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Canon 70D vs Sony RX10

The Canon EOS 70D and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2013 and October 2013. The 70D is a DSLR, while the RX10 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (70D) and an one-inch (RX10) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 70D
versus
Sony RX10
Canon 70D   Sony RX10
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-200mm f/2.8
20 MP – APS-C sensor 20 MP – 1" sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 125-12,800 (80 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 1229k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
7 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
920 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
139 x 104 x 79 mm, 755 g 129 x 88 x 102 mm, 813 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 70D and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10? 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 70D and the Sony RX10. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 70D vs Sony RX10
Compare 70D versus RX10 top
Comparison 70D or RX10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Canon 70D. 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 and possibly misleading, as the RX10 has a lens built in, whereas the 70D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 70D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 70D gets 920 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the RX10 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the RX10 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, 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 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199ebay.com
2.
 
Sony RX10 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 amazon.com
5.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 6D 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899ebay.com
13.
 
Sony RX10 II 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 70D features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX10 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 is 66 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 70D and Sony RX10 sensor measures

Even though the 70D has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 20 megapixels. This implies that the 70D has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.11μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the RX10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the 70D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The 70D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS 70D 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.

In terms of underlying technology, the 70D is build around a CMOS sensor, while the RX10 uses a BSI-CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

70D versus RX10 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
2.
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469
3.
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
4.
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
5.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
6.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
7.
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
8.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
9.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
10.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
11.
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
12.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
13.
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX10 provides a faster frame rate than the 70D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the 70D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the RX10 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 70D (98%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the RX10 has a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.59x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 70D and Sony RX10 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0/s Y n
2.
 
Sony RX101440 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon 80Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n3.2 / 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon 6Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s n n
8.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3/s Y n
9.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D7100optical Y3.2 / 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
12.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 70D has a touchscreen, while the RX10 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The 70D 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 RX10 does not have a selfie-screen.

The 70D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX10 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 70D and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Sony RX10Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon 80DYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G3 XYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereo / monoYYmini3.0---
6.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 6DYmono / monoY-mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Canon 60DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 7DYmono / -Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 50DY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D7100Ystereo / monoYYmini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ1000Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-

Both the 70D and the RX10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 70D was replaced by the Canon 80D, while the RX10 was followed by the Sony RX10 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 70D better than the Sony RX10 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 70D:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (920 versus 420) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2013).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 98%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.59x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 70D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x88mm vs 139x104mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX10 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

70D 10:14 RX10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 70D and the Sony RX10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 70D or the RX10. 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 expert reviews 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199ebay.com
2.
 
Sony RX105/5+..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 80D4/5+ +4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G3 X3.5/5+....4.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 amazon.com
5.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+3.5/584/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 6D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 60D5/5+..79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 50D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D71005/5+ +..85/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899ebay.com
13.
 
Sony RX10 II5/5+ +..82/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299ebay.com
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

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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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 70D vs Sony RX10

    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 70D Sony RX10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 24-200mm f/2.8
    Launch Date July 2013 October 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,199 USD 1,299
    Sensor Specs Canon 70D Sony RX10
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.5 x 15.0 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 337.5 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.11 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 5.91 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 125 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 80 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5+ BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 68 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.5 22.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.6 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 926 474
    Screen Specs Canon 70D Sony RX10
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 70D Sony RX10
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/3200s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon 70D Sony RX10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon 70D Sony RX10
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E6 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)920 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 139 x 104 x 79 mm
    (5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
    129 x 88 x 102 mm
    (5.1 x 3.5 x 4.0 in)
    Camera Weight 755 g (26.6 oz) 813 g (28.7 oz)
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    Check RX10 offers at
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