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Canon 350D vs Panasonic GF3

The Canon EOS 350D (called Canon XT in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2005 and June 2011. The 350D is a DSLR, while the GF3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (350D) and a Four Thirds (GF3) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8 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 350D versus Panasonic GF3
Canon 350D Panasonic GF3
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
8 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 160-6,400
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
1.8 LCD, 115k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 3.2 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g 108 x 67 x 32 mm, 264 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 350D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3? 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 350D and the Panasonic GF3. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The 350D can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the GF3 is available in five color-versions (black, brown, pink, red, white).

Size Canon 350D vs Panasonic GF3
Compare 350D versus GF3 top
Comparison 350D or GF3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF3 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Canon 350D. Moreover, the GF3 is substantially lighter (51 percent) than the 350D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 350D nor the GF3 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 (350D) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF3). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF3, 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 350D gets 400 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the GF3 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLE9 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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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 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
2.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
14.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GF3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 39 percent) than the 350D, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 350D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF3 is 32 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 350D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF3 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 350D and Panasonic GF3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GF3 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the 350D. 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 6.41μm for the 350D). However, it should be noted that the GF3 is much more recent (by 6 years and 3 months) than the 350D, 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 GF3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 350D are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 350D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

350D versus GF3 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 review, the 350D provides substantially higher image quality than the GF3, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
2.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
8.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
10.
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
11.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
12.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
14.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
16.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
17.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The GF3 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 350D does not. The highest resolution format that the GF3 can use is 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 350D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 350D, the Panasonic GF3, 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 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF3none n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
8.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF3 has a touchscreen, while the 350D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The 350D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the GF3 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 350D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 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 350DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
13.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the 350D has a hotshoe, while the GF3 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the 350D and the GF3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 350D was replaced by the Canon 400D, while the GF3 was followed by the Panasonic GF5. 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 350D and the Panasonic GF3? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 350D:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2005).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 20%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i 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 115k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 127x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 276g or 51 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (39 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 350D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 8 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 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.

350D 08:10 GF3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 350D and the Panasonic GF3 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 350D or the GF3 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
2.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/10071/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon 400D..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon 300D....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Panasonic GF53/5....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
14.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/10070/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 350D:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF3:
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 350D vs Panasonic GF3

    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 350D Panasonic GF3
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 June 2011
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon 350D Panasonic GF3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 20.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 458
    Screen Specs Canon 350D Panasonic GF3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 350D Panasonic GF3
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 350D Panasonic GF3
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 350D Panasonic GF3
    Battery Type NB-2LH DMW-BLE9
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    108 x 67 x 32 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 264 g (9.3 oz)

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