Sony A6100 APS-C mirrorless camera has a hard act to check out. It’s an upgrade on the half-a-million-offering A6000, which can now be acquired for an astonishingly good deal.
However, the A6000 has started to look just a little dated. Picture quality is good rather than great, at least by the latest standards, specifically at high ISO settings. Video catch tops out at 1080p and the camera doesn’t have even a touchscreen.
The Sony A6100 (or the ILCE-6100 since it is sometimes described) introduces significant improvements, especially 4K video. It isn’t an upgrade for the A6000, and that both will be on sale simultaneously for quite a while. Armed with core quality and a good 1:1 aspect ratio choice for Instagram, can the A6100 tempt vloggers and all-rounders after an update?
Sony Alpha a6100: Price
Sony Alpha a6100: Key Features
In the centre of the Sony A6100 sits a fresh 24.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS picture sensor and new-era BIONZ X processor – exactly like in the most recent range-topping A6600 camera. It’s a potent mix that aims for outstanding performance in from autofocus and quick-fire shooting to enhanced image quality even at high ISO configurations, along with convincing 4K movie capture.
You start with autofocus, the A6100 gains Sony’s most recent hybrid system which combines 425 phase-detection points with 425 contrast-detection points. That’s a big numerical increase over the a6000, and the autofocus factors cover a larger section of the image frame. New features include ‘Attention AF’ for animals rather than just for human beings while adding AI-based real-time tracking. This automatically focuses on the eye wherever they move within the framework. Autofocus speed is incredibly quick, rated at 1/50th of another. That’s three times quicker than in the A6000.
The utmost burst rate is likewise impressive, at 11 fps, with sufficient buffer depth for 33 raw files or 77 JPEGs. Change from the flat-out Hi+ setting to Hi there and you’ll still get 8fps continuous drive, this time around with the offer of silent shooting using an electric instead of the mechanical shutter. As of this speed, you’ll also gain constant tracking for autofocus (which includes real-time Eyesight AF) and metering, filled with a live preview as you’re shooting, rather than the Hi+ mode’s instant overview of the prior shot in a sequence. Real-period preview in hi-velocity shooting can be another feature that was unavailable in the A6000.
The A6100 inherits digesting algorithms from Sony’s latest full-frame mirrorless cameras, looking to improve colour reproduction, particularly for skin tones. There are many ‘creative styles’ available, including regular, vivid, portrait, landscape, sunset, dark and white and sepia, along with incremental adjustments for saturation and sharpness. In addition, there’s an abundance of ‘picture results’ like pop colour, retro photo, toy camera, and watercolour, plus a lot more besides.
For video, the A6100 boasts 4K capture with full-pixel readout no pixel binning. Quick and slow movement movie catch are also available, and the camera benefits an exterior microphone input socket that was without the A6000. The much greater selection of the tilt screen enables forward-facing orientation for selfies and vlogging. Weighed against the more up-marketplace a6600, video caught in the a6100 lacks real-time Eyes AF. S-log gamma profiles for the improved powerful range are also unavailable. In-body or sensor-change stabilization is certainly lacking and, although the viewfinder gets the same 0.39 type size as in the A6600, it includes a lower resolution of 1440k rather than 2360k dots, exactly like in the original A6000.
Sony Alpha a6100: Build and Handling
Little has transformed on the Sony A6100 in comparison to other digital cameras in Sony’s Alpha line-up, with the same ergonomic handgrip, battery, SVGA electronic viewfinder, and a near-identical button layout when compared to A6000. It weighs 396g to the A6000’s 344g and the A6600’s 503g. Construction isn’t as impressive much like the A6600, with your body being made of plastic instead of metal. It’s also the only person of the three to lack weather-seals. Even so, the overall construction feels solid and reliable, and the triple-hinged back screen enables an excellent range of motion from 180 degrees upwards to nearly 90 degrees downwards.
The layout of control keys and dials is nearly identical compared to that of the initial A6000. It’s definitely not to everybody’s flavour. The camera lacks a front-mounted control dial while, around the trunk, the buttons are pretty tightly packed. Once again, the menu program feels rather long-winded and arcane in places. On the plus side, the touchscreen significantly improves handling, specifically for autofocus stage selection, both in static mode and for initiating autofocus monitoring on a shifting object. Furthermore, eight of the camera’s physical buttons could be customized for immediate access to the 89 shooting and playback features, and there’s also provision for establishing your own custom made menu.
The positioning of the viewfinder on the much left of the trunk panel is another factor that will divide opinion in terms of handling. However, at least it can help in order to avoid any accidental touchscreen procedure with the end of your nose.
A key ‘lacking’ feature for videographers is normally that the A6100 doesn’t have a headphone jack for monitoring sound levels via its built-in mic. For that, you will need the pricier Sony A6600.
Sony Alpha a6100: Performance
Living up to its billing, autofocus is extremely fast and intensely consistent. The artificial cleverness engine really helps to deliver impressive tracking functionality actually for erratically moving items, in addition to enabling good real-time Eye AF tracking. That is unavailable during movie capture, though, and you perform need to toggle between human and pet in the onscreen menus.
Inside our tests, we found exposure metering to become rather much better than in the A6000, with images being regularly brighter and more desirable, whereas the a6000 often will visit the dark part. The Dynamic Range Optimizer functions especially well to retain detail in both highlights and incredibly dark lowlights, with both car and manual levels designed for regular and HDR modes.
The Colour rendition looks extremely natural in the typical creative design and impressively vibrant in the scenery and vivid settings, without going over the very best. Image quality is a lot improved over that of the A6000 when shooting under dull light circumstances at high ISO settings. Both chroma and luminance sound is less obvious while details and consistency are better preserved.
Sony Alpha a6100: Verdict
The A6100 is a long time arriving, as the preceding A6000 has been on sale for pretty much six years. The brand new camera makes quite a direct effect. The pro-level autofocus using its capability to track subjects through the entire frame by locking to faces and eyes is a genuinely effective method of making photography much less arduous and more innovative. Metering performance and image quality are also improved, with the latter being more lively and lifelike, and far better at high ISO configurations. 4K movie catch becomes obtainable, and the addition of a touch screen is quite welcome. The front-facing flip actions is a real reward for selfies and vlogging. Bluetooth is also put into the Wi-Fi and NFC previously featured in the A6000.
You may still find some handling issues. The entire control layout seems rather dated and there’s no front-mounted command dial. There’s no in-body picture stabilizer and, although the 16-50mm Power Zoom kit zoom lens features ‘Optical SteadyShot’, it’s not really the sharpest device in the box. The relatively low-resolution 1440k dot digital viewfinder is usually another disappointment.
However, the A6100 can be an appreciable improvement over the very popular A6000 and delivers a genuine performance boost in every of the very most critical areas. Battery life is pretty respectable for a Sony mirrorless camera, at 380-420 shots for stills and around 125 a few minutes of video.
Overall, the Sony A6100 is a good choice for vloggers and other people wanting to leap up from a smartphone/point-and-shoot to obtain manual setting, zoom and better pictures on a significant – and significantly portable – camera. The just significant issue is pricing, which happens to be far greater than the A6000, and can be slightly too much for the camera to be looked at truly ‘entry-level’ in comparison with its current competition.’ It prevents us from awarding the A6100 a lot more than 4 stars at this time. Nevertheless, once Sony inevitably cuts the purchase price, it’ll doubtless become a value for money.