DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

Started May 4, 2017 | User reviews
vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
25

In the past and present I have used mostly Sony cameras, because they are just better in price/performance ratio, same for lenses (cheaper/sharper). I have used Nikon D5200 and Canon 700D in the past and they were far behind in usability and versatility compared to Sony cameras.

I have used these Sony bodies in the past: a37/a55/a57/a58/a65/a77/a77II

The a58 and a77II have *important* feature of Auto ISO in the 'M' Manual setting.

Recently I used mostly a58 as it suited my needs. I used RX100M3 for 'portability' and video and a58 for stills when needed more 'bokeh' mostly with Sony 35/1.8, Sigma 50-150/2.8 and Samyang 85/1.4 lenses.

The a58 'workflow' was to use RAW+JPEG setup with processing RAW files in RawTherapee and DxO Optics Pro simultaneously and then taking the best from the three (along with OOC JPEG).

The a58, similarly with with older Sony bodies (a37/a55/a57/a58/a65/a77) have weaker JPEG engine when it comes to High ISO in tungsten light. That is why I also used RAW development to pick best possible photo in these conditions.

But the more I used RX100M3 the least I used a58 mostly because of video. While RX100M3 has 1080p60 with 50Mpix XAVC S codec the a58 only has 1080p30 with older 28Mpix AVCHD codec ... and that made *huge* difference.

After one of the 'sessions' with a58 I thought why struggle more with older tech when Sony has some great follower in a68 that improves almost all a58 shortcomings ... and I bought a68.

The DPR page also has an error in the Sony a68 specifications page:

https://www.dpreview.com/products/sony/slrs/sony_slta68/specifications

In the Videography features > Resolutions there should be this information:

  • 1920 x 1080 (60p/50p, 30p/25p, 24p), 1440 x 1080, 640 x 480

I have used a68 for about a month now and I must say that Sony fixed all a8 'problems' with this a68 camera.

The OOC JPEGs from Sony a68 are so good that I am thinking about switching to EXTRA FINE JPEG shooting only ... seriously. The images that are developed with DxO Optics Pro 11 almost does no differ from the OOC JPEGs.

The autofocus on a58 is very limited as its the *very* old technology from a37/a55/a57/a65 years. The a68 autofocus is the same 4D Focus engine that is on Sony's APS-C A-Mount flagship A77II camera. 79 autofocus points at your disposal.

The video's can be made in 1080p60/1080p50 (NTSC/PAL setting available in the MENUs) with XAVC S codec.

The OLED EVF is lag free even in low light which is not on a58 camera.

The a58 (and older Sony bodies) problems about too 'yellow/orange' OOC JPEGs taken in low light/high ISO situations are *gone* now with a68! As to my taste the White Balance is taken perfectly now.

Some may say that the LCD screen has low resolution, yes it has, but as I used a57 with two times bigger resolution I do not see the difference in real world usage. You will not use this screen to waste time with pixel peeping but to frame your subject with 'strange' angles. This is that this LCD is for and for that purpose it serves more then better. Some will say that it is not touch capable ... I am not a fan of touch interfaces as comparing to buttons they mostly only slow me down but I leave that to your personal preferences.

The Sony a68 offers THREE (3) Memory slots to have different camera settings, so for example You can create 'default' setup with RAW+JPEG settings and then create a 'shadow' of settings with JPEG only settings (more creativity options) with these Memory slots like 1=P, 2=A and 3=S all with JPEG only settings.

The buffer on Sony a68 is about a second+ so with 5 FPS you will be able to capture about 7 images in RAW+JPEG setting. When You switch to EXTRA FINE JPEG You will have about 4+ seconds in the buffer which still can not be treated as sports camera, but it will *hugely* improve you options when it comes to 'sports usage' of this camera.

The Sony a68 has top backlight LCD screen but as I have EVF and LCD all needed information is visible there so I very rarely use it, but I know a lot of people use it a lot.

One of the greatest Sony technology lately was Eye AF which sets focus on the subject's eye or fallbacks to full face if it fails to achieve Eye AF which still leaves You with properly set focus for the shot. While buying the a68 I was convinced that such *high* features are limited to top of the line of Sony cameras like a7R2 or at least a6500. Nothing far more for the truth. The Sony a68 has the badass Eye AF feature! You are able to focus on the eye with this dirty cheap camera.

While its not professional body it allows You to have 4 different focus modes without switching any DIAL or going back to the MENU! Just set AF-A with all possible focus points, then REWRITE 'AEL' button with AF Lock (which means AF-S under that button), then set 'C1' button to Eye AF and set 'Center' button to 'Standart' which will let You use single f/2.8 center AF point for 'hit and recompose'. Tell me which Nikon or Canon camera can do that! D5 or 1D?

