Cameras are a great way to capture moments and create memories. If you are buying a camera, it is best you invest in one that will last for a long time, comes with many advanced features and above everything, captures the beauty of every image in the best way possible.
To help you get the most out of your investment, we are reviewing two camera models that have excellent reviews. These are the Sony A5100 and A6000.
Sony is a name that is associated with great quality electronics, especially cameras, video recorders, sound systems and more. Coming from this company, both A5100 and A6000 have exceptional output and a cool set of features.
But which of the two is better? Let us find out.
Table of Contets
Sony a5100 vs Sony a60000 – Detailed Comparison
Both these cameras are similar in many ways, yet there is a world of difference between them. To know the differences in-depth, we are comparing them against different parameters, so you can choose the one that scores well in the parameter that matters the most to you.
Both the cameras have more or less the same set of specifications. They are both mirrorless cameras and come with 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor. This sensor helps to capture images with a lot of detail, and this is one of the biggest selling points of both these cameras.
These two models were also announced in the same year. The announcement date for a6000 is April 23, 2014, while for a5100, it is August 17 of the same year.
The rest of the specifications are fairly the same, and this is what you can find in both.
- ISO 100-25600
- 3-inch tilting screen
- Continuous shooting
- 1920 X 1080 video resolution
- Built-in wireless
With such identical specifications, it is easy to infer that the image quality is identical. In fact, you will find no difference whatsoever between the images clicked from both the cameras, provided they were at the same angle and location.
Does this mean that the two models are replaceable? In other words, can you buy either one and it doesn’t matter which?
Well, not really. Though they are identical in many ways, they are also different in other ways. Most of their differences can be grouped into features and ergonomics. This means, if image quality is what matters, you can pick either one and it will not make a difference at all to your decision. But, if you care about the features and ergonomics, then you will find many key differences between them.
One aspect that greatly differentiates both these cameras is their feature set. Let us first look at what is common between the two and why they are better than many other cameras in the same price range.
Strengths of a5100 and a6000
A salient aspect of both the cameras is that they highlight the object in focus. This means you’ll see a small square or a rectangle that shows you what in the object is highlighted from the angle in which you have positioned the camera. This feature is helpful to give you an idea of what you are going to click. If you think the object that is highlighted is way off from what you need to click, then obviously you should change the angle and position of the camera. So, this focus aspect will help you decide that, and in the process, will give you the perfect image you want.
Another nice feature in both the cameras is the panorama view built into it. With this feature, you can stitch multiple shots into a panoramic view. This means you can take a really wide image by cutting it into multiple photos. When you stitch them all together, you will get the complete image. This feature is most essential when you want to take images such as the skyline of a city or a coast or something that is too wide to fit into a single image.
Both the cameras come with a tiltable screen. This is an interesting feature because we tend to see this more in smartphones than in cameras. This tiltable screen gives you a ton of flexibility as you can turn it at any angle to get the right picture and coverage. As a photographer, this flexibility can truly enhance the final image.
One of the advantages available in both these models is their built-in Wi-Fi option that allows you to share photos wirelessly. This is a handy feature that makes it possible to share photos as you click them. Likewise, both the models support NFC, which means, you can easily pair it with other NFC-compatible devices through Bluetooth. In today’s world of instant sharing, these two connectivity options greatly enhance the usability of the cameras.
On-sensor phase detect is another important feature, as it improves the live view and video AF performance greatly. Generally speaking, phase detect cameras work similar to rangefinder cameras. When the light gets bounced off a secondary mirror, it is captured by two or more small image sensors that have microlenses in them. The number of image sensors depends on the number of focus points of an AF system. The obvious advantage of this mechanism is the focus. Light converges from the extreme sides on to a central point when the object is in focus. But when the lights do not converge, the object is not in focus. Since the phase detect system can identify whether an object is in focus or not based on this convergence, it can send appropriate instructions to the camera on which way to turn the focus and by how much. So, the focus is top-notch in both the cameras.
