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Canon SX420 vs XTi

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (labelled Canon 400D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and August 2006. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the XTi is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and an APS-C (XTi) sensor. The SX420 has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the XTi provides 10.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420
versus
Canon XTi
Canon SX420 Canon XTi
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Canon EF mount lenses
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/25p Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi? 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 SX420 and the Canon XTi 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 SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the XTi is only available in black.

Size Canon SX420 vs Canon XTi
Compare SX420 versus XTi top
Comparison SX420 or XTi rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XTi is considerably larger (49 percent) than the Canon SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the XTi are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the XTi 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 XTi and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX420 gets 195 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the XTi can take 370 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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 SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
2.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
3.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399 i
5.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i
6.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
7.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379 i
8.
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799 i
9.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
10.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
11.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279 i
12.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249 i
13.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349 i
14.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
15.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
16.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
17.
 
Panasonic ZS70 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX420 was launched at a lower price than the XTi, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Canon XTi an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XTi is 1075 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 SX420 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the XTi offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the SX420 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the XTi (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon SX420 and Canon XTi sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the Canon XTi. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 9 years and 4 months) than the XTi, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX420 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX420 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XTi are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Canon EOS Rebel XTi offers exactly the same ISO settings.

SX420 versus XTi MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p...... ..
2.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
3.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p...... ..
4.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p...... ..
5.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p...... ..
6.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p...... ..
7.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p...... ..
8.
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p...... ..
9.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
10.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
11.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p...... ..
12.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p...... ..
13.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p...... ..
14.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
15.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
16.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
17.
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.6106 36

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX420 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XTi does not. The highest resolution format that the SX420 can use is 720/25p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the XTi has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX420 and Canon XTi 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 SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
2.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX430none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
8.
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
9.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
13.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
14.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
15.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The SX420 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XTi uses Compact Flash 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 SX420 IS and Canon EOS Rebel XTi 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 SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX430-monomono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
15.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
16.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
17.
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support, while the XTi does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX420 and the XTi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the SX420 was followed by the Canon SX430. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX420 and the Canon XTi? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (19.9 vs 10.1MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
  • 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 II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/25p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the XTi requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 127x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the XTi).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 9 years and 4 months of technical progress since the XTi launch.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.5 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 (370 versus 195) 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 August 2006).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX420 emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 11 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 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.

SX420 13:11 XTi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Canon XTi 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX420 or the XTi. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
2.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
3.
 
Canon SX430......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399 i
5.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i
6.
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
7.
 
Canon SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379 i
8.
 
Canon G5 X5/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i
9.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
10.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
11.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279 i
12.
 
Canon SX610......4/54/5 Jan 2015 249 i
13.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349 i
14.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
15.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
16.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
17.
 
Panasonic ZS70..+ +..4/54/5 Apr 2017 449 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX420:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XTi:
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 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 SX420 vs Canon XTi

    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 SX420 Canon XTi
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Canon XTi
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 664
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Canon XTi
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Canon XTi
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX420 Canon XTi
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Canon XTi
    Battery Type NB-11LH NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 556 g (19.6 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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