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Sony Alpha 5100 review

September 17, 2014

Overall Rating:

4.5

Sony Alpha 5100


  • Features:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

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

Resolution, dymanic range and noise

Resolution

Sony Alpha 5100 resolution chart

From our test charts, the Alpha 5100 resolves around 3100 l/ph at ISO 100, which is much as we’d expect for a 24.3-million-pixel sensor with a low-pass filter. Resolution drops progressively as the sensitivity is increased and noise reduction comes into play, to around 2500 l/ph at ISO 1600 and 2000 l/ph at ISO 25,600.

Dynamic range

Sony Alpha 5100 dynamic range chart

As we’d expect, the Alpha 5100 gives essentially identical results to the Alpha 6000. At ISO 100, it offers a very respectable 12.2EV range, which gives plenty of scope for extracting more shadow detail from raw files. At ISO 1600, it’s still very respectable at over 9EV, but at higher sensitivities, increasing shadow noise reduces the range.

Noise

Sony Alpha 5100 noise chart

Low-ISO images are extremely clean, but luminance noise starts to creep in at ISO 800 and above. Both chroma noise and noise reduction artefacts become increasingly visible at higher sensitivities, with ISO 6400 and higher looking very noisy indeed, and best used only when absolutely necessary. In practice, ISO 1600-3200 enabled us to use fast-enough shutter speeds to freeze fast-moving subjects in low-light conditions.

At ISO 3200, the camera handles noise very well and captures a good level of fine detail  Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS

At ISO 3200, the camera handles noise very well and captures a good level of fine detail
Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS

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