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Canon Rebel vs Leica TL

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel (called Canon 300D in some regions) and the Leica TL are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and November 2016. The Rebel is a DSLR, while the TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon Rebel
versus
Leica TL
Canon Rebel   Leica TL
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
6.3 MP – APS-C sensor 16.1 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8" LCD – 118k dots 3.7" LCD – 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
2.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the Leica TL? 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 Rebel and the Leica TL 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the Rebel is only available in silver.

Size Canon Rebel vs Leica TL
Compare Rebel versus TL top
Comparison Rebel or TL rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL is considerably smaller (34 percent) than the Canon Rebel. Moreover, the TL is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the Rebel. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Rebel nor the TL 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.

The power pack in the TL 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 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 Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
2.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749ebay.com
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
8.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
12.
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799ebay.com
13.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 amazon.com
14.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
15.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850ebay.com
16.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
Note: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The Rebel was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the TL, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the TL is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (Rebel) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon Rebel and Leica TL sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the TL offers a higher resolution than the Rebel (6.3MP), but the TL has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). Yet, the TL is a much more recent model (by 13 years and 2 months) than the Rebel, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the TL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica TL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 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 Canon EOS Digital Rebel has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica TL are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

Rebel versus TL MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). 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 Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
2.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
3.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.713.1158680
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
7.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
8.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
9.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
12.
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.713.0160880
13.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p24.013.3178882
14.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p23.913.3175382
15.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
16.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
17.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The TL indeed provides for movie recording, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the TL can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond 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 TL relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon Rebel, the Leica TL, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
2.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
8.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Fujifilm X70optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y n
13.
 
Leica CL2360 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n n
14.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0/s n n
15.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
16.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

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

The Rebel writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TL uses SDXC cards.

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 Digital Rebel and Leica TL 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
11.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Fujifilm X70Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Leica CLYstereo / mono----Y--
14.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
15.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
16.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---

It is notable that the TL offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the Rebel does not provide wifi capability.

Both the Rebel and the TL have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, while the TL was followed by the Leica TL2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

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

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica TL:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 60%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 118k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 265g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many 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.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 13 years and 2 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 4 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 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.

Rebel 04:15 TL

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon Rebel and the Leica TL place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 Rebel and the TL 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 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
2.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749ebay.com
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
6.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
8.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
9.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
11.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
12.
 
Fujifilm X704.5/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799ebay.com
13.
 
Leica CL....4.2/5....4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 amazon.com
14.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
15.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850ebay.com
16.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

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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 Rebel vs Leica TL

    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 Rebel Leica TL
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 November 2016
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 1,695
    Sensor Specs Canon Rebel Leica TL
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 ..
    Screen Specs Canon Rebel Leica TL
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon Rebel Leica TL
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon Rebel Leica TL
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon Rebel Leica TL
    Battery Type BP-511 BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 384 g (13.5 oz)
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