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Canon 550D vs Canon D30

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Canon EOS-D30 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and May 2000. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 550D has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Canon D30 provides 3.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D   Canon D30
Canon 550D Canon D30
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 3.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-12800) ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 1.8" LCD, 114k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Canon EOS-D30? 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: Canon 550D vs Canon D30

The physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Canon D30 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 550D vs Canon D30
Compare 550D versus Canon D30 top
Comparison 550D or Canon D30 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon D30 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Canon 550D. Moreover, the Canon D30 is substantially heavier (42 percent) than the 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D nor the Canon D30 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 550D gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the Canon D30 can take 540 images on a single charge of its BP-511 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 550D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon D30« 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 26.5 oz 540 n May 2000 2,999- i Canon D30
 
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549- i Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon D60« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 550D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 77 percent) than the Canon D30, 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 550D vs Canon D30

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 Canon D30 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 550D and Canon D30 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the 550D offers a higher resolution than the Canon D30 (3.1MP), but the 550D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 10.29μm for the Canon D30). However, the 550D is a much more recent model (by 9 years and 8 months) than the Canon D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 550D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 550D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D30 are 10.8 x 7.2 inch or 27.4 x 18.3 cm for good quality, 8.6 x 5.8 inch or 21.9 x 14.6 cm for very good quality, and 7.2 x 4.8 inch or 18.3 x 12.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 550D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-D30 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

550D versus Canon D30 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 550D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon D30« APS-C 3.1 2160 1440-----Canon D30
 
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon D60« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-----Canon D60
 
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 550D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Canon D30 does not. The highest resolution format that the 550D can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 550D vs Canon D30

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 550D and the Canon D30 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.54x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 550D, the Canon D30, 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 550D»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon D30«optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon D30
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon D60« »optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon D60
 
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100

One feature that is present on the Canon D30, but is missing on the 550D 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 550D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the Canon D30 uses Compact Flash cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 550D vs Canon D30

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 550D and Canon EOS-D30 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 550D»Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon D30«Y-----1.0---Canon D30
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
 
Canon T7i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon T7i
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon D60« »Y-----1.1---Canon D60
 
Nikon D5100« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D30 (unlike the 550D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 550D and the Canon D30 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Canon D30 was replaced by the Canon D60, while the 550D was followed by the Canon 600D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 550D vs Canon D30

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 550D or the Canon D30 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 3.1MP) with a 140% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 150x107mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 220g or 29 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (77 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 9 years and 8 months of technical progress since the Canon D30 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-D30:

  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2000).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 550D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 4 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

550D 10:04 Canon D30

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Canon D30 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 550D and the Canon D30 in practical situations. 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 550D vs Canon D30

This is why expert reviews 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
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 550D»+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon D30«-+ +--- May 2000 2,999- i Canon D30
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon SL2« »+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549- i Canon SL2
 
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
 
Canon 80D« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200D« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 600D« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon D60« »-+ +o-- Feb 2002 2,999- i Canon D60
 
Nikon D5100« »+ +76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i Nikon D5100
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 550D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon D30:
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 550D vs Canon D30

    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 550D Canon D30
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2010 May 2000
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 2999
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Canon D30
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.0 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 327.8 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 3.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 2160 x 1440 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 10.29 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 0.95 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Canon D30
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.54x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 1.8 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 114k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Canon D30
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 550D Canon D30
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 1.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 550D Canon D30
    Battery Type LP-E8 power pack BP-511 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 750 g (26.5 oz)

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