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Leica X Vario vs Panasonic G10

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2013 and March 2010. The X Vario is a fixed lens compact, while the G10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X Vario) and a Four Thirds (G10) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica X Vario versus Panasonic G10
Leica X Vario Panasonic G10
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 Micro Four Thirds lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-6,400
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g 124 x 84 x 74 mm, 388 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10? 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 X Vario and the Panasonic G10 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 X Vario can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G10 is only available in black.

Size Leica X Vario vs Panasonic G10
Compare X Vario versus G10 top
Comparison X Vario or G10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G10 is notably larger (7 percent) than the Leica X Vario. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X Vario nor the G10 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario has a lens built in, whereas the G10 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 G10 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X Vario gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the G10 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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
1.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
2.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 140 mm 79 mm 88 mm 635 g 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950i
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
5.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
7.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
8.
 
Nikon Df 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
11.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
12.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
13.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899i
15.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599i
16.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
17.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
Notes: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 X Vario features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic G10 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G10 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X Vario has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G10 offers a 4:3 aspect.

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

Leica X Vario and Panasonic G10 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the G10 (12MP), but the X Vario nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.33μm for the G10) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X Vario is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 3 months) than the G10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Leica X Vario implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X Vario for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.4 inches or 62.6 x 41.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic G10 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

X Vario versus G10 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 review, the X Vario provides substantially higher image quality than the G10, with an overall score that is 26 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.2 bits higher color depth, 2.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.7 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.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
2.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
5.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
7.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
8.
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
11.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
12.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
13.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
14.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
15.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
16.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
17.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791

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 X Vario provides a higher video resolution than the G10. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G10 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X Vario relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica X Vario and Panasonic G10 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 X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
5.
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
10.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X Vario and the G10 write their files to SDXC 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 X Vario (Typ 107) and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 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 X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereomono---2.0---
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---
16.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the X Vario and the G10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G10 was replaced by the Panasonic G3, while the X Vario 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 Leica and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica X Vario or the Panasonic G10 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 12MP) with a 18% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (26 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G10 requires a separate lens.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the G10 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X Vario is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 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. 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.

X Vario 12:04 G10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X Vario and the Panasonic G10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 X Vario and the G10 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 X Vario3/5....4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
2.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950i
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
5.
 
Leica T3/5....4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
6.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
7.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
8.
 
Nikon Df4/5..81/1004/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
10.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
11.
 
Panasonic GF53/5....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
12.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
13.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
15.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
16.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
17.
 
Sony RX1R5/5....4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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 X Vario:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G10:
Check Ebay offers

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

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    Specifications: Leica X Vario vs Panasonic G10

    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 X Vario Panasonic G10
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2013 March 2010
    Launch Price USD 2,850 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Leica X Vario Panasonic G10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3272 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 52
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 10.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1320 411
    Screen Specs Leica X Vario Panasonic G10
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.52x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X Vario Panasonic G10
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 2.6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica X Vario Panasonic G10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X Vario Panasonic G10
    Battery Type BP-DC8 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    124 x 84 x 74 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 388 g (13.7 oz)

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