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Canon 300D vs Panasonic GF1

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and September 2009. The 300D is a DSLR, while the GF1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (300D) and a Four Thirds (GF1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 300D VS Panasonic GF1
Canon 300D Panasonic GF1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-3200
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8" LCD, 118k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 300D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Panasonic GF1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 300D vs Panasonic GF1
Compare 300D versus GF1 top
Comparison 300D or GF1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF1 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the GF1 is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the GF1 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 (300D) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF1, 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 300D gets 400 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the GF1 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 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)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D» 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899iCanon 300D
 
Panasonic GF1« 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 13.6 oz 380 n Sep 2009 749iPanasonic GF1
 
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 iCanon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 iCanon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649iCanon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799iCanon G1 X
 
Canon 400D« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799iCanon 400D
 
Canon 350D« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899iCanon 350D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999iCanon 10D
 
Nikon D70« » 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 n Jan 2004 999iNikon D70
 
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699iPanasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499iPanasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599iPanasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 1.8 in 13.6 oz 300 n Mar 2009 899iPanasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599iPanasonic G1
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GF1 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the 300D, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 300D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF1 is 34 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 300D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 300D and Panasonic GF1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GF1 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the 300D. 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 4.33μm versus 7.38μm for the 300D). However, it should be noted that the GF1 is much more recent (by 6 years) than the 300D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GF1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 300D are 15.4 x 10.2 inch or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inch or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inch or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

300D versus GF1 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455Canon 300D
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
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 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760Canon 350D
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950Nikon D70
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353Panasonic G1

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GF1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 300D does not. The highest resolution format that the GF1 can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 300D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 300D and Panasonic GF1 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Canon 300D
 
Panasonic GF1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1

The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the GF1 uses SDHC 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 300D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 300D
 
Panasonic GF1Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon 350DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 350D
 
Canon 20DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 10DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 10D
 
Nikon D70Ynonenone--none1.0---Nikon D70
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10Ymononone--mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1YstereononeY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1Ynonenone--mini2.0---Panasonic G1

Both the 300D and the GF1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the GF1 was followed by the Panasonic DMC-GF2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Panasonic GF1? Which camera is better? 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 300D:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 35%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x71mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 264g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the 300D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF1 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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.

300D 02:11 GF1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 300D and the Panasonic GF1 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 300D or the GF1 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899iCanon 300D
 
Panasonic GF185/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749iPanasonic GF1
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 iCanon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 iCanon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649iCanon 700D
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799iCanon G1 X
 
Canon 400D+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799iCanon 400D
 
Canon 350D80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899iCanon 350D
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999iCanon 10D
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999iNikon D70
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699iPanasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499iPanasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599iPanasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899iPanasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599iPanasonic G1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 300D:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF1:
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 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 300D vs Panasonic GF1

    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 300D Panasonic GF1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon 300D Panasonic GF1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 513
    Screen Specs Canon 300D Panasonic GF1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 300D Panasonic GF1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 300D Panasonic GF1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 300D Panasonic GF1
    Battery Type BP-511 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    119 x 71 x 36 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 385 g (13.6 oz)

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