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Canon T3 vs Pentax Q

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Pentax Q are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and June 2011. The T3 is a DSLR, while the Pentax Q is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T3) and a 1/2.3-inch (Pentax Q) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 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 T3
versus
Pentax Q
Canon T3   Pentax Q
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Pentax Q mount lenses
12.2 MP – APS-C sensor 12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 125-6,400
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.7" LCD – 230k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 1.5 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
700 shots per battery charge230 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 98 x 57 x 31 mm, 180 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and the Pentax Q? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Pentax Q is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 Pentax Q can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the T3 is only available in black.

Size Canon T3 vs Pentax Q
Compare T3 versus Pentax Q top
Comparison T3 or Pentax Q rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax Q is considerably smaller (57 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the Pentax Q is substantially lighter (64 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the Pentax Q are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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
    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 449ebay.com
2.
 
Pentax Q 98 mm 57 mm 31 mm 180 g 230 n Jun 2011 649ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699ebay.com
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599ebay.com
17.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699ebay.com
Note: 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 T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the Pentax Q, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T3 features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax Q a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the Pentax Q is 91 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the T3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the Pentax Q offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon T3 and Pentax Q sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the T3 offers a slightly higher resolution than the Pentax Q (12MP), but the T3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 1.53μm for the Pentax Q) due to its larger sensor. However, the Pentax Q is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the T3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax Q are ISO 125 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (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.

T3 versus Pentax Q 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 T3 provides substantially higher image quality than the Pentax Q, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2 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 2848720/30p21.911.075562
2.
 
Pentax Q 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.211.118947
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
14.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
15.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754
17.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
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 also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the Pentax Q provides a better video resolution than the T3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.

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 Pentax Q relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the Pentax Q can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the O-VF1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon T3 and Pentax Q along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    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 T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Pentax Qoptional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 1.5/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n3.0 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5/s n Y
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Olympus E-620optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that differentiates the Pentax Q and the T3 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The Pentax Q reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the T3 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.

The Pentax Q 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 Pentax Q write their files to SDXC cards.

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 Pentax Q 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Pentax QYmono / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-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-2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Olympus E-620Y- / ----2.0---

Both the T3 and the Pentax Q have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the Pentax Q was followed by the Pentax Q10. 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3 or the Pentax Q – 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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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 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 (2 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 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2011).

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Arguments in favor of the Pentax Q:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • 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 (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (98x57mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 315g or 64 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (9 points each). 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 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.

T3 09:09 Pentax Q

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Pentax Q place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T3 or the Pentax Q perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
2.
 
Pentax Q3/5......4/53.5/5 Jun 2011 649ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699ebay.com
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/100..71/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +..72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599ebay.com
17.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/100..72/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 T3 vs Pentax Q

    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 Pentax Q
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Pentax Q mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 June 2011
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 649
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Pentax Q
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 125 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 47
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 20.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 189
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Pentax Q
    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 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Pentax Q
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 1.5 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 Pentax Q
    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 Pentax Q
    Battery Type LP-E10 D-LI68
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge230 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    98 x 57 x 31 mm
    (3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 180 g (6.3 oz)
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