• 35mm 855.6mm2
  • 24.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony A7 advantages over Sony A5100

  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.97 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    2,248 vs 1,347 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    14.2 vs 12.7 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/250 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Higher-res screen
    307k vs 230k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    51200 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Sony A5100 advantages over Sony A7

  • Less expensive
    $548 vs $998
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Thinner
    35 mm vs 48 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    399g vs 769g
    Lighter weight
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 28 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.0 fps vs 5.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    6.0 fps vs 5.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Focus peaking
    Both provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-camera panoramas
    Both provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Both provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Both provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Both provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Both provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Sony A5100

Review Excerpt

  • Incredibly small body for a fully-featured, full-frame camera; Very high resolution; Hybrid autofocus is reasonably fast and confident; Significantly better burst-shooting performance than A7R; Excellent image quality even at very high sensitivities; Faster x-sync than A7R; Accepts existing Alpha-mount and E-mount lenses, and can optionally crop to APS-C image circle.

  • Grass-is-greener syndrome when compared to its higher-res sibling; Moderate performance; Loud shutter (but electronic first-curtain helps); Mediocre battery life when using electronic viewfinder; Weak low-light autofocus considering its price; Limited selection of native Sony FE lenses.

  • Very small and comfortable form factor; Very good image quality for its class; New dual video record function; Quick autofocus and good dynamic range.

  • Lacks an EVF and external mode dial; No hot shoe; JPEG processing at higher ISOs not as good as some competing mid-level models.

The Competition

Compared to Sony A7R

Sony A7
Sony A7R
  • $773
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Higher effective ISO
  • More pixels
Sony A5100
Sony A7R
  • $448
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
  • $1799
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Samsung NX1100

Sony A7
Samsung NX1100
  • $773
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Lighter weight
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Sony A5100
Samsung NX1100
  • $448
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
  • Hot shoe

Compared to Sony A5000

Sony A7
Sony A5000
  • $773
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $298
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
Sony A5100
Sony A5000
  • $448
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $298
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive

Compared to Sony A7 II

Sony A7
Sony A7 II
  • $773
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • $1398
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony A5100
Sony A7 II
  • $448
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
  • $1398
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony A7R II

Sony A7
Sony A7R II
  • $773
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1798
  • 35mm
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Shoot 4K video
Sony A5100
Sony A7R II
  • $448
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
  • $1798
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
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