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Canon G16 vs Nikon D5000

The Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D5000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2013 and April 2009. The G16 is a fixed lens compact, while the D5000 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (G16) and an APS-C (D5000) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 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 D5000
Canon G16   Nikon D5000
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 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 720/24p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 200-3,200 (200 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge510 shots per battery charge
109 x 76 x 40 mm, 356 g 127 x 104 x 80 mm, 590 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G16 and the Nikon D5000? 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 G16 and the Nikon D5000. 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 G16 vs Nikon D5000
Compare G16 versus D5000 top
Comparison G16 or D5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5000 is considerably larger (59 percent) than the Canon G16. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G16 nor the D5000 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 D5000 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 D5000 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G16 gets 360 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the D5000 can take 510 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9a power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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 G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
2.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
8.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
9.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
11.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
12.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
13.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599i
14.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
15.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
16.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
17.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G16 was launched at a lower price than the D5000, 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 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G16 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Nikon D5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D5000 is 788 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 D5000 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G16 and Nikon D5000 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the D5000 offers a higher resolution than the G16 (12MP), but the D5000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 1.87μm for the G16) due to its larger sensor. However, the G16 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 4 months) than the D5000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon PowerShot G16 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5000 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

G16 versus D5000 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D5000 offers substantially better image quality than the G16 (overall score 18 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
2.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
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 30001080/60p........
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
11.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
12.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
13.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
14.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
15.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
16.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
17.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G16 provides a higher video resolution than the D5000. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G16 and the D5000 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G16 and Nikon D5000 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
Specifications
(inch/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 G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
7.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
8.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
9.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
10.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
12.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
The D5000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the G16 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Canon G16 and the Nikon D5000 both have 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 D5000 uses SDHC cards. The G16 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the D5000 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 D5000 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 D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
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 D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the G16 offers wifi support, while the D5000 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The G16 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D5000 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D5000 was succeeded by the Nikon D5100. 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? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G16 or the Nikon D5000 – 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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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G16:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/24p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D5000 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x76mm vs 127x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D5000).
  • 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 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D5000 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5000:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 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 (510 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G16 comes out slightly ahead of the D5000 (11 : 10 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.

G16 11:10 D5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G16 and the Nikon D5000 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G16 and the D5000 in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
2.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
7.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
8.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
9.
 
Fujifilm X304/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
10.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
11.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
12.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
13.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
14.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
15.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
16.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
17.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon G16:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D5000:
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 G16 vs Nikon D5000

    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 D5000
    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 2009
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon G16 Nikon D5000
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.44 x 5.58 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 41.5152 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 4.65x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.87 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 28.91 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 54 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 230 868
    Screen Specs Canon G16 Nikon D5000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 80% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G16 Nikon D5000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G16 Nikon D5000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G16 Nikon D5000
    Battery Type NB-10L EN-EL9a
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge510 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 76 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 3.0 x 1.6 in)
    127 x 104 x 80 mm
    (5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 356 g (12.6 oz) 590 g (20.8 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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