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Canon M3 vs Rebel

The Canon EOS M3 and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (labelled Canon 300D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2015 and August 2003. The M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the Rebel is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The M3 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Rebel provides 6.3 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon M3 versus Canon Rebel
Canon M3 Canon Rebel
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF-M mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-1,600
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 1.8 LCD, 118k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.2 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g 142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M3 and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel? 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 M3 and the Canon Rebel. 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 M3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the Rebel is only available in silver.

Size Canon M3 vs Canon Rebel
Compare M3 versus Rebel top
Comparison M3 or Rebel rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon Rebel is considerably larger (86 percent) than the Canon M3. Moreover, the Rebel is substantially heavier (77 percent) than the M3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M3 nor the Rebel 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 M3 gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the Rebel can take 400 images on a single charge of its BP-511 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
2.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 387 g 305 n Oct 2020 599 i
4.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
5.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
6.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
7.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
8.
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
9.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
10.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
11.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
12.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
13.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
14.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
16.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
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 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. The M3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the Rebel, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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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. 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the Rebel is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M3 and Canon Rebel sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Canon M3 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the Canon Rebel. 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 3.72μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the M3 is much more recent (by 11 years and 5 months) than the Rebel, 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 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 Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 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 EOS M3 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 Canon EOS Digital Rebel are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

M3 versus Rebel MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 review, the M3 provides substantially higher image quality than the Rebel, with an overall score that is 17 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.8 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 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 M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
2.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
4.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
5.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
6.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
7.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
8.
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
9.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
10.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
11.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
12.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
13.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
14.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
15.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
16.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The M3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the M3 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 Rebel has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M3, the Canon Rebel, and comparable 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 M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
2.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
7.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
13.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
14.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M3 has a touchscreen, while the Rebel has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The M3 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the Rebel does not have a selfie-screen.

The M3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the Rebel 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 M3 and Canon EOS Digital Rebel 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 M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
15.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
16.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---

It is notable that the M3 offers wifi support, while the Rebel does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

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

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon M3 better than the Canon Rebel or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 6.3MP) with a 95% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.1 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 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 118k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.2 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 142x99mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 283g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 5 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2003).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M3 is the clear winner of the match-up (21 : 3 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.

M3 21:03 Rebel

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M3 and the Canon Rebel 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 M3 and the Rebel 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 M34/5o75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
2.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II......4.5/53.5/5 Oct 2020 599 i
4.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
5.
 
Canon M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
6.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
7.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
8.
 
Canon M54/5+82/1004/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
9.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
10.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
11.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
12.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
13.
 
Canon M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
14.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
16.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 M3:
Check Ebay offers
Canon Rebel:
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 M3 vs Canon Rebel

    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 M3 Canon Rebel
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2015 August 2003
    Launch Price USD 679 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon M3 Canon Rebel
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.7 x 15.1 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 342.77 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 27.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 6.3 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 3072 x 2048 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 7.38 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 1.84 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
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 72 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.8 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1169 544
    Screen Specs Canon M3 Canon Rebel
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 1.8inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 118k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M3 Canon Rebel
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 4.2 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon M3 Canon Rebel
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 1.1
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon M3 Canon Rebel
    Battery Type LP-E17 BP-511
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 366 g (12.9 oz) 649 g (22.9 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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