A few weeks in the past, we examined the Sony A6600, which is the corporate’s newest flagship APS-C mirrorless digicam. Now, it is time to take a more in-depth have a look at the A6100, which is its entry-level sibling. The A6100 was launched alongside the A6600 and shares a whole lot of the premium options present in Sony’s flagship mannequin, but prices loads much less.
It is designed to be an entry-point to Sony’s mirrorless digicam lineup, and whereas it is largely focused at informal shooters, it packs in sufficient superior tech to maintain even fans comfortable. Priced at a slight premium over the A6000, is the A6100 value shopping for as a starter mirrorless digicam? Let’s put it to the take a look at and discover out.
Sony A6100 design
The Sony A6100 has a smaller footprint than the A6600 and is lighter too, at 396g. That is due to using plastic for the physique reasonably than steel. It nonetheless feels sturdy and properly put-together however the barely shiny end does choose up fingerprints and smudges reasonably simply. The handgrip space has ample rubber cladding however the grip itself does not protrude an excessive amount of, so holding this digicam comfortably with massive palms generally is a little difficult.
On the highest, the A6100 affords a hot-shoe for exterior flashes in addition to a built-in pop-up Xenon flash, a mode dial, and a management dial. The shutter button and energy toggle swap sit up-front on the appropriate, together with a customisable (C1) button.
On the again, you get an digital viewfinder (EVF) however the A6100 is fitted with a decrease, 1.44 million dot decision one, in comparison with the two.35 million dot decision EVF within the A6600. You continue to get a proximity sensor to routinely flip the EVF on or off while you carry the digicam near your face. We have now some familiar-looking buttons on the again, together with a jog dial. The perform of the buttons, together with the labeled ones, might be remapped to fit your capturing type. The buttons have a barely mushy really feel, particularly the directional ones. We’d have favored higher tactile suggestions.
There is a flap on the left which covers a Micro-HDMI port, Micro-USB port, and three.5mm microphone enter. There is not any headphone jack right here, such as you get with the A6600. The rear 3-inch TFT LCD show has a 921Okay dot decision and might be tilted downwards by 74 levels or flipped a full 180 levels from the highest for taking selfies. The show itself has good contact response and will get adequately brilliant open air.
The battery compartment on the underside homes the NP-FW50 battery which we have seen in most different A-series cameras. Presently, the A6600 is the one mannequin within the collection to make use of the higher-capacity Z-series battery. The A6100 has a single reminiscence card slot and solely helps SD playing cards at as much as UHS-I speeds.
Sony is promoting the A6100 physique by itself or as a package with a 16-50mm zoom lens, which is the one we’ll be testing the digicam with. It is a compact lens which retracts when the digicam is off and in addition encompasses a power-zoom toggle swap for easily zooming out and in. There is not any swap to toggle between auto and guide focus, and also you solely get one controllable ring. This can be utilized for zooming in too, nevertheless in guide focus mode, the ring is used to regulate focus. The lens does not have a really huge zoom vary, and the aperture vary is not very extensive both, going from f/3.5 to f/5.6 on the telephoto finish.
Total, the A6100 has respectable ergonomics and is constructed properly for an entry-level mirrorless digicam. In comparison with the A6600, it does really feel much less rugged, however that is okay and should not be a giant challenge for most individuals.
Sony A6100 specs and options
The cool factor in regards to the A6100 is that regardless of it being an entry-level mannequin, it shares a whole lot of the traits of its costlier siblings, the A6400 and the A6600. It makes use of a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with 425 section detection autofocus (PDAF) factors and the identical variety of distinction detection autofocus factors. This offers it a claimed focus-acquisition time of simply 0.02 seconds. The A6100 can shoot 11fps bursts with AE/AF monitoring. You additionally get real-time eye autofocus for people and animals, 4K video recording with none pixel binning, and built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.
One of many ways in which the A6100 differs from the A6600 is the dearth of 5-axis, in-body stabilisation, which suggests you will need to depend on the stabilisation of the lens when capturing. The native ISO vary is identical, which is 100-32,000, nevertheless that may be prolonged solely until ISO 51,200, in comparison with 102,400 with the A6600. The A6100 additionally lacks superior image profiles akin to S-Log2, S-Log3 and HLG for HDR workflows. The buffer for burst capturing is a bit smaller too, because it’s able to holding simply 77 JPEGs or 33 RAW recordsdata.
