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Canon SX720 vs Sony HX350

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2016 and December 2016. Both the SX720 and the HX350 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX720
versus
Sony HX350
Canon SX720   Sony HX350
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 19.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
5.9 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 36 mm, 270 g 130 x 93 x 103 mm, 652 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350? 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 Sony HX350. 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.

The SX720 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the HX350 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX720 vs Sony HX350
Compare SX720 versus HX350 top
Comparison SX720 or HX350 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX350 is considerably larger (72 percent) than the Canon SX720. Moreover, the HX350 is substantially heavier (141 percent) than the SX720. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX720 nor the HX350 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX720 gets 250 shots out of its Canon NB-13L battery, while the HX350 can take 300 images on a single charge of its Sony NP-BX1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 US$ 449ebay.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 B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 US$ 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ80 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 US$ 399ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 US$ 449ebay.com
14.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 US$ 349ebay.com
15.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 US$ 429ebay.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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 16 percent) than the HX350, 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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 Sony HX350 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX720 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 19.9 MP of the HX350. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.59999999999999 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX720 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.19μm for the HX350). Moreover, it should be noted that the HX350 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the SX720, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

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 HX350 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p20.511.989649
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 B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.411.881848
12.
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p20.511.990049
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
14.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.411.882248
15.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
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 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 (1080/60p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the HX350 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX720 and Sony HX350 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Sony HX350202 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/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 B700921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 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.

Both the SX720 and the HX350 have zoom lenses built in. The SX720 has a 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 optic and the HX350 offers a 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The HX350 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX720 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX350 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The SX720 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the HX350 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 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.
 
Sony HX350-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
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 B700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
12.
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX720 offers wifi support, while the HX350 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX720 and the HX350 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The SX720 was replaced by the Canon SX730, while the HX350 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the SX720 and HX350 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX720 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony HX350 Manual.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX720 or the Sony HX350 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS:

  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 130x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 382g or 59 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (16 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2016).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.3).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the HX350 comes out slightly ahead of the SX720 (8 : 7 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 07:08 HX350

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX720 and the Sony HX350 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX720 or the HX350. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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
  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.
 
Sony HX350..........4/5 Dec 2016 US$ 449ebay.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 B700..+....4/54/5 Feb 2016 US$ 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic FZ80..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 US$ 399ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic ZS70..+ +....4/54/5 Apr 2017 US$ 449ebay.com
14.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 US$ 349ebay.com
15.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 US$ 429ebay.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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

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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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX720 vs Sony HX350

    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 Sony HX350
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
    Launch Date February 2016 December 2016
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon SX720 Sony HX350
    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 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 BIONZ X
    Screen Specs Canon SX720 Sony HX350
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX720 Sony HX350
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5.9 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX720 Sony HX350
    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 no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX720 Sony HX350
    Battery Type Canon NB-13L Sony NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    130 x 93 x 103 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 270 g (9.5 oz) 652 g (23.0 oz)
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