The Sony α6100 is a compact APS-C mirrorless camera. It has an effective and mostly reliable autofocus system for still photography and video, a comfortable-to-use body, and good image quality. It also feels quite well made and offers very good battery life. Unfortunately, its menu system can take some time to get used to, and the camera's video stabilization performance is quite poor in 4k video.
The Sony a6100 is great for travel photography. It's quite compact and easy to carry around. Images are also low in graininess even after you increase camera ISO to compensate for dim lighting conditions. Its autofocus system also does a good job of tracking and maintaining focus on moving subjects, and its low minimum shutter speed should allow for fairly intricate long-exposure shots. It's also quite comfortable to use and has sufficient battery life for long shooting sessions. Unfortunately, its menu system can take some time to get used to.
The Sony a6100 is a great choice for landscape photography. Images are sharp and mostly free of noise even at fairly high ISO levels, which is great for nighttime shoots. It's also lightweight and compact, so you should be able to carry it around with you on hikes without too much difficulty. Its screen is sharp and bright enough to be seen under direct sunlight and it's comfortable to hold despite its small size. On the downside, while its kit lens lets in a good amount of light, it exhibits noticeable light falloff, so the corners of images taken with it can look darker than the middle.
The Sony a6100 is decent for sports and wildlife photography. While its maximum shooting speed is quite quick, making it somewhat simple to capture distinct images of moving subjects, it takes quite a bit of time for it to clear its buffer, leading to long interruptions in your shooting sessions if you don't keep continuous bursts short. Thankfully, the camera has an effective autofocus system for both faces and objects, and its short maximum shutter speed should allow you to freeze the movement of fast-moving objects.
The Sony a6100 is a satisfactory option for vlogging. Its flip-out screen is bright, sharp, and can be pivoted to face you when the camera is being held in a selfie position. Its autofocus system also does a superb job of maintaining and tracking faces, and the camera itself is easy to carry around. While overall video quality in 4k and FHD is good, its lack of an in-body stabilization feature can give handheld footage a somewhat shaky quality, though mostly only when recording in 4k.
The Sony a6100 is very good for studio video. Videos recorded in 4k and FHD should be fairly sharply rendered and low in noise. Its autofocus system also does an excellent job of tracking and maintaining focus on moving subjects. However, while there are ports for fitting an auxiliary mic and an external recorder, there's no headphone jack to help monitor your audio more accurately. Also, its menu system can take a bit of time to understand.
The Sony a6100 isn't meant for action video. It's quite compact, but still isn't really designed to be attached to a helmet or chest rig. It isn't rated as being weather-resistant either, though we don't currently test for that. It also doesn't support any high-speed frame rate recording options in 4k, and its video stabilization performance in this resolution is poor. Thankfully, it performs better in both respects while shooting FHD footage, and it feels sturdy enough to deal with a couple of drops and bumps.
There's only one color variant of the Sony a6100: 'Black', and you can see its label here. We tested it with the Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS lens.
Other lenses are available for purchase with the Sony Alpha 6100, including the Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS lens, but we haven't evaluated its performance when configured differently. It can also be purchased without a lens at all.
If you come across a different variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.
The Sony α6100 is a bit better than the Sony α6000. They look and perform similarly overall. However, because the a6100 is a newer model, it has an improved autofocus system, a newer sensor with slightly better dynamic range and high-ISO performance, and it can record 4k video. The a6000 still offers a lot of value for its price, especially if you don't do a lot of video work.
The Sony α6100 and the Sony ZV-E10 are similar APS-C mirrorless cameras. The ZV-E10 is more geared toward vlogging, with no viewfinder and a fully articulated screen. The ZV-E10 also has a slightly newer version of Sony's AF system, updated color science to improve skin tones, and includes an e-stabilization feature in video mode. Otherwise, the cameras offer very similar image and video quality and similar overall performance.
Update 04/28/2021: Corrected input error in calling the 'Startup Guide' a 'User Guide'.
Update 12/22/2021: We've adjusted this camera's menu system score to match other Sony cameras we've tested and to better reflect its ease of use relative to other menu systems.