Sony Alpha 6100 Review

Sony Alpha 6100 Review: Mirrorless APS-C system camera of the upper entry-level

With the two new models, the Alpha 6100 and Alpha 6600, Sony is rounding off the Alpha 6400 both at the top and bottom. The Alpha 6100 is intended to replace the still very successful Alpha 6000 and offers faster autofocus, improved video functions and much more.

The Alpha 6600 as the successor to the Alpha 6500 remains the only APS-C model with Sony’s sensor-shift image stabilizer. It scores especially with its robustness, the improved video function, and the double-sized battery.

Sony Alpha 6100 Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Compact, well manufactured plastic housing
  • Fast, reliable autofocus even when tracking subjects
  • Rapid continuous shooting function including AF tracking and sufficiently large buffer memory
  • Very good image quality with high resolution, dynamics and exact color reproduction
  • 4K 25p videos without crop and with high image quality

Cons

  • Relatively slow memory card interface
  • Quite low viewfinder resolution
  • 4K 30p videos only with Crop

sony alpha 6100

The Sony Alpha 6100 is the successor of the extremely successful Alpha 6000 [Photo: Sony]

As the Sony Alpha 6100 is a minimally slimmed-down version of the Alpha 6400 that we have already tested, this review is based largely on that of the Alpha 6400, and where there are differences, we’ll deal with the Alpha 6100 specifically.

In addition, we have of course redetermined all the measured values, such as for the continuous shooting function and also the image quality with the test software we normally utilize.

The Sony Alpha 6100 follows in very big footsteps as the successor model of the extremely successful, long-standing bestseller Alpha 6000.

However, the Alpha 6000 also no longer corresponds to the current technological standard, so that Sony was able to improve more than 40 points on the A6100. These include, for example, the now significantly improved autofocus or the video function, which now masters 4K resolution.

Our test report reveals what the Alpha 6100 can do and what its image quality is like.

sony alpha 6100

The Sony Alpha 6100 has an OLED viewfinder as well as a 16:9 touchscreen that can be folded down 74 degrees and for selfies even 180 degrees up. [Photo: Sony]

The Alpha 6100, which is virtually a minimally slimmed-down model of the Alpha 6400, is the first of these, and has been improved in more than 40 points over the still extremely popular Alpha 6000, Sony’s long-time bestseller.

The APS-C sensor (crop factor 1.5), which still has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, is now supported by an image processor that is 1.8 times faster, and is even the same as that used in the professional Alpha 9 model. 425 phase AF sensors as well as 425 contrast AF sensors cover 85 percent of the image field and thus operate far up to the edge of the image.

The Alpha 6100 should be able to focus within only 0.02 seconds. It also recognizes faces, eyes and animal eyes and can track all of them in real-time tracking during continuous shooting at up to eleven frames per second.

In silent mode, however, the continuous frame rate drops to eight frames per second. During video recordings, the fast real-time autofocus is also available, but it cannot follow the eyes in real-time.

The video resolution reaches a maximum of 4K at up to 30 frames per second, with the entire sensor being read out, resulting in higher video image quality. Buyers of the A6100 also have to do without HDR video recordings according to the HLG standard.

Thanks to the microphone input, even better sound can be recorded in videos, and the touchscreen, which can be folded up 180 degrees, also allows video recording without a cameraman or selfie recording.

Thanks to the clever mechanism, the screen folds up above the electronic OLED viewfinder, even though it is attached below. This allows you to see the entire screen. Remote control via WLAN and Bluetooth connection is also possible in order to transmit images and videos or to operate the camera remotely with live image transmission.

Since January 2020, the Sony Alpha 6100 is already available at a price of almost 900 dollars. Together with the 16-50mm power zoom lens, the price rises to 1,000 dollars. There is also a set additionally with the 55-210mm telephoto lens for 1.150 dollars. This set, instead, became available in April 2020.

Differences Between Sony a6600 And Sony a6400

Before we get to the camera itself, we would like to briefly discuss the differences to the earlier tested, somewhat older, big sister model Alpha 6400, as the Alpha 6100 and 6400 only differ in a few details.

For example, the Alpha 6100 has only a plastic housing instead of a metal one, which saves a whole seven grams in weight.

The 6100 also lacks moisture protection and the shutter doesn’t seem to be quite as robust, as Sony only states a service life of 200,000 releases for the Alpha 6400, while no details are given for the 6100.

Furthermore, the Alpha 6100’s electronic viewfinder resolves only 1.44 instead of the 2.36 million pixels of the 6400 at identical magnification, and a toggle switch is missing on the back.

There are also differences in the maximum ISO sensitivity. While the Alpha 6100 achieves a maximum ISO 51,200, the 6400 achieves 102,400 ISO. The endurance of the continuous shooting function is also different, with the Alpha 6400 producing around 50 percent more images in JPEG at a stretch.

As the Alpha 6100 in return manages ten shots more per battery charge (420 instead of 410 shots with screen), we assume that there are small differences, at least in the front-end LSI, i.e. the Alpha 6400 probably has a somewhat more powerful additional processor with, above all, a larger buffer memory, but this costs a little more energy.

Furthermore, the video function of the Alpha 6100 has to manage without the HDR function according to the HLG standard, and the S-log gamma curves are also missing.

There is also a small difference in the bracketing function, as the Alpha 6100 only takes a maximum of five instead of the maximum of nine images of the Alpha 6400.

Initially, the street price of the Alpha 6100 was even higher than that of the Alpha 6400, but this is no longer the case now (in 2020). The Alpha 6100 is about 100 dollars cheaper, which also reflects the technical differences quite well.

The Alpha 6000, still available and for years the best-seller in the mirrorless camera segment, is still considerably cheaper than the Alpha 6100, and according to Sony there are even over 40 innovations compared to the previous Alpha 6000 model.


These include the improved sensor, the more persistent continuous shooting function, the new image processor, significant improvements in autofocus in terms of the number of sensors and the algorithms (now with eye and animal eye recognition) and, of course, significant improvements in the video function, as the Alpha 6100 is capable of 4K video recording as opposed to the 6000.

Ergonomics and Workmanship

For this review, we had the Sony Alpha 6100 in a set with the E 16-50 mm 3.5-5.6 PZ OSS at our disposal.

The small power zoom lens is particularly compact and zooms electronically, which can be quite interesting for video recordings. The lens is not exactly famous for its high image quality, but more about that later in the Image Quality section. After all, the lens, which is almost a “pancake”, fits the small size of the Sony Alpha 6100 perfectly, measuring only 120 x 67 x 60 millimeters (width x height x depth).

The case of the Sony Alpha 6100 is made of matt plastic. As a result, the weight slips just below the 400-gram mark. In addition, the housing is provided with a grained rubber coating on the handle.

The handle is relatively wide but does not protrude as far as the side view of the camera might suggest. Large hands tend to feel less comfortable with it, especially since the space between the handle and the lens is quite limited. The little finger reaches into the void anyway and supports the camera at the lower edge at best.

With smaller and/or lighter lenses, the camera still lies quite securely in the hand. Thanks to the lightweight set lens, the combination of the Alpha 6100 with this one, for example, weighs just over half a kilogram.

Sony has succeeded in arranging the controls in an overall successful way. The camera’s on/off switch is located directly on the shutter release button and a function button next to the shutter release button that can be assigned in the menu.

The camera has a total of three rotating wheels. The corresponding and fully packed mode dial is located on top of the camera and the second dial, which is even made of metal, is right next to it. This has different tasks, depending on the selected operating mode. Both rotating wheels are shifted towards the back of the camera so that the photographer can easily make adjustments with his thumb. While the mode dial is beautifully taut, the second upper dial is deliberately smooth.

The third and last turning wheel encloses the control pad on the back. Also, this turning wheel is positioned close to the thumb. This all sounds great and will be ideal for many photographers. But if you want to take pictures with the manual mode sometimes or always, you have to do all exposure settings with your thumb and thus always reposition it.

The second turning wheel would have been much better located at the front within reach of the index finger. But if you mainly use the semi-automatic or program mode, the whole thing won’t be very dramatic.

