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Canon SX400 vs Sony HX400V

The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2014 and February 2014. Both the SX400 and the HX400V are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20.2 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
Sony HX400V
Canon SX400   Sony HX400V
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
3.0" LCD – 230k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
0.8 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
190 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 80 mm, 313 g 130 x 93 x 103 mm, 660 g
Canon SX400:
Check Ebay offers
Sony HX400V:
Check Amazon price

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V? 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 SX400 and the Sony HX400V. 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.

Size Canon SX400 vs Sony HX400V
Compare SX400 versus HX400V top
Comparison SX400 or HX400V rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX400V is considerably larger (68 percent) than the Canon SX400. Moreover, the HX400V is substantially heavier (111 percent) than the SX400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX400 nor the HX400V are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX400 gets 190 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the HX400V can take 300 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 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.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
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 SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
7.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
8.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
9.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
11.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
12.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
13.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 449 i
14.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
15.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
16.
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
17.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Note: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the HX400V, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX400 and Sony HX400V sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX400V offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX400. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX400V has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the SX400). Moreover, it should be noted, that the SX400 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the HX400V, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony HX400V implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX400V for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

SX400 versus HX400V 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 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 SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p20.111.567246
2.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.111.462945
3.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
4.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.922761
5.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
6.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.211.672047
7.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.671247
8.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.211.671247
9.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
10.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.111.462945
11.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.011.462045
12.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p20.011.358645
13.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p20.511.989649
14.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
15.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
16.
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.111.463045
17.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.111.463045
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 two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the HX400V provides a better video resolution than the SX400. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX400V has an electronic viewfinder (210k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX400 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX400 and Sony HX400V 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
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 SX400none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8/s Y Y
2.
 
Sony HX400V210 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6/s Y n
6.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX610none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX700none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX600none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9/s Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX510none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony HX350202 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n3.0 / 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Sony H400210 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7/s Y Y
17.
 
Sony H300none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Both the SX400 and the HX400V have zoom lenses built in. The SX400 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the HX400V offers a 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The HX400V offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX400 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX400V uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 PowerShot SX400 IS and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V 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 SX400-stereo / mono---2.0---
2.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G5 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX600-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX510-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
13.
 
Sony HX350-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
14.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony H400-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony H300-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the HX400V offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX400 does not provide wifi capability.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the HX400V has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The HX400V is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the SX400 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX400 was succeeded 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 and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon SX400 better than the Sony HX400V or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX400 IS:

  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 130x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 347g or 53 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the HX400V).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 190) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the HX400V is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX400 04:15 HX400V

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX400 and the Sony HX400V place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 SX400 and the HX400V in practical situations. 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], 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 SX400..+........ Jul 2014 249i
2.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
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 SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
7.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
8.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
9.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon SX700..+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
11.
 
Canon SX600..+....4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
12.
 
Canon SX510..+ +....4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
13.
 
Sony HX350..........4/5 Dec 2016 449 i
14.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +..85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
15.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
16.
 
Sony H400..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
17.
 
Sony H300..+....4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX400:
Check Ebay offers
Sony HX400V:
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX400 vs Sony HX400V

    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 Sony HX400V
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
    Launch Date July 2014 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX400 Sony HX400V
    Sensor Technology CCD BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ BIONZ X
    Screen Specs Canon SX400 Sony HX400V
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 210k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX400 Sony HX400V
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.8 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    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 no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX400 Sony HX400V
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX400 Sony HX400V
    Battery Type NB-11LH NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)190 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.1 in)
    130 x 93 x 103 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 313 g (11.0 oz) 660 g (23.3 oz)
    Canon SX400:
    Check Ebay offers
    Sony HX400V:
    Check Amazon price

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