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Canon M vs Olympus E-450

The Canon EOS M and the Olympus E-450 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2012 and March 2009. The Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the E-450 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (Canon M) and a Four Thirds (E-450) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 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 Olympus E-450
Canon M Olympus E-450
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF-M mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.7 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.3 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g 130 x 91 x 53 mm, 440 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M and the Olympus E-450? 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 M and the Olympus E-450 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 Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the E-450 is only available in black.

Size Canon M vs Olympus E-450
Compare Canon M versus E-450 top
Comparison Canon M or E-450 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-450 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Canon M. Moreover, the E-450 is substantially heavier (48 percent) than the Canon M. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Canon M nor the E-450 are weather-sealed.

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 E-450 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 power pack.

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 M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499i
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.
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449i
11.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
13.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
14.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
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 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. The E-450 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the Canon M, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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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. 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 M features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-450 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-450 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the Canon M has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-450 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon M and Olympus E-450 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the Canon M offers a higher resolution than the E-450 (10MP), but the Canon M has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.74μm for the E-450). However, the Canon M is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 3 months) than the E-450, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

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 Olympus E-450 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 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 Olympus E-450 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

Canon M versus E-450 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. Of the two cameras under review, the Canon M has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-450 (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
2.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
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.
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
11.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
12.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
13.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
14.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
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 E-450 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 range of features. For example, the E-450 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon M and Olympus E-450 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 Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
2.
 
Olympus E-450optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y 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.
 
Olympus E-600optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
12.
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y 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 E-450 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 E-450 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-450 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Canon M only has one slot.

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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 Olympus E-450 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.
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
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.
 
Olympus E-600Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
16.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---

Both the Canon M and the E-450 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Canon M was replaced by the Canon EOS M3, while the E-450 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 Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M or the Olympus E-450 – 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.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 10MP) with a 37% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 215k 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 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 130x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 142g or 32 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-450 launch.

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Advantages of the Olympus E-450:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Canon M is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 6 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.

Canon M 14:06 E-450

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M and the Olympus E-450 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 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 Canon M and the E-450 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 why expert reviews 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.
 
Olympus E-450......4/54/5 Mar 2009 499i
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.
 
Olympus E-600........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449i
11.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/10072/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
13.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
14.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
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 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 M:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-450:
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 M vs Olympus E-450

    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 Olympus E-450
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2012 March 2009
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon M Olympus E-450
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC V TruePic III+
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 10.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 827 512
    Screen Specs Canon M Olympus E-450
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M Olympus E-450
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4.3 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon M Olympus E-450
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon M Olympus E-450
    Battery Type LP-E12 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 66 x 32 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 298 g (10.5 oz) 440 g (15.5 oz)

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