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Canon G16 vs Nikon D50

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and April 2005. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the D50 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an APS-C (D50) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon G16
versus
Nikon D50
Canon G16   Nikon D50
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 6 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 2.0" LCD – 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
109 x 76 x 40 mm, 356 g 133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D50? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G16 and the Nikon D50 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 G16 vs Nikon D50
Compare G16 versus D50 top
Comparison G16 or D50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Canon G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the D50 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G16 has a lens built in, whereas the D50 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 D50 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the D50 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
7.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599ebay.com
8.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499ebay.com
9.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
Note: 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 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. The G16 was launched at a lower price than the D50, despite having a lens built in. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 G16 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Nikon D50 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D50 is 781 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 1.5. The sensor in the G16 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D50 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G16 and Nikon D50 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G16 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D50. 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 1.87μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). However, it should be noted that the G16 is much more recent (by 8 years and 4 months) than the D50, 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 G16 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G16 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D50 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G16 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D50 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the G16 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the D50 uses a CCD 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.

G16 versus D50 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 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 G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
2.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
7.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
8.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
9.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.411.2-31249
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
11.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
12.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
13.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
14.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
15.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
16.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
17.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G16 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D50 does not. The highest resolution format that the G16 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G16 and the D50 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon G16 and Nikon D50 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 G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9/s Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3/s n n
8.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
9.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The Canon G16 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.

The G16 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D50 uses SD cards. The G16 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the D50 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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 G16 and Nikon D50 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 G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SL1Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
11.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, while the D50 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the G16 and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D50 was replaced by the Nikon D40, while the G16 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 Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G16 and the Nikon D50? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 6MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • 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 (922k vs 130k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D50 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 133x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D50).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D50 launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D50:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2005).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G16 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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.

G16 14:05 D50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G16 and the Nikon D50 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G16 or the D50 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
7.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599ebay.com
8.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499ebay.com
9.
 
Fujifilm X304/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
10.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. 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 G16 vs Nikon D50

    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 G16 Nikon D50
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/1.8-2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2013 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon G16 Nikon D50
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.44 x 5.58 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 41.5152 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 4.65x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.87 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 28.91 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 54 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 20.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 230 560
    Screen Specs Canon G16 Nikon D50
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G16 Nikon D50
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G16 Nikon D50
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G16 Nikon D50
    Battery Type NB-10L EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 356 g (12.6 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)
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