Sony is bringing its Alpha SLT-A68 DSLR camera - announced in Europe back on November 5th - to the US and Canada this spring.

The a68 uses the company's Translucent Mirror Technology, which allows for 8 fps continuous shooting with full-time autofocus, without any blackout between shots. The '4D' autofocus system is borrowed from the more expensive a77 II and features 79 points, 15 of which are cross-type.

The a68 has a 24MP CMOS sensor, which tops out at ISO 25600, and is paired with the not-as-new Bionz X processor. As with all of Sony's A-mount cameras it has built-in image stabilization, so every lens you attach has shake reduction. 

From a design standpoint the a68 has a curvy, SLR-style body with a 3" (461k-dot) tilting LCD and SVGA OLED electronic viewfinder. It has twin control dials as well as an info display on the top plate. Also included is a Multi Interface Shoe that supports both flashes and advanced microphones.

The a68 can record Full HD video at 30p with continuous AF using the XAVC S codec, with a top bit rate of 50Mbps. The camera can output clean video over HDMI and also has a jack for an external mic.

Preorders for the SLT-A68 begin in March for shipment in April. The body only kit is priced at $599/800 CAD, while adding an 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens brings the price up to $699/950 CAD. 


Press release:

Sony Announces α68 A-mount Camera for US and Canada Markets

New Model Features Ultra-Fast 4D FOCUS, Translucent Mirror Technology and more

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 17, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced the α68 (model ILCA-68) camera with ultra-fast 4D autofocus to the US and Canada markets.

The new camera, which was announced for the European market last month, is the latest model to feature native compatibility with Sony’s extensive collection of A-mount lenses.  Inheriting many pro-style features from the acclaimed α77 II, the α68 features Sony’s unique 4D FOCUS system that delivers extraordinary AF performance under any shooting conditions – even in lighting as low as EV-2 where many other cameras struggle.

This system utilizes 79 autofocus points – the most AF points on any interchangeable lens camera with a dedicated phase-detection AF sensor1.  Included are 15 cross points as well as a dedicated F2.8 AF sensor point for dimly-lit scenes.  This all adds up to extremely fast, wide area AF with predictive tracking that locks faithfully onto fast-moving subjects.  Additionally, the camera utilizes Sony’s unique Translucent Mirror Technology to deliver constant AF tracking at up to 8 fps2.

The camera features a 24 MP3 APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor with a wide ISO 100 – 25,600 sensitivity range4, allowing it to produce outstanding image quality for both still images and video.  The sensor is teamed with a powerful BIONZ X image processor that uses Detail Reproduction and Diffraction-reducing Technologies plus Area-specific Noise Reduction, resulting in pristine, finely detailed shots every time.

Full HD movies use the efficient XAVC S5 format, enabling high bit rate recordings at up to 50 Mbps with outstanding detail and low noise. With Translucent Mirror Technology, shooters can enjoy non-stop continuous autofocus with accurate subject tracking during video shooting, producing crisp, professional looking footage.  With a powerful array of advanced controls and capabilities, the α68 has plenty to offer experienced amateurs as well as step-up photographers and first time interchangeable lens camera customers.  

Framing stills and movies is a pleasure through the clear, bright OLED Tru-Finder, which features 100% frame coverage with high contrast and accurate color reproduction.  Complementing the Tru-Finder, the 2.7-type LCD monitor tilts up to 135 degrees upwards or 55 degrees downwards for comfortable composition from a wide variety of shooting angles. Serious photo enthusiasts will also value the backlit top display that allows quick confirmation of camera settings, whether shooting handheld or on a tripod.

As found on the critically acclaimed α7 series, the α68 has a control wheel on the camera’s rear that allows quick fingertip adjustment of camera settings, as well as 10 customizable buttons6 that frequently-used functions can be assigned to.  There is also a front control dial for quick adjustments of settings and a sturdy grip to ensure a balanced shooting experience, even when using heavyweight prime or telephoto lenses.

The new camera features SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization to reduce the effects of camera shake and allow for blur-free handheld shooting at all focal lengths, with any compatible lens.  Additionally, the inclusion of a Multi Interface Shoe and Multi Terminal lets users expand their creative options with a wide range of optional accessories, including flashes, lights, microphones and remote commanders.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α68 interchangeable lens camera will be available in April at authorized Sony retailers in the US for about $600 body only or about $700 in a kit along with the DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II lens.  In Canada, the body and kit will also be available in April and will be sold for about $800 and $950 CAD, respectively.

1. According to Sony research, as of December 2015
2. In Tele-Zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE
3. Approximate effective megapixels
4. Still Images: ISO 100 – 25600, Movies: ISO100 - 12800 equivalent
5. An SDXC memory card with a Class 10 or higher speed rating is required for XAVC S recording
6. Total 10 customizable buttons including two dedicated custom buttons + 8 assignable buttons


Sony Alpha SLT-A68 specifications

Price
MSRP€600 (body only), €700 (with 18-55mm lens)
Body type
Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialComposite
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Other resolutions3:2 (4240 x 2832, 3008 x 2000), 16:9 (6000 x 3376, 4240 x 2400, 3008 x 1688)
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorBionz X
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-25600
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (3 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine, normal
File format
  • JPEG (DCF v2.0, EXIF v2.3)
  • Raw (ARW 2.3)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (1.4x - 8x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points79
Lens mountSony/Minolta Alpha
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size2.7
Screen dots460,800
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.88×
Viewfinder resolution1,440,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter speed priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFlash off, Auto, Fill-flash, Slow sync, Red-eye reduction, Rear sync, Wireless, High Speed sync
Drive modes
  • Single-frame
  • Continuous high/low
  • Continuous advance priority AE
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes (Yes (2 or 12 sec))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 shots, low/high selectable)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60i, 30p, 24p), 1440 x 1080, 640 x 480
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Videography notesSupports XAVC S with 50Mbps bit rate (30p, 24p)
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Remote controlYes (wired or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-FM500H lithium-ion battery and charger
Weight (inc. batteries)610 g (1.34 lb / 21.52 oz)
Dimensions143 x 104 x 81 mm (5.63 x 4.09 x 3.19)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone