Sony A6100 Review

February 3, 2020 | Mark Goldstein |

Sony A6100 Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24.2 megapixel Extra Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 13Mb.

The Sony A6100 generates impressively clean results with minimal grain and detail loss. At ISO 6400 there’s only a slight increase in noise and reduction in detail, making this sensitivity completely usable. Only at ISO 12800 does grain and detail smoothing become more severe, although it’s by no means unsightly. ISO 25600 is really the ceiling for acceptable image quality, such is the high level of grain, loss of detail and reduced dynamic range. ISO 51200 is best avoided due to the intrusive grain and colour speckling.

If you dial things down to more sensible sensitivities, though, the A6100 records excellent dynamic range, especially when assisted by Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimisation. Good colour vibrancy adds extra visual appeal while maintaining accurate colour reproduction, though this of course can be adjusted to your own preference in the camera settings.

It’s worth noting that the A6100 doesn’t incorporate sensor-shift stabilisation and instead relies on conventional lens-based optical stabilisation. But even if you don’t have an optically-stabilised lens fitted, upping the camera’s sensor sensitivity to compensate for camera shake isn’t a big deal thanks to the A6100’s respectable high ISO image quality.

Noise

There are 10 ISO settings available on the Sony A6100. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and Raw files.

JPEG RAW

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

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

iso51200.jpg iso51200raw.jpg

File Quality

The Sony A6100 has 3 different image quality settings available, with Extra 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.

Extra Fine (13.3Mb) (100% Crop) Fine (6.59Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_extra_fine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
Standard (4.34Mb) (100% Crop) RAW (23.9Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_standard.jpg quality_raw.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony A6100 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 (24mm)

ISO 64

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (75mm)

ISO 64

Flash On - Telephoto (75mm)

ISO 64

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

Flash Off

flash_off.jpg

Flash On

flash_on.jpg

Red-eye Reduction

flash_redeye.jpg

Night

The Sony A6100'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.jpg

Dynamic Range Optimizer

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

Off

LV1
dro_01.jpg dro_02.jpg
LV2 LV3
dro_03.jpg dro_04.jpg

LV4

LV5
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.

Off

1.0EV

hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg

2.0EV

3.0EV

hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg

4.0EV

5.0EV

hdr_05.jpg hdr_06.jpg

6.0EV

hdr_07.jpg

Creative Styles

There are 7 Creative Style preset effects that you can use to change the look of your images. Note that they can be applied when shhoting both JPEG and Raw images.

Standard

Vivid

creative_style_01.jpg creative_style_02.jpg

Portrait

Landscape

creative_style_04.jpg creative_style_05.jpg

Sunset

B/W

creative_style_15.jpg creative_style_18.jpg

Sepia

creative_style_19.jpg

Picture Effects

The Sony A6100 offers an extensive range of 13 creative Picture Effects. Note that these are not available when shooting Raw images.

Off

Toy Camera

picture_effect_01.jpg picture_effect_02.jpg

Pop Color

Posterization

picture_effect_03.jpg picture_effect_04.jpg

Retro

Soft High-key

picture_effect_05.jpg picture_effect_06.jpg

Partial Color (Red)

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

Miniature

picture_effect_11.jpg picture_effect_12.jpg

Watercolor

Illustration

picture_effect_13.jpg picture_effect_14.jpg

Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony A6100 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.

Standard
panorama1.jpg
Wide
panorama2.jpg