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Canon 1100D vs Leica M9

The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Leica M9 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2011 and September 2009. The 1100D is a DSLR, while the M9 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1100D) and a full frame (M9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 18.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1100D   Leica M9
Canon 1100D Leica M9
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6400 ISO 80-2500
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 585 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1100D and the Leica M9? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Leica M9 are illustrated 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.

The M9 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 1100D is only available in black.

Size Canon 1100D vs Leica M9
Compare 1100D versus M9 top
Comparison 1100D or M9 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M9 is notably smaller (14 percent) than the Canon 1100D. However, the M9 is markedly heavier (18 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D nor the M9 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1100D) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M9).

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 1100D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Leica M9« 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
 
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Leica X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 1100D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 94 percent) than the M9, which puts it into a different market segment. 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1100D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M9 is 167 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1100D and Leica M9 sensor measures

With 18.1MP, the M9 offers a higher resolution than the 1100D (12.2MP), but the M9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.91μm versus 5.15μm for the 1100D) due to its larger sensor. However, the 1100D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the M9, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M9 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M9 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M9 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 26.1 x 17.4 inch or 66.2 x 44.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inch or 53 x 35.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.4 x 11.6 inch or 44.1 x 29.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1100D are 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 1100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M9 are ISO 80 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

1100D versus M9 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the M9 has a markedly higher DXO score than the 1100D (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 1100D» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Leica M9« Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9
 
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
 
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
 
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359Leica M8

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 1100D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the 1100D can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1100D and the M9 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the M9 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 1100D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the M9 has a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1100D and Leica M9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Leica M9«optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n Leica M9
 
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
 
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n Leica M8

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 1100D has one, while the M9 does not. While the built-in flash of the 1100D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1100D and the M9 write their files to SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 1100D and Leica M9 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 1100D»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Leica M9«Y-----2.0---Leica M9
 
Canon 2000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon T2i« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon T2i
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
 
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
 
Leica X Vario« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« »Ystereomono---2.0---Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« »Y-----2.0---Leica M8

Both the 1100D and the M9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M9 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 240, while the 1100D was followed by the Canon 1200D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.


Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 1100D better than the Leica M9 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1100D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 90g or 15 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (94 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the M9).

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Advantages of the Leica M9:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (18.1 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.50x).
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M9 comes out slightly ahead of the 1100D (9 : 8 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1100D 08:09 M9

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1100D or the M9. 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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 1100D»80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Leica M9«--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
 
Canon 2000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon T2i« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« »-+ +--- Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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 1100D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M9:
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 1100D vs Leica M9

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1100D Leica M9
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 7999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1100D Leica M9
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 18.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 5212 x 3472 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 6.91 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 2.09 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 80-2500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 884
    Screen Specs Canon 1100D Leica M9
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.68x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1100D Leica M9
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1100D Leica M9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1100D Leica M9
    Battery Type LP-E10 BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 585 g (20.6 oz)

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