The a68 also has more buttons then 'theoretically more processional' Nikon D7200 ... the 'low end' bodies like D3xxx and D5xxx are eated for breakfast with Sony a68 camera.

The only cameras from Canon department that can 'cope' with Sony a68 are the ones which has Dual Pixel Autofocus system, and these are two to more time expensive then Sony a68 camera.

For what it costs (I payed $375 for new on EBAY polish equivalent) it kills every possible competition ... and with lots of Minolta lenses from the past You can not find any other system that does what it does at this price point.

The High ISO images also greatly improved as a68 has the same sensor and possibilities that a77II has, of course DPR did not even added a68 to their 'Studio Test Scene' ...

I can say that this is the best camera for this price and with possibilities that are available only to semi-pro bodies like a77II or a6500. With this price and features Sony killed the competition in this 'entry' segment with Sony a68.

The Sony a68 is a great camera with *very* little shortcomings.

Regards,

vermaden

Sony SLT-A68
24 megapixels • 2.7 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Nov 5, 2015
vermaden's score
5.0
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bad for good for
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Karl Scharf
Karl Scharf Veteran Member • Posts: 4,035
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
9

Thanks for the thoughtful review!

Your review of the Sony a68 is more comprehensive (and longer) then DPR's review of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D / Kiss X9i (sic) that was anointed with a "GOLD" award.

The name of the Canon camera was nearly as long as the review!!!

-- hide signature --

...."Sony, your crap is so good"....love this quote!

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OP vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
3

Karl Scharf wrote:

Thanks for the thoughtful review!

Your review of the Sony a68 is more comprehensive (and longer) then DPR's review of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D / Kiss X9i (sic) that was anointed with a "GOLD" award.

Thanks

As I write this I just recalled another reason to choose Sony a68, the Auto ISO for video is 100-12800 now (while it was 100-3200 on Sony a58) and Auto ISO for photos is configurable in the same was as it is on the a77II (up to 100-25600). On a58 it was also fixed as 100-3200.

craig66 Senior Member • Posts: 1,415
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

You can't buy the A68 in Australia. If you want one, you have to import it.

 craig66's gear list:craig66's gear list
Sony a77 II Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Tamron SP AF 200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS Macro HSM Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX DG HSM +10 more
OP vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
1

... also about these OOC JPEGs the settings I use are:

Creative Style: Standard +1 +1 -2

High ISO NR: Low

... as for the Sony a68 itself ... I should also mention that it has that deeper grip/body from a77II body which is great, but it comes at a price, the a68 is bigger then a58, but as You are using DSLR anyway it does not matter, if You want small size You use Sony RX100M3

Karl Scharf
Karl Scharf Veteran Member • Posts: 4,035
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
3

vermaden wrote:

Karl Scharf wrote:

Thanks for the thoughtful review!

Your review of the Sony a68 is more comprehensive (and longer) then DPR's review of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D / Kiss X9i (sic) that was anointed with a "GOLD" award.

Thanks

As I write this I just recalled another reason to choose Sony a68, the Auto ISO for video is 100-12800 now (while it was 100-3200 on Sony a58) and Auto ISO for photos is configurable in the same was as it is on the a77II (up to 100-25600). On a58 it was also fixed as 100-3200.

And it costs less than $600! ......Hard to find a better value.

-- hide signature --

...."Sony, your crap is so good"....love this quote!

 Karl Scharf's gear list:Karl Scharf's gear list
Sony a7 III Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sony FE 50mm F1.8 +12 more
OP vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

craig66 wrote:

You can't buy the A68 in Australia. If you want one, you have to import it.

Would that stop You from getting it?

If I were You I would write to Sony Australia with that complaint.

Yes, it will not change anything, as my writings to Sigma to create their great 50-100mm f/1.8 lens for the Sony A-Mount system, but at least You are giving them 'customer input' that such things are 'wanted'.

Shyamelge Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
6

Excellent review.

Another notable feature of a68 (missing in a58) is micro focus assist which is very helpful if you have Minolta and old Sony lenses. This was one of the key reasons why I switched from 58 to 68. Otherwise, a58 is a fine camera at its price point.

In addition, you get extra fine image option, fast shooting, 79 AF points and loads of other features which are present in a77II.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,480
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
1

By far the main reason the RX100iii has better video is because it uses full sensor read out while the A58 relies on line skipping.

-- hide signature --

Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
------------
Misuse of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography.

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Daggilarr
Daggilarr Regular Member • Posts: 284
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

Why is the A68 better than the A65?

A brief look shows the 65 to have an edge in some ways. But then my knowledge and experience are limited.

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QuietOC
QuietOC Senior Member • Posts: 3,289
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

Daggilarr wrote:

Why is the A68 better than the A65?

A brief look shows the 65 to have an edge in some ways. But then my knowledge and experience are limited.

