Sony ICLE range of cameras is known for their small sensors and the mirror less build. These cameras have developed the photographers’ interest quite often. Apart from the good clarity, these cameras are also known for their features and their image processing engine.
Replacing the Alpha A 5000 came the A 5100 or known as the ICLE-5100 from Sony.
Let us take a look at the ICLE-5100 and determine if it is really worth the shot?
The Sony Alpha A5100 features a 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor that is quite sharp and captures beautiful memories with a lot of clarity. Built with the BIONZ X image processor designed to produce clear, detailed, low noise images shooting up to ISO25600. This camera benefits from a whooping 179-point phase detection focus built into the sensor, and uses the same sensor as the one found on the Alpha A 6000.
This camera has a built-in Wi-Fi capability that connects through seamless internet to transfer files. The camera has Near Field Communication (NFC) as well. The NFC allows users to connect to devices such as smart phones or tablets. The camera allows you to upload your shots directly to your Facebook profile. The Direct Upload app eases the worries of having to upload your pictures on the internet. There are various other apps available on Play Memories that you can try. A few apps can be downloaded free of cost while others cost you a little.
The camera enhances your picture taking ability with various picture modes such as poster effect, miniature and selective colour that beautify pictures. This camera automatically crops portrait photos and creates a second copy of the photo. Focus includes eye-AF which ensures the eye is the focus point in portrait photos. The technology integration in this device enables the user to utilize the one touch remote as well as the one touch sharing options quite well. The camera shoots Full HD videos along with stereo sound and uses the power zoom lens can zoom in and out without losing focus. The Alpha A 5100 comes with the 16-50 mm Power Zoom lens, which collapses when switched off. The camera is thus quite compact and feels incredibly sturdy and light. The lens is equivalent of 24-75mm in 35mm terms, and features optical image stabilization.
The camera’s Automatic Dynamic Range Optimization (DRO) as well as the HDR modes enables the user to expand the dynamic range. The noise performance on this camera is also quite good. The camera’s built in features such as Wi-Fi as well as NFC is quite useful. The camera’s capabilities can be enhanced with additional apps. This is a great camera if you are looking out for a small mirror less camera with a good sensor as well as good features.
Design, Display and Handling:
The Sony Alpha A 5100 comes in a compact plastic body case. It does not feel cheap unlike a few cameras that carry cheap plastic bodies. The camera houses a good rubberized hand grip as well as a plastic square on the back for resting your right hand thumb. With a weight of just 224 grams (without the lens) this camera feels quite comfortable to get a grip of. The camera also has a built in pop up flash that is activated with a small button next to the flash. The A5100 has an updated and slightly more professional looking texture when compared to the A5000.
The top plate has a power switch as well as the shutter release button. The shutter release is surrounded by a zoom-rocker lever. The power zoom or zoom in the playback mode can be controlled by the rocker. The rear side of the camera has a scroll wheel that makes it easy to cycle through your settings and the menus. The camera has Sony’s Alpha style of menu system rather than the NEX menu system found on its predecessors. This camera’s menu system makes usage more familiar among the Sony users. The camera has a 3 inch tilt- touch screen display that can be rotated up to 180 degrees. The 921.6k-dot LCD monitor permits easier viewing angles. This screen comes in handy while shooting the camera at various uncomfortable angles. When tilted forward, the camera will automatically switch to self-portrait mode and countdown before taking the photo. The screen has a good resolution and is easy to view with a "Sunny Weather" setting available for when you are outdoors in the sun, this brightens the screen and makes it easier to see in sunlight.
The display on this camera permits intuitive control over image playback and menu navigation. The camera’s display also has the ability to release the shutter and touch-to-focus for pinpoint accuracy. You would also like the 7 customizable function buttons that are placed on the top and rear dials of this camera. The camera has efficient control over a variety of settings and modes. There is a memory card slot that is placed on the left hand side that is placed under the HDMI/USB flap, and the camera will take either Sony Memory Sticks or SD memory cards. You can choose this camera is black or white colour.
According to CIPA test results, the Alpha ICLE 5100 that carries a Sony Info-lithium rechargeable battery shoots around 400 shots in a single charge. The Info-Lithium battery exactly shows you the amount of battery juice left as percentage.
The camera shoots around 5.8 fps with continuous AF. The responsiveness of the camera is quite accurate and pleasing. The camera also has Full HD XAVC S codec that shoots at 1080p in 60, 30, or 24 fps frame rates. The camera’s Fast Hybrid AF system is also quite consistent when it comes to speedy focus. The A 5100 poises to deliver desired performance for both contemporary and conventional photographers.
The Sony Alpha A 5100 is a comfortable camera that comes with a compact 16-50 mm lens. The image quality and the colours produced are quite sharp and clear. The additional DRO and HRD modes are a benefit. The incorporation of the latest technology with app support is also quite attractive. However, the noise reduction on this camera is strong, the lens is also not the best. The picture effects on this camera can be used only with JPEG’s and not raw files. Overall, this is a great camera from Sony and it can certainly provide good results.
Sony Alpha ILCE-5100 Rivals:
Sony Alpha ILCE 5000
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Nikon 1 V1
Panasonic Lumix DMC GX1W