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Canon SL1 vs Panasonic L1

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and February 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (SL1) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SL1
versus
Panasonic L1
Canon SL1 Panasonic L1
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.5 LCD, 207k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.9 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g 146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1? 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 SL1 and the Panasonic L1 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 SL1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the L1 is only available in black.

Size Canon SL1 vs Panasonic L1
Compare SL1 versus L1 top
Comparison SL1 or L1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L1 is notably larger (19 percent) than the Canon SL1. Moreover, the L1 is substantially heavier (49 percent) than the SL1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL1 nor the L1 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (SL1) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (L1).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549 i
2.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999 i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i
5.
 
Canon T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449 i
6.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499 i
7.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
8.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
9.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
10.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599 i
11.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
12.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
13.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499 i
15.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999 i
16.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799 i
17.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SL1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 45 percent) than the L1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SL1 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 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 SL1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon SL1 and Panasonic L1 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the SL1 offers a higher resolution than the L1 (7.4MP), but the SL1 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, the SL1 is a much more recent model (by 7 years) than the L1, 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 SL1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL1 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 Panasonic L1 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The SL1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SL1 versus L1 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 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 SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.3843 63
2.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.41041 79
5.
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p...... ..
6.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.4753 65
7.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
8.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
9.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
10.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.2827 65
11.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
12.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
13.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
15.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none...... ..
16.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none...... ..
17.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SL1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the L1 does not. The highest resolution format that the SL1 can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SL1 and the L1 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the SL1 has a higher magnification than the one of the L1 (0.54x vs 0.47x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SL1, the Panasonic L1, 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 SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
7.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
9.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
11.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
13.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The SL1 has a touchscreen, while the L1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The SL1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the L1 uses SDHC cards. The SL1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the L1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Rebel SL1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 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 SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic L1Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
9.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the SL1 and the L1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L1 was replaced by the Panasonic L10, while the SL1 was followed by the Canon SL2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SL1 and the Panasonic L1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 7.4MP) with a 59% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • 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 viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.47x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 207k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 146x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 199g or 33 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (45 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the L1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL1 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 2 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.

SL1 17:02 L1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SL1 and the Panasonic L1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SL1 or the L1 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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 SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549 i
2.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999 i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i
5.
 
Canon T64/5o73/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449 i
6.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499 i
7.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
8.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
9.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
10.
 
Canon M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599 i
11.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
12.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
13.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499 i
15.
 
Olympus E-330....+o.. Jan 2006 999 i
16.
 
Olympus E-300....+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799 i
17.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SL1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic L1:
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 SL1 vs Panasonic L1

    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 SL1 Panasonic L1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date March 2013 February 2006
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon SL1 Panasonic L1
    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 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 3.28 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 5 Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 843 ..
    Screen Specs Canon SL1 Panasonic L1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SL1 Panasonic L1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4.9 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SL1 Panasonic L1
    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 SL1 Panasonic L1
    Battery Type LP-E12 CGR-S602
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 91 x 69 mm
    (4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    146 x 87 x 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 407 g (14.4 oz) 606 g (21.4 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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