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Canon T2i vs Panasonic LF1

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (called Canon 550D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and April 2013. The T2i is a DSLR, while the LF1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T2i) and a 1/1.7-inch (LF1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon T2i versus Panasonic LF1
Canon T2i Panasonic LF1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (200k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 103 x 62 x 28 mm, 192 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1? 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 T2i and the Panasonic LF1. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T2i vs Panasonic LF1
Compare T2i versus LF1 top
Comparison T2i or LF1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LF1 is considerably smaller (49 percent) than the Canon T2i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T2i nor the LF1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LF1 has a lens built in, whereas the T2i 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 T2i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

The power pack in the LF1 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. 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
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon T2i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Panasonic LF1 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.8 oz 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
 
Canon T100 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon T6s 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon T5i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon S120 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.1 in 7.7 oz 230 n Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon T4i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T3 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T3i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon T1i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon XTi 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic FZ200 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic LX7 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The LF1 was launched at a lower price than the T2i, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T2i features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic LF1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LF1 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.5. The sensor in the T2i has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the LF1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon T2i and Panasonic LF1 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T2i offers a higher resolution than the LF1 (12MP), but the T2i nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the LF1) due to its larger sensor. However, the LF1 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 2 months) than the T2i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T2i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T2i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LF1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

T2i versus LF1 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the T2i provides substantially higher image quality than the LF1, with an overall score that is 14 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LF1 provides a faster frame rate than the T2i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the LF1 has an electronic viewfinder (200k dots), while the T2i has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T2i and Panasonic LF1 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
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T2i and the LF1 write their files to SDXC 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 EOS Rebel T2i and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 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 T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the T2i has a hotshoe, while the LF1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The LF1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the T2i has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T2i was succeeded by the Canon T3i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T2i and the Panasonic LF1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the T2i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (103x62mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the T2i).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the T2i launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LF1 comes out slightly ahead of the T2i (12 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

T2i 11:12 LF1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T2i and the Panasonic LF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 T2i or the LF1. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 T2i+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Panasonic LF1+..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
 
Canon T100o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon T6s+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon T5i..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
 
Canon T4i+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon T380/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon T3io77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon T1i+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon XSi+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon XTi+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Panasonic FZ200+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon T2i:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic LF1:
Check Amazon price

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 use the search menu below. 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 T2i vs Panasonic LF1

    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 T2i Panasonic LF1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9
    Launch Date February 2010 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon T2i Panasonic LF1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 52
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 20.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 211
    Screen Specs Canon T2i Panasonic LF1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    Viewfinder Resolution 200k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T2i Panasonic LF1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon T2i Panasonic LF1
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon T2i Panasonic LF1
    Battery Type LP-E8 DMW-BCN10
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    103 x 62 x 28 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 192 g (6.8 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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