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Canon M10 vs Sony RX100 III

The Canon EOS M10 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2015 and May 2014. The M10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX100 III is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M10) and an one-inch (RX100 III) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon M10 versus Sony RX100 III
Canon M10 Sony RX100 III
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-12,800 (80 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.6 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
255 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
108 x 67 x 35 mm, 301 g 102 x 58 x 41 mm, 290 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M10 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III? 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 M10 and the Sony RX100 III. 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 M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the RX100 III is only available in black.

Size Canon M10 vs Sony RX100 III
Compare M10 versus RX100 III top
Comparison M10 or RX100 III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 III is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon M10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M10 nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 III has a lens built in, whereas the M10 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 M10 gets 255 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the RX100 III can take 320 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M10 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499i
 
Sony RX100 III 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799i
 
Canon M100 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon T6 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon G9 X 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon M3 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Canon G7 X 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon SL1 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon M 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon T3i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Sony RX100 VII 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 10.7 oz 260 n Jul 2019 1,199 i
 
Sony RX100 IV 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5000 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony RX100 II 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749i
 
Sony RX100 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M10 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX100 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 III is 65 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M10 and Sony RX100 III sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 III offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the M10. 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 2.41μm versus 4.31μm for the M10). Moreover, it should be noted that the M10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the RX100 III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon M10 are 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The M10 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS M10 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.

M10 versus RX100 III MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Sony RX100 VII 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p21.812.441863
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
 
Sony RX100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the RX100 III provides a faster frame rate than the M10. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M10 and Sony RX100 III 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
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Sony RX100 VII2359 n 3.0 921 tilting Y 1/2000s 90.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100none n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M10 has a touchscreen, while the RX100 III has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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 M10 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 EOS M10 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III 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
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony RX100 VII-stereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100-stereomono--micro2.0---

Both the M10 and the RX100 III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX100 III was replaced by the Sony RX100 IV, while the M10 was followed by the Canon M100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M10 or the Sony RX100 III – 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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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M10:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the RX100 III).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M10 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 108x67mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the M10).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 255) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 III is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M10 06:12 RX100 III

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M10 and the Sony RX100 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M10 or the RX100 III 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499i
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Canon T3io77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Sony RX100 VII....4/5..5/5 Jul 2019 1,199 i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony RX100 II+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
 
Sony RX100+ +78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon M10:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX100 III:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon M10 vs Sony RX100 III

    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 M10 Sony RX100 III
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
    Launch Date October 2015 May 2014
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon M10 Sony RX100 III
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 80 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 67
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.2 22.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 753 495
    Screen Specs Canon M10 Sony RX100 III
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.22x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M10 Sony RX100 III
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.6 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon M10 Sony RX100 III
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon M10 Sony RX100 III
    Battery Type LP-E12 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)255 shots per charge320 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 108 x 67 x 35 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
    102 x 58 x 41 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 301 g (10.6 oz) 290 g (10.2 oz)

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