Internal flash present in these models helps with fill flash. So, you can get that extra bit of light in dark environments. Likewise, bulb shutter is another useful feature to have when you want to keep the shutter open manually for long exposures.
Lastly, the HDMI OUT plug helps to connect your camera to a monitor or TV to review your video and images. It gives the flexibility to view your work on a large screen.
Now that we have seen the strengths present in both the cameras, let us briefly look at the weaknesses before moving on to a comparison between the two models.
The weakness of A5100 and A6000
Just like how it is important to know the strengths, like that it is equally important to know the weakness as well, so you can make an informed buying choice. Here is a look at what’s not available in both these models.
Though these models provide a tilting screen, it does not offer a tilt and swivel screen that is present in many other high-end camera models. In turn, this reduces your flexibility while shooting pictures or videos from difficult angles.
Another feature that is missing is in-camera stabilization. This feature is important because it reduces the effects of a camera shake while taking pictures, especially at slow shutter speeds. The presence of this feature could have been handy, especially for novices who are learning the ropes of the trade.
There is built-in GPS in both these models and this means, you cannot geo-tag your images and videos. In today’s digital and connected world, geotagging has become a feature that is present in almost every device. It is surprising that such a ubiquitous feature is missing in these models.
While shooting videos, it always helps to have an external mic, so you can talk into it and describe your video better. That’s missing too. Though you can still talk while shooting a video, the presence of an external mic jack could have improved the professional look of the videos you shoot. Likewise, there is no jack for a headphone, so you cannot listen to the audio while recording. Both these features could have greatly enhanced the user experience of these cameras, but sadly they are not available.
There is some limitation in terms of storage too because both these models do not come with a dual card slot. This means you will have to transfer photos and images to another device when you reach the limit of one external memory card.
The last major feature that these cameras do not have is the option to shoot slow motion videos. Though many camera models do not offer this option, Sony could have considered including this feature to stand out in this crowded market.
Now that we have seen what’s available and what’s not in both the cameras, let’s compare the two models for their features to help decide which of the two is more suitable for you.
Generally speaking, A6000 comes with more features when compared to A5100, though the former was released earlier.
- Eye-level display vs rear display – Sony’s A6000 has an eye-level viewfinder, also called as an optical viewfinder, so you’ll be able to frame photos even is sunny environments, but a5100 offers only a rear display, that’s also known as an electronic viewfinder. If you’re wondering what’s the difference between the two, optical viewfinders block out everything else so you can focus only on what is in the frame. This helps you to get more focused images. Electronic viewfinders need less circuitry than optical viewfinders, but then they are likely to produce noisy images, especially in poor light. Also, they cannot keep pace with objects that move really fast.
- Resolution – The resolution offered by A6000 is 307K pixel whereas A5100 offers only 230K pixels. Obviously, there is more detail in the images and videos captured using A6000 and it even allows you to judge the focus and composition of images better.
- Hot shoe – Sony’s A6000 has a hot shoe feature and this is not present in A5100. So, a hot shoe is a bracket usually made of metal that is present at the top of your camera. This bracket makes it easy to connect your camera with external devices such as a speed light. This feature extends the usability of your camera and makes it ideal in almost any environment.
- Shutter lag – Shutter lag in A6000 is 0.15 seconds while the shutter lag in A5100 is 0.23 seconds. Though this difference may not seem big, in reality, it does have a big impact when you want to take a wide angle photo quickly. Also, the focus tends to be better as the shutter is opened quickly enough to capture moving objects faster.
- JPEG shooting – JPEG shooting is a handy feature to have because it reduces the time you spend on your computer after the shooting to adjust the image. Another advantage of JPEG shooting is you can use these images directly for email or to upload to a website or even social media. Since there is a lot of flexibility in terms of its use, many photographers prefer to shoot in this mode. Sony’s A6000 offers this shooting mode in addition to RAW shooting mode to give you greater flexibility to shoot the way you want, depending on the end use of your image. Though A5100 also has both the modes, it is much slower. A6000 offers a rate of 11.1 FPS versus 6.0 FPS in A5100. This rate applies to both JPEG and RAW shooting modes.
