Sony has announced the A68, an upcoming entry-level DSLR-like camera which inherits features from the higher-end A77 II. The new A-mount shooter boasts a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 4D Focus with 79 phase-detection autofocus points, and a BIONZ X image processing engine.

The A68 (or α68, depending on your branding preference) will sit under the A77 II in Sony’s line-up of APS-C sensored DSLR-like cameras. Like those cameras, and the full frame A99, it uses A-mount lenses rather than the E-mount glass which is used on Sony’s mirrorless systems.

While the new camera does not appear to be anything groundbreaking, it does bring a number of previously high-end features to a much more affordable device, though as we'll see, this is at the cost others. Headline attractions include the combination of 4D Focus with Translucent Mirror Technology, and built-in sensor shift image stabilization.

At the core of the camera is a 24-megapixel APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) CMOS sensor which is paired with Sony’s BIONZ X image processing engine. This allows the camera to shoot high quality, low noise images and boast an ISO range of 100 to 25,600. The A68 can also shoot at 8 fps with constant AF tracking thanks to the use of Translucent Mirror Technology.

In terms of autofocus, the 4D Focus system is said to deliver fast and accurate focus even in lighting as low as EV-2. This is thanks to a phase detection system which uses 79 points, including 15 cross points. Full HD video recording is possible at up to 30 fps with the option of a high bit-rate of 50 Mbps using the XAVC S format.

Measuring 142.6 x 104.2 x 80.9 mm (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in) and weighing 690 g (24 oz) the camera is sized and looks as you would expect for an entry-level DSLR, and also features physical access to a number of settings via a rear control wheel and a front control dial.

Around back there's an electronic OLED viewfinder which, having just 1,440,000 dots, could come as a disappointment when compared to the higher-res 2,359,296 dot version on the A77 II. Users also have the option of composing and reviewing shots on the rear monitor, which, while only measuring 2.7-inch and having only 460,800 dots, can be angled upwards 135 degrees and 55 degrees down.

Slightly surprisingly for a Sony camera in this day and age, there’s no built-in Wi-Fi like we’ve seen on recent mirrorless and even compact cameras.

The Sony A68 will be available from March 2016 body-only for £440 or bundled with an 18-55-mm zoom kit lens for £520, no official US pricing is currently available, but that’s around US$660 and $790.

Product page: Sony A68

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