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Canon 1D C vs Nikon D3X

The Canon EOS-1D C and the Nikon D3X are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2012 and December 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 1D C versus Nikon D3X
Canon 1D C Nikon D3X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800) ISO 100-1,600 (50 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
14 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1120 shots per battery charge4400 shots per battery charge
158 x 164 x 83 mm, 1545 g 160 x 157 x 88 mm, 1260 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D C and the Nikon D3X? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D C and the Nikon D3X is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1D C vs Nikon D3X
Compare 1DC versus D3X top
Comparison 1DC or D3X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3X is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 1D C. Moreover, the D3X is markedly lighter (18 percent) than the 1DC. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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. Yet, since both cameras are based around a full frame sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1DC) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3X).

Concerning battery life, the 1DC gets 1120 shots out of its LP-E4N battery, while the D3X can take 4400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, both cameras have a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 1D C 158 mm 164 mm 83 mm 1545 g 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999i
2.
 
Nikon D3X 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1260 g 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999i
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark III 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1440 g 2850 Y Jan 2020 6,499 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
5.
 
Canon 5D Mark III 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 950 g 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499i
6.
 
Canon 6D 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
7.
 
Canon 1D X 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1551 g 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799i
8.
 
Canon 5D Mark II 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499i
9.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999i
10.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1215 g 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999i
11.
 
Canon 1Ds 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1265 g 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999i
12.
 
Nikon D5 160 mm 159 mm 92 mm 1415 g 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499i
13.
 
Nikon D4S 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1350 g 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499i
14.
 
Nikon D750 141 mm 113 mm 78 mm 750 g 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
15.
 
Nikon D4 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999i
16.
 
Nikon D3 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D3X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the 1DC, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1D C and Nikon D3X sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the D3X offers a higher resolution of 24.4 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 1DC. 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 5.94μm versus 6.95μm for the 1DC). Moreover, it should be noted that the 1DC is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 months) than the D3X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.2 x 20.2 inches or 76.8 x 51.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.2 x 16.1 inches or 61.4 x 41 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.2 x 13.4 inches or 51.2 x 34.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D C are 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS-1D C has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3X are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-6400.

1DC versus D3X MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 1D C Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p........
2.
 
Nikon D3X Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none24.713.7199288
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark III Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.214.5324891
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
5.
 
Canon 5D Mark III Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381
6.
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
7.
 
Canon 1D X Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682
8.
 
Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
9.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744none24.012.0166380
10.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328none23.311.3148074
11.
 
Canon 1Ds Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704none21.811.095463
12.
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
13.
 
Nikon D4S Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489
14.
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
15.
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
16.
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 1DC indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D3X does not. The highest resolution format that the 1DC can use is 4K/24p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1DC and the D3X 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the 1DC has a higher magnification than the one of the D3X (0.76x vs 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1D C and Nikon D3X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon 1D Coptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n
2.
 
Nikon D3Xoptical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 20.0 n n
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
5.
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n
6.
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
7.
 
Canon 1D Xoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n
8.
 
Canon 5D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n
9.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
10.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIoptical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n
11.
 
Canon 1Dsoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n
12.
 
Nikon D5optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n
13.
 
Nikon D4Soptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
14.
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D4optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n

The Nikon D3X has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1DC and the D3X write their files to Compact Flash cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

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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-1D C and Nikon D3X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 1D CYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D3XY----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Canon 5D Mark IIIYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon 1D XYmono-Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 5D Mark IIYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIYmono----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 1DsY-----FW---
12.
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---
13.
 
Nikon D4SYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
15.
 
Nikon D4YmonomonoYYmicro2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 1DC and the D3X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Canon and Nikon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1D C or the Nikon D3X – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D C:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/24p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.70x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D3X launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D3X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.4 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 17%.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 285g or 18 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (4400 versus 1120) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in December 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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.

1DC 06:06 D3X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D C and the Nikon D3X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1DC or the D3X perform in practice. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 1D C.......... Apr 2012 14,999i
2.
 
Nikon D3X....86/1004/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999i
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark III..+ +..4.5/54/5 Jan 2020 6,499 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II....89/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
5.
 
Canon 5D Mark III..+ +82/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499i
6.
 
Canon 6D5/5+ +83/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
7.
 
Canon 1D X5/5....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799i
8.
 
Canon 5D Mark II4/591/10079/1004/5.. Sep 2008 3,499i
9.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III....+ +4.5/5.. Aug 2007 7,999i
10.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II....+ +.... Sep 2004 7,999i
11.
 
Canon 1Ds....+ +.... Sep 2002 8,999i
12.
 
Nikon D5....89/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499i
13.
 
Nikon D4S5/5....4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499i
14.
 
Nikon D7505/5+ +90/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
15.
 
Nikon D4......4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999i
16.
 
Nikon D3....+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 1D C:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3X:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 1D C vs Nikon D3X

    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 1D C Nikon D3X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2012 December 2008
    Launch Price USD 14,999 USD 7,999
    Sensor Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D3X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 24.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 6048 x 4032 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.95 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.07 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204,800 ISO 50 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5+ (Dual) EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 88
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1992
    Screen Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D3X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.76x 0.70x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D3X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D3X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1D C Nikon D3X
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E4N EN-EL4a
    Battery Life (CIPA)1120 shots per charge4400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 164 x 83 mm
    (6.2 x 6.5 x 3.3 in)
    160 x 157 x 88 mm
    (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1545 g (54.5 oz) 1260 g (44.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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