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Canon 250D vs Sony A5100

The Canon EOS 250D (called Canon SL3 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2019 and August 2014. The 250D is a DSLR, while the A5100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 250D versus Sony A5100
Canon 250D Sony A5100
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/25p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
1070 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
122 x 93 x 70 mm, 449 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 283 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 250D and the Sony Alpha A5100? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 250D and the Sony A5100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, white).

Size Canon 250D vs Sony A5100
Compare 250D versus A5100 top
Comparison 250D or A5100 rear

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 (39 percent) than the Canon 250D. Moreover, the A5100 is substantially lighter (37 percent) than the 250D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 250D 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 (250D) 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.

Concerning battery life, the 250D gets 1070 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the A5100 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5100 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 250D 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 15.8 oz 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
 
Sony A5100 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Canon 850D 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 18.2 oz 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
 
Canon M50 Mark II 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.7 oz 305 n Oct 2020 599 i
 
Canon 2000D 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon 4000D 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon M50 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.3 in 13.8 oz 235 n Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 77D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon 800D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon 760D 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Fujifilm X-T100 4.8 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 15.8 oz 430 n May 2018 599i
 
Sony A5000 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A6000 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony NEX-3N 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499i
 
Sony NEX-3 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A5100 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the 250D at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 (250D) 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.

Canon 250D and Sony A5100 sensor measures

Even though the A5100 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A5100 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the 250D), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the 250D is much more recent (by 4 years and 7 months) than the A5100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon EOS 250D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

250D versus A5100 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 250D APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Canon 850D APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon M50 Mark II APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon 2000D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon 800D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Fujifilm X-T100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p........
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
 
Sony NEX-3 APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 250D provides a higher video resolution than the A5100. It can shoot video footage at 4K/25p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 250D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 250D, the Sony A5100, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 250Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 850Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
 
Canon M50 Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 2000Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 800Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-T1002360 n 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony NEX-3optional n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Canon 250D has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The 250D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

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 250D and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 250DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon 850DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon M50 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 2000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 800DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-T100YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony NEX-3Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the 250D has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the 250D and the A5100 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A5100 replaced the earlier Sony A5000, while the 250D followed on from the Canon 200D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 250D and the Sony A5100? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 250D:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/25p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1070 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the A5100 launch.

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5100:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 122x93mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 166g or 37 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 250D emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 7 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

250D 10:07 A5100

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 250D and the Sony A5100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 250D or the A5100 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 250Do79/1004/5..4/5 Apr 2019 599 i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Canon 850D+80/1004/5..3.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
 
Canon M50 Mark II.......... Oct 2020 599 i
 
Canon 2000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon 4000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon 800D..80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Fujifilm X-T100+79/1004/5..4.5/5 May 2018 599i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony NEX-3N....4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
 
Sony NEX-3..70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 250D:
Check Amazon price
Sony A5100:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 250D vs Sony A5100

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 250D Sony A5100
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2019 August 2014
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon 250D Sony A5100
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/25p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1347
    Screen Specs Canon 250D Sony A5100
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 250D Sony A5100
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon 250D Sony A5100
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon 250D Sony A5100
    Battery Type LP-E17 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)1070 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 122 x 93 x 70 mm
    (4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 449 g (15.8 oz) 283 g (10.0 oz)

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