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Canon 700D vs Contax N Digital

The Canon EOS 700D (called Canon T5i in some regions) and the Contax N Digital are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and February 2002. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (700D) and a full frame (N Digital) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Contax provides 6.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 700D versus Contax N Digital
Canon 700D Contax N Digital
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 6.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 50-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.0 LCD, 200k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge100 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 79 mm, 580 g 152 x 138 x 80 mm, 990 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 700D and the Contax N Digital? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 700D and the Contax N Digital. 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.

Size Canon 700D vs Contax N Digital
Compare 700D versus N Digital top
Comparison 700D or N Digital rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Contax N Digital is considerably larger (58 percent) than the Canon 700D. Moreover, the N Digital is substantially heavier (71 percent) than the 700D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 700D nor the N Digital 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. 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.

As can be seen in the images above, the N Digital has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the 700D, Canon provides the BG-E8 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
2.
 
Contax N Digital 152 mm 138 mm 80 mm 990 g 100 n Feb 2002 7,399i
3.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
7.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
10.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
11.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
12.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
13.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
14.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
15.
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999i
16.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
17.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 700D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 91 percent) than the N Digital, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. 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 700D features an APS-C sensor and the Contax N Digital a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the N Digital is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 700D and Contax N Digital sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 700D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 6.1 MP of the Contax N Digital. 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 4.31μm versus 11.90μm for the N Digital). However, it should be noted that the 700D is much more recent (by 11 years) than the N Digital, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 700D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 700D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Contax N Digital are 15.2 x 10 inches or 38.6 x 25.5 cm for good quality, 12.2 x 8 inches or 30.9 x 20.4 cm for very good quality, and 10.1 x 6.7 inches or 25.7 x 17 cm for excellent quality prints.

The 700D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS 700D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Contax N Digital are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

700D versus N Digital 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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
2.
 
Contax N Digital Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008none........
3.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
7.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
8.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
9.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
10.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
11.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
12.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
13.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
14.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
15.
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none........
16.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........
17.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 700D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the N Digital does not. The highest resolution format that the 700D can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 700D and the N Digital 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 N Digital has a higher magnification than the one of the 700D (0.73x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 700D, the Contax N Digital, and comparable cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Contax N Digitaloptical Y 2.0 200 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon 100Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
8.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
10.
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
11.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
12.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
13.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Canon D60optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 700D has one, while the N Digital does not. While the built-in flash of the 700D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 700D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the N Digital does not have a selfie-screen.

The 700D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the N Digital uses Compact Flash cards.

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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 700D and Contax N Digital and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
1.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Contax N DigitalY-----FW---
3.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 100DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
14.
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
15.
 
Canon D60Y-----1.1---
16.
 
Nikon D100Y-----1.1---
17.
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Contax N Digital (unlike the 700D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 700D and the N Digital have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 700D was replaced by the Canon 750D, while the N Digital 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 Contax websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 700D better than the Contax N Digital or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 700D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 6.1MP) with a 71% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 200k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x100mm vs 152x138mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 410g or 41 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 100) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (91 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years of technical progress since the N Digital launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Contax N Digital:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.53x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • 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 February 2002).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 700D is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 6 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.

700D 15:06 N Digital

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 700D and the Contax N Digital 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 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 700D or the N Digital. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
2.
 
Contax N Digital.......... Feb 2002 7,399i
3.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
7.
 
Canon 100D4/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
10.
 
Canon 600D3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
11.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
12.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
13.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
14.
 
Canon 300D....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
15.
 
Canon D60....+ +o.. Feb 2002 2,999i
16.
 
Nikon D100....+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999i
17.
 
Nikon D1X....+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 700D:
Check Ebay offers
Contax N Digital:
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 700D vs Contax N Digital

    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 700D Contax N Digital
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Contax N mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2013 February 2002
    Launch Price USD 649 USD 7,399
    Sensor Specs Canon 700D Contax N Digital
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 6.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3040 x 2008 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 11.90 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 50 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 681 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 700D Contax N Digital
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.73x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 200k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 700D Contax N Digital
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 700D Contax N Digital
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 Firewire
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 700D Contax N Digital
    Battery Type LP-E8 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge100 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 79 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    152 x 138 x 80 mm
    (6.0 x 5.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 580 g (20.5 oz) 990 g (34.9 oz)

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