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Leica TL2 vs Samsung NX500

The Leica TL2 and the Samsung NX500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2017 and February 2015. Both the TL2 and the NX500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Samsung provides 28 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica TL2 versus Samsung NX500
Leica TL2 Samsung NX500
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica T mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 28 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)
Viewfinder optional No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.7 LCD, 1230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1036k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
7 shutter flaps per second 9 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g 120 x 64 x 43 mm, 287 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica TL2 and the Samsung NX500? 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 TL2 and the Samsung NX500 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the NX500 is only available in black.

Size Leica TL2 vs Samsung NX500
Compare TL2 versus NX500 top
Comparison TL2 or NX500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Samsung NX500 is notably smaller (17 percent) than the Leica TL2. Moreover, the NX500 is markedly lighter (28 percent) than the TL2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL2 nor the NX500 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

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 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
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Samsung NX500 120 mm 64 mm 43 mm 287 g 370 n Feb 2015 799i
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X-A5 117 mm 68 mm 40 mm 361 g 450 n Jan 2018 399i
 
Fujifilm X100F 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The NX500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 59 percent) than the TL2, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 NX500 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica TL2 and Samsung NX500 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the NX500 offers a higher resolution of 28 megapixels, compared with 24.1 MP of the TL2. 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 3.63μm versus 3.92μm for the TL2). Moreover, it should be noted that the TL2 is much more recent (by 2 years and 5 months) than the NX500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 resolution advantage of the Samsung NX500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inches or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inches or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica TL2 are 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm for good quality, 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm for excellent quality prints.

The NX500 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Leica TL2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Samsung NX500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

TL2 versus NX500 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"). 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
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Samsung NX500 APS-C 28.0 6480 43204K/30p24.813.9137987
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Fujifilm X-A5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p........
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The TL2 and the NX500 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the TL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica TL2 and Samsung NX500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
 
Samsung NX500none n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/6000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A5none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The NX500 has one, while the TL2 does not. While the built-in flash of the NX500 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The NX500 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 TL2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Samsung NX500 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TL2 and the NX500 write their files to SDXC cards. The TL2 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the NX500 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

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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 TL2 and Samsung NX500 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
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
 
Samsung NX500Ystereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-A5YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Leica C-LUX-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the NX500 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the NX500 from Samsung. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Samsung websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica TL2 and the Samsung NX500? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica TL2:

  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • 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 1036k dots).
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the NX500 launch.

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Advantages of the Samsung NX500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (28 vs 24.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x64mm vs 134x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 112g or 28 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (370 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • 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 into a lower priced category (59 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the NX500 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 7 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 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.

TL2 07:15 NX500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL2 and the Samsung NX500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the TL2 and the NX500 in practical situations. 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

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Samsung NX500..81/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 799i
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X-A5+..4/54/53.5/5 Jan 2018 399i
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E3+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
 
Leica C-LUX....4.5/5..4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price
Samsung NX500:
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 use the search menu 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 TL2 vs Samsung NX500

    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 TL2 Samsung NX500
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2017 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 1,950 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Leica TL2 Samsung NX500
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24.1 Megapixels 28 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6014 x 4014 pixels 6480 x 4320 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.92 μm 3.63 μm
    Pixel Density 6.52 MP/cm2 7.59 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 51,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 87
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1379
    Screen Specs Leica TL2 Samsung NX500
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL2 Samsung NX500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 9 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica TL2 Samsung NX500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.0 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 TL2 Samsung NX500
    Battery Type BP-DC13 BP1130
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 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)
    120 x 64 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 399 g (14.1 oz) 287 g (10.1 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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