Performance Meets Price In Sony's New A5100

NEX is dead. Long live Alpha!

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Just like that, Sony snapped its corporate fingers and completed the transition to a unified mirrorless camera naming scheme. NEX is no longer—all Sony cameras are now simply Alpha (or, "A"). The last piece of the puzzle is the brand-new A5100, which replaces the NEX-5T, one of our best-of-year cameras from last year.

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The A5100 sounds like a great camera to hold in your well-manicured hands.

The A5100 takes its 24.3-megapixel sensor from the A6000, a camera we really liked when we reviewed it. Even though the A5100 doesn't have an electronic viewfinder, what it lacks in features it aims to make up for with its trim body. Sony is highlighting that the A5100's lithe body as one of the smallest mirrorless cameras available. Even so, it still manages to retain a 180-degree pivoting touchscreen, pop-up flash, and, of course, an APS-C sized sensor.

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The A5100 ticks the selfie box nicely with a swiveling rear touchscreen.

Like most Sony cameras lately, NFC and WiFi are both baked-in for fast sharing. The latest Sony Bionz X processor powers this new camera, which shoots 1080/60p using the cutting-edge XAVC S video codec. Even dual recording comes along for the fun, taking both a high-quality XAVC S clip along with a lower-resolution MP4.

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The A5100 looks a lot like other formerly-NEX cameras like the A6000 and A5000.

All in all, this new camera sounds like an impressive addition to Sony's already-excellent mirrorless lineup. Undercutting the A6000, the A5100 starts at an incredibly reasonable $549 body-only, with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ kit for $699. Both black and white colors will be sold upon retail availability in September. We'll have hands-on time with the new Sony A5100 soon, so check back for our first impressions review shortly.

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