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Fujifilm X10 vs Olympus E-420

The Fujifilm X10 and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2011 and March 2008. The X10 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-420 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X10) and a Four Thirds (E-420) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Fujifilm X10
versus
Olympus E-420
Fujifilm X10   Olympus E-420
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 Four Thirds lenses
12 MP – Two Thirds sensor 10 MP – Four Thirds sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.8" LCD – 460k dots 2.8" LCD – 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
270 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
117 x 70 x 57 mm, 350 g 130 x 91 x 53 mm, 440 g
Fujifilm X10:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-420:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X10 and the Olympus E-420? 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 Fujifilm X10 and the Olympus E-420 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the E-420 is only available in black.

Size Fujifilm X10 vs Olympus E-420
Compare X10 versus E-420 top
Comparison X10 or E-420 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-420 is considerably larger (44 percent) than the Fujifilm X10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X10 nor the E-420 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X10 has a lens built in, whereas the E-420 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 E-420 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X10 gets 270 shots out of its NP-50 battery, while the E-420 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
2.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
5.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
8.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
9.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499i
10.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
11.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
13.
 
Olympus E-400 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Sep 2006 699i
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 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 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. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X10 features a 2/3 sensor and the Olympus E-420 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-420 is 288 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Fujifilm X10 and Olympus E-420 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Fujifilm X10 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Olympus E-420. 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 2.20μm versus 4.74μm for the E-420). However, it should be noted that the X10 is much more recent (by 3 years and 5 months) than the E-420, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm X10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X10 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 Olympus E-420 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Fujifilm X10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-420 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

X10 versus E-420 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the E-420 has a markedly higher DXO score than the X10 (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.1 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.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
2.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
5.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.411.2-31249
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
8.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p19.810.8-30343
9.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
10.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
11.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
12.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
13.
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.010.612753
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
16.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The X10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the X10 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X10 and the E-420 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X10, the Olympus E-420, 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.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
10.
 
Olympus E-620optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-520optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y Y
12.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-400optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The X10 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-420 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-420 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X10 only has one slot.

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 Fujifilm X10 and Olympus E-420 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.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
8.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-620Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-520Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-400Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Both the X10 and the E-420 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X10 was replaced by the Fujifilm X20, while the E-420 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 Fujifilm and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X10 and the Olympus E-420? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X10:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 215k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-420 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x70mm vs 130x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-420).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the E-420 launch.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-420:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 270) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X10 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

X10 12:07 E-420

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X10 and the Olympus E-420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X10 or the E-420 perform in practice. 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], 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.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
2.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
5.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
6.
 
Fujifilm X304/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
7.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
8.
 
Leica D-LUX 6........4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
9.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499i
10.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/100..72/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699i
11.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
12.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
13.
 
Olympus E-400..85/100....4/54/5 Sep 2006 699i
14.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
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. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Fujifilm X10:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-420:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Fujifilm X10 vs Olympus E-420

    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 Fujifilm X10 Olympus E-420
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2011 March 2008
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Fujifilm X10 Olympus E-420
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Two Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 8.8 x 6.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 58.08 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 11 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 3.9x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.20 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 20.66 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXR Processor II TruePic III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 50 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.5 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 10.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 245 527
    Screen Specs Fujifilm X10 Olympus E-420
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 85% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Fujifilm X10 Olympus E-420
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Fujifilm X10 Olympus E-420
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Fujifilm X10 Olympus E-420
    Battery Type NP-50 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 70 x 57 mm
    (4.6 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
    130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 350 g (12.3 oz) 440 g (15.5 oz)
    Fujifilm X10:
    Check Ebay offers
    Olympus E-420:
    Check Ebay offers

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