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Sony Alpha ILCE-5100L (A5100) Review

Sony’s Alpha ILCE-5100L, referred to as simply the A5100, is a great camera for anyone looking to try their hand at photography. With a host of great features and a user-friendly interface, the price for the A5100 makes it seem that bit better, and it will certainly appeal any type of beginner.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sony ILCE5100L Compact System Camera with 16-50 Lens (24.3 MP, 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD, Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Noise Reduction Feature, Wi-Fi and NFC) - White
180 Reviews
Sony ILCE5100L Compact System Camera with 16-50 Lens (24.3 MP, 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD, Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Noise Reduction Feature, Wi-Fi and NFC) - White
  • 24.3MP Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ X engine for superb detail and noise reduction
  • Fast Hybrid AF with 179 phase-detection points
  • 180° tiltable LCD screen for perfect self-portraits
  • Wi-Fi and One-touch NFC for simple sharing and control
SaleBestseller No. 2
Sony ILCE5000L Compact System Camera with SEL-1650 Zoom Lens (20.1 MP, 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD, Wi-Fi and NFC ) - Black
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Sony ILCE5000L Compact System Camera with SEL-1650 Zoom Lens (20.1 MP, 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD, Wi-Fi and NFC ) - Black
  • Refined images with BIONZ X processor
  • 20.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and SEL-1650 lens
  • 180 degrees tiltable LCD display screen
  • Easy sharing with Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Delivers the speed and capacity you need to capture 4K ultra HD video
Bestseller No. 3
Sony ILCE5100L Compact System Camera with 16-50 Lens (24.3 MP, 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD, Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Noise Reduction Feature, Wi-Fi and NFC) - Black
180 Reviews
Sony ILCE5100L Compact System Camera with 16-50 Lens (24.3 MP, 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD, Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Noise Reduction Feature, Wi-Fi and NFC) - Black
  • 24.3 MP Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ X engine for high detail and noise reduction
  • Fast hybrid AF with 179 phase-detection points
  • 180 degrees tiltable LCD screen for self-portraits;Wi-Fi and one-touch NFC for simple sharing and control
  • Lens compatibility:Sony E-mount lenses
Bestseller No. 4
Sony ILCE5100L Compact System Camera with 16-50 Lens + Amazon Basics bag and tripod
  • 24.3 MP Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ X engine for high detail and noise reduction
  • Store, carry and protect your camera equipment
  • Compartment for iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Supports video cameras, still cameras, and scopes up to 6.6 lbs (3kgs)
SaleBestseller No. 5
Professional Multi Functional Waterproof Anti-shock SLR / DSLR Camera Storage Bag, Backpack for Sony ILCE5000Y & ILCE5100L & ILCE5100L
  • Carry your camera in supreme comfort, keep equipment safe and organized while you're on the go.
  • Deluxe padded backpack is made from waterproof and shockproof material, resistant from abrasion, extrusion and water to ensure total protection.
  • Secure zip closure and water-resistant lining protects against spills and splashes, while durable nylon outer ensures protection from damage.
  • This bag features multi-function removable padded dividers for a versatile layout. You can store anything from your camera and lenses, to tripod and filters, and much more! If needed, you can remove the padded interior to be a casual daypack or travel bag.
  • Comes with a Water-resistant polyester rain cover.

Overview

  • APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • 24MP
  • 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, 921,000 dots
  • Sony E (NEX) Lens Mount

Features

An impressive 23.3 megapixel APS-C sensor combined with a Bionz X processor make the A5100 from Sony a very capable camera. It’s also small and compact, making it simple to transport, making it great option for someone that likes to take photos when they are out and about.

A notable feature from the A5100 is its impressive auto focusing technology. With 179 autofocus points for phase detection and 25 for contrast detection, the A5100 has a really great area of coverage and really fast focus speeds – potentially 0.07 seconds.

This puts it among the fastest focusing APS-C cameras currently available in this price-range, again emphasising just how great this model is for anyone starting out in photography. It also allows in ample light too, so the A5100 performs well even low light environments

Not only is there a single autofocusing mode, but also an automatic autofocus mode. This will allow the camera to determine whether to shoot in single or continuous mode depending on what subjects it detects as moving.

This mode can be used when in Movie mode as well, providing the same benefits for live recordings. Files recording can be saved in a number of formats, including XAVC S and MP4 or both at the same time.

Doing this ensures video is captured with the high data present in XAVX but with the easily sharable format of MP4.

The A5100 has a 3-inch 921,000 dot LCD touchscreen which can rotated 180 degrees for anyone that loves to take selfies – which is pretty much everyone! However, there is limited control with the touchscreen, which is only used for changing the settings for AF points or tripping the shutter.

Even with an increased pixel count over previous models, the A5100 has a native ISO range of 10-25,600. Image noise is mostly avoided until around 800, increasing to a more notable level around 1600. This can all be dealt with when resizing and editing images, as well as using the noise reduction.

Despite this, colour and detail remains pretty impressive across the board with the A5100.

Other handy features such as built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity really help to add further value to an already reasonably priced camera. This ensure it is fully compatible with the PlayMemories app that add even more features to the A5100 – for example, some apps can allow you to directly upload an image to Facebook while others allow images to be easily shared between different devices.

The A5100 comes with a standard 16-50m power zoom lens, which can be directly controlled with a switch present on the camera body. This makes it compatible with the various E-mount lens range, although beginners will likely be fine with the standard lens when starting out.

 Final Thoughts

Sony have made a very accessible camera that is perfect for beginners with the Alpha ILCE-5100L. With a very affordable price and a host of features that are targeted towards casual users, it is a fantastic option for anyone that likes the idea of trying out photography without having to invest too much money.

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