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Canon 40D vs Nikon D2H

The Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D2H are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2007 and July 2003. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D versus Nikon D2H
Canon 40D Nikon D2H
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 4 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 211k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.5 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
750 shots per battery charge2900 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1070 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D2H? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Nikon D2H are illustrated 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 40D vs Nikon D2H
Compare 40D versus D2H top
Comparison 40D or D2H rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2H is considerably larger (50 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the D2H is markedly heavier (30 percent) than the 40D. It is noteworthy in this context that the D2H is splash and dust-proof, while the 40D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (40D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D2H).

As can be seen in the images above, the D2H has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the 40D, Canon provides the BG-E2N vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

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 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
2.
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499i
3.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
4.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
5.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
6.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
7.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
8.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
9.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
12.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
13.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
14.
 
Nikon D700 147 mm 123 mm 77 mm 1074 g 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
15.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
16.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
17.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499i
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 40D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 63 percent) than the D2H, 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. 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D2H is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (40D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 40D and Nikon D2H sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 40D offers a higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels, compared with 4 MP of the Nikon D2H. 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 5.73μm versus 9.50μm for the D2H). However, it should be noted that the 40D is much more recent (by 4 years) than the D2H, 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 Canon 40D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 40D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D2H are 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.3 x 20.7 cm for good quality, 9.9 x 6.5 inches or 25 x 16.6 cm for very good quality, and 8.2 x 5.4 inches or 20.9 x 13.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D2H are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

40D versus D2H 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. Of the two cameras under review, the 40D provides substantially higher image quality than the D2H, with an overall score that is 24 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.2 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
2.
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
3.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
4.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
5.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
6.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
7.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
8.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
9.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
12.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
13.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
14.
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380
15.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
16.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
17.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
The 40D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D2H lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 40D and the D2H are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the D2H offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 40D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the 40D has a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Nikon D2H 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 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
3.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
5.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
6.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
8.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 40D has one, while the D2H does not. While the built-in flash of the 40D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 40D and the D2H write their files to Compact Flash 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 40D and Nikon D2H 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 40DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
7.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
11.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D700Y----mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D1HY-----FW---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 40D and the D2H have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2H was replaced by the Nikon D2Hs, while the 40D was followed by the Canon 50D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Nikon D2H? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10.1 vs 4MP) with a 58% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (24 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.57x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More compact: Is smaller (146x108mm vs 158x150mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 248g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (63 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the D2H launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D2H:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 6.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (2900 versus 750) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2003).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 40D is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 6 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.

40D 12:06 D2H

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Nikon D2H place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 40D and the D2H 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 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
2.
 
Nikon D2H....+ +.... Jul 2003 3,499i
3.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
4.
 
Canon 60D5/5+79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
5.
 
Canon 50D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
6.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
7.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
8.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
9.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
10.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
11.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
12.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
13.
 
Nikon D90..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
14.
 
Nikon D700..89/100+ +4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
15.
 
Nikon D300..+ ++ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
16.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
17.
 
Nikon D1H....+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499i
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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 40D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2H:
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 40D vs Nikon D2H

    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 40D Nikon D2H
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2007 July 2003
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 3,499
    Sensor Specs Canon 40D Nikon D2H
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.3 x 15.5 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 361.15 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 2464 x 1632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 9.50 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 1.11 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 40
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 18.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 352
    Screen Specs Canon 40D Nikon D2H
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 211k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 40D Nikon D2H
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 40D Nikon D2H
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 40D Nikon D2H
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511A EN-EL4
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge2900 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 1070 g (37.7 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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