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Canon G15 vs YI M1

The Canon PowerShot G15 and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2016. The G15 is a fixed lens compact, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G15) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the YI provides 20.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon G15
versus
YI M1
Canon G15 YI M1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
2.1 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
107 x 76 x 40 mm, 352 g 114 x 64 x 34 mm, 281 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G15 and the YI M1? 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 G15 and the YI M1 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G15 is only available in black.

Size Canon G15 vs YI M1
Compare G15 versus M1 top
Comparison G15 or M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the YI M1 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon G15. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G15 nor the M1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G15 has a lens built in, whereas the M1 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 M1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The power pack in the M1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499 i
2.
 
YI M1 114 mm 64 mm 34 mm 281 g 450 n Sep 2016 349 i
3.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549 i
5.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449 i
7.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429 i
8.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499 i
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399 i
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599 i
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599 i
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399 i
13.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic GX850 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 269 g 210 n Jan 2017 549 i
15.
 
Panasonic GF7 107 mm 65 mm 33 mm 266 g 230 n Jan 2015 499 i
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499 i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. 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.

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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. 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G15 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 423 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G15 and YI M1 sensor measures

With 20.2MP, the M1 offers a higher resolution than the G15 (12MP), but the M1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 1.89μm for the G15) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M1 is a much more recent model (by 4 years) than the G15, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the YI M1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G15 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G15 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

G15 versus M1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.5165 46
2.
 
YI M1 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p...... ..
3.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p...... ..
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.8127 39
5.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
6.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.9246 56
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.2179 47
8.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.2161 47
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.3245 50
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.0479 65
13.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.7200 54
14.
 
Panasonic GX850 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.3586 73
15.
 
Panasonic GF7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p...... ..
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.7147 50
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.9132 40

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 M1 provides a better video resolution than the G15. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G15 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G15 and YI M1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
2.
 
YI M1none n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
3.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
8.
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
10.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5none n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic GX850none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 10.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF7none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G15 has one, while the M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the G15 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The YI M1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G15 and the M1 write their files to SDXC 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 PowerShot G15 and YI M1 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 G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
YI M1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
11.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GX850-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Panasonic GF7-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

It is notable that the M1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the G15 does not provide wifi capability.

The M1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of YI. In contrast, the G15 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G15 was succeeded by the Canon G16. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and YI websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon G15 better than the YI M1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G15:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M1 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).

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Advantages of the YI M1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the G15 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M1 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 5 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.

G15 05:16 M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G15 and the YI M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G15 or the M1 perform in practice. 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 (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 G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499 i
2.
 
YI M1....69/100.... Sep 2016 349 i
3.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399 i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i
5.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
6.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449 i
7.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429 i
8.
 
Canon G124/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499 i
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A3....74/1004.5/54/5 Aug 2016 399 i
10.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599 i
11.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599 i
12.
 
Nikon 1 J5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399 i
13.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic GX850..+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i
15.
 
Panasonic GF74/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499 i
16.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499 i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499 i
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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon G15:
Check Ebay offers
YI M1:
Check Amazon price

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G15 vs YI M1

    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 G15 YI M1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 349
    Sensor Specs Canon G15 YI M1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 4.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 46 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 165 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G15 YI M1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G15 YI M1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2.1 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G15 YI M1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon G15 YI M1
    Battery Type NB-10L BXM-10
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 107 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    114 x 64 x 34 mm
    (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 352 g (12.4 oz) 281 g (9.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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