Sony perseveres with A-mount

Sony has defied pundits’ predictions that there will be no more cameras in its A-mount (APS-C format) range by announcing the entry-to-mid level A68 DSLR. (It’s actually the ‘α68′ – but I can’t find the Greek alphabet on my keyboard’.)

Sony-A68The A68 features what Sony calls ‘4D Focus’ (no, sorry, ‘4D FOCUS’), which it claims will perform in lighting as low as EV-2.

This phase detection AF system uses 79 autofocus detection points including 15 cross points, plus a dedicated f2.8 AF sensor point for dimly-lit scenes. It provides ‘predictive tracking that locks faithfully onto fast-moving subjects’. It can shoot at 8 frames per second – an advantage delivered by Sony’s proprietary translucent mirror (‘Translucent Mirror Technology’).

It has a 24-megapixel APS-C Exmor (EXMOR) CMOS image sensor + Bionz X image processing (whoops – that’s ‘BIONZ x’. No, sorry, ‘BIONZ X’) with an ISO 100-25,600 sensitivity range.

Full HD movies use the XAVC Sv format for high bit rate recordings at up to 50 Mbps. Once again, the translucent mirror assists in accurate subject tracking.

The 1.4 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (sorry – that’s no viewfinder, that’s a Tru-Finder!) has 100 percent frame coverage. It also has a 460K-dot ‘2-7-type’ (2.7-inch?) LCD monitor which tilts up to 135 degrees upwards or 55 degrees downwards. And there’s a professional-looking backlit display panel on top for quick confirmation of camera settings.

It adopts a control wheel on the camera’s rear, as seen on the A7 range, allowing for quick adjustment of camera settings. There’s also a front control dial for slightly less quick adjustments of settings. Ten customisable buttons can be assigned for instant access to frequently-used functions.

The A68 has in-camera image stabilisation (known affectionately by the people at Sony as ‘SteadyShot INSIDE’).

It also has a hotshoe (‘Multi Interface Shoe’) and cable terminal (‘Multi Terminal’) for flash, external microphones and remote control systems.

No word about local release. It will be available in the US next March for around US$660 (body only) so should it be released here, Sony will struggle to keep the local price under $1000.

 


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