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Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

The Canon EOS 40D and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2007 and August 2017. The 40D is a DSLR, while the E-M10 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and a Four Thirds (E-M10 III) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D   Olympus E-M10 III
Canon 40D Olympus E-M10 III
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-3200) ISO 200-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
6.5 shutter flaps per second 8.6 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
750 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 122 x 84 x 50 mm, 410 g

Body comparison: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Olympus E-M10 III. 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.

Compare Canon 40D and Olympus E-M10 III
Compare 40D versus E-M10 III top
Compare 40D or E-M10 III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 III is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the E-M10 III is substantially lighter (50 percent) than the 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the E-M10 III 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 Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M10 III). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M10 III, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 40D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the E-M10 III can take 330 images on a single charge of its BLS-50 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 40D» 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Olympus E-M10 III« 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 60D« » 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
Canon 50D« » 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
Canon 450D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 30D« » 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
Canon 400D« » 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
Canon 20D« » 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Nikon D90« » 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
Olympus E-PL9« » 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL8« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« » 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« » 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-30« » 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30

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 E-M10 III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the 40D, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M10 III a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M10 III 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-M10 III offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 40D and Olympus E-M10 III sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M10 III offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 40D. 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 3.76μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). However, it should be noted that the E-M10 III is much more recent (by 10 years) than the 40D, 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 E-M10 III has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 OM-D E-M10 Mark III are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..

40D versus E-M10 III 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
Olympus E-M10 III« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-M10 III
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
Nikon D90« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
Olympus E-PL9« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Olympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-30« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.453055Olympus E-30

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The E-M10 III indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the E-M10 III can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M10 III has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 40D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Olympus E-M10 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 40D»optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
Olympus E-M10 III«2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-M10 III
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
Nikon D90« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
Olympus E-PL9« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.6 Y Y Olympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-30« »optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-30

One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the E-M10 III 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-M10 III uses SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

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 OM-D E-M10 Mark III 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 40D»Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
Olympus E-M10 III«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 III
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
Canon 50D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 50D
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
Canon 400D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
Nikon D90« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
Olympus E-PL9« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YOlympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL8« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-30« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-30

It is notable that the E-M10 III offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 40D does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the E-M10 III) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The E-M10 III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the 40D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 40D was succeeded by the Canon 50D.


Review summary: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Olympus E-M10 III? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III:

  • 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.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.6 vs 6.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x84mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 412g or 50 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years of technical progress since the 40D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M10 III is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

40D 07:15 E-M10 III

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 40D or the E-M10 III handle or 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: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 40D»HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Olympus E-M10 III«Rec80/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i i Olympus E-M10 III
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 30D« »HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
Canon 400D« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
Nikon D90« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
Olympus E-PL9« »Rec-4.5/5-4/5 Feb 2018 549 i i Olympus E-PL9
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i Olympus E-M10 II
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
Olympus E-30« »-71/1004.5/5-4/5 Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30

The review scores listed above should be treated 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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
Olympus E-M10 III:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 40D vs Olympus E-M10 III

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 40D Olympus E-M10 III
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2007 August 2017
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 649
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 14.9 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 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-3200 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 TruePic VIII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 ..
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.62x
    Viewfinder Resolution n/a 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 8.6 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-511A power pack BLS-50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    122 x 84 x 50 mm
    (4.8 x 3.3 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 410 g (14.5 oz)

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