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Sony Brings Affordable Alpha 68 Camera to US

This might be the Sony camera you've been waiting to get. The Alpha 68 hybrid DSLR is finally coming to the US. Already available in the UK, the Alpha 68 will retail in the US starting March 2016, for $599 (body only) or $699 with a 18-55mm kit lens.

The Alpha 68 features what Sony calls 4D Focus, which combines a 79-point autofocus system, phase detection autofocus sensor and the company's Bionz X processor for motion tracking, to offer sharp images not only when shooting fast-moving action, but also in low light. Sony says that its 79-point autofocus has the highest number of AF points in the world, and makes the camera more accurate when capturing rapid moving subjects.

MORE: Best DSLR Cameras: From Beginner to Pro

As an SLT (single lens translucent) camera, the A68 is one of Sony's hybrid DSLRs that uses a translucent mirror instead of one that moves to reflect light onto the sensor. The A68 sports a 24.3-MP APS-C sensor and can support an ISO light sensitivity range between ISO 100 and 25,600.

That's the same as the higher-end A77 II mirrorless camera ($1,200 body only), which also has a 79-point phase detect autofocus system. However, while the A77 II can shoot at a faster 12 frames per second continuously, the A68 can only muster up to 8 fps. The A68 is a step up from the older A58, which uses a 20.1-MP sensor with 15-point autofocus system, and costs about $450 (body only).

Unlike rival cameras the  Nikon D5500 ($700 body only) and the Canon Rebel T6i ($750 body only), the A68 has a top display panel and electronic viewfinder. The Nikon and Canon both have just 39-point and 19-point autofocus systems respectively.

The A68 is compatible with all 34 of Sony's A-mount lenses.

For all the features it offers, the Alpha 68 is one of Sony's most affordable advanced cameras yet. Those considering a Sony DSLR, but put off by the high price of its other cameras, now have a compelling option to consider. You'll just have to wait until March.

Cherlynn Low

Cherlynn is Reviews Editor at Engadget and was previously a staff writer at Tom's Guide, covering wearables, cameras and smartphones. In her spare time she enjoys devouring old episodes of Torchwood or The X-Files. Or taking selfies.