The 8 and 10 fps ability of the A65 is a bit overrated as are the minor additional resolution and size of the displays. The former is hampered by the slow SD interface--while the A68 supports UHS. The A65's rear screen is awkward to use. The A65 has some bugs: exposure compensation is sometimes ignored, focus magnifier freezes. Startup is sluggish. It is a nice camera especially for 2011

The A68 seems like a decent set of compromises. DXOMark's low-light score is a concern for me. I love the cleaner images from my A5000, and A77II seems able to match the A5000, while the A68 is worse than the A65? Dynamic range and color depth seem improved over the A65.

I'd like to see some better reviews. DPR didn't find the A77ii AF all that great and that is a big selling feature of the A68. I don't think I want a larger body, but the A65 body is more comfortable than the A58, so the even larger grip on the A68 may be worth it.

The A68 competes more directly with a used A77 than the A65.

 QuietOC's gear list:QuietOC's gear list
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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 43,480
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
2

QuietOC wrote:

I'd like to see some better reviews. DPR didn't find the A77ii AF all that great and that is a big selling feature of the A68.

You shouldn't make a generalized statement like that. DPR found Lock on AF subject tracking a bit lacking but the single point AF was as good as any camera made as long as you choose a single point or small cluster and keep it on the subject.

"While face detection AF works pretty well, in general you'll fare best with plain old continuous AF, where you select the desired AF point yourself and then try to keep it on your intended subject by reframing as your subject moves. Used this way, the camera's continuous AF performance is remarkable, hitting focus even at a burst rate of 12fps."

-- hide signature --

Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
------------
Misuse of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography.

 tbcass's gear list:tbcass's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX10 IV Sony a99 II Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM +10 more
OP vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
3

Daggilarr wrote:

Why is the A68 better than the A65?

A brief look shows the 65 to have an edge in some ways. But then my knowledge and experience are limited.

That is a great question my friend.

On the paper it seams that they actually *can* compete with each other but the reality is different (and very brutal). The a65 is piece of junk compared to a68. Even that a65 has bigger buffer then a68.

The a65 uses the old and currently outdated AF system that will bring You lots if misses in the 10 FPS system. Yes, the 10 FPS is twice the better then the 5 FPS on the a68 but how much will You miss? How many of the photos will be tack-sharp and 'keepable' on the a68 then the a65? The a65 uses the same autofocus system as a58 does (15 points). The a68 uses all 79 points that a77II has. You make the answer yourself.

I m not the a68 defender not the preacher that will tell you that a68 is better then a65 for ALL POSSIBLE PURPOSES. For *MY* purposes and *MY* vision and experience of efficient photography the a68 beats the a65 in every *REAL* aspect. But that is for me.

The better JPEG engine, the all of the 'uncut' a77II features, the XAVC S codec, the bigger grip/body, lots and lots.

Also, have You recently checked the 6400 ISO image of a65 versus the a68 one? Tell mu how many *MAGNITUDES* more You hate the a65 image? I know because I also have used a65/a77 sensor and I know its good up to ISO 800 and more then that is just big *PITA*.

The a57 is miles away then a65. Similarly is the a68, but me may differ here 'beautifully', I may not be able to convince You that a68 is better then a65.

For me a68 is a77II for 1/3 the price with smaller buffer and more plastic body. I do not care if its plastic, platinum or carbon, it works. I have used Sony a58 with TONS of various lenses with plastic mount and NONE of that Internet Bullsh!t was true about the 'endurance' of the plastic mount, but the 'damage has been done', the *THEORETICAL* damage of course. Tons of people bought the a65/a77 (or other camera) instead of a58 just because of bold claims about a58 that its mount its plastic and it won't last ...

My $0.02 on that topic.

Regards,

vermaden

OP vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

QuietOC wrote:

Daggilarr wrote:

Why is the A68 better than the A65?

A brief look shows the 65 to have an edge in some ways. But then my knowledge and experience are limited.

The 8 and 10 fps ability of the A65 is a bit overrated as are the minor additional resolution and size of the displays. The former is hampered by the slow SD interface--while the A68 supports UHS. The A65's rear screen is awkward to use. The A65 has some bugs: exposure compensation is sometimes ignored, focus magnifier freezes. Startup is sluggish. It is a nice camera especially for 2011

The A68 seems like a decent set of compromises. DXOMark's low-light score is a concern for me. I love the cleaner images from my A5000, and A77II seems able to match the A5000, while the A68 is worse than the A65? Dynamic range and color depth seem improved over the A65.

I'd like to see some better reviews. DPR didn't find the A77ii AF all that great and that is a big selling feature of the A68. I don't think I want a larger body, but the A65 body is more comfortable than the A58, so the even larger grip on the A68 may be worth it.

The A68 competes more directly with a used A77 than the A65.

