Sony Europe has announced a new Alpha-mount camera, the a68. High on its list of features is a 79-point (15 cross-type) phase detect '4D FOCUS' AF module likely borrowed from the a77 II. With a 24MP APS-C sensor and Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology, the camera is capable of 8 fps shooting with AF tracking. 

The a68 is equipped with an OLED EVF with 1.4 million dots, and a 2.7" tilting 460k-dot LCD. Full HD video recording is offered in a 50Mbps XAVC format. Built-in SteadyShot image stabilization is provided, as is a multi-interface shoe for use with flash guns, microphones and other accessories.

The Sony a68 will be sold for €600 body only (~$650) when it arrives in March 2016; a 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II kit will be available for €700 (~$760). Sony US is unable to comment on US pricing or availability for the a68.


Press release:

Precision Photography: Sony introduces α68 A-mount camera with 4D FOCUS

Uncompromising features and performance for demanding amateur photographers

  • 4D FOCUS for fast, accurate tracking autofocus with world’s highest[i] number of 79 AF points
  • Translucent Mirror Technology™ delivers constant AF tracking at up to 8fps[ii] continuous shooting
  • 24MP[iii] APS-C Exmor™ CMOS image sensor delivers wide ISO 100-25600[iv] sensitivity range
  • BIONZ X™ image processing engine enables the capture of high-quality images
  • Precise OLED Tru-Finder™, tiltable LCD monitor, top display panel and custom controls
  • SteadyShot™ INSIDE works with all 34 A-mount lenses
  • Full HD video with high bit-rate 50Mbps XAVC S[v] format 

The new α68 (ILCA-68) camera from Sony lets enthusiastic photographers discover even more creative opportunities with their precious 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 other cameras struggle.

This phase detection system uses no less than 79 autofocus detection points including 15 cross points, plus a dedicated F2.8 AF sensor point for dimly-lit scenes. It all adds up to fast, wide area AF with predictive tracking that locks faithfully onto fast-moving subjects. And thanks to Sony’s unique Translucent Mirror Technology, the α68 delivers constant AF tracking at up to 8fps[ii] continuous shooting.

Whether you’re shooting stills or movies, peerless image quality is assured by the 24MP[iii] APS-C Exmor CMOS image sensor with wide ISO 100-25600[iv] sensitivity range. It’s teamed with Sony’s speedy BIONZ X image processor that uses Detail Reproduction and Diffraction-reducing Technologies plus Area-specific Noise Reduction for pristine, finely detailed shots every time.

Full HD movies use the efficient XAVC S[v] format for high bit rate recordings at up to 50 Mbps with outstanding detail and low noise. And thanks to Sony’s unique Translucent Mirror Technology, you can enjoy non-stop continuous autofocus that effortlessly tracks moving subjects for crisp, professional looking footage, whichever format you choose to record in.

With a powerful array of creative features to explore, the α68 has plenty to offer experienced amateurs as well as step-up photographers and newcomers to interchangeable lens cameras.

Framing stills and movies is a pleasure through the clear, bright OLED Tru-Finder. 100% frame coverage ensures you see exactly what you’re shooting, with high contrast and faithful colour reproduction helping you focus manually with absolute confidence.

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 you’re shooting handheld or on a tripod.

As found on the critically praised α7 series, there’s a control wheel on the camera’s rear that allows quick fingertip adjustment of camera settings. In addition, 10 customisable buttons[vi] can be assigned for instant access to frequently-used functions. There is a front control dial for quick adjustments of settings and a sturdy grip to ensure that you are balanced, even when using heavyweight prime or telephoto lenses.

SteadyShot INSIDE reduces the effects of camera shake for blur-free handheld shooting – at all focal lengths and with any compatible lens.

The inclusion of a Multi Interface Shoe and Multi Terminal lets you expand creative options further with a wide range of optional accessories, including flashes, lights, microphones and remote commanders.

The new α68 A-mount interchangeable lens camera from Sony will be from March 2016 for approximately €600 body only or €700 with DT18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II lens. 

[i]Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras with a dedicated phase-detection AF sensor (as of November, 2015).

[ii]In Tele-Zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE

[iii]Approximate effective megapixels

[iv] Still Images: ISO 100 – 25600, Movies: ISO100 - 12800 equivalent

[v]A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format

[vi] Total 10 customisable buttons including two dedicated custom buttons + 8 assignable buttons

[vii]NTSC / PAL


Sony 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× (0.59× 35mm equiv.)
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