The other operating elements on the back, on the other hand, are sensibly positioned and clearly labeled. The video shutter release is a little hidden in the upper right corner of the camera. In addition to a large number of preassigned keys, the keys C1 and C2, but also some others can be individually assigned.

Fortunately, the Alpha 6100 has both an electronic viewfinder and a touchscreen. The viewfinder uses energy-saving OLED technology. However, the resolution is only 1.44 million pixels, which is just about sufficient, because the pixels are easily recognizable.

Unfortunately, the view for spectacle wearers is limited at the small-frame equivalent 0.7x magnification of the viewfinder. Fortunately, the viewfinder has a diopter compensation (-4 to +3 diopters), but the mechanical adjustment is so unfortunate that the adjustment is quite tricky. Only longer fingernails will help here.

The viewfinder image is clear and, thanks to a maximum of 120 frames per second, also quite fast. Switching between the screen and viewfinder is automatic thanks to the proximity sensor. The touchscreen remains active for setting the autofocus point, which can be irritating at least when looking through the viewfinder with the left eye, as the photographer’s nose often shifts the focus point here.

Fortunately, the corresponding function can be deactivated in the menu.

sony alpha 6100

On the top side of the Sony Alpha 6100, there are two rotating wheels, but they are recessed and are operated from behind with the thumb. [Photo: Sony]

The 7.5-centimeter display can be folded up 180 degrees upwards or 90 degrees downwards via a hinge. If you fold it all the way up, it becomes a self-display. One touch of the photographer’s hand is enough to count down a peppy countdown until the shutter is released.

The monitor has a maximum luminance of 775 candelas per square meter in sunny ambient light mode. With this value, the display can still be used in really bright ambient light.

For a camera with an image sensor in 3:2 aspect ratio, the 16:9 aspect ratio of the screen is a little unfavorable, as this results in black edges that can be used for status displays but not for the live image that is thus only displayed on a diagonal of approximately 6,6 centimeters.

The touch function of the display allows the exact placement of the AF point. The touchscreen can’t be used for much more than that, as Sony has unfortunately failed to integrate this extremely useful function into the camera’s menu navigation and recording controls. Menus are therefore only navigated with the directional pad or the control dials.

In any case, the menu is not very comprehensible in some areas. For example, if you want to shift the autofocus from the shutter release button to another button, the AF function must first be removed from the shutter release button.

The corresponding menu item can be found in the fifth menu on the first tab. The assignment of the new button is then searched in vain in the settings menu, i.e. where one would expect the camera configuration to be.

Instead, the assignment of the keys on the eighth menu page can be found in the second menu tab. This may also be confusing because the first three menu pages in the second tab are exclusively filled with video functions. So you don’t necessarily expect to find configuration options for the photo mode here.

After all, the photographer can put together his or her own menu to his or her heart’s content in the Alpha 6100, so that the settings and functions that are important to him or her can be found in one place and the tiresome search in the menus is a thing of the past.

The Sony Alpha 6100 is content with an NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery in terms of power supply. This should provide enough power to take about 420 photos when the display is in use. This range has been determined by the manufacturer under conditions specified in the CIPA test procedure.

During our test, it turned out that the battery is indeed very durable. Very practical is also the percent exact remaining capacity display. The battery in the camera is charged via the micro-USB interface. The camera is not picky and also accepts universal USB power supplies and power banks. The camera can also be used while attached to the USB charger. However, it will refuse to work without the battery inserted, even if there is a connection to a USB power supply. Sony offers a separate power supply unit including a dummy battery for mains operation.

 

sony alpha 6100

The three interfaces (Micro-USB, Micro-HDMI and 3.5mm stereo microphone input) of the Sony Alpha 6100 are located behind a small plastic flap, which is pressed open by a spring after unlocking. [Photo: Sony]

A micro HDMI interface is provided for connection to a television or external recorder. There is also a 3.5-millimeter jack socket for connecting an external stereo microphone; it even provides the necessary phantom power for active microphones.

