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Sony a6100 Review

The Sony A6100 is the inevitable successor to the highly well-liked Sony A6000. This beginner-friendly mirrorless camera can still be purchased brand new today, five years after it was first introduced to the market. This is an indication that the camera has maintained its popularity throughout time.

In Sony’s lineup of mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensors, these two models represent the company’s entry-level options.

The term “APS-C” refers to the size of the camera’s image sensor, which is noticeably bigger than those available in smartphones but smaller than the full-frame processors found in professional-grade cameras like the Sony A7 III.

The Sony Alpha A6100 maintains many of the fundamental characteristics of its predecessor, the Sony Alpha A6000. It has a familiar body design, a sensor with the exact 24MP resolution as the A6000’s sensor, an identical electronic viewfinder (EVF), and a tilting rear LCD screen; however, the A6100’s screen is now touch-sensitive.

Sony a6100 Features

The APS-C sensor used by Sony remains unchanged at 24.2 megapixels; it is the same sensor found in the more costly Sony A6400 and Sony A6600 cameras. It has a sufficient resolution for an entry-level camera, which is par for the course.

If you shoot 4K at 25 frames per second, however, the A6100 uses the entire sensor width (which implies complete pixel readout with no pixel binning), filling the 16:9 rear LCD. Although the A6100 can shoot 4K at 30 frames per second, it does so with a minor cut.

There is a feature called S&Q, which stands for “Slow & Rapid Motion movies,” that can record slow motion films in Full HD at speeds of up to 100 frames per second (4x) or quick motion videos at rates of down to 1 frame per second (25x).

Sony a6100 Build Quality

In general, our time spent with the Sony A6100 was delightful. We matched the camera with two lenses that have a somewhat more significant level of performance than the camera itself. These lenses, the FE 2470mm f/4 and the FE 35mm f/1.8, are a suitable size and weight match for the camera.

The A6100 is a compact camera that, depending on the lens, may be carried in the pocket of a jacket. This is because of its design factor, which enables it to have a relatively flat profile and a height of just 67 millimeters, unlike competitors like the Fujifilm X-T3, which has a hump in the shape of a pentaprism.

The body is made of polycarbonate, and it has a firm feel. The exterior controls are also well-built, and the textured hand and thumb grips give a secure grasp. To God be the glory for the significantly more roomy grip than the one on the A6000.

This camera has an impressively large amount of options and functionality, especially considering its relatively small size. You will receive a flash that pops up and may be manually tilted back for indirect fill light. A microphone port is located on the side of the device, and there is a hot shoe for attaching extra accessories like an external microphone. The connection is made through the port. (It should be no surprise that there is insufficient space for a headphone jack.)

Sony a6100 Performance

Regarding photography and videography, the A6100’s most impressive feature is its lightning-fast and dependable focusing technology. It shares the same autofocus (AF) mechanism as Sony’s top camera, the A6600, which costs almost twice as much as this model.

There are several different Focus Modes and Focus Areas available for selection. After experimenting with several combinations of these settings, we found that the most versatile combination was continuous AF combined with the ‘Tracking: Expand Flexible Spot’ focus area.

When this autofocus system is activated, it is incredibly dependable to focus on a general action, such as taking pictures of a family or a specific topic that is contained inside the frame, because of how reliable the A6100 is when it comes to achieving precise focusing, there have been instances when we have forgotten that this is an entry-level camera.

On paper, a burst mode of 11 frames per second looks like a decent option. On the other hand, in practice, “continuous high” shooting turns out to be less impressive than it seems. According to our observations, the duration of bursts does not fully correspond to the promise of capturing up to 67 frames. Additionally, before the camera can resume normal functioning, it needs some time to buffer the previously captured sequences.

Sony a6100 Image Quality

Since over 10 years ago, Sony’s APS-C cameras have provided a resolution of 24 megapixels. Even in the present day, there are very few people who go higher or lower than 24MP. Although it is a sound decision for Sony’s entry-level A6100 model, one has more grounds for criticism about its flagship A6600 model.

At 350 pixels per inch, the 6000 x 4000-pixel resolution is equivalent to A3 print size. However, if you reduce the ppi, you may generate high-quality prints up to A2 size, which should be sufficient for most photographers.

The quality of the video is good. The continuous tracking autofocus is dependable and clever, which greatly contributes to the overall high quality of the 4K films captured at 25 frames per second from the entire width of the sensor.

Image quality is, of course, influenced by the lens that is attached to the camera, and the 16-50mm Power Zoom kit lens that comes with the A6100 has a reputation for being of low quality. But if you switch to a different lens, like one of the two that we tried out, you can shoot at an ISO of 3200 and still obtain shots that are sharp and full of detail.

Sony a6100 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialComposite
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-32000 (expands to 51200)
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standard
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Sony ARW)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points425
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots921,600
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.07× (0.71× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution1,440,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modesPortraitSports ActionMacroLandscapeSunsetNight SceneHand-held TwilightNight PortraitAnti Motion Blur
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes
Flash modesFlash off, auto, fill flash, slow sync, rear sync, wireless, hi-speed
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Drive modesSingle shootingContinuousSelf-timerBracketing (AE, DRO, WB)
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFC + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (wireless or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FW50 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)420
Weight (inc. batteries)396 g (0.87 lb / 13.97 oz)
Dimensions120 x 67 x 59 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 2.32″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Sony a6100 Verdict

The Sony A6100 is undoubtedly the most appealing camera in Sony’s A6000 series. This is because of the camera’s design, price point, and feature set.

To begin, the body design that is maintained throughout this series gives the impression that it is more suited to novice players and those whose skills are still developing.

Incredibly, the image quality and focusing capabilities of this camera are on par with those of the more costly Sony A6400 and Sony A6600. The primary issues we have with all of the cameras in the A6XXX series, which mostly center on limits in terms of handling and performance, are likewise less excusable on the flagship models than here.

So, what are the advantages of purchasing a model that is significantly more expensive? In any case, the top-of-the-line Sony A6600 offers a significantly longer battery life, in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a higher resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), and a metal housing that is weather protected. However, the cost is almost exactly twice as much.

Sony a6100 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Good longevity of the battery
  • Excellent performance in tracking autofocus
  • Lots of features packed into a tiny body
  • The software made by Sony works quite well.
  • It is simple to operate most of the controls.
Need Improvements
  • LCD and EVF with relatively poor specification
  • No IBIS for video
  • Only a few functionalities are available through a touchscreen
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
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The Sony A6100 is the inevitable successor to the highly well-liked Sony A6000. This beginner-friendly mirrorless camera can still be purchased brand new today, five years after it was first introduced to the market. This is an indication that the camera has maintained its...Sony a6100 Review