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Canon T3i vs Nikon P7800

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (called Canon 600D in some regions) and the Nikon Coolpix P7800 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and September 2013. The T3i is a DSLR, while the P7800 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T3i) and a 1/1.7-inch (P7800) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon 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 T3i
versus
Nikon P7800
Canon T3i   Nikon P7800
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
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 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g 119 x 78 x 50 mm, 399 g
Canon T3i:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon P7800:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the Nikon Coolpix P7800? 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 T3i and the Nikon P7800 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T3i vs Nikon P7800
Compare T3i versus P7800 top
Comparison T3i or P7800 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon P7800 is considerably smaller (30 percent) than the Canon T3i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3i nor the P7800 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the P7800 has a lens built in, whereas the T3i 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 T3i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the T3i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the P7800 can take 350 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14 power pack.

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
1.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
2.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
3.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
9.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
10.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
11.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
12.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
13.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
14.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
15.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699i
16.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
17.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The P7800 was launched at a lower price than the T3i, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T3i features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon P7800 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the P7800 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 T3i has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the P7800 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon T3i and Nikon P7800 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T3i offers a higher resolution than the P7800 (12MP), but the T3i nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 1.89μm for the P7800) due to its larger sensor. However, the P7800 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 6 months) than the T3i, 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 T3i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3i 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 Nikon P7800 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 T3i 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 Nikon Coolpix P7800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

T3i versus P7800 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 T3i provides substantially higher image quality than the P7800, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2 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 T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
2.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
3.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
7.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
8.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
9.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
10.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
11.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
12.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
13.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
14.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
15.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
16.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
17.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849

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 (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P7800 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), while the T3i 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 T3i and Nikon P7800 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
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 T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3/s n n
11.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
14.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
15.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Pentax MX-1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Nikon P7800 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 T3i and the P7800 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 T3i and Nikon Coolpix P7800 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 T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon SL1Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
17.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---

Both the T3i and the P7800 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3i was replaced by the Canon T4i, while the P7800 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 Nikon websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon T3i better than the Nikon P7800 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2011).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix P7800:

  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the T3i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x78mm vs 133x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the T3i).
  • 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 6 months of technical progress since the T3i launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P7800 comes out slightly ahead of the T3i (9 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

T3i 08:09 P7800

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3i and the Nikon P7800 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 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 T3i or the P7800. 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
2.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
3.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
8.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
9.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
10.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
11.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
12.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
13.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
14.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
15.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699i
16.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+....4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
17.
 
Pentax MX-13/5....74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon T3i:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon P7800:
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 your choice using the following search menu. 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 T3i vs Nikon P7800

    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 T3i Nikon P7800
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0
    Launch Date February 2011 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Canon T3i Nikon P7800
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-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 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 793 200
    Screen Specs Canon T3i Nikon P7800
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3i Nikon P7800
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 T3i Nikon P7800
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3i Nikon P7800
    Battery Type LP-E8 EN-EL14
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    119 x 78 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 570 g (20.1 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)
    Canon T3i:
    Check Ebay offers
    Nikon P7800:
    Check Ebay offers

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