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Canon SX530 vs Sony NEX-6

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Sony Alpha NEX-6 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2015 and September 2012. The SX530 is a fixed lens compact, while the NEX-6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and an APS-C (NEX-6) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX530 versus Sony NEX-6
Canon SX530 Sony NEX-6
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Sony E mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 16 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g 120 x 67 x 43 mm, 345 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Sony Alpha NEX-6? 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 SX530 and the Sony NEX-6 is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX530 vs Sony NEX-6
Compare SX530 versus NEX-6 top
Comparison SX530 or NEX-6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-6 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Canon SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the NEX-6 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX530 has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-6 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 NEX-6 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX530 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the NEX-6 can take 360 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 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 SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
2.
 
Sony NEX-6 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999i
3.
 
Canon T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449i
4.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
5.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
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 SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
9.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
10.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
12.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
13.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499i
15.
 
Sony NEX-5N 111 mm 59 mm 38 mm 269 g 460 n Aug 2011 699i
16.
 
Sony NEX-3 117 mm 62 mm 33 mm 297 g 330 n May 2010 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-5 111 mm 59 mm 38 mm 287 g 330 n May 2010 699i
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 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 SX530 was launched at a lower price than the NEX-6, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 SX530 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony NEX-6 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-6 is 1204 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 SX530 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the NEX-6 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX530 and Sony NEX-6 sensor measures

With 16MP, the NEX-6 offers a higher resolution than the SX530 (15.9MP), but the NEX-6 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.78μm versus 1.33μm for the SX530) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX530 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the NEX-6, 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 SX530 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-6 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

SX530 versus NEX-6 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"). 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 SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
2.
 
Sony NEX-6 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878
3.
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
5.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
6.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
7.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
8.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
9.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
10.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
12.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
13.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
15.
 
Sony NEX-5N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977
16.
 
Sony NEX-3 APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068
17.
 
Sony NEX-5 APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669

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 NEX-6 provides a faster frame rate than the SX530. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the NEX-6 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX530 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX530 and Sony NEX-6 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 SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
2.
 
Sony NEX-62359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
9.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
12.
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
13.
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
14.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony NEX-5Noptional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n
16.
 
Sony NEX-3optional n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n
17.
 
Sony NEX-5optional n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n

The SX530 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the NEX-6 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The NEX-6 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX530 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 SX530 HS and Sony Alpha NEX-6 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 SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Sony NEX-6Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---
15.
 
Sony NEX-5NYstereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony NEX-3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-5Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the NEX-6 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The SX530 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

Both the SX530 and the NEX-6 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The NEX-6 was replaced by the Sony A6000, while the SX530 was followed by the Canon SX540. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX530 and the Sony NEX-6? 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 SX530 HS:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NEX-6 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the NEX-6 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha NEX-6:

  • 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 (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-6 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 6 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX530 06:17 NEX-6

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Sony NEX-6 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX530 or the NEX-6. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
2.
 
Sony NEX-65/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
3.
 
Canon T64/5o73/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449i
4.
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
5.
 
Canon SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
6.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
7.
 
Canon SX700..+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
8.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
9.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
10.
 
Nikon L840..+ +..3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
12.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +..4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
13.
 
Sony A60005/5+80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5....4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
15.
 
Sony NEX-5N3/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699i
16.
 
Sony NEX-3....70/1004.5/54/5 May 2010 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-53/5+ +71/1004.5/54/5 May 2010 699i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX530:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-6:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 SX530 vs Sony NEX-6

    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 SX530 Sony NEX-6
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2015 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon SX530 Sony NEX-6
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4912 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.78 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1018
    Screen Specs Canon SX530 Sony NEX-6
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX530 Sony NEX-6
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 10 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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX530 Sony NEX-6
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX530 Sony NEX-6
    Battery Type NB-6LH NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 442 g (15.6 oz) 345 g (12.2 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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