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Canon G7 X Mark II vs M3

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2016 and February 2015. The G7X Mark II is a fixed lens compact, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G7X Mark II) and an APS-C (M3) sensor. The G7X Mark II has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the M3 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 G7 X Mark II
versus
Canon M3
Canon G7 X Mark II   Canon M3
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Canon EF-M mount lenses
20 MP, 1" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 125-12,800 (125 - 25,600) ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
265 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
106 x 61 x 42 mm, 319 g 111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and the Canon EOS M3? 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 G7 X Mark II and the Canon M3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G7X Mark II is only available in black.

Size Canon G7 X Mark II vs Canon M3
Compare G7X Mark II versus M3 top
Comparison G7X Mark II or M3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M3 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Canon G7 X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7X Mark II nor the M3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X Mark II has a lens built in, whereas the M3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the G7X Mark II gets 265 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the M3 can take 250 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack. The power pack in the G7X Mark II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
2.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 105 mm 61 mm 41 mm 304 g 235 n Jul 2019 749 i
4.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
5.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
6.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
7.
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
8.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
9.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
10.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
11.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
12.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
13.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
14.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
15.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
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 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G7 X Mark II features an one-inch sensor and the Canon M3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M3 is 186 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the G7X Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the M3 (DIGIC 6), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon G7 X Mark II and Canon M3 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the G7X Mark II (20MP), but the M3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the G7X Mark II) due to its larger sensor. However, the G7X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the M3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M3 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 G7 X Mark II are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M3 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

G7X Mark II versus M3 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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
1.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
2.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
5.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
6.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
7.
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
8.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
9.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
10.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
11.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
12.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
13.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
14.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
15.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G7X Mark II provides a higher frame rate than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the M3 is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G7X Mark II and the M3 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the M3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G7 X Mark II and Canon M3 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 G7 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
2.
 
Canon M3optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IIInone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX430none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
5.
 
Canon M6optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon M52360 n3.2 / 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
10.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
11.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
12.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
14.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
15.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Canon G7 X Mark II 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 G7X Mark II and the M3 write their files to SDXC 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 PowerShot G7 X Mark II and Canon EOS M3 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 G7 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon M3Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III-stereo / monoY-micro3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX430-mono / mono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon M6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon M5Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon G5 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
13.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Canon G7 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the M3 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G7X Mark II does not feature such a mic input.

Both the G7X Mark II and the M3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M3 was replaced by the Canon M6, while the G7X Mark II was followed by the Canon G7 X Mark III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G7 X Mark II or the Canon M3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 6).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (106x61mm vs 111x68mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M3).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the M3).


Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 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 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.

G7X Mark II 10:12 M3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G7 X Mark II and the Canon M3 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 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 G7X Mark II and the M3 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

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], 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 G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +..81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
2.
 
Canon M34/5o..75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III..+ +4/581/1004/5.. Jul 2019 749 i
4.
 
Canon SX430........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
5.
 
Canon M6......80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
6.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
7.
 
Canon M54/5+4/582/1004/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
8.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
9.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
10.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +..78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
11.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
12.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
13.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
14.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
15.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon G7 X Mark II:
Check Ebay offers
Canon M3:
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 G7 X Mark II vs Canon M3

    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 G7 X Mark II Canon M3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Canon EF-M mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2016 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 679
    Sensor Specs Canon G7 X Mark II Canon M3
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 3.72 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 7.22 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 125 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1169
    Screen Specs Canon G7 X Mark II Canon M3
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G7 X Mark II Canon M3
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 4.2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G7 X Mark II Canon M3
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G7 X Mark II Canon M3
    Battery Type NB-13L LP-E17
    Battery Life (CIPA)265 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 106 x 61 x 42 mm
    (4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
    111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 319 g (11.3 oz) 366 g (12.9 oz)

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