- Extended ISO – ISO helps to get the best image output in low light conditions. In general, the higher the ISO, the brighter are the images when taken in low light conditions. Sony’s A6000 has an ISO of 51200 when compared to A5100’s 25600, so this means, better quality images in all conditions.
From the above comparison, it is clear that A6000 is a better one when it compares to the feature set it offers. Though A5100 also comes with some impressive features, the above-mentioned additional ones in a6000 give it more flexibility and make it more usable in all situations and environments.
Due to the above reason, A6000 is the winner when it comes to the list of features it offers.
|Sony A5100||Sony A6000|
As said at the beginning, there are only two aspects that distinguish a5100 from a6000. The first aspect is the feature set, which we have already discussed. The other aspect is ergonomics or the ease of use.
When it comes to ergonomics, A5100 is better because it offers touchscreen capabilities. This means you can interact with your camera just like how you would do it with your smartphone. This is a huge plus when you want to make any changes to the focus or anything like that. But then, the touchscreen works only while taking pictures and not for doing other operations.
On the other hand, A6000 offers no touchscreen capabilities whatsoever.
Another aspect is that A5100 is less heavy and bulkier than A6000 because it does not offer an optical viewfinder. Since more circuitry is involved in the optical viewfinder when compared to an electronic one, A6000 is slightly heavier and larger. But with a smaller size, A5100 is more portable.
So, from an ergonomics perspective, A5100 is the winner because of its touchscreen capabilities and portability. If these two aspects are something that matter to you, go for A5100 by all means.
Cost is another defining aspect when it comes to any purchase. Most of us will have a budget and we would want to get the best product that is priced within our budget. In other words, we want the best value for our money and this is why the cost has an important bearing on the success or failure of a product.
When it comes to A6000 and A5100, both the models are well-priced for the features they offer. But, when you compare the two, A6000 is more expensive than A5100. The retail price of a5100 is lower while the price of the a6000 is a bit higher. Amazon always has some deal or the other going on, so there is a chance for you to get these cameras at a much lower price too. But for comparison sake, we would like to use the retail price.
Now, this brings up an interesting question. Is it worth paying the extra money for A6000 or are you better off using that money to buy advanced lenses and other accessories?
The answer totally depends on what you want. In terms of value for money, A6000 is great. The extra features it offers when compared to a5100 justify the additional cost. These extra features give you greater flexibility for shooting different images and videos under pretty much any condition, so you can surely get more out of the camera as a whole. So, it’s worthwhile paying the higher price for A6000.
That said if you feel that lenses are more important or if you are on a tight budget, go for A5100 by all means. It is definitely not a bad choice, but it just does not offer the same amount of flexibility when compared with A6000.
So, which of the two is a winner? Both because they are a good value for your money. Regardless of whether you buy A5100 or A6000, you are sure to get a bang for your money. This is why the choice depends on your personal preferences and the features you desire in a perfect camera.
Sony A5100 vs Sony A6000 – the Final Verdict
So far, we have done the comparison across different aspects and now it is time to decide, which of the two is better and the winner of this review.
To recap, A6000 has a richer feature set when compared to A5100, but then A5100 scores in ergonomics area. When it comes to cost, A5100 is cheaper, but then a6000’s richer feature set justifies the higher price tag.
So, which of the two is better? Sony A6000 is slightly better because it gives more flexibility to photographers with a better feature set. Though it is a little expensive, you still get good value for your money. As far as ergonomics, it is usually not that big a deal because the touchscreen is something that we do not tend to associate with a camera. We do not expect that feature, though it is nice to have it.
Sony A5100 and A6000 are two popular, well-built and powerful cameras that score big on the market. If you’re looking for a quality product, you have to choose between these two.
Sony A5100 is also a great product but A6000 slightly edges it out because of its impressive features.
Overall, the winner of this review is the Sony A6000.
|Name||Sony A5100||Sony A6000|