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Canon XC10 vs Panasonic L1

The Canon XC10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and February 2006. The XC10 is a fixed lens compact, while the L1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (XC10) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon XC10 versus Panasonic L1
Canon XC10 Panasonic L1
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-240mm f/2.8-5.6 Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, 1" Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video no Video
ISO 160-20,000 ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1030k dots 2.5 LCD, 207k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.8 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
125 x 102 x 122 mm, 1040 g 146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic L1 are illustrated 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XC10 vs Panasonic L1
Compare XC10 versus L1 top
Comparison XC10 or L1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic L1 are of equal size. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XC10 nor the L1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 has a lens built in, whereas the L1 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 L1 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The power pack in the XC10 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon XC10 4.9 in 4.0 in 4.8 in 36.7 oz .. n Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Panasonic L1 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon G5 X 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G9 X 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G7 X 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon XT 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899i
 
Fujifilm X30 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
 
Leica Digilux 3 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Olympus E-330 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999i
 
Olympus E-300 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799i
 
Panasonic FZ2500 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i
 
Panasonic LX100 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
 
Panasonic L10 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 is 83 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon XC10 and Panasonic L1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon XC10 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the Panasonic L1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.20μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, it should be noted that the XC10 is much more recent (by 9 years and 1 month) than the L1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon XC10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XC10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic L1 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon XC10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 20000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

XC10 versus L1 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"). 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
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
 
Panasonic FZ2500 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The XC10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the L1 does not. The highest resolution format that the XC10 can use is 4K/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the L1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XC10 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 XC10, the Panasonic L1, 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
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ25002360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The XC10 has a touchscreen, while the L1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Canon XC10 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.

The XC10 writes its imaging data to CFast or SDXC cards, while the L1 uses SDHC cards. The XC10 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the L1 only has one slot. The XC10 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the L1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 XC10 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 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
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic L1Y-----2.0---
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ2500YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

It is notable that the XC10 offers wifi support, while the L1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the XC10 and the L1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L1 was replaced by the Panasonic L10, while the XC10 was followed by the Canon XC15. 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XC10 or the Panasonic L1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon XC10:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 7.4MP) with a 28% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1030k vs 207k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.8 vs 3 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 a built-in lens, while the L1 requires a separate lens.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 9 years and 1 month of technical progress since the L1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • 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.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XC10 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 5 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 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.

XC10 16:05 L1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XC10 and the Panasonic L1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 XC10 or the L1 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon XC10..80/100...... Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Panasonic L185/100+..o3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon XT80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899i
 
Fujifilm X30..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Olympus E-330..+o3.5/5.. Jan 2006 999i
 
Olympus E-300..+oo4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
 
Panasonic FZ2500+82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i
 
Panasonic LX100+ +85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon XC10:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic L1:
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 XC10 vs Panasonic L1

    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 XC10 Panasonic L1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-240mm f/2.8-5.6 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date April 2015 February 2006
    Launch Price USD 2,499 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon XC10 Panasonic L1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 12.8 x 9.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 122.88 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 16 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.75x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.20 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 9.77 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 20,000 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC DV5 Venus
    Screen Specs Canon XC10 Panasonic L1
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1030k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon XC10 Panasonic L1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3.8 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CFAST or SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon XC10 Panasonic L1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon XC10 Panasonic L1
    Battery Type LP-E6N CGR-S602
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 125 x 102 x 122 mm
    (4.9 x 4.0 x 4.8 in)
    146 x 87 x 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1040 g (36.7 oz) 606 g (21.4 oz)

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