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Sony A5100 sensor review: Uncompromising performance

By Kevin Carter - Monday September 15 2014

Sensor Review
Introduction | Measurements: Sony A5100: Excellent sensor performance | Sony A5100 versus Sony SLT Alpha 77 II versus Sony A6000: Rivals firm’s semi pro offerings | Sony A5100 versus Olympus OM-D E-M10 versus Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 | Conclusion
Sony A5100 sensor review: Uncompromising performance

Sitting directly above the current entry-level A5000 this new model boasts a similar 24-Mpix Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor with on-chip phase detection pixels covering over 90% of the image frame and Bionz X image processor as the high-end A6000 model. It also has a tilting 3-in touchscreen LCD and WiFi with NFC. Read on to find out how this new model performs.

With the high end A6000 and entry-level A5000 models already in the range, the introduction of the mid-tier A5100 Sony has completed the transition and updating of the old mirrorless NEX models to the new Alpha series. It features a similar 24-Mpix back-illuminated APS-C CMOS sensor with gapless micro-lenses and on-chip PD-AF covering 92% of the image frame paired with the firm’s Bionz X level image processor.

In addition to handling the data from the hybrid AF system, which comprises of 25-contrast detect and 179 phase-detect points, the processor contributes to the 6 fps burst capability (complete with AF tracking) and the ISO 25,600 maximum sensitivity. It’s also responsible for the cameras video-capture capabilities.

Like its high-end sibling the A5100 offers 1080/60/24p video with the pro-level XAVC S codec, which provides bit rates of 50Mbps – significantly higher (and potentially far superior quality) than other recording formats used by earlier models including the A6000. Other attractive features include zebra pattern and manual focus peaking plus it has a flip-out rear 3-in touchscreen LCD, which the A6000 also lacks.

The Sony Alpha A5100 measures 2.63 x 1.19" (66.7 x 30.2 mm) and weighs 4.09 oz (116 g). It is available now at $699 including the stabilized 16-50mm kit zoom.

 

 

Key specifications

 

  • 24.3-Mpix APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X processor
  • Fast hybrid AF & 179 phase-detect points
  • ISO 25,600 and 6 fps continuous shooting
  • 3.0" 921k-dot Tilting touchscreen LCD display
  • Manual focus peaking and zebra function
  • Full HD video capture at 1080p with XAVC S support at 50Mbps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC

Measurements: Sony A5100: Excellent sensor performance

Sony A5100 versus Sony SLT Alpha 77 II versus Sony A6000: Rivals firm’s semi pro offerings

Sony A5100 versus Olympus OM-D E-M10 versus Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

Conclusion