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Canon 400D vs Leica TL

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Leica TL are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and November 2016. The 400D is a DSLR, while the TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 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
Leica TL
Canon 400D   Leica TL
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
10.1 MP – APS-C sensor 16.1 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.5" LCD – 230k dots 3.7" LCD – 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D and the Leica TL? 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 400D and the Leica TL. 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.

The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the 400D is only available in black.

Size Canon 400D vs Leica TL
Compare 400D versus TL top
Comparison 400D or TL rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Canon 400D. Moreover, the TL is markedly lighter (31 percent) than the 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the TL 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 TL can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
2.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
4.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
12.
 
Fujifilm X-A10 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 331 g 410 n Dec 2016 399ebay.com
13.
 
Fujifilm X-A2 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399ebay.com
14.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 n Jan 2012 1,699ebay.com
15.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
16.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729ebay.com
Note: 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 400D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 53 percent) than the TL, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the TL is 13 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (400D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 400D and Leica TL sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the TL offers a higher resolution than the 400D (10.1MP), but the TL has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). Yet, the TL is a much more recent model (by 10 years and 2 months) than the 400D, 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 TL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica TL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 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 Leica TL are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

400D versus TL 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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 2592none22.111.066462
2.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
3.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
8.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Fujifilm X-A10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p23.913.2169181
13.
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p23.612.8151579
14.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p23.112.3123874
15.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p23.913.3175382
16.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
17.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The TL indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the TL can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 400D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 400D and Leica TL 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 400Doptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 750Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon 650Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon 550Doptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
8.
 
Canon 500Doptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
9.
 
Canon 450Doptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5/s Y n
11.
 
Canon 350Doptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Fujifilm X-A10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
13.
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6/s Y n
14.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro11440 n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0/s n n
15.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0/s n n
16.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TL has a touchscreen, while the 400D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TL uses SDXC 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 400D and Leica TL 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 400DY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon 750DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 760DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 650DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 550DYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 500DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 450DY- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 350DY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Fujifilm X-A10-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
16.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
17.
 
Nikon D40XY- / ----2.0---

It is notable that the TL offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 400D does not provide wifi capability.

Both the 400D and the TL have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the TL was followed by the Leica TL2. 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 400D or the Leica TL – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (53 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica TL:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • 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 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 172g or 31 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.
  • 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 10 years and 2 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 4 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 04:14 TL

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D and the Leica TL 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 400D or the TL. 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 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 400D..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
2.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 750D5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
4.
 
Canon 760D5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 550D..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 500D..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 450D..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 350D..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
12.
 
Fujifilm X-A10........4/54/5 Dec 2016 399ebay.com
13.
 
Fujifilm X-A24/5......4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399ebay.com
14.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro15/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699ebay.com
15.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
16.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100..+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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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 400D vs Leica TL

    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 Leica TL
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 November 2016
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1,695
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Leica TL
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    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 Leica TL
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 400D Leica TL
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 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 Leica TL
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon 400D Leica TL
    Battery Type NB-2LH BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 384 g (13.5 oz)
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    Check TL offers at
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