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Canon 6D vs Sony A900

The Canon EOS 6D and the Sony Alpha A900 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24.4 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 6D   Sony A900
Canon 6D Sony A900
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
20 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-25600 (50-102400) ISO 200-3200 (100-6400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1090 shots per battery charge880 shots per battery charge
145 x 111 x 71 mm, 770 g 156 x 117 x 82 mm, 895 g

Body comparison: Canon 6D vs Sony A900

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 6D and the Sony A900 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 6D and Sony A900
Compare 6D versus A900 top
Compare 6D or A900 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A900 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Canon 6D. Moreover, the A900 is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the 6D. 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 6D gets 1090 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the A900 can take 880 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 6D» 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Sony A900« 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Sep 2008 2,999- i Sony A900
 
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 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
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 1D X« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
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
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A99« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
 
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

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 6D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the A900, 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 6D vs Sony A900

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 6D and Sony A900 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A900 offers a higher resolution of 24.4 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the 6D. 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 5.94μm versus 6.57μm for the 6D). Moreover, it should be noted that the 6D is much more recent (by 4 years) than the A900, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS 6D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A900 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400..

6D versus A900 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 6D» Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Sony A900« Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.712.3143179Sony A900
 
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 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 1D X« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
 
Sony A99« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589Sony A99
 
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 6D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the A900 does not. The highest resolution format that the 6D can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 6D vs Sony A900

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 6D and the A900 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 viewfinder in the A900 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 6D (97%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the A900 has a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.71x), 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 6D and Sony A900 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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 6D»optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Sony A900«optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A900
 
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 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
 
Sony A99« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 6.0 n Y Sony A99
 
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 3.0 n Y Sony A850

One feature that differentiates the A900 and the 6D is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A900 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the 6D has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The 6D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A900 uses Compact Flash or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A900 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 6D only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 6D vs Sony A900

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 6D and Sony Alpha A900 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 6D»YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Sony A900«Y----mini2.0---Sony A900
 
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 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
 
Sony A99« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Sony A99
 
Sony A850« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A850

It is notable that the 6D offers wifi support, while the A900 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A900 (unlike the 6D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 6D and the A900 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A900 was replaced by the Sony A99, while the 6D was followed by the Canon 6D Mark II. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon and Sony websites.


Review summary: Canon 6D vs Sony A900

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 6D better than the Sony A900 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 6D:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (145x111mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 125g or 14 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1090 versus 880) on a single battery charge.
  • 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 (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the A900 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A900:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.4 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 97%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.74x vs 0.71x).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 6D comes out slightly ahead of the A900 (9 : 8 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.

6D 09:08 A900

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 6D or the A900. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Canon 6D vs Sony A900

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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 6D»++83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Sony A900«++++4.5/54/55/5 Sep 2008 2,999- i Sony A900
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »+80/1004.5/54/54/5 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« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 7D II« »+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »++83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »++82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
 
Nikon D610« »++87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »++87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Sony A9« »++89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony A7S II« »+-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A99« »-84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
 
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 6D:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A900:
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 your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 6D vs Sony A900

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 6D Sony A900
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 2099 USD 2999
    Sensor Specs Canon 6D Sony A900
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 24.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 6048 x 4032 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.57 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.31 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 200-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5+ BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.8 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.1 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2340 1431
    Screen Specs Canon 6D Sony A900
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 97% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.71x 0.74x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 6D Sony A900
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or MS cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon 6D Sony A900
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 6D Sony A900
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E6 power pack NP-FM500H power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1090 shots per charge880 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 145 x 111 x 71 mm
    (5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8 in)
    156 x 117 x 82 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 770 g (27.2 oz) 895 g (31.6 oz)

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