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Canon M vs Nikon D1X

The Canon EOS M and the Nikon D1X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2012 and February 2001. The Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D1X is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 5.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon M versus Nikon D1X
Canon M Nikon D1X
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF-M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 5.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 125-800 (125 - 3,200)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.0 LCD, 120k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
230 shots per battery charge1200 shots per battery charge
109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g 157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M and the Nikon D1X? 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 M and the Nikon D1X 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.

The Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the D1X is only available in black.

Size Canon M vs Nikon D1X
Compare Canon M versus D1X top
Comparison Canon M or D1X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D1X is considerably larger (234 percent) than the Canon M. Moreover, the D1X is substantially heavier (269 percent) than the Canon M. It is noteworthy in this context that the D1X is splash and dust-proof, while the Canon M does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the Canon M gets 230 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the D1X can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-4 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D1X has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
3.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
4.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
5.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
6.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
9.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
11.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
12.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
13.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
14.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 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 obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon M was launched at a markedly lower price (by 90 percent) than the D1X, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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 D1X is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (Canon M) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M and Nikon D1X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon M offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 5.9 MP of the Nikon D1X. 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 4.31μm versus 7.92μm for the D1X). However, it should be noted that the Canon M is much more recent (by 11 years and 5 months) than the D1X, 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 M implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Canon M for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1X are 15 x 9.8 inches or 38.2 x 24.9 cm for good quality, 12 x 7.8 inches or 30.6 x 19.9 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.5 inches or 25.5 x 16.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

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

The Canon EOS M has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D1X are ISO 125 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-3200.

Canon M versus D1X MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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 M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
2.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
3.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
4.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
5.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
6.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
7.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
8.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
9.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
10.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
11.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
12.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
13.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
14.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
15.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
16.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The Canon M indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D1X does not. The highest resolution format that the Canon M can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D1X has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Canon M relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M and Nikon D1X 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
1.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
2.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
3.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
4.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
5.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
8.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
14.
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n
15.
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Canon M has a touchscreen, while the D1X has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Canon M writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D1X uses Compact Flash 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 M and Nikon D1X 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 MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---
3.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---
15.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
16.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D1X (unlike the Canon M) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the Canon M and the D1X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, while the Canon M was followed by the Canon EOS M3. 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M and the Nikon D1X? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 5.9MP) with a 74% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • 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 (1040k vs 120k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 157x153mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 802g or 73 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (90 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D1X:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2001).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Canon M is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 8 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.

Canon M 12:08 D1X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M and the Nikon D1X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Canon M or the D1X perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
Nikon D1X....+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999i
3.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
4.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
5.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
6.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
9.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
11.
 
Nikon D300..+ ++ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
12.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
13.
 
Nikon D2X....+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999i
14.
 
Nikon D1....+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5....4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon M:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D1X:
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon M vs Nikon D1X

    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 M Nikon D1X
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2012 February 2001
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 5,999
    Sensor Specs Canon M Nikon D1X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 5.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3008 x 1960 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 7.92 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 1.59 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 125 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 125 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 827 ..
    Screen Specs Canon M Nikon D1X
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 120k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M Nikon D1X
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4.3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon M Nikon D1X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 Firewire
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon M Nikon D1X
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E12 EN-4
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 66 x 32 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 298 g (10.5 oz) 1100 g (38.8 oz)

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