Sony's track record of introducing small, light, and higher-megapixel mirrorless cameras is pretty solid and consistent at this point. While the a7S is probably the biggest step up in terms of video quality we've seen with these cameras, some other interesting features are making it into lower-end models. Just introduced today, the new APS-C a5100, in addition to uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 HDMI up to 60fps, has added an interesting option for a consumer-level camera: a "broadcast-ready" 50mbps codec.

The a5100 also has improved autofocus in both photo and video mode, and can now do full 1080p 60fps, which is a step up from the a5000 that was limited to 60i. Here are the specs:

  • 24.3MP APS-C Exmor HD CMOS Sensor
  • 3.0" 921.6k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • XAVC S
    1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (50Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (50Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (50Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28Mbps)
    1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (24Mbps)
    1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (17Mbps)
  • MP4
    1440 x 1080 / 30 fps (12Mbps)
  • 30 Minute Clip Limit
  • Fast Hybrid AF & 179 Phase-Detect Points
  • Up to 6 fps Shooting and ISO 25600
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • Manual Focus Peaking and Zebra Function
  • Availability: September
  • Price: $550 Body Only, $700 with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens


Here's a rip from B&H about the video recording abilities:

Full HD 1080p video recording is supported at 60, 30, and 24 fps in the high-quality 50 Mbps XAVC S codec. Other recording options include the ability to utilize the AVCHD and MP4 codecs, with support for recording up to 1080p60 video at 28 Mbps. Dual video recording is supported, as well, with the ability to select either XAVC S or AVCHD codecs plus a duplicate MP4 file to be recorded at the same time for greater efficiency when sharing videos online. Additionally, using the integrated HDMI type D output, both 1080i60 and 1080p60 uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 video can be recorded to an optional external recorder.

Complementing the video capabilities of the a5100, a built-in stereo microphone is incorporated into the design and records audio in the Linear PCM 2-channel format for XAVC S movies, the AC-3 Dolby Digital format for AVCHD movies, and the MPEG-4 AAC-LC format for web-quality MP4 videos.

Manual focus peaking and a zebra function are also available, to benefit working in manual focus and to assure highlight detail is retained, respectively. A marker setting can be shown on the rear LCD as well, in order to display a center marker, guide frame, aspect marker, safety zone, and other pertinent features for video recording.

Ports on the side of the camera are pretty limited, with no headphone or mic jack, and Sony has removed pretty much all of the buttons except for the ones you see on top, since it's got a touchscreen for control:

Sony a5100 Side Ports


Video quality is unknown at the moment, though for only $500 I don't expect it to be as good as the a7S, especially since it's a middle of the road camera that has twice the megapixels (which means it has to throw out more pixels or scale more for video). It will likely slot in right around the other cameras in the range, with the added benefit of having the solid 50mbps Sony XAVC S codec. It could definitely be an interesting 2nd or 3rd camera that won't break the bank and also gives you stills, but this is a segment of the Sony camera line that is frequently updated slowly but surely, and something better is always coming along. Eventually we'll probably see something with video quality like the a7S in this range, but probably for a little more money.

For more, and to order one, check out the link below.

Link: Sony a5100 -- B&H