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Canon T3 vs Olympus XZ-1

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Olympus XZ-1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and January 2011. The T3 is a DSLR, while the XZ-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T3) and a 1/1.7-inch (XZ-1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon T3
versus
Olympus XZ-1
Canon T3 Olympus XZ-1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 10.1 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
720/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 614k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
700 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 111 x 65 x 42 mm, 275 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and the Olympus XZ-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 T3 and the Olympus XZ-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.

The XZ-1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T3 is only available in black.

Size Canon T3 vs Olympus XZ-1
Compare T3 versus XZ-1 top
Comparison T3 or XZ-1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus XZ-1 is considerably smaller (44 percent) than the Canon T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the XZ-1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XZ-1 has a lens built in, whereas the T3 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 T3 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
2.
 
Olympus XZ-1 111 mm 65 mm 42 mm 275 g 320 n Jan 2011 499 i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799 i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429 i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449 i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599 i
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599 i
15.
 
Olympus E-PM1 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 265 g 330 n Jun 2011 499 i
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599 i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499 i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 T3 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus XZ-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the XZ-1 is 86 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.4. The sensor in the T3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the XZ-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon T3 and Olympus XZ-1 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the T3 offers a higher resolution than the XZ-1 (10.1MP), but the T3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 2.13μm for the XZ-1) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus XZ-1 are 18.3 x 13.8 inches or 46.5 x 35 cm for good quality, 14.7 x 11 inches or 37.2 x 28 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.2 inches or 31 x 23.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The Olympus XZ-1 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

T3 versus XZ-1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the T3 provides substantially higher image quality than the XZ-1, with an overall score that is 28 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.7 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
1.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
2.
 
Olympus XZ-1 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.4117 34
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.8644 60
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.2179 47
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
10.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none...... ..
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.3216 49
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.3499 52
15.
 
Olympus E-PM1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.3499 52
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.1487 54
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.8132 41

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (720/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T3 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XZ-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the XZ-1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T3, the Olympus XZ-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 T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Olympus XZ-1optional n 3.0 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
15.
 
Olympus E-PM1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y

The Olympus XZ-1 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T3 and the XZ-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 T3 and Olympus XZ-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 T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Olympus XZ-1Ymono---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-PM1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Both the T3 and the XZ-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XZ-1 was replaced by the Olympus XZ-2, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3 or the Olympus XZ-1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 10.1MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (28 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2 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 (700 versus 320) on a single battery charge.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus XZ-1:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 230k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the T3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the T3).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 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 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.

T3 10:07 XZ-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Olympus XZ-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 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 T3 or the XZ-1 perform in practice. 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 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 T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
2.
 
Olympus XZ-14/5..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499 i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799 i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429 i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449 i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
13.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599 i
14.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599 i
15.
 
Olympus E-PM1..86/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 499 i
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599 i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon T3:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus XZ-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 T3 vs Olympus XZ-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 T3 Olympus XZ-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 2011 January 2011
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Olympus XZ-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 7.85 x 5.89 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 46.2365 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 9.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 4.4x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3664 x 2752 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 2.13 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 21.81 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 TruePic V
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 34
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 18.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 10.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 117
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Olympus XZ-1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 614k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Olympus XZ-1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 T3 Olympus XZ-1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Olympus XZ-1
    Battery Type LP-E10 Li-50B
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    111 x 65 x 42 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 275 g (9.7 oz)

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