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Canon T4i vs Panasonic GF5

The Canon EOS Rebel T4i (called Canon 650D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2012 and April 2012. The T4i is a DSLR, while the GF5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T4i) and a Four Thirds (GF5) 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 T4i
versus
Panasonic GF5
Canon T4i   Panasonic GF5
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
17.9 MP – APS-C sensor 12 MP – Four Thirds sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 160-6,400 (160 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 79 mm, 575 g 108 x 67 x 37 mm, 267 g
Canon T4i:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF5:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T4i and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5? 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 T4i and the Panasonic GF5. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the T4i is only available in black.

Size Canon T4i vs Panasonic GF5
Compare T4i versus GF5 top
Comparison T4i or GF5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF5 is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Canon T4i. Moreover, the GF5 is substantially lighter (54 percent) than the T4i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T4i nor the GF5 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T4i) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF5). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF5, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the T4i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the GF5 can take 360 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLE9 power pack.

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 T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
6.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
7.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
16.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
17.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
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 GF5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the T4i, 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 T4i features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF5 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the T4i has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF5 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon T4i and Panasonic GF5 sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T4i offers a higher resolution than the GF5 (12MP), but the T4i has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.33μm for the GF5). 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 T4i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T4i 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 GF5 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 T4i has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS Rebel T4i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 160-12800.

T4i versus GF5 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
3.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
6.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
7.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
10.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
14.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
15.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
16.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
17.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353

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, but the GF5 provides a faster frame rate than the T4i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T4i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF5 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 T4i, the Panasonic GF5, and comparable 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 T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The T4i has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GF5 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T4i and the GF5 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 T4i and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 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 T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
15.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the T4i has a hotshoe, while the GF5 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the T4i and the GF5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF5 was replaced by the Panasonic GF6, while the T4i was followed by the Canon T5i. 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T4i and the Panasonic GF5? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T4i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • 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).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 133x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 308g or 54 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T4i is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 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 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.

T4i 10:05 GF5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T4i and the Panasonic GF5 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 T4i or the GF5 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], 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 T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
2.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
6.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
7.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
16.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
17.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon T4i:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF5:
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 T4i vs Panasonic GF5

    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 T4i Panasonic GF5
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2012 April 2012
    Launch Price USD 849 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon T4i Panasonic GF5
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 5 Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 722 618
    Screen Specs Canon T4i Panasonic GF5
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon T4i Panasonic GF5
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon T4i Panasonic GF5
    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 T4i Panasonic GF5
    Battery Type LP-E8 DMW-BLE9
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 79 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    108 x 67 x 37 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 575 g (20.3 oz) 267 g (9.4 oz)
    Canon T4i:
    Check Ebay offers
    Panasonic GF5:
    Check Ebay offers

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