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Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

The Leica M (Typ 240) and the Sony Alpha A7R II are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and June 2015. The M Typ 240 is a fixed lens compact, while the A7R II is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 42.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Leica M Typ 240   Sony A7R II
Leica M Typ 240 Sony A7R II
Rangefinder camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/25p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-6400 ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
No shake reductionIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 127 x 96 x 60 mm, 625 g

Body comparison: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

The physical size and weight of the Leica M Typ 240 and the Sony A7R II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the M Typ 240 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Leica M Typ 240 and Sony A7R II
Compare M Typ 240 versus A7R II top
Compare M Typ 240 or A7R II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7R II is notably larger (10 percent) than the Leica M Typ 240. However, the A7R II is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the M Typ 240. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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 Leica M Lens Catalog (M Typ 240) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7R II).

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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica M Typ 240» 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Sony A7R II« 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Leica M10-P« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A7R II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the M Typ 240, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A7R II is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M Typ 240 and Sony A7R II sensor measures

With 42.2MP, the A7R II offers a higher resolution than the M Typ 240 (23.7MP), but the A7R II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 6.01μm for the M Typ 240). Yet, the A7R II is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 8 months) than the M Typ 240, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the A7R II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The A7R II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Leica M (Typ 240) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7R II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..

M Typ 240 versus A7R II 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A7R II offers substantially better image quality than the M Typ 240 (overall score 14 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Leica M Typ 240» Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
Sony A7R II« Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
Leica M10-P« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-----Leica M10-P
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----Leica M Typ 262
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
Leica M9« » Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A7R II provides a better video resolution than the M Typ 240. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/25p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7R II has an electronic viewfinder (2400k dots), while the M Typ 240 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M Typ 240 and Sony A7R II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica M Typ 240»optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
Sony A7R II«2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
Leica M10-P« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Leica M9« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n Leica M9
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n Sony A7R
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the A7R II features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The M Typ 240 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7R II uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Connectivity comparison: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

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 Leica M (Typ 240) and Sony Alpha A7R II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Leica M Typ 240»Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica M Typ 240
Sony A7R II«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
Leica M10-P« »Y------Y--Leica M10-P
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« »Y-----2.0---Leica M Typ 262
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
Leica M9« »Y-----2.0---Leica M9
Nikon D7100« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
Sony A7R« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R
Sony RX10« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10

It is notable that the A7R II has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The M Typ 240 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the M Typ 240 and the A7R II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M Typ 240 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 262, while the A7R II was followed by the Sony Alpha A7R III.


Review summary: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

So how do things add up? Is the Leica M Typ 240 better than the Sony A7R II or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica M (Typ 240):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2012).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7R II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 23.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 34%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/25p).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the M Typ 240 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7R II is the clear winner of the contest (20 : 4 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.

M Typ 240 04:20 A7R II

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 M Typ 240 or the A7R II handle or 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: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica M Typ 240»--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Sony A7R II«HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Leica M10-P« »----4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Leica M9« »--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A7S II« »Rec-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Sony A7R« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
Sony RX10« »Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

 

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica M Typ 240 vs Sony A7R II

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Leica M Typ 240 Sony A7R II
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 June 2015
    Launch Price USD 6950 USD 3199
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 35.9 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 861.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0 1.0
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 42.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 7952 x 5304 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 4.52 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 4.90 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 1080/25p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-6400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 50-102400 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Resolution n/a 2400k dots
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-ShutterElectronic Shutter
    Image StabilizationNo shake reductionIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    127 x 96 x 60 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 625 g (22.0 oz)

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