The interfaces are protected by a fixed, slide-on flap. Those who now miss a remote release connector are wrong, as Sony not only offers a USB cable release as an accessory, but even a Bluetooth wireless remote control, which can even be used to control some camera functions, such as video instead of photo shooting or, in the case of the 16-50mm PZ set lens, even the motor zoom.

Recordings are stored on SDHC or SDXC memory cards. UHS-1 technology is also supported. The Alpha 6100 wouldn’t be a Sony camera without a memory stick, so the proprietary memory sticks (Pro-HG Duo and Pro Duo) can also be used.

Since the camera can only store just over 40 megabytes per second fast, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the very fastest memory card to use its full performance. As with the previous model, the battery and memory card share a cover on the bottom of the camera.

The distance between this flap and the tripod thread lying in the optical axis is large. This makes it easy to change the battery or memory card, even when a quick-release plate is attached to the camera. However, the memory card sits very close to the open flap, so that the removal is a bit tricky.

Equipment And Features

The Sony Alpha 6100 costs around 1,000 dollars (RRP) in a set with the E 16-50 mm lens and is aimed at beginners and ambitious amateur photographers.

Accordingly, the camera has various automatic modes that allow for quick and easy shooting. The camera can even analyze the subject before shooting and make the appropriate settings for shooting and image processing.

If this is too much of a “black box” for you, you can fall back on the traditional scene mode programs, which have to be set manually to suit the subject. However, the camera has a total of only nine scene modes for the most common scene situations.

sony alpha 6100

The Sony Alpha 6100 has a well manufactured plastic case. [Photo: Sony]

However, the photographer does not have to fear a complete loss of control, as he can, among other things, do the focusing himself. It is actively supported by the focus magnifier and the focus peaking function, which highlights the contrasting edges in the image.

The autofocus function works with 425 measuring points that are distributed over (almost) the entire image field. Only a small area on the left and right edge of the image is not covered. Autofocus is a hybrid AF system that uses fast phase comparison sensors and image contrast to determine the correct focus distance.

Although the Alpha 6100 doesn’t reach the focus speeds specified by Sony, the camera is still very fast, at least when using the factory settings. Settings such as pre-autofocus and a function that provides a mixture of focus and shutter priority are active here.

With focus priority and without pre-autofocus, the camera in the lab was able to adjust the focus from infinity to two meters in about 0.25 seconds, regardless of focal length.

In addition, there is a shutter release delay of 0.05 seconds, which also occurs when the shutter is released without autofocus.

All in all, the camera triggers within about 0.3 seconds including focusing. The strength of the autofocus system is demonstrated by the continuous autofocus. This enables the camera to maintain subject tracking at the highest frame rate of eleven frames per second.

It even recognizes and tracks faces including eye recognition, and alternatively, animal eyes can be recognized instead of humans. The camera cannot do both at the same time, the photographer has to decide beforehand what kind of eyes to track.

In the continuous shooting function, according to our measurement at eleven frames per second, the camera takes a maximum of 73 consecutive shots at the highest JPEG quality. If raw data is used instead of JPEG, the number of images is reduced to 33 before the buffer memory is full. The recording frequency then drops to about 1.7 frames per second, regardless of the file format.

To empty the buffer, the camera then writes data to the memory card at about 40.6 megabytes per second and takes about 18 seconds for raw and even 40 seconds for JPEG to empty the entire buffer.

During this time, however, the camera remains largely ready for use. Thus, the Alpha 6100 remains true to the Sony tradition of being equipped with a large buffer memory but scooping the data onto the SD card at a rather slow storage speed.

By the way, with up to eight continuous shots per second, the live image is displayed continuously and only for a short moment, when the quite loud shutter closes, a black image is visible.

In addition to the automatic functions, the photographer can also choose to use the Alpha 6100 manually or semi-automatically. It also offers bracketing functions for white balance and automatic contrast enhancement (DRO).

