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Canon SX50 vs Olympus E-410

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Olympus E-410 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and March 2007. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-410 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and a Four Thirds (E-410) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50 versus Olympus E-410
Canon SX50 Olympus E-410
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-1,600
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 130 x 91 x 53 mm, 435 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Olympus E-410? 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 SX50 and the Olympus E-410. 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 SX50 vs Olympus E-410
Compare SX50 versus E-410 top
Comparison SX50 or E-410 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-410 is notably larger (11 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the E-410 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX50 has a lens built in, whereas the E-410 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 E-410 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the E-410 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
7.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
13.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
14.
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799i
15.
 
Olympus E-400 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Sep 2006 699i
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
17.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX50 was launched at a lower price than the E-410, 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.

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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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-410 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-410 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX50 and Olympus E-410 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Olympus E-410. 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 1.53μm versus 4.74μm for the E-410). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is much more recent (by 5 years and 6 months) than the E-410, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon SX50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-410 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-410 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX50 versus E-410 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the E-410 has a markedly higher DXO score than the SX50 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
2.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
3.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
7.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
11.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
12.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
13.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
14.
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
15.
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none........
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
17.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-410 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the E-410 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX50 and Olympus E-410 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 SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
12.
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
15.
 
Olympus E-400optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
The SX50 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the E-410 does not have a selfie-screen.

The SX50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-410 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-410 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the SX50 only has one slot.

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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 SX50 HS and Olympus E-410 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 SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-510Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-400Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the SX50 and the E-410 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-410 was replaced by the Olympus E-420, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX50 better than the Olympus E-410 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 PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • 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 (461k vs 215k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-410 requires a separate lens.
  • 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 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the E-410 launch.

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Advantages of the Olympus E-410:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.2 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 (500 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2007).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX50 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 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.

SX50 12:09 E-410

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Olympus E-410 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX50 or the E-410. 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 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 SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
7.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
8.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
11.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
12.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
13.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
14.
 
Olympus E-510..89/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
15.
 
Olympus E-400..85/100..4/54/5 Sep 2006 699i
16.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
17.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-410:
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. 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 SX50 vs Olympus E-410

    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 SX50 Olympus E-410
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 March 2007
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Olympus E-410
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 TruePic III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 51
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 494
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Olympus E-410
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Olympus E-410
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Olympus E-410
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Olympus E-410
    Battery Type NB-10L BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 435 g (15.3 oz)

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