Sony Alpha 5100 review

September 17, 2014

Overall Rating:


Sony Alpha 5100

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  • - Superb resolution and autofocus speed
  • - Lightweight, but tough with a compact body
  • - Advanced video filming capabilities


  • - Only six frames per second continuous shooting
  • - Touchscreen limited to taking pictures only
  • - No input for external microphone



With 24.3-million-pixels, 179-point hybrid autofocus and advanced video, is the Sony Alpha 5100 the most high- tech, entry-level APS-C camera yet? In our Sony Alpha 5100 review Jon Devo finds out

Build and handling

Considering what has been packed into the Alpha 5100, it’s quite astonishing that Sony has managed to keep it so compact. Physically, it’s identical to the Alpha 5000, the world’s smallest APS-C-format camera, but weighs a fraction more. Yet due to its plastic construction, it only weighs 283g with a card and battery loaded, so it should fit comfortably into most jacket pockets when mounted with its kit lens. The Alpha 5100 is also comfortable enough when worn around the neck all day.

It’s distinctly obvious that this camera has been built to a price, but with that said, it doesn’t feel cheap. Its plastic exterior is tough and the plastic grip has a leatherised texture that is easy to hold when shooting, although a slightly deeper grip would have been ideal.

Sony A5100 product shot - frontCapturing images on its 3in, 921,600-dot LCD screen can be done with the screen tilted upwards, or front-facing when taking self-portraits. It’s also possible to use the screen to point-focus and shoot, although touchscreen functionality is limited to taking pictures only.

In use, the touchscreen is highly responsive, though it’s a shame that it wasn’t enabled during playback mode, at least for pinch-zoom and scrolling through images.

Sony A5100 product shot - LCD screen

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