As you’re probably aware the Sony a5100 is an older camera now, coming out in 2014 but someone surprisingly it is still very popular and that’s with good reason.
We’ll look at the pros and cons of picking the Sony a5100 up in 2021. There will be example videos and photos throughout.
So the Sony a5100 is a mirrorless APS-C camera which uses the E-mount lens system for interchangeable lenses.
This means you can upgrade the lens on this camera to fit your needs and gives the camera very good versatility.
The camera weighs just 283g with dimensions of 110 x 63 x 36 mm making this an extremely small camera, perfect if you don’t want to be carrying a bulky camera around or have limited space. But this comes at the price of having no EVF (electronic viewfinder) meaning you have to monitor yours shots from the screen, which can be hard to see in bright conditions.
Another downside of the small size is that it does overheat when recording video, I’ve made a video about why this happens and how to tackle it here, but its worth bearing in mind that the camera does overheat and turn off at around 25mins of continuous recording.
The small size also means there’s very few buttons, with the main omissions being no shoot mode wheel and no extra customisable buttons. Which is understandable to keep the size down but can slow you down as you’ll have to access shoot mode options through the menus.
This camera has built in stereo mics for recording audio, which are OK, but with no mic input or hot-shoe for attaching a mic it does mean the audio options are limited on this camera.
It has a built in pop up flash with a flash range of 4 meters.
The video capabilities of this camera max out at 1080p at 60 frames per second, which these days is lagging behind a lot of the newer camera which provide 4k video at 120fps. SO I’d say for video work this is very much an entry level camera, but the quality is good and if you don’t need 4k or slo-mo then this camera video performance is still very decent.
And that’s in part to it having a 24.3 megapixel sensor which is still very much comparable to newer cameras, despite the a5100 age. This means for photography the a5100 still holds up pretty well. If you’re using the kit lens you can expect decent performance for photos, only really struggling in low light. Keep in mind the huge positive of the interchange lens system means you can massively improve your photography with the a5100 by upgrading your lens.
There are plenty of lens options in the e-mount range whether it be telephoto or prime, you can customise your a5100 spending on your budget and needs.
Other features include a flip up screen perfect for vlogging or just monitoring yourself while recording which is a big bonus when a lot of newer cameras don’t have this feature
The screen also has touch to focus which makes choosing a point of focus in your shot very quick and its a feature not all cameras have. Unfortunately this touch screen doesn’t work for navigating the menus which is a downside.
The autofocus is still pretty decent on this camera with 179 auto focus points. This is fast and decent enough for the majority of situations.
It has face auto detention great for keeping people in your shot in focus as well as eye autofocus which is perfect for portraits. Unfortunately it doesn’t have animal eye AF which a lot of new cameras do.
It supports burst shooting meaning you can shoot in bursts of 6 shots per second which isn’t the quickest but still a good feature to have.
It also has a max ISO of 25600 which means you can brighten up your images a fair amount in camera, just be aware this will add extra noise to your shots.
Now lets talk about a very important part of this camera and that is is price. Brand new this camera will still be listed at around £350 /$400 but the reason why this camera is still really worth considering is its 2nd hand price, for around £250/ $250 you should be able to pick up this camera with the kit lens included. Making it a lot cheaper than comparable cameras on the market.
It’s a compact mirrorless camera, with interchangeable lenses and good picture quality for both photos and video. And probably most importantly comes in at a very reasonable price. Yes it is starting to show its age with some some features lacking like no 4k video no EVF or audio jack.
But it has good plus points in its size picture quality and its interchangeable lens system.
For me its a great beginner to intermediate camera. I’ve used this camera for 4 years and still use it a lot, in fact this whole video has been recorded on it. There’s a lot you can achieve with it with a bit of practice.
I’d recommend this camera for people getting into photography, improving their YouTube videos and vlogs or as a compact travel camera or as a live streaming camera.
For tips and tricks on how to use the a5100 checkout this YouTube playlist.
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