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Canon 4000D vs SX20

The Canon EOS 4000D (called Canon T100 in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2018 and August 2009. The 4000D is a DSLR, while the SX20 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (4000D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX20) sensor. The 4000D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the SX20 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 4000D versus Canon SX20
Canon 4000D Canon SX20
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 0.7 shutter flaps per second
129 x 102 x 77 mm, 436 g 123 x 88 x 87 mm, 600 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 4000D and the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS? 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 4000D and the Canon SX20. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 4000D vs Canon SX20
Compare 4000D versus SX20 top
Comparison 4000D or SX20 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX20 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon 4000D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 4000D nor the SX20 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX20 has a lens built in, whereas the 4000D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 4000D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

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 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
2.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
3.
 
Canon 2000D 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
6.
 
Canon 1300D 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449i
7.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
8.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
9.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
10.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
11.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
12.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
13.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
14.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
15.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
16.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
17.
 
Canon 1000D 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
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 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. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 4000D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX20 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX20 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 4000D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX20 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the 4000D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the SX20 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 4000D and Canon SX20 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the 4000D offers a higher resolution than the SX20 (12MP), but the 4000D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.53μm for the SX20) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 4000D is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 6 months) than the SX20, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX20 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 4000D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 4000D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX20 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 4000D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

4000D versus SX20 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
2.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
3.
 
Canon 2000D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
4.
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
6.
 
Canon 1300D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
7.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
8.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
9.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
10.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
11.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
12.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
13.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
14.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
15.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
16.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
17.
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the 4000D provides a higher video resolution than the SX20. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the SX20 is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX20 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the 4000D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 4000D and Canon SX20 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 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
3.
 
Canon 2000Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon 1300Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
9.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
12.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
14.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
15.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
16.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
17.
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The 4000D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the SX20 uses SDHC 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 4000D and Canon PowerShot SX20 IS 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 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
3.
 
Canon 2000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon 1300DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
12.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
14.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
17.
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---

It is notable that the 4000D offers wifi support, while the SX20 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The 4000D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX20 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX20 was succeeded by the Canon SX30. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 4000D better than the Canon SX20 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 4000D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 6 months of technical progress since the SX20 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 4000D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x88mm vs 129x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 4000D is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 7 points). 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 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.

4000D 16:07 SX20

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 4000D and the Canon SX20 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom 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 4000D or the SX20 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 why hands-on reviews by experts 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 4000D..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
2.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
3.
 
Canon 2000D..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon 200D4/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
6.
 
Canon 1300D4/5o73/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
7.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
8.
 
Canon 100D4/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
9.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
10.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
11.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
12.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
13.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
14.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
15.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
16.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
17.
 
Canon 1000D..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 4000D:
Check Amazon price
Canon SX20:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu 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 4000D vs Canon SX20

    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 4000D Canon SX20
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-560mm f/2.8-5.7
    Launch Date February 2018 August 2009
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Canon 4000D Canon SX20
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 695 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 4000D Canon SX20
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 4000D Canon SX20
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 0.7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 4000D Canon SX20
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI YES HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon 4000D Canon SX20
    Battery Type LP-E10 4xAA
    Body Dimensions 129 x 102 x 77 mm
    (5.1 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    123 x 88 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.5 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 436 g (15.4 oz) 600 g (21.2 oz)

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