Sony has unveiled the A5100, the second model in its E-mount camera range (after the superb A6000) to be launched this year – and it’s claiming that the A5100 is the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera. With some caveats, at least.
According to Sony’s press release, the A5100 is “the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens digital camera that boasts a big APS-C sensor plus a built-in flash and Wi-Fi”, which is a bit like us claiming “Stuff.co.za is the best gadget website in the world called Stuff.co.za”. (Of course, even without the qualifier, our statement would be totally correct!)
To put it in cold, hard figures, the A5100 body weighs 283g and measures 109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7mm. So, yes, it’s very small for an interchangeable lens camera.
A stripped-back A6000
The aforementioned APS-C sensor is the same 24.3MP Exmor CMOS found on the A6000, and that’s not the only thing the two cameras share: the A5100 features a similar 179-point, lightning-fast hybrid autofocus system – among the quickest, most accurate AF setups we’ve ever come across. Being a step down, the A5100 might not be quite as nimble as the A6000 when it comes to locking onto a subject, but Sony says it’s still very, very quick. There’s also the same BIONZ X image processor on board.
The A5100 also comes with Wi-Fi and NFC (for image-sharing and remote control to and from a smartphone or tablet), a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600, full HD movie recording in a choice of three formats (including the new, pro-friendly XAVC S, which captures up to 50Mbps of data) and a new tilting touchscreen that flips 180 degrees and provides the majority of the control options for the camera (there aren’t many physical buttons and dials, you see).
There’s no electronic viewfinder, which is a shame, because Sony is really good at making them – but we suppose if you’re desperate for one, there’s the A6000. The A5100 is designed to offer much of its big brother’s functionality but in a slightly svelter package.
Sony says the A5100 will be available in the UK from mid-September, but we’re still waiting on confirmation for South Africa. Expect it to land as a body-only, with a 16-50mm lens, or with 16-50mm and 55-210mm lenses.