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Canon SX400 vs T2i

The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (labelled Canon 550D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2014 and February 2010. The SX400 is a fixed lens compact, while the T2i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX400) and an APS-C (T2i) sensor. The SX400 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the T2i provides 17.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX400 versus Canon T2i
Canon SX400 Canon T2i
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 Canon EF mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.8 shutter flaps per second 3.7 shutter flaps per second
190 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 80 mm, 313 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i? 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 SX400 and the Canon T2i are illustrated 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.

Size Canon SX400 vs Canon T2i
Compare SX400 versus T2i top
Comparison SX400 or T2i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T2i is considerably larger (76 percent) than the Canon SX400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX400 nor the T2i are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX400 has a lens built in, whereas the T2i is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the T2i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX400 gets 190 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the T2i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

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 SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
2.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
3.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
5.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
6.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
10.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
12.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
13.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
14.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
15.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
16.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
17.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
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 SX400 was launched at a lower price than the T2i, despite having a lens built in. 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 SX400 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon T2i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T2i is 1086 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.6. The sensor in the SX400 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T2i offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX400 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the T2i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX400 and Canon T2i sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T2i offers a higher resolution than the SX400 (15.9MP), but the T2i nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.33μm for the SX400) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX400 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 5 months) than the T2i, 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 SX400 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T2i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T2i 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 Canon SX400 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T2i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

SX400 versus T2i 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 SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
2.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
3.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
4.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
5.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
6.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
7.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
8.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
9.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
11.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
12.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
13.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
14.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
15.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
16.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
17.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363

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 T2i provides a better video resolution than the SX400. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the SX400 is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T2i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX400 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX400, the Canon T2i, 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 SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
2.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
6.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
14.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
17.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX400 and the T2i write their files to SDXC 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 PowerShot SX400 IS and Canon EOS Rebel T2i 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 SX400-stereomono---2.0---
2.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
14.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
17.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the T2i has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX400 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the SX400 and the T2i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T2i was replaced by the Canon T3i, while the SX400 was followed by the Canon SX410. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX400 and the Canon T2i? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 4).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the T2i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the T2i).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 5 months of technical progress since the T2i launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 190) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T2i is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 8 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.

SX400 08:16 T2i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX400 and the Canon T2i place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 SX400 or the T2i 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 SX400..+...... Jul 2014 249i
2.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
3.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
5.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
6.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX610......4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
10.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Canon SX700..+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
12.
 
Canon SX600..+..4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
13.
 
Canon SX510..+ +..4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
14.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
15.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
16.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
17.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
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 SX400:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T2i:
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 SX400 vs Canon T2i

    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 SX400 Canon T2i
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2014 February 2010
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon SX400 Canon T2i
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 784
    Screen Specs Canon SX400 Canon T2i
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX400 Canon T2i
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.8 shutter flaps/s 3.7 shutter flaps/s
    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 no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX400 Canon T2i
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX400 Canon T2i
    Battery Type NB-11LH LP-E8
    Battery Life (CIPA)190 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.1 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 313 g (11.0 oz) 530 g (18.7 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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