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The best Sony A5100 deals in January 2022

Sony ILCE5100

At launch it was the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera, and the Sony A5100 was also one of the first to depart from its manufacturer’s formerly NEX branded series to its more universal ‘Alpha’ branding.

Coming after the best-selling Sony A6000, the palm-sized A5100 offers a viable alternative or complementary option. It's big on features despite diminutive proportions, including a high-resolution – at least for its class – 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. Despite now being several years old, the Sony A5100 still remains on sale, and has become one of the cheapest mirrorless cameras on the market today. 

For those photographers into ‘selfies’ as much as still life, this portable compact system camera also comes sporting a tilting LCD that can be flipped upwards through 180°. Not only that, but, falling into line with its rivals, the monitor here is usefully a touch screen, thereby providing users with a best of both worlds operational approach. 

Convenience and ease of use is further extended by the fact that the camera naturally features Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity options, whilst accuracy and swiftness of performance is enhanced via a whopping 179 focal plane detection AF points to truly allow the camera to strut its stuff.

The best camera deals 

Feeling solid in the palm, and in spite of its slightly utilitarian appearance and design, this Sony also handily finds room to feature a pop-up flash. Plus, what has remained consistently praise worthy across each iteration of ‘Alpha’ cameras is that results are color-rich and contrast-y, requiring little if any alteration straight out of the camera. Battery life is also good for 400 shots from a full charge.

Given the above, this is a good option for beginners, or those upgrading their image capture device from a smartphone. Small cameras like this often look a little top heavy with larger ‘glass’ affixed to their front plate, but a sound companion in this case in terms of both versatility and portability is its maker’s retracting 16-50mm power zoom. 

A plus for anyone sizing up this option for video use is that the mechanically powered zoom ensures a steady jerk-free motion when filming video, which otherwise requires skill to achieve by hand with a manual lens; again making for a sound starter option. 

What was, at its conception, the smallest Alpha CSC in Sony’s range, the jacket-pocket-friendly A5100 is more than capable of competing with the big boys.

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Sony A5100 Key Specs:

Tiny, cheap and compatible with a fast-developing lens line

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Lens mount: Sony E-mount | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 921,600 dots | Viewfinder: na | Max burst speed: 6fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/Enthusiast

Tiny body
Great price
No viewfinder
4K video not possible

Read more:

The best Sony lenses

The best Sony cameras

The 10 cheapest mirrorless cameras

Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 year experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography

He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and Rough Guide books.

With his wealth of knowledge he is well placed to recognise great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters, cameras straps and more.