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Sony A5100 vs ZV-E10

The Sony Alpha A5100 and the Sony ZV-E10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2014 and July 2021. Both the A5100 and the ZV-E10 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that 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
Sony A5100
versus
Sony ZV-E10
Sony A5100   Sony ZV-E10
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP – APS-C sensor 24 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-32,000 (100 - 51,200)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
110 x 63 x 36 mm, 283 g 115 x 64 x 45 mm, 343 g
Sony A5100:
Check current price at
i
Sony ZV-E10:
Check current price at
i

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A5100 and the Sony ZV-E10? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A5100 and the Sony ZV-E10 is provided 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.

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

Size Sony A5100 vs Sony ZV-E10
Compare A5100 versus ZV-E10 top
Comparison A5100 or ZV-E10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony ZV-E10 is notably larger (6 percent) than the Sony A5100. Moreover, the ZV-E10 is markedly heavier (21 percent) than the A5100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A5100 nor the ZV-E10 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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
1.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
2.
 
Sony ZV-E10 115 mm 64 mm 45 mm 343 g 440 n Jul 2021 699 i
3.
 
Sony A6100 120 mm 67 mm 59 mm 396 g 420 n Aug 2019 749i
4.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
5.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
6.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
7.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
8.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499i
9.
 
Sony NEX-5T 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2013 699i
10.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749i
11.
 
Sony NEX-F3 117 mm 67 mm 42 mm 314 g 470 n May 2012 599i
12.
 
Sony RX100 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 240 g 330 n Jun 2012 649i
13.
 
Sony NEX-3 117 mm 62 mm 33 mm 297 g 330 n May 2010 599i
Note: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A5100 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 21 percent) than the ZV-E10, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A5100 and Sony ZV-E10 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the A5100 and the ZV-E10 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the ZV-E10 is much more recent (by 6 years and 11 months) than the A5100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Sony Alpha A5100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony ZV-E10 are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

A5100 versus ZV-E10 MP

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. 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
1.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
2.
 
Sony ZV-E10 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.213.8213485
3.
 
Sony A6100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.113.6194784
4.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
5.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
6.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
7.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
8.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
9.
 
Sony NEX-5T APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60p23.613.0101578
10.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
11.
 
Sony NEX-F3 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.712.3111473
12.
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066
13.
 
Sony NEX-3 APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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 ZV-E10 provides a better video resolution than the A5100. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the A5100 is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A5100 and the ZV-E10 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A5100 and Sony ZV-E10 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Sony A5100none n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
2.
 
Sony ZV-E10none n3.0 / 922 swivel Y 1/4000s 11.0/s n n
3.
 
Sony A61001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
4.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n3.0 / 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Sony A5000none n3.0 / 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
6.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
7.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
8.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n3.0 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
9.
 
Sony NEX-5Toptional n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0/s n n
10.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Sony NEX-F3optional n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5/s Y n
12.
 
Sony RX100none n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony NEX-3optional n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0/s n n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A5100 has one, while the ZV-E10 does not. While the built-in flash of the A5100 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

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 reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the ZV-E10 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A5100 and the ZV-E10 write their files to 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.

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 Sony Alpha A5100 and Sony ZV-E10 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Sony A5100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Sony ZV-E10Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.2YYY
3.
 
Sony A6100Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Sony A5000-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
9.
 
Sony NEX-5TYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony NEX-F3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Sony RX100-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
13.
 
Sony NEX-3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the ZV-E10 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The A5100 lacks such a headphone port.

Both the A5100 and the ZV-E10 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A5100 replaced the earlier Sony A5000, while the ZV-E10 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Sony A5100 better than the Sony ZV-E10 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A5100:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 60g or 17 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (21 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2014).


Advantages of the Sony ZV-E10:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 2.0).
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 11 months of technical progress since the A5100 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZV-E10 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A5100 04:10 ZV-E10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A5100 and the Sony ZV-E10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A5100 or the ZV-E10 perform in practice. 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

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+....4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
2.
 
Sony ZV-E104/5..4/582/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2021 699 i
3.
 
Sony A6100....4/582/1004/55/5 Aug 2019 749i
4.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +..85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
5.
 
Sony A50003/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
6.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
7.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
8.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5......4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
9.
 
Sony NEX-5T........4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 699i
10.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
11.
 
Sony NEX-F34/5....74/1004.5/54.5/5 May 2012 599i
12.
 
Sony RX1005/5+ +..78/1004/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
13.
 
Sony NEX-3......70/1004.5/54/5 May 2010 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.

Sony A5100:
Check current price at
i
Sony ZV-E10:
Check current price at
i

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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony A5100 vs Sony ZV-E10

    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 Sony A5100 Sony ZV-E10
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2014 July 2021
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Sony A5100 Sony ZV-E10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 32,000 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X 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 Sony A5100 Sony ZV-E10
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Sony A5100 Sony ZV-E10
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony A5100 Sony ZV-E10
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.2
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Sony A5100 Sony ZV-E10
    Battery Type NP-FW50 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    115 x 64 x 45 mm
    (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 283 g (10.0 oz) 343 g (12.1 oz)
    Sony A5100:
    Check current price at
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    Sony ZV-E10:
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