Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
The Canon EOS 100D (called Canon SL1 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and August 2014. The 100D is a DSLR, while the A5100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 100D||Sony A5100|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)||ISO 100-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|4.9 shutter flaps per second||6 shutter flaps per second|
|380 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g||110 x 63 x 36 mm, 283 g|
Body comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
The physical size and weight of the Canon 100D and the Sony A5100 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 100D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5100 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Canon 100D. Moreover, the A5100 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the 100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 100D nor the A5100 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (100D) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5100). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A5100, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon 100D»||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Sony A5100«||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Canon 4000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||420||n||Jan 2014||449||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||480||n||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A5100 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (100D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 24MP, the A5100 offers a higher resolution than the 100D (17.9MP), but the A5100 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.31μm for the 100D). Yet, the A5100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the 100D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Canon EOS 100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A5100 offers substantially better image quality than the 100D (overall score 17 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 100D»||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon 100D|
|Sony A5100«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Canon 4000D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon 600D|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61||Panasonic G6|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.8||13.0||1089||79||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A5100 provides a faster frame rate than the 100D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 100D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 100D and Sony A5100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 100D»||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.9||Y||n||Canon 100D|
|Sony A5100«||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Canon 4000D« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||4000||3.7||Y||n||Canon 600D|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G6|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||-||n||3.0||461||tilting||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
The 100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 100D and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 100D»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 100D|
|Sony A5100«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Canon 4000D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 600D|
|Panasonic G6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic G6|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
It is notable that the 100D has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The A5100 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the 100D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 100D was succeeded by the Canon 200D.
Review summary: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 100D or the Sony A5100 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 100D:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A5100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 4.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 117x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 124g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5100 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 100D or the A5100. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 100D»||Rec||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Sony A5100«||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Canon 4000D« »||rev||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 200D« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 1200D« »||Rec||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 700D« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon 650D« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon M« »||Rec||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon 600D« »||rev||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100« »||HiRec||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Leica SL
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Sony RX100 II
- Canon 4000D vs Fujifilm X-T20
- Canon 60D vs Canon SX60
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Fujifilm X-Pro2
- Canon 700D vs Canon G1 X Mark II
- Canon SX740 vs Panasonic GX9
- Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D3500
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- Olympus E-1 vs YI M1
- Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic FZ1000
- Sony NEX-7 vs Sony NEX-5
Specifications: Canon 100D vs Sony A5100
|Camera Model||Canon 100D||Sony A5100|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2013||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 549|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.5 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5||BIONZ X|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.9 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Battery Type||LP-E12 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
117 x 91 x 69 mm
(4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||407 g (14.4 oz)||283 g (10.0 oz)|
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