The DxO 'score' is not very *VERIFIABLE*, we can not compare the 'studio shots' to make our own statement. The DPR does not added a68 to their 'Studio Scene' then we are *blind* in that comparison.

We all know how big sh!t is the sensor in the a65/a77 cameras is when it comes to High ISO and DxO marks a65 the same in HIGH ISO as a68? To me its upper utter sh!t but everyone has to evaluate this score for their own.

OP vermaden Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

tbcass wrote:

By far the main reason the RX100iii has better video is because it uses full sensor read out while the A58 relies on line skipping.

Yes and no

Yes because You are right. The RX100M3 does use WHOLE sensor area for the moves which helps a lot but its still a lot smaller sensor.

If You compare a58 movie with AVCHD 28Mpix codec in 30p/25p movie to RX100M3 50Mpix XAVC S 60p/50 movie, especially at high ISO then its night to day (for the RX100M3 advantage), but compare the same 50 Mpix XAVC S movie from a68 to 50 Mpix XAVC S movie from RX100M3 and the difference is negligible ...

QuietOC
QuietOC Senior Member • Posts: 3,289
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

The A65 does seem to focus better than the A58. I do wish the AF was better. I mostly use wide AF for tracking cars.

The weather sealing of the A77 sounds attractive to me. I killed a Canon A570 IS using it in the rain. I haven't had similar failures with an other cameras.

 QuietOC's gear list:QuietOC's gear list
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Trevor_S
Trevor_S Regular Member • Posts: 390
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
1

I come to DPR for the forums first and the News second, the reviews are so out of whack for my needs I never read them.

You can take a good photo with any camera, that's not the issue, the question is what's a better tool, on that issue... I long ago parted company with DPR reviewers. For me, not being able to see the image via and EVF with an SLT (which is streets ahead for just about everything over a manually flapping prism) means it can't ever go past mediocre for a start and that's just on one issue and that's coming from Nikon only a few years ago.

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craig66 Senior Member • Posts: 1,415
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.
1

vermaden wrote:

QuietOC wrote:

Daggilarr wrote:

Why is the A68 better than the A65?

A brief look shows the 65 to have an edge in some ways. But then my knowledge and experience are limited.

The 8 and 10 fps ability of the A65 is a bit overrated as are the minor additional resolution and size of the displays. The former is hampered by the slow SD interface--while the A68 supports UHS. The A65's rear screen is awkward to use. The A65 has some bugs: exposure compensation is sometimes ignored, focus magnifier freezes. Startup is sluggish. It is a nice camera especially for 2011

The A68 seems like a decent set of compromises. DXOMark's low-light score is a concern for me. I love the cleaner images from my A5000, and A77II seems able to match the A5000, while the A68 is worse than the A65? Dynamic range and color depth seem improved over the A65.

I'd like to see some better reviews. DPR didn't find the A77ii AF all that great and that is a big selling feature of the A68. I don't think I want a larger body, but the A65 body is more comfortable than the A58, so the even larger grip on the A68 may be worth it.

The A68 competes more directly with a used A77 than the A65.

The DxO 'score' is not very *VERIFIABLE*, we can not compare the 'studio shots' to make our own statement. The DPR does not added a68 to their 'Studio Scene' then we are *blind* in that comparison.

We all know how big sh!t is the sensor in the a65/a77 cameras is when it comes to High ISO and DxO marks a65 the same in HIGH ISO as a68? To me its upper utter sh!t but everyone has to evaluate this score for their own.

DXOMark might be right. The A68 might have the same sensor as the A77 and A65 rather than the A77ii sensor. I'm sure I don't know. If I had an A68 I could tell quickly by comparing MTF tests for the A68 and A77ii with the same lens attached. The A77ii delivers higher system MTF than the A77 or A65. It may be the gapless microlenses or different AA filter or a combination but it is true that the A77ii gives higher resolution than the previous generation 24mp SLT cameras.

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Shyamelge Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

Can anyone carry out MTF test on a68 and a77II to settle the sensor issue?

QuietOC
QuietOC Senior Member • Posts: 3,289
Re: DPR would not review a68 as its too good for its price.

craig66 wrote:

DXOMark might be right. The A68 might have the same sensor as the A77 and A65 rather than the A77ii sensor. I'm sure I don't know. If I had an A68 I could tell quickly by comparing MTF tests for the A68 and A77ii with the same lens ttached. The A77ii delivers higher system MTF than the A77 or A65. It may be the gapless microlenses or different AA filter or a combination but it is true that the A77ii gives higher resolution than the previous generation 24mp SLT cameras.

I prefer the stronger AA filter look of the A65 compared to the A5000 and A58 at least when using sharp lenses. I am thinking I should get an A5100/6000 just for the AA filter or even one the older 16MP sensors.

 QuietOC's gear list:QuietOC's gear list
Sony a77 II Sony a7 II Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +125 more
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