The software program of the A6100 is kind of equivalent to what we simply noticed in our A6600 assessment. Settings for images, movies, and community are grouped in tabs. You may add your most steadily used capabilities to a separate menu in order that they’re simple to get to. The touchscreen nonetheless cannot be used within the menus, however you should utilize it when previewing images. It may also be used as a touchpad for shifting the main focus level while you’re utilizing the EVF. The A6100 can be utilized with the Imaging Edge app on Android or iOS, for transferring images or controlling the digicam remotely.
Sony A6100 efficiency and battery life
We had been anticipating the Sony A6100’s ISO efficiency to be much like what we acquired from the A6600, contemplating that they’ve the identical sensor and ISO vary. Particulars are sharp, colors are vibrant, and there is barely any seen noise even at a 100 % crop, until about ISO 800. We start to see slight degradation intimately as we method ISO 6,400, with some noise beginning to seem on the colored parts of the pencils.
At ISO 25,600, particulars get somewhat fuzzy, edges aren’t very distinct anymore, and there is seen grain within the picture. On the most native ISO of 32,000, particulars are even fuzzier, and it is the identical look that we acquired from the A6600. In case you completely should go larger, you should utilize the prolonged ISO vary, however picture high quality takes a large hit.
The Sony A6100 is straightforward to deal with because of its low weight, and it does not require a lot effort to get good photographs. Focus is correct because of the always-on face and eye autofocus methods, that are fast to recognise and lock on to human faces. If you need the system use eye AF for animals, then this must be modified manually within the system settings. Identical to the A6600, the AI monitoring AF works brilliantly and we managed to get some good photographs of small shifting topics, like birds, even at a excessive zoom stage. We primarily used the package lens with the A6100, but in addition shot a few of our samples with an 18-135mm zoom lens that we had.
Landscapes and close-up photographs, beneath pure mild, appeared superb. We managed to get superb particulars even in JPEGs, with vibrant and correct colors in addition to superb pure depth. The A6100 is able to taking some actually good burst photographs too, though for the reason that buffer is not very huge and the digicam solely helps UHS-I pace SD playing cards, there is a good bit of ready time earlier than you’ll be able to assessment your images. The show will get adequately brilliant when capturing indoors, however open air, beneath daylight, we discovered it finest to make use of the EVF.
In low mild, the A6100 does hunt a bit for focus however that is partially the fault of the lenses we used, which haven’t got very extensive apertures. With a brilliant sufficient mild supply round, the digicam nonetheless manages to lock focus rapidly. Darkish areas of a body can look somewhat noisy, particularly when capturing with a excessive ISO worth, and this cannot be prevented should you want a quick shutter in low mild.
The A6100 may be very competent for movies too. 4K movies look nice, with glorious element and colors. Focusing is fast and the touchscreen permits you to easily transition focus between your topics with ease. The S&Q (gradual and fast) mode is nice for slow-motion and hyperlapse movies. The decision is proscribed to 1080p, however you’ll be able to go as excessive as 120fps (in NTSC mode). Autofocus is slower in low mild, and we observed a little bit of searching when making an attempt to change topics, however we guess this may very well be improved by utilizing a wider aperture lens.
Capturing plenty of video or burst photographs does take a toll on the battery. Identical to most earlier A6xxx collection cameras (excluding the A6600), battery life is pretty common. The rated output is about 360 frames per cost, and with precise utilization, we managed to common a barely larger variety of round 400 photographs per cost, which remains to be not nice. Fortunately, the battery might be charged utilizing an influence financial institution and you’ll proceed to make use of the digicam whereas it is being powered by an exterior supply. It additionally nonetheless takes some time for the battery to cost, and as soon as once more, it is disappointing to not have a USB Sort-C port.
Sony has priced the A6100 reasonably properly, in comparison with the costlier A6400 and A6600 fashions. The package that Sony despatched us with the 16-50mm lens formally prices Rs. 75,990, though it is out there for nearer to Rs. 68,000 should you look on-line. With this, you get a number of the better of Sony’s mirrorless expertise with out having to spend upwards of 1 lakh Rupees, which is an excellent worth proposition. The one belongings you actually lose out on, when in comparison with the higher-end fashions, are the in-body stabilisation, longer battery life, superior image profiles, and high-resolution EVF. For many informal shooters, whom this digicam is focused at, none of this stuff ought to actually be a deal-breaker.
We’d have favored a much bigger buffer for burst photographs, help for quicker reminiscence playing cards, a Sort-C port, quick charging, and higher battery life. Nonetheless, contemplating the core options on provide, the A6100 remains to be superb worth because it brings a few of Sony’s flagship-level expertise to a extra approachable value level.
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