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Canon SX520 vs Leica T

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Leica T (Typ 701) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2014 and April 2014. The SX520 is a fixed lens compact, while the T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) and an APS-C (T Typ 701) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX520
versus
Leica T
Canon SX520   Leica T
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1008mm f/3.4-6 Leica T mount lenses
15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 16.2 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-12,500
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.7" LCD – 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
1.6 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 441 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g
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Check T Typ 701 offers at
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Leica T (Typ 701)? 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 SX520 and the Leica T is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The T Typ 701 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX520 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX520 vs Leica T
Compare SX520 versus T Typ 701 top
Comparison SX520 or T Typ 701 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica T is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon SX520. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX520 nor the T Typ 701 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX520 has a lens built in, whereas the T Typ 701 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The power pack in the T Typ 701 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399ebay.com
2.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon 1300D 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549ebay.com
11.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249ebay.com
12.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549ebay.com
13.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
14.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695ebay.com
15.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
16.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 amazon.com
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 SX520 was launched at a lower price than the T Typ 701, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX520 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica T an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T Typ 701 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 SX520 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the T Typ 701 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX520 and Leica T sensor measures

With 16.2MP, the T Typ 701 offers a higher resolution than the SX520 (15.9MP), but the T Typ 701 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.33μm for the SX520) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX520 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the T Typ 701, and its sensor might 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica T (Typ 701) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the SX520 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the T Typ 701 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.

SX520 versus T Typ 701 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). 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 SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.111.567246
2.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
3.
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon 1300D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.778166
5.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.780648
6.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.671247
7.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
8.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.111.462945
9.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
10.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
11.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p20.011.358645
12.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
13.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p23.913.3175382
14.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
15.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
16.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
17.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.712.2109552
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. 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 (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX520 and the T Typ 701 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 T Typ 701 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX520, the Leica T, 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)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX520none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
2.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 4000Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon 1300Doptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX700none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX510none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8/s Y Y
12.
 
Canon 100Doptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9/s Y n
13.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0/s n n
14.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
15.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
16.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon B600none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4/s Y Y
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 T Typ 701 has a touchscreen, while the SX520 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX520 and the T Typ 701 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 SX520 HS and Leica T (Typ 701) 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 SX520-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon 4000DYmono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 1300DYmono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon 1200DYmono / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX510-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
12.
 
Canon 100DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
14.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Nikon B600-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y

It is notable that the T Typ 701 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX520 does not provide wifi capability.

Both the SX520 and the T Typ 701 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The T Typ 701 was replaced by the Leica TL, while the SX520 was followed by the Canon SX530. Further information on the features and operation of the SX520 and T Typ 701 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX520 Manual (free pdf) or the online Leica T Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX520 and the Leica T? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:

  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the T Typ 701 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: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the T Typ 701).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica T (Typ 701):

  • 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.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k 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 (5 vs 1.6 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 (400 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T Typ 701 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 4 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.

SX520 04:17 T Typ 701

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX520 and the Leica T 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX520 and the T Typ 701 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 SX520..+....3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399ebay.com
2.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 4000D2.5/5o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon 1300D4/5o4/573/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX700..+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 349ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
10.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549ebay.com
11.
 
Canon SX510..+ +....4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249ebay.com
12.
 
Canon 100D4/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549ebay.com
13.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
14.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695ebay.com
15.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
16.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon B600..+....3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 amazon.com
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon SX520 vs Leica T

    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 SX520 Leica T
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2014 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 1,850
    Sensor Specs Canon SX520 Leica T
    Sensor Technology BSI-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 16.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4944 x 3278 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.37 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 75
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1082
    Screen Specs Canon SX520 Leica T
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX520 Leica T
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 5 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 SX520 Leica T
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX520 Leica T
    Battery Type NB-6LH BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 441 g (15.6 oz) 384 g (13.5 oz)
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    ebay.com

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