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Canon SX50 vs Panasonic G2

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and March 2010. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the G2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and a Four Thirds (G2) 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
versus
Panasonic G2
Canon SX50   Panasonic G2
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 720/30p Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
2.2 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 124 x 84 x 74 mm, 428 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2? 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 G2 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.

The G2 can be obtained in three different colors (black, blue, red), while the SX50 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX50 vs Panasonic G2
Compare SX50 versus G2 top
Comparison SX50 or G2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G2 is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the G2 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 G2 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 G2 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 G2 can take 360 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, 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 429ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
7.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399ebay.com
11.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599ebay.com
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 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 G2, 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 G2 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G2 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 G2 sensor measures

Even though the G2 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the G2 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 2 years and 6 months) than the G2, 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-G2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the SX50 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the G2 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

SX50 versus G2 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 G2 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 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.9 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.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
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 30001080/24p19.610.940941
9.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p19.410.732039
10.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
11.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
13.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
14.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
15.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
17.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
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 SX50 provides a higher video resolution than the G2. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

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 G2 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 G2 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 SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX30202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G2 has a touchscreen, while the SX50 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the G2 write their files to SDXC 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-G2 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 SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX30Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
11.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo / -Y-mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G1Y- / ---mini2.0---

Both the SX50 and the G2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The G2 was replaced by the Panasonic G3, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. Further information on the features and operation of the SX50 and G2 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX50 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic G2 Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic G2? 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).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 720/30p).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G2 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 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the G2 launch.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.6 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 (360 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2010).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 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 06:09 G2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic G2 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 G2 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 (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 SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
7.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX40..+....4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +....3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399ebay.com
11.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +..70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599ebay.com
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.

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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 G2

    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 G2
    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 March 2010
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G2
    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 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus HD II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 53
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 493
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G2
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 2.6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G2
    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 G2
    Battery Type NB-10L DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    124 x 84 x 74 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 428 g (15.1 oz)
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    Check G2 offers at
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