Furthermore, there are bracketing functions for single and continuous shooting. The maximum exposure interval between two exposures is three EVs for both at three exposures. With up to 0.7 EV exposure distance, five shots are also possible. There is also an HDR function with automatic image composition. Three differently exposed photos are combined, which can have up to six EV exposure distance. An extensively equipped interval function is also included. With this, a start delay of up to about 100 minutes, intervals of up to 60 seconds, autofocus sensitivities and much more can be programmed.

sony alpha 6100

In the Sony Alpha 6100, the tripod thread sits in the optical axis and even far enough away from the battery and memory card compartment so that a tripod quick-release plate can remain mounted when opening. [Photo: Sony]

For the shutter, the Alpha 6100 uses a traditional mechanical focal-plane shutter with a minimum exposure time of 1/4,000 seconds. Although the camera has the ability to electronically simulate the first shutter curtain and also to take a “silent” shot with an electronic shutter only, this does not change the shortest possible shutter speed. There is no electronic shutter with 1/16,000 or 1/32,000 second shutter speed like other manufacturers.

Also, the flash sync speed is not very fast with 1/160 second. The integrated pop-up flash has a measured guide number of 5.6 and is thus somewhat below the specification that Sony gives in the datasheet.

Unfortunately, the integrated flash unit cannot be used to control external system flashes. Luckily, the camera has a Sony multi-interface connector that can be used to attach compatible system flash units.

The mechanical switch for unfolding the flash unit is positioned somewhat unfavorably. This is because the switch is covered by the monitor when it is folded upwards by more than 90 degrees.

With a maximum resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second, the Alpha 6100 4K records videos at a bit rate of up to 100 Mbps. That’s pretty neat, and especially not the end of the video feature.

The Alpha 6100 reads the complete sensor for video recording, which corresponds to a 6K signal source with 2.4 times oversampling – at least when the frame rate is 25 frames per second. At 30p there is “only” a 1.6-fold oversampling of the sensor, which is read out with a 1.2-fold crop instead of completely.

Switching from 25p to 30p is very complicated anyway because you have to switch from PAL to NTSC in the settings menu, which is not really up to date anymore.

The built-in stereo microphone can be controlled automatically or manually. Those who prefer to connect an external microphone can do so via a 3.5 mm stereo jack plug. The HDMI connector can be used to transfer the sensor data to an external recorder and have it record.

Slow-motion shots with up to 120 frames per second are possible in full HD resolution at the maximum and there is also a proxy function with a 720p video.

sony alpha 6100

From this perspective, the Sony Alpha 6100’s handle looks bigger than it actually is. But it is sufficient to hold the camera securely with smaller lenses, like the 16-50mm shown here. [Photo: Sony]

The autofocus also works very well during video recording, but “only” recognizes faces and no eyes. Various settings allow the videographer to adjust the sensitivity and responsiveness of the autofocus system. In this way, the behavior of the autofocus can always be adapted precisely to the existing subject situation. The autofocus proved to be very precise and fast in various shooting situations.

Since the Alpha 6100 has no stabilizer in the housing, it has to rely on stabilization systems that are housed in the lens. As we tested the camera with the Sony E 16-50 mm 3.5-5.6 PZ OSS, we were able to assess the stabilizer in the lens. This has been shown to be able to compensate for around three f-stops without any problems.

The connectivity of the camera is extensive. Thus, a power-saving Bluetooth connection and the less economical, but more powerful WLAN connection are available. To use them, a free app must be installed on the smart device to be connected. The “Imaging Edge Mobile” app for iOS and Android is available for free download in the respective shop. The app is the direct successor of the PlayMemories Mobile app.

sony alpha 6100

The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor of the Sony Alpha 6100 takes photos with very accurate colors and a high dynamic range but weakens the signal-to-noise ratio and the tonal range. [Photo: Sony]

The coupling of the device and the app is quite simple and the camera guides the photographer through this process if desired.

In addition to a simple remote trigger, a comprehensive remote control with Live View can also be activated. Of course, image data from the camera can also be transferred to the app. A permanent connection with the smart device for the transmission of position data is also possible without any problems via Bluetooth.

Likewise, the camera can be integrated into a wireless network, whereupon it can be controlled, transfer images and convert raw data using the “Imaging Edge” desktop app.

The remote control function of the app works fine, but could be more extensive in the settings options. The camera itself is rather sparsely equipped with image processing functions. Not even raw images can be converted to JPEG in playback mode.

