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Canon 20D vs Leica TL2

The Canon EOS 20D and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2004 and July 2017. The 20D is a DSLR, while the TL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 20D versus Leica TL2
Canon 20D Leica TL2
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-50,000
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8 LCD, 118k dots 3.7 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
144 x 106 x 72 mm, 770 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 20D and the Leica TL2? 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 20D and the Leica TL2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 20D is only available in black.

Size Canon 20D vs Leica TL2
Compare 20D versus TL2 top
Comparison 20D or TL2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL2 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Canon 20D. Moreover, the TL2 is substantially lighter (48 percent) than the 20D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 20D nor the TL2 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The power pack in the TL2 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
2.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
3.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
4.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
5.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
6.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
7.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
8.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
12.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i
14.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
15.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
16.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
17.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 20D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the TL2, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 more expensive and 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 TL2 is 10 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (20D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 20D and Leica TL2 sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the TL2 offers a higher resolution than the 20D (8.2MP), but the TL2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 6.42μm for the 20D). Yet, the TL2 is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 10 months) than the 20D, and its sensor will 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 TL2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica TL2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TL2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 20D are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 20D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica TL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).

20D versus TL2 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
2.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
3.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
4.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
5.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
6.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
7.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
8.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
10.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
12.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
14.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
15.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
16.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
17.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The TL2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 20D does not. The highest resolution format that the TL2 can use is 4K/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 20D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 20D, the Leica TL2, and comparable 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 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
3.
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
6.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
8.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
15.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 20D has one, while the TL2 does not. While the built-in flash of the 20D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 20D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TL2 uses SDXC cards.

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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 20D and Leica TL2 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 20DY-----1.1---
2.
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
3.
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
13.
 
Leica C-LUX-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
15.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
17.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---

It is notable that the TL2 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 20D does not provide wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 20D (unlike the TL2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the 20D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 20D was succeeded by the Canon 30D. 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 20D better than the Leica TL2 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 20D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2004).

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Arguments in favor of the Leica TL2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 72%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 118k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 144x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 371g or 48 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 1.1).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 12 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 20D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 9 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

20D 09:15 TL2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 20D and the Leica TL2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

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 20D or the TL2. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
2.
 
Leica TL23.5/5....4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
3.
 
Canon M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
4.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+84/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
5.
 
Canon 60D5/5+79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
6.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
7.
 
Canon 50D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
8.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
11.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
12.
 
Canon 300D....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Leica C-LUX......4.5/54/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i
14.
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
15.
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
16.
 
Leica T3/5....4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
17.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 20D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price

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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 20D vs Leica TL2

    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 20D Leica TL2
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2004 July 2017
    Launch Price USD 1,499 USD 1,950
    Sensor Specs Canon 20D Leica TL2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.5 x 15.0 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 337.5 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.42 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 2.43 MP/cm2 6.52 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 50,000 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 721 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 20D Leica TL2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.56x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 20D Leica TL2
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 20D Leica TL2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon 20D Leica TL2
    Battery Type BP-511A BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 144 x 106 x 72 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 770 g (27.2 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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