So you want to start blogging. Maybe you want to start a YouTube channel. Or maybe you want to try your hand at photography and your iPhone just won’t cut it. If only there was a camera out there that was affordable, could shoot HD videos and photos, and was versatile enough for all types of content creators.
Enter, the Sony Alpha a5100.
Now you might think, but the Sony Alpha cameras have much newer models that are so amazing, why would I buy a model that came out in 2014? Or maybe you didn’t think that at all. That’s fine too.
While yes, there are more bells and whistles on the a6000 and a6300, consumers are still buying the popular Sony a5100 model. Why? It’s the perfect camera if you’re not a professional photographer, but you still want to create content that looks high quality at an affordable price.
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Alright, let’s take a look at why the Sony a5100 is perfect for every type of content creator:
With so many more people entering the blogging world, it’s important to make your content unique. By taking your own photos, you’re making your content that much more personal and individualized. (Here I am still using stock photos for blog posts, but hey, I’m working on it!) To make your photos stand out, you want clear and crisp images with great lighting. The Sony a5100 takes wonderful clear shots and even the kit lens has a great range of depth of field. (For non-photographers, this means you can get those shots where the subject is in focus and the background has that beautiful soft blur.)
The size of the Sony a5100 is extremely convenient because you can throw it in a small purse or even a jacket pocket for your Instagram-worthy adventures. Travel bloggers, foodie bloggers, and fashion bloggers all need photo content for their website, and the camera has never failed me with those types of photos. In fact, I vlogged my whole way through my study abroad trip in Rome and really upped my Instagram game with necessary food and fashion photos. All I needed was my Sony a5100 and I could upload them instantly to my social media.
Send to Smartphone
Did you catch that? I can upload them instantly! Ok, well not instantly, but get this. Another cool thing about the Sony a5100 is that you can send your photos directly to your smartphone. So, let’s say I was exploring Barcelona and took a picture at La Sagrada Familia. I didn’t have to wait to get home to WiFi access at the end of the day. I could send the photo directly from my camera to my phone, edit it on VSCO on the subway ride to Park Guell, and have it ready to be posted! There’s no need to put the SD card in my laptop or attach wires to anything. This feature was seriously awesome. If you’re like me, you’re way too excited to wait to post your photos from the day.
The Sony a5100 also has a great remote function. All Sony cameras come with the ability to download the PlayMemories mobile app, which is how you can access the Smart Remote. This is how I take my self-portraits and how many bloggers take selfies for their Instagrams. It’s super convenient and easy to use. In fact, check out my self-portrait tutorial on YouTube to see my step-by-step guide to capturing your own stunning portraits for your social media pages.
I’ve used the Sony a5100 for all of my YouTube videos. Whether it’s for vlogs or chit chat videos, the camera is perfect for any shooting style. Plus, it’s one of the recommended vlog cameras due to its flip-up screen. If you want to start a vlog channel on YouTube, having a flip-up screen to see yourself while shooting is a necessity.
Most vloggers use the Canon G7x, but it’s 1) more pricey and 2) doesn’t have an interchangeable lens. You may think, Shea, do I really need an interchangeable lens? Well, maybe not right now, but you might later on. As you get more into shooting video, you might want to create even better content by experimenting with different lenses and shooting techniques. If you buy the Sony, you’ll be able to start exploring more complex photography skills without having to buy an entirely new camera. I thought about this when debating on whether or not I wanted the Sony a5100 or the G7x, and I’m so glad that I made this decision. I recently bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens since I’ve gotten into portrait photography, and switching lenses is so easy when I want to use my camera for different purposes.
For YouTubers who are more into cinematic videos, this camera can shoot in high-quality AVCHD, MP4, and XAVC up to full 1080p. While it can’t shoot in 4K, you can always step up to the newer Sony alpha model to snag that. However, it has great frame rate choices, with the ability to shoot up to 60 frames per second if you want those buttery smooth slow motion shots.
Finally, as a YouTuber, it’s important that you or your subject is always in focus. The Sony a5100 has a much better autofocus than the G7x. Don’t believe me? Just watch YouTubers who use the G7x and note how many times they say things like “Ugh, why isn’t this focusing?” or “Come on, focus already!” Meanwhile, their face is blurred while the rest of the background is in focus. Just. Saying. One reason why the Sony’s focus is so great is because of its lock-on AF. Since the Sony has a touchscreen (yes a TOUCH screen!) you can simply tap on where you want to lock the focus. This works great for my sit down videos so while I’m talking or doing a makeup tutorial, the camera won’t lose focus on my face. It’s truly one of the best features.
Now that I’ve gotten more into portrait photography, I feel like I can speak on this. Since I started out as a vlogger with this camera, I grew well-versed on its video capabilities. However, I was delightfully surprised at everything it can do in the photography sphere. There are tons of customizable options and impressive features. For the techies out there who want to know the specs, it has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor. That’s characteristic of a camera body upwards of $1000. You can get it for half that! Yay!
The colors are great and natural, although you do have plenty of settings to take more vibrant, black and white, sepia, or muted photos. There are various creative effects to set as well and you can shoot in both JPEG and RAW, which is beneficial for editing later on. The photos come out surprisingly crisp and clear, with great noise control, meaning your images won’t appear grainy.
I personally love the ability to turn on Zebra stripes and focus indicator colors. If you are unfamiliar, zebra lines appear wherever part of the image is overexposed. As a beginner photographer, this is super helpful when shooting outdoors. For example, an outdoor portrait could show the squiggly zebra lines on the clouds if the sky is far too bright. Then you can adjust accordingly. Similarly, you can choose a color to indicate what objects of the photo are in focus. I have mine set to red and since I typically use manual focus, this is really helpful. When I’m taking portraits, I make sure that the eyes become outlined in red before snapping the shot, because that’s the most crucial feature to be in focus.
Whatever type of content creator you are, the Sony a5100 is a great option. It’s perfect for beginners, but it’s also great for more advanced users who aren’t ready to invest in thousands of dollars of equipment. It’s a small and compact camera, plus it’s just adorable AND comes in a few colors. I’ve had so many people shocked when they see the photos and videos that come from this camera since it’s small but mighty. I’ll probably snag a few more lenses for this, but I’m staying with my trusty a5100 for a long time. Even as I venture into more advanced cinematic techniques, this camera hasn’t fallen short or prevented me from achieving my desired look. As I grow my blog and social media presence, this camera has only helped me create higher quality content, which my followers have kindly complimented. I’ve even talked with other bloggers about how perfect this camera is for us. If you’re a blogger, YouTuber, or photographer trying to decide on a camera to invest in, go for the Sony a5100. It won’t break the bank, it’s surprisingly powerful and reliable, and its small size is perfect for traveling.
So what are you waiting for? Start browsing Amazon for the Sony a5100! They have great package options where you can purchase a whole starter kit or if you don’t need all that jazz, you can just purchase the camera body and kit lens to get started.
Still have more questions or need help deciding? Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram @sheajordanphoto.