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Canon SX510 vs Nikon D7000

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Nikon D7000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and September 2010. The SX510 is a fixed lens compact, while the D7000 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX510) and an APS-C (D7000) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon 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 Nikon D7000
Canon SX510 Nikon D7000
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 Nikon F mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video 10800/24p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.8 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
250 shots per battery charge1050 shots per battery charge
104 x 70 x 80 mm, 349 g 132 x 105 x 77 mm, 780 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS and the Nikon D7000? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX510 and the Nikon D7000. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX510 vs Nikon D7000
Compare SX510 versus D7000 top
Comparison SX510 or D7000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D7000 is considerably larger (90 percent) than the Canon SX510. It is noteworthy in this context that the D7000 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX510 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX510 has a lens built in, whereas the D7000 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 D7000 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX510 gets 250 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the D7000 can take 1050 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX510 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.3 oz 250 n Aug 2013 249i
 
Nikon D7000 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX600 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.0 in 6.6 oz 290 n Jan 2014 249i
 
Canon SX400 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.1 in 11.0 oz 190 n Jul 2014 249i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX500 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.0 oz 195 n Aug 2012 329i
 
Canon 7D 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon D7500 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Nikon D7100 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D300S 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
 
Nikon D90 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SX510 was launched at a lower price than the D7000, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 SX510 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D7000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D7000 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 D7000 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX510 and Nikon D7000 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the D7000 offers a higher resolution than the SX510 (15.9MP), but the D7000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 1.33μm for the SX510) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX510 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 11 months) than the D7000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Nikon D7000 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

SX510 versus D7000 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/24p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D7000 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX510 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX510 and Nikon D7000 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
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
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX600none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX400none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

One feature that is present on the D7000, but is missing on the SX510 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The Nikon D7000 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX510 and the D7000 write their files to SDXC cards. The D7000 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the SX510 only has one slot.

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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 SX510 HS and Nikon D7000 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
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX600-monomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX400-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX500-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

It is notable that the SX510 offers wifi support, while the D7000 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX510 and the D7000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D7000 was replaced by the Nikon D7100, while the SX510 was followed by the Canon SX520. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX510 and the Nikon D7000? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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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.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D7000 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x70mm vs 132x105mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D7000).
  • 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 at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the D7000 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D7000:

  • 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 sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/1600s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1050 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2010).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D7000 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 8 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 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 08:18 D7000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX510 and the Nikon D7000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX510 and the D7000 in practical situations. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX510+ +..4.5/5..4/5 Aug 2013 249i
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX700+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX600+..4/5..4/5 Jan 2014 249i
 
Canon SX400+........ Jul 2014 249i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon SX500+ +..4/5..4/5 Aug 2012 329i
 
Canon 7D+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
 
Nikon D90+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX510:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D7000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 SX510 vs Nikon D7000

    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 Nikon D7000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.4-5.8 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2013 September 2010
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 1,499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX510 Nikon D7000
    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 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 10800/24p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED 2
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1167
    Screen Specs Canon SX510 Nikon D7000
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX510 Nikon D7000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.8 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX510 Nikon D7000
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX510 Nikon D7000
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NB-6LH EN-EL15
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge1050 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 70 x 80 mm
    (4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
    132 x 105 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 349 g (12.3 oz) 780 g (27.5 oz)

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