*Note: This post is NOT sponsored. I link only to products I personally support and recommend.*
I have been using my Canon T3i for the past 5 years. It’s an excellent DSLR that stayed with me throughout my previous adventures. When I traveled to South America, I ended up with more photos in my phone than the T3i. The DSLR was too big to carry around, plus it stirred quite a bit of attention.
So, that’s when I decided to make that switch. Most of my friends had the latest Sony ARII or Sony AR but I wanted a good balance of image quality, portability and cost. After tallying up my pros and cons, I narrowed down to what I really need in a camera…
I wanted a lightweight camera that shoots well in low light. The Sony A5100 has the ISO range of 100 – 25000. As cameras show some graininess when advancing the ISO feature, the A5100 smooths the image noise (as you can see in some of my examples). The exposure is excellent during the day time and its autofocus is lightning fast. You can also enable the Face Detection feature. It is a great camera for beginners as you can switch to auto point and shoot. You can also switch to manual mode and adjust the shutter speed, aperature, ISO, and timer to your liking. The Sony A5100 weighs 0.49 pounds and is 4.4 x 2.5 inches in size.
I haven’t experienced other lenses but the great thing about mirrorless cameras is that you can get a lens adapter and use other Canon / Nikon lenses.
Another wonderful feature is the built-in Wifi that automatically uploads your photos into your smart phone. You are required to download the PlayMemories app first. Soon after the app is downloaded, the images that you have selected load in instantly! It is so convenient when sharing photos with others. Sony Alpha Cameras also have the “Smart Remote Control” app that allows you to control your camera and acts as a wireless monitor using your Android or IOS device.
Video quality is sharp and smooth, all thanks to the 60fps frame rate. The A5100 shoots in 1920×1080 format only– I don’t think you necessarily need to shoot in 4K or 6K unless you want to create cinematic HIGH-RES videos. The camera works well for platforms such as youtube, vimeo or social media.
Last but not least, who can complain about the flippable 180° selfie screen when taking photos with your loved ones?
To be honest, the Sony A5100 checks off what I want in a budget camera. The only feature that is missing would be the viewfinder. I typically rely on the viewfinder when it is sunny and bright out. If that feature is important for you, then I recommend Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless Camera as another option.
There’s a lot to like with this camera. I recommend it for beginners and professionals who want something compact and affordable with easy to navigate manual/auto features. Best of all, you can upload photos at any time into your smart devices. Ideally a great travel camera with price ranging from $550+.
Get it on Amazon here: Sony a5100 16-50mm Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)