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Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

The Canon EOS 100D (called Canon SL1 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha NEX-F3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2013 and May 2012. The 100D is a DSLR, while the NEX-F3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 100D   Sony NEX-F3
Canon 100D Sony NEX-F3
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 16 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-12800 (100-25600) ISO 100-16000
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.9 shutter flaps per second 5.5 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g 117 x 67 x 42 mm, 314 g

Body comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 100D and the Sony NEX-F3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 100D and Sony NEX-F3
Compare 100D versus NEX-F3 top
Compare 100D or NEX-F3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-F3 is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Canon 100D. Moreover, the NEX-F3 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the 100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 100D nor the NEX-F3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (100D) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-F3). Mirrorless cameras, such as the NEX-F3, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 100D gets 380 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the NEX-F3 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 100D» 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Sony NEX-F3« 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.1 oz 470 n May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-3« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 10.1 oz 330 n May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 100D was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the NEX-F3 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NEX-F3 is 10 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (100D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 100D and Sony NEX-F3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 100D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the Sony NEX-F3. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-F3). However, it should be noted that the 100D is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the NEX-F3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The 100D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Canon EOS 100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-F3 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

100D versus NEX-F3 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the NEX-F3 has a markedly higher DXO score than the 100D (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 100D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
Sony NEX-F3« APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.712.3111473Sony NEX-F3
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« » APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669Sony NEX-5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the NEX-F3 provides a faster frame rate than the 100D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 100D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-F3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-F3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1S. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 100D and Sony NEX-F3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 100D»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
Sony NEX-F3«- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 Y n Sony NEX-F3
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 4000 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 100D has a touchscreen, while the NEX-F3 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The NEX-F3 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 100D does not have a selfie-screen.

The 100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the NEX-F3 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 100D and Sony Alpha NEX-F3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 100D»YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 100D
Sony NEX-F3«Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-F3
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 200D
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5

It is notable that the 100D has a microphone port, which is missing on the NEX-F3. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Both the 100D and the NEX-F3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 100D was replaced by the Canon 200D, while the NEX-F3 does not have a direct successor.


Review summary: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 100D better than the Sony NEX-F3 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 100D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 16MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the NEX-F3).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-F3:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.5 vs 4.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 117x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 93g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-F3 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

100D 07:12 NEX-F3

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 100D and the NEX-F3 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 100D»Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Sony NEX-F3«-74/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon 650D« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon 600D« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-5N« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« »HiRec71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 100D:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-F3:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 100D vs Sony NEX-F3

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 100D Sony NEX-F3
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2013 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 599
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.4 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4912 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.78 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 4.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 843 1114
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% n/a
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x n/a
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.9 shutter flaps/s 5.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E12 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 91 x 69 mm
    (4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    117 x 67 x 42 mm
    (4.6 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 407 g (14.4 oz) 314 g (11.1 oz)

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