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Canon T2i vs Pentax MX-1

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (called Canon 550D in some regions) and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2010 and January 2013. The T2i is a DSLR, while the MX-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T2i) and a 1/1.7-inch (MX-1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Pentax 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
Pentax MX-1
Canon T2i Pentax MX-1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-12,800
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
440 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the Pentax MX-1? 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 Pentax MX-1. 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.

Size Canon T2i vs Pentax MX-1
Compare T2i versus MX-1 top
Comparison T2i or MX-1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax MX-1 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Canon T2i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T2i nor the MX-1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the MX-1 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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
1.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499 i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
6.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
8.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499 i
9.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
10.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
11.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
12.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
13.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
14.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
15.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549 i
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599 i
17.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
Notes: 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 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 MX-1 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. 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 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T2i features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax MX-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the MX-1 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 MX-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon T2i and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T2i offers a higher resolution than the MX-1 (12MP), but the T2i nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the MX-1) due to its larger sensor. However, the MX-1 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 10 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 Pentax MX-1 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 Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

T2i versus MX-1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under review, the T2i provides substantially higher image quality than the MX-1, with an overall score that is 17 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.3208 49
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
6.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
7.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
8.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.5165 46
9.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
10.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
11.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
12.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
13.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
14.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
15.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.7200 54
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.3216 49
17.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.6211 52

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (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 T2i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the MX-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T2i, the Pentax MX-1, and comparable 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 T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
2.
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
9.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
12.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
13.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T2i and the MX-1 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 Pentax MX-1 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 T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-

It is notable that the T2i has a hotshoe, while the MX-1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the T2i and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T2i was replaced by the Canon T3i, while the MX-1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Pentax websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T2i and the Pentax MX-1? 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 EOS Rebel T2i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.7 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 290) 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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Reasons to prefer the Pentax MX-1:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the T2i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm 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).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the T2i launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T2i is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 8 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T2i 12:08 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T2i and the Pentax MX-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T2i or the MX-1. 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], 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 T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
2.
 
Pentax MX-13/5..74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499 i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
6.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
8.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499 i
9.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
10.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
11.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
12.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
13.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
14.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
15.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549 i
16.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599 i
17.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon T2i:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax MX-1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 Pentax MX-1

    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 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date February 2010 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon T2i Pentax MX-1
    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 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 208
    Screen Specs Canon T2i Pentax MX-1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T2i Pentax MX-1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 Pentax MX-1
    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 no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T2i Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type LP-E8 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)

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