Image Quality Of The Sony Alpha 6100

To get a feel for the Sony Alpha 6100’s image quality, we tested it as usual, with the software for photography testing and in standard practice. I tested with the set lens E 16-50 mm 3.5-5.6 PZ OSS provided by Sony. I could not choose the lens: usually, it is the distributor or the manufacturer who provides me the lens.

With the set lens E 16-50 mm 3.5-5.6 PZ OSS, we haven’t had the best experience so far in terms of image quality. The lens is primarily optimized for small size and low price, but not for image quality. Thanks to sophisticated algorithms and powerful image processors, Sony compensates for some of the lens’ image errors digitally, which is not reprehensible because the result is what counts in the end.

Thus, the edge darkening and color fringes and even distortion are low. An exception is the wide-angle (16 mm) because here a slight distortion of less than one percent barrel shape is still measurable and there are slight color fringes towards the edge of the image.

But more serious are the edge drop of the resolution and the resolution weakness at open aperture. So you have to stop down the anyway not fast lens to F8 to F11 to get a high resolution. But it should not be dimmed further than F11, because otherwise, diffraction reduces the resolution considerably.

The lens on the Alpha 6100 achieves a maximum of just under 63 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) in 35 mm equivalent at 50 percent contrast. a good value for a 24-megapixel sensor. But this resolution is only available at 16 mm, F8 and in the center of the image.

At the edge of the image, on the other hand, the lens at 16 mm only reaches a maximum of 35 lp/mm at F11. The edge blur is very clearly visible at enlargements beyond 20 by 30 centimeters; even at a 100 percent view on the screen, the corners of the image are visibly blurred.

 

sony alpha 6100

The battery and memory card share a common compartment on the underside of the Sony Alpha 6100, and the proximity of the flap means that the memory card can be removed somewhat tricky, while the battery remains in the camera thanks to the USB charge. [Photo: Sony]

At medium and long focal length, the image center, also dimmed, easily resolves above 50 lp/mm, which is a good value. At the edge of the image, the lens achieves the best results at medium focal length and only just misses the 50 lp/mm.

In the tele view, at least 40 lp/mm are also reached at the edge of the picture. But if you know about the weaknesses of the lens and avoid them disturbing during shooting, you can certainly take nice pictures with it. In any case, better lenses quickly cost a lot of money.

However, many important image quality parameters are quite independent of the lens and make for a good camera or sensor setups, such as dynamic range, noise behavior, and color reproduction.

The measurement of the signal-to-noise ratio is somewhat disappointing, as the camera quickly moves away from the good 40 dB at ISO 100 when the sensitivity is raised and falls below the critical 35 dB mark between ISO 400 and 800. In fact, a slight brightness noise is visible at ISO 800, but this increases only slowly up to ISO 12,800. At higher sensitivities, however, very disturbing salt and pepper noise becomes visible.

After all, there is no large block formation in the noise, i.e. it remains fine-grained and can be easily concealed by downscaling the resolution (for showing on the Internet or for postcard printouts).

The somewhat low texture sharpness is noticeable even at low sensitivities. Sony re-sharpened the images surprisingly little, so there are hardly any sharpening artifacts.

Nevertheless, the photos retain a good visual detail due to a good tonal balance with crisp center contrasts. In principle, up to ISO 6.400, some fine details can still be recognized, as a glance at the test images reveal. The measured value is “only” in the “green” range up to ISO 800.

The dynamic range is very good with almost twelve f-stops at ISO 100 and a value that decreases only slowly over the sensitivity curve. At ISO 800, it is just under eleven f-stops; up to ISO 12,800, the dynamic range remains good with over ten f-stops.

The output tonal range, however, drops rather quickly linearly from good over 224 of 256 possible levels to only just over 128 levels at ISO 800, the latter is already merely acceptable. At ISO 400 there are still a good 160 steps, from ISO 12.800 there are only 96 steps or less.

The Sony Alpha 6100 can clearly make up ground in color reproduction. The average color deviation is small, but even the maximum is still within the tolerable range. Most color deviations anyway “only” occur at saturation, at most the greens have a touch too much yellow.

