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Canon D60 vs Sony NEX-7

The Canon EOS-D60 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2002 and August 2011. The D60 is a DSLR, while the NEX-7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon D60 versus Sony NEX-7
Canon D60 Sony NEX-7
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,000 ISO 100-16,000
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
1.8 LCD, 114k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
620 shots per battery charge430 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 855 g 120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D60 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon D60 and the Sony NEX-7 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon D60 vs Sony NEX-7
Compare D60 versus NEX-7 top
Comparison D60 or NEX-7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-7 is considerably smaller (50 percent) than the Canon D60. Moreover, the NEX-7 is substantially lighter (53 percent) than the D60. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D60 nor the NEX-7 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (D60) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-7). Mirrorless cameras, such as the NEX-7, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D60 gets 620 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the NEX-7 can take 430 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon D60 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.2 oz 620 n Feb 2002 2,999i
 
Sony NEX-7 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349i
 
Canon T7 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon XC10 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Canon 40D 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Canon Rebel 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899i
 
Canon D30 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 26.5 oz 540 n May 2000 2,999i
 
Contax N Digital 6.0 in 5.4 in 3.1 in 34.9 oz 100 n Feb 2002 7,399i
 
Fujifilm X100 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199i
 
Nikon D100 5.7 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 27.5 oz 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
 
Sony A6400 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.0 in 14.2 oz 410 n Jan 2019 899 i
 
Sony A6000 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony RX1 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 NEX-7 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the D60, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NEX-7 is 6 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (D60) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon D60 and Sony NEX-7 sensor measures

With 24MP, the NEX-7 offers a higher resolution than the D60 (6.3MP), but the NEX-7 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 7.38μm for the D60). Yet, the NEX-7 is a much more recent model (by 9 years and 6 months) than the D60, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony NEX-7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NEX-7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D60 are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS-D60 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

D60 versus NEX-7 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none........
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
 
Canon D30 APS-C 3.1 2160 1440none........
 
Contax N Digital Full Frame 6.1 3040 2008none........
 
Fujifilm X100 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The NEX-7 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D60 does not. The highest resolution format that the NEX-7 can use is 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the NEX-7 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the D60 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 NEX-7 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D60 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the NEX-7 has a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.54x), 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 D60 and Sony NEX-7 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
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
 
Canon D60optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony NEX-72359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Canon D30optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Contax N Digitaloptical Y 2.0 200 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n
 
Fujifilm X1001440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Sony RX1optional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the D60, but is missing on the NEX-7 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The D60 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the NEX-7 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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-D60 and Sony Alpha NEX-7 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
 
Canon D60Y-----1.1---
 
Sony NEX-7YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
 
Canon D30Y-----1.0---
 
Contax N DigitalY-----FW---
 
Fujifilm X100Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Nikon D100Y-----1.1---
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony RX1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D60 (unlike the NEX-7) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D60 and the NEX-7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D60 was replaced by the Canon 10D, while the NEX-7 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 Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon D60 or the Sony NEX-7 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? 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-D60:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (620 versus 430) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2002).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-7:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 95%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • 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 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 114k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 455g or 53 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 9 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D60 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-7 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 5 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.

D60 05:15 NEX-7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D60 and the Sony NEX-7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D60 and the NEX-7 in practical situations. 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon D60..+ +o.... Feb 2002 2,999i
 
Sony NEX-7+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349i
 
Canon T7o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon XC10..80/100...... Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Canon Rebel..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899i
 
Canon D30..+ +...... May 2000 2,999i
 
Contax N Digital.......... Feb 2002 7,399i
 
Fujifilm X100..75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199i
 
Nikon D100..+ +oo.. Feb 2002 1,999i
 
Sony A6400+85/1004.5/5..4/5 Jan 2019 899 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
 
Sony RX1..79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon D60:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-7:
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. As 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 D60 vs Sony NEX-7

    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 D60 Sony NEX-7
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2002 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 1,349
    Sensor Specs Canon D60 Sony NEX-7
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 3.90 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 6.57 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,000 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 81
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1016
    Screen Specs Canon D60 Sony NEX-7
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D60 Sony NEX-7
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon D60 Sony NEX-7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon D60 Sony NEX-7
    Battery Type BP-511 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)620 shots per charge430 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 855 g (30.2 oz) 400 g (14.1 oz)

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