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Canon SX510 vs Leica X Vario

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and June 2013. Both the SX510 and the X Vario are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) and an APS-C (X Vario) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX510
versus
Leica X Vario
Canon SX510   Leica X Vario
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 16.1 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-12,500
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.8 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g 133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g
Canon SX510:
Check current offers at
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Leica X Vario:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107)? 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 SX510 and the Leica X Vario are illustrated 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X Vario can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX510 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX510 vs Leica X Vario
Compare SX510 versus X Vario top
Comparison SX510 or X Vario rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X Vario is notably larger (33 percent) than the Canon SX510. Moreover, the X Vario is substantially heavier (95 percent) than the SX510. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX510 nor the X Vario are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX510 gets 250 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the X Vario can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 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 SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
2.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
3.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
6.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
7.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
8.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
9.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
10.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
11.
 
Canon SX500 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 341 g 195 n Aug 2012 329i
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
16.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
17.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX510 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 91 percent) than the X Vario, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX510 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica X Vario an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X Vario is 1225 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 SX510 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X Vario offers a 3:2 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon SX510 and Leica X Vario sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the SX510 (15.9MP), but the X Vario nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 1.33μm for the SX510) 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX510 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

SX510 versus X Vario MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p20.011.358645
2.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
3.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.511.990049
4.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
5.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.211.672047
6.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.111.567246
7.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.111.462945
8.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.011.462045
9.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p20.111.567246
10.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
11.
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p19.811.149443
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
14.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
16.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
17.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p19.911.252944
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 X Vario provides a faster frame rate than the SX510. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, 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 variety of features. The SX510 and the X Vario are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX510 and Leica X Vario 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
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 SX510none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8/s Y Y
2.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon SX430none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX520none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX700none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX600none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX400none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX500none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8/s Y Y
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s n Y
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
14.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0/s Y n
16.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
17.
 
Sony H200none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Both the SX510 and the X Vario have zoom lenses built in. The SX510 has a 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 optic and the X Vario offers a 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The SX510 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX510 and the X Vario 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 SX510 HS and Leica X Vario (Typ 107) 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 SX510-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX430-mono / mono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX520-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX600-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX400-stereo / mono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX500-stereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereo / mono---2.0---
16.
 
Ricoh GRYmono / mono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Sony H200-mono / mono---2.0---

It is notable that the SX510 offers wifi support, while the X Vario does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX510 and the X Vario have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX510 was replaced by the Canon SX520, while the X Vario 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 Leica websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX510 and the Leica X Vario? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.4 vs f/3.5).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 133x73mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 331g or 49 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (91 percent cheaper at launch).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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 (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X Vario is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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.

SX510 09:13 X Vario

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX510 and the Leica X Vario place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX510 or the X Vario perform in practice. 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 SX510..+ +....4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
2.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
3.
 
Canon SX430........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
6.
 
Canon SX520..+....3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
7.
 
Canon SX700..+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
8.
 
Canon SX600..+....4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
9.
 
Canon SX400..+........ Jul 2014 249i
10.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
11.
 
Canon SX500..+ +....4/54/5 Aug 2012 329i
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+..75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
16.
 
Ricoh GR5/5....79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
17.
 
Sony H200........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX510:
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Leica X Vario:
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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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 SX510 vs Leica X Vario

    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 SX510 Leica X Vario
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date August 2013 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 2,850
    Sensor Specs Canon SX510 Leica X Vario
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4928 x 3272 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1320
    Screen Specs Canon SX510 Leica X Vario
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX510 Leica X Vario
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.8 shutter flaps/s 5 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX510 Leica X Vario
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX510 Leica X Vario
    Battery Type NB-6LH BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 349 g (12.3 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)
    Canon SX510:
    Check current offers at
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    Leica X Vario:
    Check current offers at
    i

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