The actual color depth is also impressive, with a remarkable over eight million shades at ISO 100, and remains over four million up to ISO 400 and over two million up to ISO 6,400, which is a good figure. Above ISO 12.800, the color depth then collapses significantly.

Conclusion: Is The Sony Alpha 6100 Worth It?

Time will tell whether the Sony Alpha 6100 can actually replace the successful Alpha 6000 in terms of sales success.

From a purely technical point of view, it certainly has the potential to do so. The buyer receives a powerful, fast camera with high image quality in a compact housing that can also record very good videos.

For example, the fact that the viewfinder has a somewhat low resolution, the memory card interface is somewhat slow, or the 4K video function does not allow HDR recording and recognizes eyes are limitations that you have to accept with an entry-level device.

In any case, there is hardly anything to complain about with the powerful autofocus, the fast continuous shooting function, and the high image quality.

The Alpha 6100 thus delivers high-resolution, artifact-free images with surprisingly high color fidelity. Above ISO 800, the image quality slowly decreases, but even at ISO 3,200, the results are still sufficient and even at ISO 6,400, they are still quite useful.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Sony
Model Sony Alpha 6100
Sensor CMOS APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5) 25.0 megapixels (physical) 24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.9 µm
Resolution (max.) 6.000 x 4.000 (3:2)
Video (max.) 3.840 x 2,160 30p
Lens Sony E 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS PZ (SELP1650) (zoom lens)
Video finder EVF, 100% field coverage, 1,440,000 pixels resolution, 1.07x magnification (sensor-related), 0.70x magnification (KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-4.0 to 3.0 DPT)
Display 3.0″ (7.5 cm)
Resolution 921.600 pixels
tiltable yes
rotatable
swiveling
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI output Micro (Type D)
Fully automatic yes
Scene automatic yes
Scene mode programs 9 scene mode programs are available
Automatic programming yes
Program shift yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
Manually yes
Bulb Long Term Exposure yes
HDR function yes
Panorama function yes, panoramic view
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement (1,200 fields), center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/4.000 s
Flash built-in flash
Synchronous time 1/160 s
Flash connection Hot shoe: Sony Multi-Interface, standard center contact
WLAN yes
NFC yes
GPS external, permanent smartphone connection
Remote release yes, cable release, Bluetooth release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Interval recording yes
Storage medium
Memory Stick (Duo Pro)
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 100-6.400
manually ISO 100-51.200
White balance
automatically yes
manual measuring yes
Kelvin input yes
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 425425
Contrast sensors
Speed 0,30 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions 120 x 67 x 60 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 396 g (body only) 509 g (with lens)
Tripod thread on optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment Lens ring (motorized), zoom rocker (motorized)
Battery life 420 recordings (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available

This test of the Sony Alpha 6100 with Sony E 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS PZ (SELP1650) was made with DXOMARK Analyzer.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Compact, well manufactured plastic housing
  • Fast, reliable autofocus even when tracking subjects
  • Rapid continuous shooting function including AF tracking and sufficiently large buffer memory
  • Very good image quality with high resolution, dynamics and exact color reproduction
  • 4K 25p videos without crop and with high image quality

Cons

  • Relatively slow memory card interface
  • Quite low viewfinder resolution
  • 4K 30p videos only with Crop

Sony Alpha 6100 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5 )25.0 megapixels (physical) and 24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.9 µm
Photo resolution
6.000 x 4.000 pixels (3:2)
6.000 x 3.376 pixels (16:9)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
4.240 x 2.400 pixels (16:9)
4.000 x 4.000 pixels (1:1)
3.008 x 2.000 pixels (3:2)
3.008 x 1.688 pixels (16:9)
2.832 x 2.832 pixels (1:1)
2.000 x 2.000 pixels (1:1)
Panorama Sweeping panorama
12.416 x 1.856 pixels
5.536 x 2.160 pixels
8.192 x 1.856 pixels
3.872 x 2.160 pixels
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.31), DCF standard (version 2)
Video resolution
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 24 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 120 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 100 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 i
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 i
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
Video format
XAVC S (Codec H.264)
AVCHD (Codec H.264)
MPG4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
Sony E

