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Canon M6 vs Sony A6400

The Canon EOS M6 and the Sony Alpha A6400 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2017 and January 2019. Both the M6 and the A6400 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon M6
versus
Sony A6400
Canon M6 Sony A6400
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-32,000 (100 - 102,400)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
295 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
112 x 68 x 45 mm, 390 g 120 x 67 x 50 mm, 403 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M6 and the Sony Alpha A6400? 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 M6 and the Sony A6400. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M6 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A6400 is only available in black.

Size Canon M6 vs Sony A6400
Compare M6 versus A6400 top
Comparison M6 or A6400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6400 is notably larger (6 percent) than the Canon M6. Moreover, the A6400 is slightly heavier (3 percent) than the M6. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6400 is splash and dust-proof, while the M6 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 M6 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the A6400 can take 410 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A6400 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i
2.
 
Sony A6400 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 Y Jan 2019 899 i
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 387 g 305 n Oct 2020 599 i
4.
 
Canon M6 Mark II 120 mm 70 mm 49 mm 408 g 305 n Aug 2019 849 i
5.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i
6.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
7.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
8.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i
9.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i
10.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749 i
11.
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
12.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679 i
13.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799 i
14.
 
Sony A6100 120 mm 67 mm 59 mm 396 g 420 n Aug 2019 749 i
15.
 
Sony A6300 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999 i
16.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
17.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599 i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The M6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the A6400, 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 size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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 A6400 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M6) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon M6 and Sony A6400 sensor measures

Even though the A6400 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A6400 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the M6), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the A6400 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the M6, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS M6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A6400 are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-102400.

M6 versus A6400 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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 M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
2.
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.61431 83
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p...... ..
4.
 
Canon M6 Mark II APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p...... ..
5.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p...... ..
6.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p...... ..
7.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
8.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.91272 78
9.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.41041 79
10.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
11.
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.41262 77
12.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.81169 72
13.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.91338 83
14.
 
Sony A6100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p...... ..
15.
 
Sony A6300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.71437 85
16.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.71347 80
17.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.11347 82

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A6400 provides a better video resolution than the M6. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A6400 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M6 and Sony A6400 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 M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon M6 Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 14.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
9.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Sony A61001440 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony A63002359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y 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 reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A6400 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Canon M6 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.

The M6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6400 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.

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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 M6 and Sony Alpha A6400 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 M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
2.
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon M6 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
10.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
11.
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
12.
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Sony A6100YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
15.
 
Sony A6300YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

The A6400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the M6 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M6 was succeeded by the Canon M6 Mark II. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon M6 better than the Sony A6400 or vice versa? 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 M6:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2017).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6400:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6400 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M6 04:08 A6400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M6 and the Sony A6400 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M6 and the A6400 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i
2.
 
Sony A64004/5+85/1004.5/54/5 Jan 2019 899 i
3.
 
Canon M50 Mark II4/5....4.5/53.5/5 Oct 2020 599 i
4.
 
Canon M6 Mark II..+85/1004/54/5 Aug 2019 849 i
5.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i
6.
 
Canon T7..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
7.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
8.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i
9.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i
10.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i
11.
 
Canon M54/5+82/1004/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
12.
 
Canon M34/5o75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679 i
13.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799 i
14.
 
Sony A6100....82/1004/55/5 Aug 2019 749 i
15.
 
Sony A63004.5/5+85/1005/55/5 Feb 2016 999 i
16.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+..4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
17.
 
Sony A60005/5+80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599 i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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 M6:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A6400:
Check Amazon price

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon M6 vs Sony A6400

    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 M6 Sony A6400
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2017 January 2019
    Launch Price USD 779 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Canon M6 Sony A6400
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 32,000 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 83
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1431
    Screen Specs Canon M6 Sony A6400
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M6 Sony A6400
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 M6 Sony A6400
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon M6 Sony A6400
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E17 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)295 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 112 x 68 x 45 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    120 x 67 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 390 g (13.8 oz) 403 g (14.2 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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