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Canon 550D vs Panasonic L10

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2010 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (550D) and a Four Thirds (L10) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D VS Panasonic L10
Canon 550D Panasonic L10
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-12800) ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 2.5" LCD, 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 135 x 96 x 78 mm, 556 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Panasonic L10 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 550D vs Panasonic L10
Compare 550D versus L10 top
Comparison 550D or L10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L10 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Canon 550D. Moreover, the L10 is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D nor the L10 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 (550D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (L10).

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 550D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Panasonic L10« 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599iPanasonic L10
 
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 iCanon 4000D
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749iCanon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649iCanon 760D
 
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449iCanon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649iCanon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599iCanon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799iCanon 500D
 
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749iNikon D5100
 
Olympus E-420« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599iOlympus E-420
 
Olympus E-520« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699iOlympus E-520
 
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699iOlympus E-410
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499iPanasonic G10
 
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 L10 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the 550D, 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 size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 550D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic L10 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L10 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 550D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L10 offers a 4:3 aspect.

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

Canon 550D and Panasonic L10 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the 550D offers a higher resolution than the L10 (10MP), but the 550D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.74μm for the L10). However, the 550D is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 5 months) than the L10, 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 Panasonic L10 are 18.2 x 13.7 inch or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inch or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inch or 30.9 x 23.2 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

550D versus L10 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the 550D provides substantially higher image quality than the L10, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955Panasonic L10
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971Canon 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
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855Olympus E-520
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Panasonic L1

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 550D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the L10 does not. The highest resolution format that the 550D can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 550D and the L10 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 550D has a higher magnification than the one of the L10 (0.54x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 550D and Panasonic L10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y Olympus E-520
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L1
The L10 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 550D does not have a selfie-screen.

The 550D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the L10 uses SDHC 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 550D and Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 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 550DYstereononeY-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Panasonic L10Ynonenone--none2.0---Panasonic L10
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100
 
Olympus E-420Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-420
 
Olympus E-520Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-520
 
Olympus E-410Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic G10Ymononone--mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic L1Ynonenone--none2.0---Panasonic L1

Both the 550D and the L10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the L10 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 Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 550D and the Panasonic L10? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 10MP) with a 37% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.46x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 207k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the L10 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2007).

If the count of individual advantages (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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

550D 10:04 L10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Panasonic L10 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 550D or the L10 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599iPanasonic L10
 
Canon 4000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 iCanon 4000D
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749iCanon 750D
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649iCanon 760D
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449iCanon 1200D
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649iCanon 700D
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon 600Do77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599iCanon 600D
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799iCanon 500D
 
Nikon D5100+ +76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749iNikon D5100
 
Olympus E-42085/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2008 599iOlympus E-420
 
Olympus E-52087/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699iOlympus E-520
 
Olympus E-41086/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699iOlympus E-410
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499iPanasonic G10
 
Panasonic L185/100+..o3.5/5 Feb 2006 999iPanasonic L1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 550D:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic L10:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 550D vs Panasonic L10

    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 Panasonic L10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2010 August 2007
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Panasonic L10
    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 17.9 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 4.44 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
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 429
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Panasonic L10
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Panasonic L10
    Focus 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 SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 550D Panasonic L10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 550D Panasonic L10
    Battery Type LP-E8 DMW-BLA13
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    135 x 96 x 78 mm
    (5.3 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)

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