Sony a5100 Review

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Updated July 20, 2022
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87 Expert Rating

This Sony camera features a BIONZ X image processor and an APS-C sensor packed in a body that’s half the size of a typical DSLR camera. The Sony a5100 is an excellent mirrorless camera in this price segment, especially with an interchangeable lens system. These features make it the best point-and-shoot under 500 and an incredible buy. If you want more great camera recommendations, check out this best digital camera list.

Why We Like It – Sony A5100 Review

The Sony Alpha a5100 mirrorless camera has an ultra-fast autofocus speed of 0.07 seconds and up to 6fps continuous shooting. The APS-C CMOS sensor makes the camera body super compact while delivering top-notch image quality. The camera also supports interchangeable lenses.

  • 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor
  • Interchangeable lens via Sony E mount system
  • Ultra-fast 0.07-second autofocus
  • No viewfinder


The Sony a5100 Alpha camera comes with a 24.3-megapixel Exmor APS-HD CMOS sensor that offers ultimate image quality. The sensor coupled with the BIONZ X image processor enabled stunning detail in low-light photos. The camera offers an ISO range of 100 to 25000 and also features a pop-up flash for those darker environments. It can also shoot full HD video with a cinematic 24fps frame rate or 60fps. Alternatively, if you want to record in 4K, you might want to read our Sony ZV1 review. However, the Nikon Coolpix B700 is a better point-and-shoot for zoom lovers.

Related: See our Samsung NX2000 Smart camera review


The design of the Sony a5100 is similar to most mirrorless cameras. However, Sony has not included a viewfinder of any sort on the camera. Just as you would on the Leica digital camera, you have to rely on the 3-inch flip-up LCD screen. Unlike the bulky Olympus SP 100, the camera is compact and lightweight, with some cues taken from the Sony a6000. It has an easily accessible mode dial and a special power zoom lever for one-handed zoom. Of course, you’re going to need a power zoom lens to make this work. If you’re looking for maximum optical zoom, then check out the Canon PowerShot SX710.


The Sony a5100 is completely value for money, mainly because of the E mount interchangeable lens system. If you don’t like the kit lens provided with the camera, you could opt for a power zoom lens, or any other compatible lens of your choice. The camera offers easy shooting mode selection via the PlayMemories Camera apps. You can also share your photos using built-in Wi-Fi with NFC features. The Nikon P7700 is another great point-and-shoot camera to consider, especially for the budget-minded.

Related: Check out the Sony A6000 review

Sony A5100 Review Wrap Up

The Sony Alpha a5100 interchangeable lens mirrorless camera is a total package. It offers a high-resolution APS-C CMOS sensor with a good kit lens, ultra-fast 0.07-second autofocus, full HD video recording, a Sony E mount system, and a great ISO range. The lack of a viewfinder is a slight inconvenience, but not really a problem.

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