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Canon 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the Pentax 645Z are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2016 and April 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (5D Mark IV) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 30.1 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 51.1 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 5D Mark IV   Pentax 645Z
Canon 5D Mark IV Pentax 645Z
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
30.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor 51.1 MP, Medium Format Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-32000 (50-102400) ISO 100-204800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 1620k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
7 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
151 x 116 x 76 mm, 890 g 156 x 117 x 123 mm, 1550 g

Body comparison: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 5D Mark IV and the Pentax 645Z 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 5D Mark IV and Pentax 645Z
Compare 5D Mark IV versus 645Z top
Compare 5D Mark IV or 645Z rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645Z is somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Canon 5D Mark IV. Moreover, the 645Z is substantially heavier (74 percent) than the 5D Mark IV. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the 5D Mark IV gets 900 shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the 645Z can take 650 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 5D Mark IV» 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Pentax 645Z« 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.8 in 54.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark III« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D« » 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Hasselblad X1D« » 5.9 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 25.6 oz .. Y Jun 2016 8,995 i i Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 5D Mark IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 59 percent) than the 645Z, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 5D Mark IV features a full frame sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 66 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 0.79. The sensor in the 5D Mark IV has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645Z offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 5D Mark IV and Pentax 645Z sensor measures

With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the 5D Mark IV (30.1MP), but the 645Z has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 5.36μm for the 5D Mark IV). Yet, the 5D Mark IV is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 4 months) than the 645Z, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the 645Z has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The 5D Mark IV has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 32000, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645Z are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

5D Mark IV versus 645Z 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 consideration, the 645Z has a markedly higher DXO score than the 5D Mark IV (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 1.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 5D Mark IV» Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
Pentax 645Z« Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101Pentax 645Z
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
Hasselblad X1D« » Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 5D Mark IV provides a higher video resolution than the 645Z. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 5D Mark IV and the 645Z 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 5D Mark IV, the Pentax 645Z, 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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 5D Mark IV»optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
Pentax 645Z«optical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 4000 3.0 n n Pentax 645Z
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 5D
Hasselblad X1D« »2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 2000 2.3 n n Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n n Nikon D850
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E
Pentax 645D« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 1.1 n n Pentax 645D

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 5D Mark IV has a touchscreen, while the 645Z has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The 5D Mark IV writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the 645Z uses SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

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 5D Mark IV and Pentax 645Z 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 5D Mark IV»YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
Pentax 645Z«YstereomonoY-mini3.0---Pentax 645Z
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark III« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
Hasselblad X1D« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
Nikon D850« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
Nikon D800« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E
Pentax 645D« »Ystereo----2.0---Pentax 645D

It is notable that the 5D Mark IV has a headphone jack, which is not present on the 645Z This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

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

Both the 5D Mark IV and the 645Z are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The 645Z replaced the earlier Pentax 645D, while the 5D Mark IV followed on from the Canon 5D Mark III.


Review summary: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 5D Mark IV and the Pentax 645Z? 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 5D Mark IV:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1037k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 660g or 43 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (900 versus 650) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (59 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 645Z launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Pentax 645Z:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 30.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 5D Mark IV is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

5D Mark IV 14:08 645Z

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 5D Mark IV and the 645Z 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 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

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 5D Mark IV»HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Pentax 645Z«--4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 5D Mark III« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D« »88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Hasselblad X1D« »rev81/100--4/5 Jun 2016 8,995 i i Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Nikon D850« »HiRec89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
Pentax 645D« »---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 5D Mark IV:
Check Amazon price
Pentax 645Z:
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 5D Mark IV vs Pentax 645Z

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 5D Mark IV Pentax 645Z
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2016 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 3499 USD 8499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 43.8 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 1436.64 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 54.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 0.79x
    Sensor Resolution 30.1 Megapixels 51.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6720 x 4480 pixels 8256 x 6192 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.36 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 3.48 MP/cm2 3.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-32000 ISO 100-204800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 6+ PRIME III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 91 101
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.8 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.6 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2995 4505
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x 0.78x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E6N power pack D-LI90 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 151 x 116 x 76 mm
    (5.9 x 4.6 x 3.0 in)
    156 x 117 x 123 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 890 g (31.4 oz) 1550 g (54.7 oz)

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