Sony Alpha 5100 - the a5100

With all of the buzz flying around the video industry about the Sony a7S, another impressive mirrorless Sony cam – the Alpha 5100 (a5100) – nearly flew under the radar. The NEX-5T’s heir apparent brings some similar technology and some new features to the table in a nice, affordable package.

Similar to the NEX-5T it replaces are a 24.3 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor. The big news for video enthusiasts is the inclusion of Sony’s professional grade video codec, XAVC. The XAVC is Sony’s Ultra High Definition codec, one designed to squeeze everything possible out of MPEG4/H.264, including frame sizes up to 4K and frame rates up to 120 fps. The a5100 is capable of shooting 1080p at 60, 30 and 24 frames per second using the XAVC S codec, and there are additional shooting and format options listed at the bottom of this article.

Oh, and in other awesome video news, the Alpha 5100 also supports uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 output via the HDMI output.

There’s more to the Alpha 5100 than just a sweet sensor and cool video codecs. This camera, like it’s predecessor, was created with killer autofocus in mind. The Fast Hybrid autofocus system uses 179 phase-detection points paired with 25 contrast-detection points for fast (0.07 second) and accurate autofocus.[image:blog_post:50726]

Also included with the Alpha 5100 is a selfie-friendly 921,600 dot 180-degree forward flipping LCD display, complete with the new addition of touch functionality.

For those dark and stormy nights, the Alpha 5100 is more sensitive than someone who just watched Les Misérables, capable up to ISO 25,600. Toss in manual focus peaking, zebra, and wi-fi with NFC connectivity, and the Alpha 5100 is a very capable addition to Sony’s already-stocked stable of mirrorless cameras.

Pricing for the Alpha 5100 will be around $550 for the body only, or $700 with the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

The Alpha 5100 is more than happy to shoot in the following formats:

XAVC S
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (50Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (50Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (50Mbps)
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (24Mbps)
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17Mbps)
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (17Mbps)
MP4
1440 x 1080 / 30 fps (12Mbps)
30 Minute Clip Limit
 

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Russ Fairley
Russ Fairley is a producer, editor and motion graphic designer who enjoys writing for Videomaker. He has also written for About.com (Lifewire.com), RedShark News, Modern Drummer Magazine, and others. He is an Adobe Certified Expert, Adobe Community Leader, and co-founder of After Effects Toronto, Canada's largest motion graphic user group. Fairley is the creator and editor of ProductionWorld.net, a popular production news website.

1 COMMENT

  1. This looks like a great replacement for the NEX-5.  The specs look amazing, and the flip up screen is a great feature. I am eager to see one in person. 

     

    Speaking of the NEX-5, Sony has long had an issue with model numbers.  They also make an ENG style camera called the NX5, which I happen to own.  When customers ask which camera they use, it gets confusing.  Oddly, 5100 happens to be a model number of a very popular Nikon DSLR.  

     

    Maybe Sony should get some help naming these things?