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Canon XS vs Sony NEX-7

The Canon EOS Rebel XS (called Canon 1000D in some regions) and the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2008 and August 2011. The XS is a DSLR, while the NEX-7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon XS versus Sony NEX-7
Canon XS Sony NEX-7
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600) ISO 100-16,000
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge430 shots per battery charge
126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g 120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XS and the Sony Alpha NEX-7? 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 XS and the Sony NEX-7 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.

Size Canon XS vs Sony NEX-7
Compare XS versus NEX-7 top
Comparison XS or NEX-7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-7 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Canon XS. Moreover, the NEX-7 is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the XS. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XS nor the NEX-7 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (XS) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-7). Mirrorless cameras, such as the NEX-7, 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 XS gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the NEX-7 can take 430 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Sony NEX-7 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 400 g 430 n Aug 2011 1,349i
3.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Sony A6400 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 Y Jan 2019 899 i
14.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
16.
 
Sony NEX-6 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999i
17.
 
Sony RX1 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 XS was launched at a markedly lower price (by 67 percent) than the NEX-7, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NEX-7 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XS) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XS and Sony NEX-7 sensor measures

With 24MP, the NEX-7 offers a higher resolution than the XS (10.1MP), but the NEX-7 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). Yet, the NEX-7 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 2 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony NEX-7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NEX-7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

XS versus NEX-7 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
2.
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681
3.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p........
4.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183
14.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
15.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
16.
 
Sony NEX-6 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878
17.
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The NEX-7 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the NEX-7 can use is 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the NEX-7 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the XS 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 viewfinder in the NEX-7 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the XS (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the NEX-7 has a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.51x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon XS and Sony NEX-7 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
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 XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony NEX-72359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T7optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX10202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
14.
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Sony NEX-62359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony RX1optional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

The XS writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the NEX-7 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 XS and Sony Alpha NEX-7 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 XSY-----2.0---
2.
 
Sony NEX-7YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX10Ystereomono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
14.
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony NEX-6Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony RX1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the XS and the NEX-7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the NEX-7 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 Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XS or the Sony NEX-7 – 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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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 430) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (67 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-7:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 54%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.51x).
  • 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 (921k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 126x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 102g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the XS launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-7 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 4 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 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.

XS 04:13 NEX-7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XS and the Sony NEX-7 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XS and the NEX-7 in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Sony NEX-75/5+ +81/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349i
3.
 
Canon T7..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10..+ +....4/5 Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Sony A64004/5+85/1004.5/54/5 Jan 2019 899 i
14.
 
Sony A60005/5+80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony A30003/5+..4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
16.
 
Sony NEX-65/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
17.
 
Sony RX15/5..79/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon XS:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-7:
Check Ebay offers

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 XS vs Sony NEX-7

    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 XS Sony NEX-7
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2008 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 1,349
    Sensor Specs Canon XS Sony NEX-7
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 3.90 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 6.57 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 1,600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 81
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1016
    Screen Specs Canon XS Sony NEX-7
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XS Sony NEX-7
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon XS Sony NEX-7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XS Sony NEX-7
    Battery Type LP-E5 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge430 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 502 g (17.7 oz) 400 g (14.1 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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