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Canon SL3 vs Nikon D5200

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (called Canon 250D in some regions) and the Nikon D5200 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2019 and November 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) 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 SL3 versus Nikon D5200
Canon SL3 Nikon D5200
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/25p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel touchscreen Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
1070 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
122 x 93 x 70 mm, 449 g 129 x 98 x 78 mm, 555 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 and the Nikon D5200? 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 SL3 and the Nikon D5200 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SL3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the D5200 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, red).

Size Canon SL3 vs Nikon D5200
Compare SL3 versus D5200 top
Comparison SL3 or D5200 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5200 is notably larger (11 percent) than the Canon SL3. Moreover, the D5200 is markedly heavier (24 percent) than the SL3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL3 nor the D5200 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (SL3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5200).

Concerning battery life, the SL3 gets 1070 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the D5200 can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 SL3 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 449 g 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
2.
 
Nikon D5200 129 mm 98 mm 78 mm 555 g 500 n Nov 2012 749i
3.
 
Canon T8i 131 mm 103 mm 76 mm 515 g 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 387 g 305 n Oct 2020 599 i
5.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
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 SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
9.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
12.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
14.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
16.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
17.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SL3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the D5200, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 D5200 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (SL3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon SL3 and Nikon D5200 sensor measures

Even though the D5200 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the D5200 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the SL3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the SL3 is much more recent (by 6 years and 5 months) than the D5200, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The SL3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5200 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

SL3 versus D5200 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 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
1.
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
2.
 
Nikon D5200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484
3.
 
Canon T8i APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
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 40001080/60p23.613.397178
8.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
9.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
10.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
11.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
12.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
13.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
14.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
15.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
16.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
17.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL3 provides a higher video resolution than the D5200. It can shoot video footage at 4K/25p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SL3 and the D5200 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 SL3 has a higher magnification than the one of the D5200 (0.54x vs 0.51x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SL3 and Nikon D5200 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 SL3optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D5200optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T8ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 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 SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
12.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The SL3 has a touchscreen, while the D5200 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 Canon SL3 and the Nikon D5200 both have 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SL3 and the D5200 write their files to SDXC 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 Rebel SL3 and Nikon D5200 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 SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Nikon D5200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T8iYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
10.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
14.
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
16.
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the SL3 offers wifi support, while the D5200 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The SL3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D5200 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D5200 was succeeded by the Nikon D5300. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SL3 better than the Nikon D5200 or vice versa? 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 SL3:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/25p vs 1080/60i).
  • 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 0.51x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 106g or 19 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1070 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D5200 launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D5200:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2012).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL3 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 1 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 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.

SL3 11:01 D5200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SL3 and the Nikon D5200 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 SL3 or the D5200 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 SL3..o79/1004/54/5 Apr 2019 599 i
2.
 
Nikon D52004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749i
3.
 
Canon T8i4.5/5+80/1004/53.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
4.
 
Canon M50 Mark II......4.5/53.5/5 Oct 2020 599 i
5.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
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 SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
9.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
11.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
12.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
13.
 
Nikon D56004/5..79/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
14.
 
Nikon D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
16.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
17.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 SL3:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D5200:
Check Ebay offers

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 SL3 vs Nikon D5200

    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 SL3 Nikon D5200
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2019 November 2012
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5200
    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 4K/25p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 EXPEED 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 84
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1284
    Screen Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5200
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5200
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5200
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon SL3 Nikon D5200
    Battery Type LP-E17 EN-EL14
    Battery Life (CIPA)1070 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 93 x 70 mm
    (4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
    129 x 98 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 449 g (15.8 oz) 555 g (19.6 oz)

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