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Canon SX50 vs Panasonic G1

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2008. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the G1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and a Four Thirds (G1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50   Panasonic G1
Canon SX50 Panasonic G1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 80-6400 ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0" LCD, 461k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 124 x 84 x 45 mm, 360 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1? 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 SX50 and the Panasonic G1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX50 vs Panasonic G1
Compare SX50 versus G1 top
Comparison SX50 or G1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G1 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the G1 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 G1 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 G1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G1 can take 410 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50» 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Panasonic G1« 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
 
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon S120« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449- i Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
 
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 1.8 in 13.6 oz 300 n Mar 2009 899- i Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 G1, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic G1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G1 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 Panasonic G1 sensor measures

Even though the G1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the G1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the SX50 is much more recent (by 4 years) than the G1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

SX50 versus G1 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 G1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the SX50 (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.4 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50» 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Panasonic G1« Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
 
Canon S120« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
 
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3
 
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955Panasonic L10

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the G1 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G1 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX50 (1440k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX50 and Panasonic G1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50»202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Panasonic G1«1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Canon S120« »- n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
 
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3
 
Olympus E-410« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10
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 SX50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the G1 uses SDHC 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 SX50 HS and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Panasonic G1«Y----mini2.0---Panasonic G1
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
 
Canon S120« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
 
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
 
Olympus E-410« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« »Y-----2.0---Panasonic L10

Both the SX50 and the G1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, 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 Panasonic websites.


Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic G1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G1 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 4 years of technical progress since the G1 launch.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
  • 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: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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.

SX50 06:08 G1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic G1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX50 and the G1 in practical situations. 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50»+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Panasonic G1«+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
 
Canon SX60« »+ +75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Canon G16« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon S120« »+ +-4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449- i Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15« »+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
 
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« »----- Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Olympus E-410« »86/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic LX7« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« »+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899- i Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« »85/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
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. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G1:
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 SX50 vs Panasonic G1

    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 Panasonic G1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G1
    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 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 53
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 463
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G1
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-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 SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G1
    Battery Type NB-10L DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    124 x 84 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 360 g (12.7 oz)

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