Drive Modes on Sony Alpha a5100

In Photography by Jerad HillLeave a Comment

A camera’s Drive is how your camera functions when taking photos. Different drive modes cause the camera to take photos in different ways based on your needs. The Sony Alpha a5100 is equipped with several different drive modes. Here are all the drive modes available on the a5100 and the best use for each.

  • Single
    In Single drive mode, your camera will take one photo with every shutter button press. This is the default drive mode.
    Useful for: Most situations.
  • Continuous
    Continuous drive can be set at High speed or Low speed, and will continue taking photos as long as the shutter button is pressed. High speed Continuous will take photos at a faster rate, and Low speed will take photos at a slower rate.
    Useful for: Taking photos of fast moving objects, when quick changes might happen, or in any situation where a quick sequence of images is useful (such as facial expressions or reactions).
  • Self Timer
    Self Timer mode can be set at 2 Seconds or 10 Seconds, and after pressing the shutter button, will take a photo after the amount of time you have selected.
    Useful for: When you need to get into the shot yourself, or before very long exposure photos for maximum camera stability.
  • Self Timer Continuous
    Self Timer Continuous mode can be set to 10 Second/3 Shot or 10 Second/5 Shot, and till take a sequence of (the set number of) images after ten seconds.
    Useful for: Group photos, so that you can pick the perfect photo after the fact.
  • Continuous Bracketing
    Bracketing simply means taking a set of images using different settings to either provide additional options for selecting images, or to combine into one image to achieve a certain effect. The following four drive modes are for bracketing using various methods.
    Continuous Bracketing mode will automatically take a set number of photos while adjusting the exposure compensation (EV) between each image. The list below describes the difference in EV between each sequential photo, and the number of photos that will be taken:

    • 0.3EV 3 Images
    • 0.3EV 5 Images
    • 0.5EV 3 Images
    • 0.5EV 5 Images
    • 0.7EV 3 Image
    • 0.7EV 5 Image
    • 1EV 3 Images
    • 2EV 3 Images
    • 3EV 3 Images
  • Useful for: Taking a photo with different exposures to either select later or to combine into a single image with higher dynamic range.
  • Single Bracketing
    Single Bracketing mode is very similar to Continuous Bracketing, save that for each additional image in the bracket, the shutter button needs to be pressed again. Single Bracketing modes are:

    • 0.3EV 3 Images
    • 0.3EV 5 Images
    • 0.5EV 3 Images
    • 0.5EV 5 Images
    • 0.7EV 3 Images
    • 0.7EV 5 Images
    • 1EV 3 Images
    • 2EV 3 Images
    • 3EV 3 Images
  • Useful for: Taking a photo with different exposures to either select later or to combine into a single image with higher dynamic range, while having control over how fast the bracketed images are taken.
  • White Balance Bracketing
    White Balance Bracketing can be set to Low or High, and will take three images with different white balances of cool, neutral, and warm. The Low setting will have a smaller range of color adjustment between photos, and High will have a larger range.
    Useful for: Taking the same photo with different white balances can often have the effect of changing the mood of the photo. White Balance bracketing is useful for being able to select an image afterword with your desired mood.
  • DRO Bracketing
    DRO (short for D-Range Optimizer) Bracketing takes three photos with varying levels of Sony’s D-Range Optimization feature. For more information about what DRO is, check our our HDR & Dynamic Range Optimizer article.
    Useful for: Capturing three images of a photo with varying amounts dynamic range adjustment.

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