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Canon SX720 vs Nikon B700

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon Coolpix B700 are two digital cameras that were announced in February 2016. Both the SX720 and the B700 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20.2 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX720
versus
Nikon B700
Canon SX720   Nikon B700
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5
20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g 125 x 85 x 107 mm, 565 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Nikon Coolpix B700? 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.

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Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX720 and the Nikon B700. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, red).

Size Canon SX720 vs Nikon B700
Compare SX720 versus B700 top
Comparison SX720 or B700 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon B700 is considerably larger (51 percent) than the Canon SX720. Moreover, the B700 is substantially heavier (109 percent) than the SX720. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX720 nor the B700 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX720 gets 250 shots out of its Canon NB-13L battery, while the B700 can take 350 images on a single charge of its Nikon EN-EL23 power pack. The power pack in the B700 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
  empty Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 US$ 379ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 US$ 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 US$ 279ebay.com
4.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 US$ 299ebay.com
5.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 US$ 299ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 US$ 399ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 US$ 349ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 US$ 399ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 US$ 399 amazon.com
10.
 
Kodak AZ901 139 mm 104 mm 119 mm 777 g 400 n Jan 2016 US$ 499 amazon.com
11.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 US$ 599ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic ZS70 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 US$ 449ebay.com
13.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 US$ 349ebay.com
14.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 US$ 429ebay.com
15.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 US$ 449ebay.com
16.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 US$ 499ebay.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 SX720 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the B700, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX720 and Nikon B700 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20.2 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX720 and the B700 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, 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 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 SX720 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix B700 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

SX720 versus B700 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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
  empty Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.881748
2.
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.411.881848
3.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.211.672047
4.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
5.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.511.990049
6.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.780648
7.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
8.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
9.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1105051
10.
 
Kodak AZ901 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.311.780648
11.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.211.672747
12.
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
13.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.411.882248
14.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
15.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p20.511.989649
16.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.111.462945
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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the B700 provides a better video resolution than the SX720. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the B700 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX720 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX720 and Nikon B700 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  empty 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 SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
2.
 
Nikon B700921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX410none 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 SX430none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX740none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Kodak AZ901202 n3.0 / 920 swivel n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Nikon P900921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Sony HX350202 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX400V210 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
Note: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The B700 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX720 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon B700 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.

Both the SX720 and the B700 have zoom lenses built in. The SX720 has a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 optic and the B700 offers a 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has more tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX720 and the B700 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX720 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the B700 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 SX720 HS and Nikon Coolpix B700 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  empty Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Nikon B700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
4.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX430-mono / mono---2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon SX740-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
10.
 
Kodak AZ901-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Nikon P900-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony HX350-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
16.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

Both the SX720 and the B700 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The SX720 was replaced by the Canon SX730, while the B700 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the SX720 and B700 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX720 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon B700 Manual.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX720 and the Nikon B700? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 125x85mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 295g or 52 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B700:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B700 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 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 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.

SX720 05:10 B700

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Nikon B700 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 SX720 or the B700 perform in practice. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
  empty  Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 US$ 379ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon B700..+....4/54/5 Feb 2016 US$ 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 US$ 279ebay.com
4.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 US$ 299ebay.com
5.
 
Canon SX430........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 US$ 299ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 US$ 399ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 US$ 349ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 US$ 399ebay.com
9.
 
Canon SX740..+3.5/5..4/54/5 Jul 2018 US$ 399 amazon.com
10.
 
Kodak AZ901........3.5/53/5 Jan 2016 US$ 499 amazon.com
11.
 
Nikon P900......77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 US$ 599ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic ZS70..+ +....4/54/5 Apr 2017 US$ 449ebay.com
13.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 US$ 349ebay.com
14.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 US$ 429ebay.com
15.
 
Sony HX350..........4/5 Dec 2016 US$ 449ebay.com
16.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 US$ 499ebay.com
Note: (+ +) 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 SX720 vs Nikon B700

    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 SX720 Nikon B700
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5
    Launch Date February 2016 February 2016
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX720 Nikon B700
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX720 Nikon B700
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX720 Nikon B700
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/3200s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX720 Nikon B700
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX720 Nikon B700
    Battery Type Canon NB-13L Nikon EN-EL23
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    125 x 85 x 107 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 4.2 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz) 565 g (19.9 oz)
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