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Canon 400D vs SX510

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and August 2013. The 400D is a DSLR, while the SX510 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (400D) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) sensor. The 400D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the SX510 provides 15.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 400D
versus
Canon SX510
Canon 400D Canon SX510
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 1080/24p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3.8 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D and the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS? 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 400D and the Canon SX510 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 400D vs Canon SX510
Compare 400D versus SX510 top
Comparison 400D or SX510 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX510 is considerably smaller (32 percent) than the Canon 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the SX510 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX510 has a lens built in, whereas the 400D 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 400D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the SX510 can take 250 images on a single charge of its NB-6LH power pack.

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 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249 i
3.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279 i
7.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399 i
8.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249 i
9.
 
Canon SX500 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 341 g 195 n Aug 2012 329 i
10.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
11.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
12.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
13.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
14.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
15.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299 i
16.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
17.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729 i
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 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 SX510 was launched at a lower price than the 400D, despite having a lens built in. 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 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 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 400D features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX510 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX510 is 91 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 400D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX510 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, the SX510 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 400D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 400D and Canon SX510 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the SX510 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 400D. 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 1.33μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). However, it should be noted that the SX510 is much more recent (by 7 years) than the 400D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX510 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX510 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX510 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 400D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

400D versus SX510 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
2.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p...... ..
3.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p...... ..
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
6.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p...... ..
7.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
8.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p...... ..
9.
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p...... ..
10.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
11.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
12.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
13.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
14.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
15.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.3703 64
16.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
17.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.4516 63

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX510 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the SX510 can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 400D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX510 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 400D and Canon SX510 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
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 SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
10.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
13.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
14.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
15.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
16.
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the SX510 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 400D and Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 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 400DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX500-stereomono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
16.
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---

It is notable that the 400D has a hotshoe, while the SX510 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the 400D and the SX510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the SX510 was followed by the Canon SX520. 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 there a clear favorite between the Canon 400D and the Canon SX510? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 250) 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 August 2006).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.8 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 400D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 400D).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the 400D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX510 emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 11 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

400D 11:14 SX510

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D and the Canon SX510 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 400D and the SX510 in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 400D..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Canon SX510..+ +..4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249 i
3.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279 i
7.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399 i
8.
 
Canon SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249 i
9.
 
Canon SX500..+ +..4/54/5 Aug 2012 329 i
10.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
11.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
12.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
13.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
14.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
15.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299 i
16.
 
Canon 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
17.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 400D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon SX510:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 400D vs Canon SX510

    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 400D Canon SX510
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8
    Launch Date August 2006 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 249
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Canon SX510
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 400D Canon SX510
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 400D Canon SX510
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 400D Canon SX510
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon 400D Canon SX510
    Battery Type NB-2LH NB-6LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 349 g (12.3 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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