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Canon SX50 vs Panasonic G5

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and July 2012. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the G5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and a Four Thirds (G5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.9 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
Panasonic G5
Canon SX50   Panasonic G5
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 160-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
2.2 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 120 x 83 x 71 mm, 396 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-G5? 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 G5 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The G5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX50 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX50 vs Panasonic G5
Compare SX50 versus G5 top
Comparison SX50 or G5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G5 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the G5 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 G5 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 G5 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 G5 can take 320 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 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 SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
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 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
11.
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649i
12.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
13.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX50 was launched at a lower price than the G5, 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. 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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 Panasonic G5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G5 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 G5 sensor measures

With 15.9MP, the G5 offers a higher resolution than the SX50 (12MP), but the G5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic G5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX50 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

SX50 versus G5 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 SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
2.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.311.964366
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 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
10.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
11.
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.490471
12.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
13.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
16.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
17.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G5 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G5 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX50 (1440k vs 202k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX50, the Panasonic G5, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic G51440 n3.0 / 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
9.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic G72360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G5 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 G5 write their files to SDXC cards. The G5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX50 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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-G5 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 G5Ystereo / 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 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic G7Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

Both the SX50 and the G5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G5 was replaced by the Panasonic G6, 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic G5? Which camera is better? 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:

  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G5 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.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • 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.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 461k 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 (6 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G5 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 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.

SX50 03:13 G5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic G5 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX50 or the G5. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

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 429i
2.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
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 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
11.
 
Panasonic G74/5+ +..80/1005/54.5/5 May 2015 649i
12.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
13.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
14.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
16.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
17.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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 SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G5:
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 SX50 vs Panasonic G5

    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 G5
    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 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G5
    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 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus VII FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 ..
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G5
    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 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G5
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Panasonic G5
    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 G5
    Battery Type NB-10L DMW-BLC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    120 x 83 x 71 mm
    (4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 396 g (14.0 oz)

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