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Leica TL vs Sony HX95

The Leica TL and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2016 and August 2018. The TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the HX95 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (TL) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX95) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica TL versus Sony HX95
Leica TL Sony HX95
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica T mount lenses 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)
3.7 LCD, 1230k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 242 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica TL and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95? 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 Leica TL and the Sony HX95 are illustrated 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.

The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the HX95 is only available in black.

Size Leica TL vs Sony HX95
Compare TL versus HX95 top
Comparison TL or HX95 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX95 is considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Leica TL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL nor the HX95 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX95 has a lens built in, whereas the TL is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
2.
 
Sony HX95 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 242 g 370 n Aug 2018 429 i
3.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
4.
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A10 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 331 g 410 n Dec 2016 399i
6.
 
Fujifilm X-E2S 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Jan 2016 699i
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399i
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799i
9.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 n Jan 2012 1,699i
10.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
11.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
12.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
13.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
14.
 
Sony HX99 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 242 g 370 n Aug 2018 449 i
15.
 
Sony WX800 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 233 g 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
17.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: 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. The HX95 was launched at a lower price than the TL, despite having a lens built in. 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. 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica TL features an APS-C sensor and the Sony HX95 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX95 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the TL has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the HX95 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Leica TL and Sony HX95 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the HX95 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the TL. 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 1.25μm versus 4.80μm for the TL). However, it should be noted that the HX95 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the TL, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Leica TL has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

TL versus HX95 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
2.
 
Sony HX95 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
3.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
4.
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
6.
 
Fujifilm X-E2S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
9.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
10.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
11.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
12.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
13.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
14.
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
15.
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
16.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
17.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the HX95 provides a better video resolution than the TL. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the HX95 has an electronic viewfinder (638k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica TL and Sony HX95 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.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony HX95638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A10none n 3.0 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Fujifilm X-E2S2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
9.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro11440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 n n
10.
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
11.
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
12.
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
15.
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
17.
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TL has a touchscreen, while the HX95 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The HX95 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the TL does not have a selfie-screen.

The TL writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX95 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 Leica TL and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 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.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Sony HX95-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A10-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Fujifilm X-E2SYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T10YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
11.
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
12.
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
13.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
14.
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
15.
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the TL has a hotshoe, while the HX95 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The HX95 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the TL has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the TL was succeeded by the Leica TL2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica TL and the Sony HX95? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica TL:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2016).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the TL necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 134x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the TL).
  • 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.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX95 comes out slightly ahead of the TL (13 : 12 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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.

TL 12:13 HX95

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL and the Sony HX95 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TL or the HX95. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
2.
 
Sony HX95.......... Aug 2018 429 i
3.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
4.
 
Fujifilm X704.5/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A10......4/54/5 Dec 2016 399i
6.
 
Fujifilm X-E2S4.5/5..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A24/5....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399i
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T104.5/5+ +80/1005/55/5 May 2015 799i
9.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro15/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699i
10.
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
11.
 
Leica TL23.5/5....4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
12.
 
Leica T3/5....4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
13.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
14.
 
Sony HX99......4/54.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i
15.
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +..4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
17.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica TL:
Check Ebay offers
Sony HX95:
Check Amazon price

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: Leica TL vs Sony HX95

    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 Leica TL Sony HX95
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date November 2016 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 1,695 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Leica TL Sony HX95
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 4896 x 3672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 4.34 MP/cm2 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica TL Sony HX95
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 638k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL Sony HX95
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica TL Sony HX95
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Leica TL Sony HX95
    Battery Type BP-DC13 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 384 g (13.5 oz) 242 g (8.5 oz)

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