We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

Sony α6100 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Feb 08, 2021 at 07:40 am
Sony α6100 Picture
8.0
Travel Photography
8.0
Landscape Photography
7.4
Sport & Wildlife Photography
7.3
Vlogging
7.8
Studio Video
5.2
Action Video
Body Type
DSLR
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
Tested Lens
Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS

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.

Our Verdict

8.0 Travel Photography

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.

Pros
  • Great image quality.
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance in still photography and video.
  • Compact, sturdy design.
  • Very good battery performance.
Cons
  • Menu system can take some time to get used to.
8.0 Landscape Photography

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.

Pros
  • Great image quality.
  • Compact, sturdy design.
  • Very good battery performance.
  • Sharp, bright flip-out screen.
Cons
  • Menu system can take some time to get used to.
7.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography

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.

Pros
  • Great image quality.
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance in still photography and video.
Cons
  • Takes a long time to clear its buffer.
  • Menu system can take some time to get used to.
7.3 Vlogging

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.

Pros
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance in still photography and video.
  • Compact, sturdy design.
  • Sharp, bright flip-out screen.
  • Good video recording quality.
Cons
  • Menu system can take some time to get used to.
  • Poor video stabilization performance in 4k.
  • Limited support for 4k frame rate recording options.
7.8 Studio Video

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.

Pros
  • Excellent overall autofocus performance in still photography and video.
  • Very good battery performance.
  • Good video recording quality.
Cons
  • Menu system can take some time to get used to.
  • No headphone jack.
5.2 Action Video

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.

Pros
  • Compact, sturdy design.
Cons
  • Poor video stabilization performance in 4k.
  • Limited support for 4k frame rate recording options.
  • 8.0 Travel Photography
  • 8.0 Landscape Photography
  • 7.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 7.3 Vlogging
  • 7.8 Studio Video
  • 5.2 Action Video
  1. Updated Jun 28, 2021: Retested object tracking performance for photography. Updated 'Autofocus' box accordingly.
  2. Updated Apr 28, 2021: Corrected input error in 'In The Box' section.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.9
Design
Portability
Height 2.8" (7.1 cm)
Width 5.2" (13.1 cm)
Depth 2.4" (6.0 cm)
Volume
37.5 in³ (614.0 cm³)
Weight
0.86 lbs (0.39 kg)
Weight With Lens
1.12 lbs (0.51 kg)
7.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Body is made primarily of decently high-grade plastic
  • Screen mechanism feels quite solid
  • Buttons on the camera feel tight and precise
  • Top command dial above the recording button can occasionally bounce back to a previous setting
  • Input/output and battery compartments have solid hinged doors
  • Doesn't feel as solid as the Sony α6400's weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction

Design
Body
Water Resistance
No
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
2
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
E-Mount
Built-In Flash
Yes
Design
In The Box

Update 04/28/2021: Corrected input error in calling the 'Startup Guide' a 'User Guide'.

  • Sony a6100 mirrorless camera
  • Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS lens
  • Lens cap
  • Viewfinder hood
  • 1x NP-FW50 battery
  • Shoulder strap
  • Charger adapter
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Sensor cap
  • Startup guide

8.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No

  • Users with large hands should still be able to operate the camera comfortably
  • Controls are well spaced, and there's enough room for your thumb to rest on the back of the camera without accidentally making an input
  • Changing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO is simple with either eye pressed up against the viewfinder
  • Handgrip is well-textured and provides a secure hold
  • Camera's weight is well-distributed, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods
  • Selecting the touchscreen focus point may be slightly easier for right-eyed shooters
  • Users with very large hands may find handgrip a little small

7.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Imaging Edge Mobile

  • You can create a custom menu and remap some controls
  • Using the 'Tile Menu' setting makes the camera's menu system more intuitive
  • Some functions, especially those relating to eye and face tracking, can be a little difficult to find
  • You have to use the physical controls to navigate the menu, which isn't quite as intuitive as the Canon EOS M50's touchscreen interface

Design
Viewfinder
Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
1.44 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.71
7.8
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Flip Out
Screen Max Brightness
830 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
0.92 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Limited
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
Exmor CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.2 MP
Processor
BIONZ X
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
32,000
Tested Firmware
Version 1.0
7.8
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Sony NP-FW50
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
420 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
90 min
6.6
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Interchangeable
Maximum Aperture
3.5 - 5.6
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/5.4
Minimum Focal Length
16 mm
Maximum Focal Length
50 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
77 mm
Luminance
78.3%
Light Falloff
50.2%
Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
ARW
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Minimum Shutter Speed
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/4,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Zebra Pattern
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
6.2
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
4 fps
High Speed Continuous
11 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
9 fps
Raw Buffer Size
34 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
25 s
8.5
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
425
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
161" (410 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
73%
Object Tracking Success Rate
77.9%

Update 06/28/2021: We retested this camera's object tracking autofocus performance, reuploaded the object tracking slideshow for reference, and updated the score accordingly. Note that the score is an average of three test runs, and performance can vary across different runs.

8.0
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
No
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/10 s
8.3
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
9.33 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
6.88
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
34.14 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
2.04 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
34.04 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.96 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
32.32 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
1.989 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 100 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo
ISO 6400 Photo
ISO 12800 Photo
ISO 25600 Photo
ISO 51200 Photo

7.6
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 40.11 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 38.35 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 36.24 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 33.65 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 31.06 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 28.11 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 25.15 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 22.07 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 18.82 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 16.38 dB
Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
4:2:2
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
8 bits
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
No
General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Waveform
No
General Video
Recording Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
7.2
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
24 fps In 4k
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.22 x
8.9
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
No
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
9.5
Object Tracking In 4k
9.7
5.7
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
No
Walking Test In 4k
19.67 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
33.41 pixels/frames
Crop
1.11 x
7.9
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
100 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
60 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 bits
Record Time Limit N/A
Overheat Recording Interruption
Yes
7.7
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
9.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
8.3
4k Rolling Shutter
8.53°
Full HD Video
9.2
Full HD Video
FHD Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes, with a Crop
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.14 x
8.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
No
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
9.5
Object Tracking In FHD
9.3
7.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
No
Walking Test In FHD
7.60 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
15.11 pixels/frames
Crop
1
8.3
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
100 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
16 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8
Record Time Limit N/A
7.4
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
9.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
7.5
FHD Rolling Shutter
5.01°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Discussions