Sony has today introduced the new a5100 camera, a new model packing pro-quality AF performance and image quality into a portable package.
Priced at $549 ($699 with Sony's 16-50mm kit lens), the company's latest addition to its Alpha line effectively replaces the NEX-5T. And it's a nice middle ground between the entry-level A5000 and A6000.
The new camera (model ILCE-5100) features the same Fast Hybrid AF system as the acclaimed a6000 model, which allows it to acquire focus in as little as 0.07 seconds. It also shares the a6000’s image sensor – a 24.3 MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor – and Sony's BIONZ X processor.
Unique to the new a5100 is its compact design, placing it among the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens cameras in market today.
Borrowing from the a6000, the Fast Hybrid AF system on the new a5100 camera features focal plane phase-detection AF points with an extremely wide autofocus coverage area (179 focal points) that is teamed with high-precision contrast-detection AF.
Additionally, the a5100 camera has a touch screen which works with the AF system to enable Touch Focus, allowing shooters to focus by simply touching the intended subject on any area of the LCD screen.
The a5100 model also comes equipped with Eye AF and Lock-on AF functions that debuted in the a7/ a7R, a Flexible Spot AF area function, and AF-A mode (automatic switching between AF-C and AF-S) that is also offered in the a6000.
The a5100 supports full HD video shooting in AVCHD as well as the XAVC S2 codec, which records video at a high data rate of 50 Mbps with advanced compression.
The new camera also features dual video recording, allowing it to simultaneously record two files – one in Full HD (AVCHD or XAVC S) and the other in lower resolution MP4 format – to a single installed SD card.
The compact new mirrorless camera features a 921k dot WhiteMagic LCD screen that can tilt a full 180 degrees upright.
It has also built-in Wi-Fi and a single touch also activates Smart Remote Control, giving users a live image preview through their compatible smartphone or tablet, and allowing them to use the smart device to release the camera’s shutter.
For devices without NFC one-touch capabilities, users can wirelessly transfer images and videos and activate Smart Remote Control through Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile application, available for the iOS and Android platforms.
The Sony a5100 compact interchangeable lens camera will be available in September 2014 in black and white in a kit with a compact, versatile 16-50mm motorized zoom lens (model SELP1650) for about $700, or as body-only for about $550.