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Canon XTi vs Sony A3000

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi (called Canon 400D in some regions) and the Sony Alpha A3000 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and August 2013. The XTi is a DSLR, while the A3000 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 19.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon XTi
versus
Sony A3000
Canon XTi   Sony A3000
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
10.1 MP – APS-C sensor 19.8 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-16,000
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.5" LCD – 230k dots 2.5" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g
Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A3000:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XTi and the Sony Alpha A3000? 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 XTi and the Sony A3000. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XTi vs Sony A3000
Compare XTi versus A3000 top
Comparison XTi or A3000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A3000 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon XTi. However, the A3000 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the XTi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XTi nor the A3000 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 (XTi) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A3000). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A3000, 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 XTi gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the A3000 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A3000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
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 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
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.
 
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 RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
16.
 
Sony NEX-6 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999i
17.
 
Sony NEX-7 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 400 g 430 n Aug 2011 1,349i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The A3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 59 percent) than the XTi, 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A3000 is 9 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XTi) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XTi and Sony A3000 sensor measures

With 19.8MP, the A3000 offers a higher resolution than the XTi (10.1MP), but the A3000 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.25μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi). Yet, the A3000 is a much more recent model (by 7 years) than the XTi, 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 A3000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A3000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XTi 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 XTi has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A3000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

XTi versus A3000 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 consideration, the A3000 offers substantially better image quality than the XTi (overall score 16 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 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 XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
2.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
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 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.013.6143183
14.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
15.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
16.
 
Sony NEX-6 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878
17.
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A3000 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XTi does not. The highest resolution format that the A3000 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A3000 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the XTi 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 A3000 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the XTi (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the XTi has a higher magnification (0.49x vs 0.47x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XTi, the Sony A3000, 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 XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical 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 T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/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 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5/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.
 
Sony A64002359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
14.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
15.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
16.
 
Sony NEX-62359 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-72359 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The XTi writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the A3000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 XTi and Sony Alpha A3000 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 XTiY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Sony A6400Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YYY
14.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony NEX-6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony NEX-7Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the XTi and the A3000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the A3000 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon XTi better than the Sony A3000 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.49x vs 0.47x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A3000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 40%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (16 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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 screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 145g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (59 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the XTi launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A3000 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 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.

XTi 04:15 A3000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XTi and the Sony A3000 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 XTi and the A3000 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 why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
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 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Sony A64004/5+4/585/1004.5/54/5 Jan 2019 899 i
14.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
16.
 
Sony NEX-65/5+ +..78/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
17.
 
Sony NEX-75/5+ +..81/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A3000:
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 XTi vs Sony A3000

    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 XTi Sony A3000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 329
    Sensor Specs Canon XTi Sony A3000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 1068
    Screen Specs Canon XTi Sony A3000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.47x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XTi Sony A3000
    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 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XTi Sony A3000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XTi Sony A3000
    Battery Type NB-2LH NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    128 x 91 x 85 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 411 g (14.5 oz)
    Canon XTi:
    Check Ebay offers
    Sony A3000:
    Check Ebay offers

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