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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.

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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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