Focus

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 425 sensors, autofocus operating range from -2 EV to 20 EV, contrast autofocus with 425 spot sizes
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Area AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier (12x)
Sharpness control Depth-of-field control, depth-of-field button, Live View

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 3.0″ (7.5 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 921,600 pixels, non-reflective, brightness adjustable, color adjustable, tilts 180° up and 74° down, with touchscreen
Video finder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 1,440,000 pixels, 1.07x magnification factor, dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 3.0 DPT)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 1,200 fields, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic) 1/4,000 to 30 s (manual)
1/4,000 to 30 s (electronic shutter)
Bulb function
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 5 shots, 1/3 to 3 EV increments, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size from 1/3 to 1/2 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 6,400 (automatic) ISO 100 to ISO 51,200 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release, Bluetooth release, remote control via smartphone/tablet, remote control from computer: certain functions
Scene modes Landscape, macro, night scene, night portrait, portrait, sunset, sports, and 2 additional scene modes
Picture effects HDR effect, High Key, High contrast monochrome, Retro, Selective color, Toy camera, 7 additional image effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Fine-tuning, Shadow, Flash, Underwater, Fluorescent lamp with 4 presets, Tungsten light, from 2,500 to 9,900 K, Manual 3 memories
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 11.0 fps at the highest resolution and max. 76 stored images, 46 consecutive images at Raw8
frames per second with a silent (electronic) shutter. Continuous shooting function including AF and AE tracking
Self-timer Self-timer with an interval of 10 s, special features: or 5 or 2 seconds, continuous shooting 3 pictures after 10 seconds, 5 pictures after 10 seconds and 3 pictures after 5 seconds.
Timer Timer/interval recording with max. 9,999 recordings, start time adjustable
Recording functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun Of The Sony Alpha 6100

Flash built-in flash (flip-up) Flash shoe: Sony Multi-Interface, standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync speed 1/160 s
Flash code Guide number 6 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, high-speed sync, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain, red-eye reduction by pre-flash, master function, flash exposure correction from -3.0 EV to +3.0 EV

Equipment And Features

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
Memory Stick (Duo Pro)
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I)
GPS function GPS external (permanent smartphone connection)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply unit Power supply connection – USB continuous power supply – USB charging function
Power supply 1 x Sony NP-FW50 (lithium-ion (Li-Ion), 7.2 V, 1,240 mAh) 420 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Image rotation, image protect, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier with 16.7x magnification, image index, slide show function
Face recognition Face recognition, face recognition (8 faces)
Image parameters Sharpness, contrast, color saturation, noise reduction
Special functions Electronic spirit level, Grid fade-in, Zebra function, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles with 2 user profiles
Connections Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USB – USB type:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G, N) NFC: available
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D) Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin)) Audio output: no
Supported direct printing methods DPOF, Exif Print, PIM
Tripod thread 1/4″ in optical axis
Special features and miscellaneous Bionz X image processor Ultrasonic
sensor cleaning Creative design presets
(13)
Dynamic range optimization (5 levels)
Audio level meterAudio recording functionAutoSlow ShutterVideo
ISO 100-64.000Hybrid AF system
(contrast and phase comparison autofocus)
Micro AF adjustmentReal-time
eye AF (not for video)
Touch shutter releaseTouch focusFocus peakingwith three selectable colors (white, red, yellow)
Lens compensation: edge shadow, aberration, distortionSilent
shooting Flash bracketing
3, 5 or 9 frames (1/3-3 EV)
S&Q mode with up to 120 frames per second

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 120 x 67 x 60 mm
Weight 396 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Sony AC-UUE12 AC adapterSony
NP-FW50 Special battery packUSB connection cableEyepiece capStrapstrapImaging Edgeimaging software
additional accessories Sony AC-PW20 Power SupplySony
HVL-F20M Plug-on Flash with Swivel ReflectorSony
RMT-P1BT (Bluetooth Remote Control)
Sony XLR-K2M (Microphone Adapter)
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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.