Just when we thought Sony had forgotten about their DSLRs to concentrate on mirrorless, they've released a very intriguing entry-level model, the a68. While other budget DSLRs offer autofocus points in the single digits or very low double digits, the Sony a68 offers 79.
First, the a68 isn't technically a DSLR. It's a SLT, which means that the mirror inside is translucent, it doesn't flip up and down. While part of that technology is what allows the a68 to be so affordably priced for the feature set, that also means it has an electronic viewfinder, not an optical one.
The sensor technology inside the a68 isn't new, but offers a solid 24.2 megapixels. Like Canon's DSLRs, it still includes the optical low pass filter, while most new Nikons have eliminated the filter trading the risk of moire for enhanced detail. But, the processor is new over the older Sony a58, which should result in better noise reduction at high ISOs as well as that enhanced autofocus.
While the Sony a68 advertises 8 fps, that's just in a crop mode. The true burst rate is 5 fps, which is right in line with the competing Nikon D5500 and Canon T6i. But what's going to be the biggest edge speed-wise is the upgraded autofocus system. The extra points makes for better tracking using continuous focus, so the a68 has a bit of a leg up for sports over other budget DSLRs. While initially the specs looked to improve on the flash sync speed, the current spec sheet lists that as a slower 1/160 (most hit 1/250).
The design has a few noteworthy features as well. The LCD screen tilts, though it is a bit smaller than other DSLRs as just a 2.7". The top of the camera includes a secondary screen, which you normally don't find until the higher-priced enthusiast models like the $1,200 D7200. Wi-fi is missing, however.
The Sony a68 offers an excellent autofocus system for an affordable price. As an SLT, it has an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical one. It's also a bit heavier than both the comparable Nikon D5500 and Canon T6i. The D5500 eliminates the optical low pass filter for enhanced detail (though suffers from more moire), has a better 60 fps frame rate for video, has a larger 3.2" touchscreen and offers wi-fi. The Canon T6i also has a touchscreen and wi-fi. But, with the enhanced autofocus system, the Sony a68 certainly will find a happy home in the hands of many consumers.