Sony’s a5100 camera: the height of lightweight photography?

By Josh Marshall,


Japanese tech company Sony’s next shot into the smart-camera fray is on the horizon with the upcoming release of their a5100 camera. It promises to be an extremely lightweight, pocket-sized solution to photography needs, boasting a huge 24.3 megapixels and the ability to shoot full 1080p video. Sony promises “Crisp, blur-free action shots and soulful portraits. Smooth, cinematic Full HD movies. Better-looking selfies.” While this may be quoted, is this really going to be the go-to lightweight camera we’ve all been waiting for?

The company sure seems keen to advertise one of this camera’s key aspects – its strengths in video shooting. The camera will feature “Fast Hybrid AF with huge 179 focal plane phase-detection AF points for reliable tracking autofocus plus touch focussing and touch shutter release”. This means the camera is able to constantly focus and refocus an image during filming – resulting in a crazed pet, a photo finish or the winning penalty shot all recorded in crisp 1080p with no blurring in the image during filming. Touch shutter release will allow you to use the rotatable camera screen to take photos without the need for the shutter – touch a location on the screen and the camera will make it the focus of the image.

According to TechRadar, The screen is also bright and clear, and responds quickly to touch.”  The screen can be flipped up 180 degrees, making selfies easy to capture.

The camera is palm-sized and lightweight – weighing in at just 283 grams you could easily forget it’s in your pocket. It also has similar dimensions to a smartphone, making it easy to carry and serving, according to Sony, as “the serious choice for anyone who’s moving up from their smartphone’s camera or point-and-shoot compact snapper.” So if you’re looking for an upgrade on your smartphone’s camera but don’t want to restrict bag or pocket space, this could be a great choice.

The selfie lovers among us will have plenty to like here too. The company is quick to advertise the camera’s selfie-taking abilities, stating:

“Flip the large LCD screen through 180° and hold the ergonomically-styled camera body comfortably at arm’s length. Frame yourself with the conveniently positioned zoom lever: then release the shutter for great selfies.”

With the selfie trend showing no signs of slowing down, it’s clear that Sony want to make this aspect of modern photography easier for its consumers – all the more reason to want one of these cameras. Cnet were also keen on the camera’s selfie abilities, stating: “interface optimizations make Sony’s cameras stand out for selfies”

The a5100 also has Wi-Fi built in. This is a feature that has been under some debate – more serious camera makers have often opted to avoid building Wi-Fi into their cameras, while others, like Sony, see the potential here. The a5100’s wireless compatibility will allow seamless sharing of photos and video with others and storage devices – syncing your work onto a computer is easier than ever.

The camera will become available in mid-September 2014 and has an RRP of £420 for just the body, £550 with a 16-50mm lens kit, or £760 for both the 16-50mm lens and the 55-210mm lens kits.

For more information visit Sony.