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Sony Announces Budget Mirrorless Camera With XAVC Codec

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

If you’ve been dying to get that Sony a7s, but you’re not really sure you need all that epic 4K full frame dynamic range at this point, or maybe you wanted to take advantage of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera sale but just missed it, well, Sony has another option, the lower cost A5100. Which, not only has a mirrorless APS-C sensor, but also can shoot in 1080p, but also uses Sony’s professional grade XAVC Codec. A sweet addition for even a B camera!


Offering the speed and versatility required by multimedia photographers, the Alpha 5100 Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony combines a high-resolution sensor, hybrid AF system, and apt video recording capabilities, all within a compact and convenient form factor. Pairing a 24.3MP APS-C-sized Exmor HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, this camera is able to record up to 6 fps continuous shooting with notable sensitivity to ISO 25600.

Full HD video recording is supported in the high-quality XAVC S codec, with the ability to shoot at 1080p in 60, 30, or 24 fps frame rates. Complementing the multimedia imaging capabilities is the Fast Hybrid AF system, which pairs 179 phase-detection points with 25 contrast-detection points to deliver fast, accurate, and consistent focusing abilities. The a5100 is poised to deliver the all-around performance desired by contemporary photographers while still maintaining the convenience needed for everyday shooting. – B&H Camera listing

First let’s drool over 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

And did I mention it’s only $550 for the body? Or, you can toss in a nifty 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Kit Lens for $700 total. “What’s remarkable about the 5100 is the autofocus,” says Ben Pilling of Sony Digital Europe, “it’s extremely quick and features 179 phase detection focus points. It can focus as fast as most DSLRs”

Working in concert with the APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor and Bionz X processor, the 5100 can shoot in either full 1080p AVCHD, or Sony’s broadcast quality XAVC S codec. That provides for an impressive?uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 output via HDMI. Though onboard microphones are notoriously inferior, Sony took the extra step of offering built-in stereo mics for improved 2-channel audio in XAVC or AC-3 Dolby in AVCHD. That’s not hay, so if you find yourself running and gunning without an external mic option, you may be able to sweeten the on camera audio into a workable solution.

And while users won’t be able to come near the dynamic range of the a7s, it’s certainly going to give users a nice tight fitting b camera or those just starting out a leg up in getting their guerrilla skills up and running. And you can’t beat the price.

Hat Tip – NFS

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