7 to B7, 15-step


  • 3 frames, H/L selectable

Focus Type

  • Fast Hybrid AF(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)

Focus Sensor

  • Exmor® R CMOS sensor

Focus Point

  • 179 points (phase-detection AF) / 25 points (conotrast-detection AF)

Focus Sensitivity Range

  • EV-1 to EV20 (ISO100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)

AF Mode

  • AF-A (Automatic AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C ( Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus

Focus Area

  • Wide (179 points (phase-detection AF), 25 points(contrast-detection AF)) / Zone / Center / Flexible Spot (S/M/L) / Lock-on AF ( Wide / Zone / Center / Flexible Spot (S/M/L))

Other Features

  • Lock-on AF, Eye AF, Predictive control, Focus lock

AF Illuminator

  • Built - in Flash

AF Illuminator range

  • Approx. 0.3- approx. 3.0m (with E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens attached)

Metering Type

  • 1200-zone evaluative metering

Metering Sensor

  • Exmor® R CMOS sensor

Metering Sensitivity

  • EV-1 to EV20 (at ISO100 equivalent with F2.0 lens attached)

Metering Mode

  • Center-weighted
  • Multi-segment
  • Spot

Exposure Modes

  • Aperture priority (A)
  • Manual (M)
  • Movie (Programmed AE (P) / Aperture priority (A) / Shutter-speed priority (S) / Manual (M) )
  • Programmed AE (P)
  • Scene Selection
  • Shutter-speed priority (S)
  • Superior Auto
  • Sweep Panorama
  • iAUTO

Scene Selection

  • Anti Motion Blur
  • Hand-held Twilight
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Night Scene
  • Night portrait
  • Portrait
  • Sports action
  • Sunset

Exposure Compensation

  • Still images: +/- 3.0EV (1/3EV steps), Movies: +/- 2.0EV (1/3EV steps)

Auto (AE) Bracketing

  • Bracket: Cont./Bracket: Single, With 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1.0 EV, 2.0 EV, 3.0 EV increments, 3/5 frames (1.0 EV, 2.0 EV, 3.0 EV : only 3 frames) selectable

AE Lock

  • Locked when shutter button is pressed halfway. (Auto/On/Off selectable)

ISO Sensitivity

  • ISO 100–25600

Screen Type

  • 3.0" wide type TFT LCD

Touch Screen

  • Yes

Total Number of Dots

  • 921,600 dots

Brightness Control (LCD)

  • Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2), Sunny Weather mode

Adjustable Angle

  • Up by approx. 180 degrees

LCD Display

  • Display All Info
  • Graphic Display
  • Histgram
  • No Disp. Info

Real-time Image Adjustment Display (LCD)

  • ON/OFF

Focus Magnifier

  • Yes

Peaking MF

  • Yes (Level setting: High/Mid/Low/Off, colour: White/Red/Yellow)

Shutter Speed

  • Movies: 1/4000 to 1/4 (1/3 steps) up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter mode)
  • Still images:1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb

Flash Sync. Speed

  • 1/160 sec.

Electronic Front Shutter Curtain

  • Yes


  • Not supported (image stabilization supported on lens)

Compensation Effect

  • Lens Compensation:Peripheral Shading, Chromatic Aberration, Distortion

Flash Control

  • Pre-flash TTL

Flash Compensation

  • +/- 2.0EV (1/3EV steps)

Flash Modes

  • Autoflash
  • Fill-flash
  • Flash off
  • Rear Sync.
  • Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable)
  • Slow Sync.

Drive Modes

  • Bracketing (Single,Cont.)
  • Continuous shooting
  • DRO bracket
  • Self-timer (10/2 sec delay selectable)
  • Self-timer (Cont.) (with 10 sec delay 3/5 exposures selectable)
  • Single-shot
  • White Balance bracket

Continues Shooting

  • 6 fps (in High Continuous shooting)

Playback Modes

  • 12/30-frame index view
  • Auto Review (10/ 5/ 2 sec, Off)
  • Delete
  • Enlarged display mode (L: 16.7x, M: 11.8x, S: 8.3x, Panorama (Standard): 19.2x, Panorama (Wide): 29.1x)
  • Folder selection (Date/ Still/ MP4/ AVCHD/ XAVC S)
  • Forward/Rewind (Movie)
  • Image orientation (Manual/Off selectable)
  • Panorama scrolling
  • Protect
  • Single (with or without shooting information RGB histogram & highlight / shadow warning)
  • Slideshow

View on Smartphone

  • Yes

Upload to PC

  • Yes

View on TV

  • Yes

PlayMemories Camera Apps™

  • Downloadable Camera Apps
  • NFC One-touch functionality
  • Wi-Fi

PlayMemories Camera Apps™

  • Yes


  • Yes

PC Interface

  • Mass-storage, MTP, PC remote

HD Output

  • 4K Still Image PB
  • BRAVIA Sync (Control for HDMI)
  • HDMI micro connector (Type-D)
  • PhotoTV HD

Multi Interface Shoe

  • Multi / Micro USB Terminal
  • PC remote


  • Built-in stereo microphone


  • Built-in, monaural

Compatible Standards

  • Exif Print, Print Image Matching III, DPOF setting

Custom Function Type

  • Yes

Supplied Battery

  • NP-FW50 W-series Rechargeable Battery Pack

Battery Life (CIPA, Still Images)

  • Up to 400 shots

Battery Life (CIPA, Movies)

  • Actual Recording:Approx. 75 min
  • Continuous Recording:Approx. 110 min

Internal Battery Charge

  • Yes

External Power

  • AC Adaptor AC-PW20 (sold separately)

Color Options


What's In The Box

  • Power cord
  • Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50
  • AC Adaptor (AC-UB10)
  • Shoulder strap
  • Body cap
  • Micro USB cable

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