Sony Intros Ultracompact α5100 Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with Fast AF

Sony Intros Ultracompact α5100 Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with Fast AF


San Diego, CA—Sony Electronics’ new α5100 compact system camera is engineered for pro-quality autofocus performance and image quality in a portable, lightweight package. The camera features the same “fast hybrid AF” system as the α6000, which is said to acquire focus in 0.07 second.

Among the smallest, lightest CSCs on the market, the α5100 also shares the α6000’s image sensor—a 24.3 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor—and Sony’s Bionz X processor. Built for high-detail still images, the processor also is able to read, process and output data from all of the sensor’s pixels during video recording, to ensure that it eliminates aliasing, moiré and false color artifacts.

“Sony continues to innovate in the mirrorless camera space, offering products that are not only smaller and lighter than competitive DSLRs, but that consistently outperform them,” said Neal Manowitz, director of the interchangeable-lens camera business at Sony. “The new α5100 is a primary example, offering world-class AF speed and performance in a palm-sized body at a great price. It’s powerful enough to satisfy the most experienced DSLR shooters yet not too intimidating for the casual weekend photographer.”

The hybrid AF system on the α5100 features focal plane phase-detection AF points with a wide autofocus coverage area (179 focal points) that is teamed with precision contrast-detection AF. This combination is said to enable the camera to accurately track and respond to a subject moving through nearly the entire frame, whether shooting still images or Full HD video. The α5100 also comes with eye AF and lock-on AF functions, a flexible spot AF area function and AF-A mode (automatic switching between AF-C and AF-S).

Additionally, the camera has a responsive touch screen that works with the AF system to enable touch focus, which lets shooters focus by touching the intended subject on any area of the LCD screen.

The α5100 supports Full HD video shooting in AVCHD as well as the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of 50 Mbps with advanced compression for impressive video quality. The camera also offers dual video recording, simultaneously recording two files—one in Full HD (AVCHD or XAVC S) and the other in lower resolution MP4 format—to a single SD card. This gives videographers a high-quality file for viewing on large screens or working on in post-processing, as well as a smaller, lower data-rate version for uploading and sharing.

Other key features include a high-resolution, 921k-dot WhiteMagic LCD screen that tilts 180º upright, ideal for self-portraits; a zoom lever on top of the camera for one-handed camera operation; a pop-up flash; and built-in Wi-Fi, giving consumers one-touch connection with Xperia or NFC-compatible Android smartphones/tablets for instant image transfer and sharing. A single touch also activates “smart remote control,” providing users with a live image preview through their compatible smartphone and allowing them to use the smart device to release the camera’s shutter. For devices without NFC, users can wirelessly transfer images and videos and activate smart remote control through Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app (iOS and Android). The camera is also compatible with all 10 of Sony’s PlayMemories Camera apps, which add creative capabilities.

The α5100 works with Sony’s 20 E-mount interchangeable lenses, including several premium models from Zeiss and Sony’s G series. All Sony FE and E lenses are compatible with all E-mount cameras.

The Sony α5100 will be available in September in a choice of black or white in a kit with a compact 16–50mm motorized zoom lens (SELP1650) for $700, or body only for $550.