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Canon SX50 vs Sony A3000

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Sony Alpha A3000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and August 2013. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the A3000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an APS-C (A3000) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 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 Sony A3000
Canon SX50 Sony A3000
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Sony E mount lenses
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-16,000
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Sony Alpha A3000? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Sony A3000 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 Sony A3000
Compare SX50 versus A3000 top
Comparison SX50 or A3000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A3000 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the A3000 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 A3000 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 A3000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the A3000 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A3000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
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.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
13.
 
Sony A6400 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 Y Jan 2019 899 i
14.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
16.
 
Sony NEX-6 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999i
17.
 
Sony NEX-7 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 400 g 430 n Aug 2011 1,349i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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 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 Sony A3000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A3000 is 1175 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX50 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A3000 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX50 and Sony A3000 sensor measures

With 19.8MP, the A3000 offers a higher resolution than the SX50 (12MP), but the A3000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.25μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A3000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the SX50, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A3000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A3000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 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 Sony Alpha A3000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

SX50 versus A3000 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A3000 offers substantially better image quality than the SX50 (overall score 31 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.4 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
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.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
13.
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183
14.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
15.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
16.
 
Sony NEX-6 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878
17.
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A3000 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX50 and the A3000 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 202k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX50 and Sony A3000 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.
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 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.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
14.
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony NEX-62359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-72359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 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 A3000 does not have a selfie-screen.

The SX50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A3000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 SX50 HS and Sony Alpha A3000 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.
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
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.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
14.
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony NEX-6Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony NEX-7YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the SX50 and the A3000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the A3000 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Sony A3000 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k 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: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A3000 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A3000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 31%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (31 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/24p).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 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 (470 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A3000 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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 06:12 A3000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Sony A3000 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 A3000 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], 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.
 
Sony A30003/5+..4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
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.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
13.
 
Sony A64004/5+85/1004.5/54/5 Jan 2019 899 i
14.
 
Sony A60005/5+80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony RX1R5/5....4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
16.
 
Sony NEX-65/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
17.
 
Sony NEX-75/5+ +81/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349i
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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
Sony A3000:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Sony A3000

    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 Sony A3000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 329
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Sony A3000
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 1068
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Sony A3000
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Sony A3000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Sony A3000
    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 Sony A3000
    Battery Type NB-10L NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    128 x 91 x 85 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 411 g (14.5 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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