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Canon 40D vs Olympus E-330

The Canon EOS 40D and the Olympus Evolt E-330 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2007 and January 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (40D) and a Four Thirds (E-330) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D   VS Olympus E-330
Canon 40D Olympus E-330
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-3200) ISO 100-400 (100-1600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
750 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Olympus Evolt E-330? 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 40D and the Olympus E-330. 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.

Size Canon 40D vs Olympus E-330
Compare 40D versus E-330 top
Comparison 40D or E-330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-330 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the E-330 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the E-330 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 (40D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-330).

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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D» 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Olympus E-330« 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999iOlympus E-330
 
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449iCanon T3
 
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399iCanon 60D
 
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299iCanon 50D
 
Canon XS« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449iCanon XS
 
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799iCanon XSi
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399iCanon 30D
 
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799iCanon XTi
 
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899iCanon XT
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999iCanon 10D
 
Leica Digilux 3« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499iLeica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D90« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299iNikon D90
 
Olympus E-500« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.6 in 16.9 oz 750 n Sep 2005 599iOlympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300« » 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799iOlympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999iPanasonic L1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-330 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the 40D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-330 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-330 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 40D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 40D and Olympus E-330 sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the 40D offers a higher resolution than the E-330 (7.4MP), but the 40D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.73μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 40D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the E-330, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

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 inch or 49.4 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.6 x 10.4 inch or 39.5 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13 x 8.6 inch or 32.9 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-330 are 15.7 x 11.8 inch or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inch or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inch or 26.6 x 19.9 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 Olympus Evolt E-330 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

40D versus E-330 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Olympus E-330
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663Canon 50D
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........Canon XS
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261Canon XSi
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462Canon XTi
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760Canon XT
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........Olympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Panasonic L1
Both the 40D and the E-330 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 40D and the E-330 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 40D has a higher magnification than the one of the E-330 (0.59x vs 0.465x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 40D, the Olympus E-330, and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-330
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XS
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XTi
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XT
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-500optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Olympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L1

One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the E-330 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-330 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 40D only has one slot.

 

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 Olympus Evolt E-330 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 40D
 
Olympus E-330Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-330
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 50DYnonenone--mini2.0---Canon 50D
 
Canon XSYnonenone--none2.0---Canon XS
 
Canon XSiYnonenone--mini2.0---Canon XSi
 
Canon 30DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon XTiYnonenone--none2.0---Canon XTi
 
Canon XTYnonenone--none2.0---Canon XT
 
Canon 20DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 10DYnonenone--none1.1---Canon 10D
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono--none2.0---Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-500Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1Ynonenone--none2.0---Panasonic L1

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the E-330) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 40D and the E-330 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the E-330 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 40D better than the Olympus E-330 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 40D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10.1 vs 7.4MP) with a 19% higher linear resolution.
  • 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.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.465x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the E-330).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus Evolt E-330:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (140x87mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 185g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (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 E-330

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Olympus E-330 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 40D or the E-330 perform in practice. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Olympus E-330..+o3.5/5.. Jan 2006 999iOlympus E-330
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449iCanon T3
 
Canon 60D+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399iCanon 60D
 
Canon 50D+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299iCanon 50D
 
Canon XS82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449iCanon XS
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799iCanon XSi
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399iCanon 30D
 
Canon XTi+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799iCanon XTi
 
Canon XT80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899iCanon XT
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499iCanon 20D
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999iCanon 10D
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499iLeica Digilux 3
 
Nikon D90+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299iNikon D90
 
Olympus E-50076/100+ +...... Sep 2005 599iOlympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300..+oo4.5/5 Sep 2004 799iOlympus E-300
 
Panasonic L185/100+..o3.5/5 Feb 2006 999iPanasonic L1
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.

Canon 40D:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-330:
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 40D vs Olympus E-330

    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 Olympus E-330
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2007 January 2006
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon 40D Olympus E-330
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-3200 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 TruePic
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 40D Olympus E-330
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.465x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 40D Olympus E-330
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 40D Olympus E-330
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 40D Olympus E-330
    Battery Type BP-511A BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    140 x 87 x 72 mm
    (5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 637 g (22.5 oz)

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