The Best Thing I Bought in 2016

Sony a5100 camera review

Today I want to talk about something that may ring a bell if you’ve been a reader for awhile…my favorite purchase in 2016. It took me a little longer to narrow down this year’s (the Wacom tablet was practically a no-brainer a couple of years ago), but I’m going to go with another piece of technology: my new camera.

I bought the Sony a5100 before heading to Europe in November because I really didn’t want to lug around my larger DSLR (which is a great one, if you’re in the market). While practicing my photography and taking good photos was a priority, the idea of being bogged down by weight and constantly be occupied with adjusting settings, switching lenses, etc. was wholly unappealing. Given that I only plan to travel more in the coming years, the thought of investing in a smaller, high quality camera was pretttty appealing. It was a bit of a splurge, but I ordered the Sony a5100 in October…am so glad I did!

Sony a5100 camera review

All the photos in this post are taken with the Sony…good quality, right? You can adjust settings the way you would a DSLR–if you’re on manual, the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are all there–and have the option to get the camera with a 16-50mm lens that zooms, which is what I did. The zoom is a huge perk (my DSLR’s 50mm is a prime lens, so doesn’t zoom) and is pretty much essential for those wider shots while traveling.

One of my goals is to learn to better use this camera for outfit photos, too. I’ve tried it so it’s definitely possible, but switching cameras always requires some getting used to! Another is to get into video, because this little thing is supposed to be really good at that. Also, full disclosure: definitely have not read the manual yet. Anyone else love just trying to figure it out but then end up getting stuck and caving somewhere along the way?

Today’s post is part of a fun linkup with some other bloggers…you may remember this post from almost two years ago to date (eek!)–same kind of thing! Check out what the ladies below deemed their best purchase of 2016…you’re sure to get some ideas, too :) Special thanks to Erica for organizing!

Running in Heels – Glam Karen – Oh My Nosh  – Tracing the Edge

Frankly Entertaining – Twenty Something Plus – Freckled Italian – Spitfiregirl Design

A Touch of Teal – Cake & Lilies – Alyssa J Freitas – White Cabana

 Luv in the Bubble – Finite1 – Our Illustrated Life – Laugh.Liv.Love


Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies

Leave a Comment


  1. Excellent purchase! Have fun experimenting and traveling with this little camera!

    Posted 1.26.17 Reply
  2. I always try to figure it out myself but I recently took a short lesson with a great photog (Stephanie at LifeCreated) who really upped my game when it came to the manual functions. I love the video function on mine- I use it for all my videos!
    Oh My Nosh Nutrition and Wellness

    Posted 1.26.17 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Sometimes a class makes all the difference! I did one for my SLR and it cleared up so many things. Everyone has so much fun with video lately, too!

      Posted 1.27.17 Reply
  3. I’m dying to get a camera like this. I love my SLR, but it is just such a pain to carry around on trips. Glad to hear you’re pleased with the purchase (makes me want to splurge, too!) x

    Posted 1.26.17 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Let me know if you end up considering it and having any questions! Seriously, the small size (and insanely high pixel quality) make it worth it on its own!

      Posted 1.27.17 Reply