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Nikon 1 V2 vs Panasonic GX1

The Nikon 1 V2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2012 and November 2011. Both the V2 and the GX1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an one-inch (V2) and a Four Thirds (GX1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon 1 V2 versus Panasonic GX1
Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Nikon 1 mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
14.2 MP, 1" Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 160-12,800 ISO 160-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
15 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
310 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
109 x 82 x 46 mm, 278 g 116 x 68 x 39 mm, 318 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 V2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon 1 V2 and the Panasonic GX1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The V2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the GX1 is only available in black.

Size Nikon 1 V2 vs Panasonic GX1
Compare V2 versus GX1 top
Comparison V2 or GX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX1 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Nikon 1 V2. However, the GX1 is markedly heavier (14 percent) than the V2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V2 nor the GX1 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 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.
 
Nikon 1 V2 109 mm 82 mm 46 mm 278 g 310 n Oct 2012 799i
2.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
3.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-M1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Jun 2013 699i
5.
 
Nikon 1 V3 111 mm 65 mm 33 mm 381 g 310 n Mar 2014 799i
6.
 
Nikon 1 J4 100 mm 60 mm 29 mm 232 g 300 n Apr 2014 549i
7.
 
Nikon 1 V1 113 mm 76 mm 44 mm 383 g 350 n Sep 2011 799i
8.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
9.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
10.
 
Panasonic GM1 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749i
11.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
12.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
13.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899i
15.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
16.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GX1 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the V2, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon 1 V2 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic GX1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GX1 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the V2 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GX1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

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

Nikon 1 V2 and Panasonic GX1 sensor measures

With 15.8MP, the GX1 offers a higher resolution than the V2 (14.2MP), but the GX1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 2.86μm for the V2) due to its larger sensor. However, the V2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the GX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The V2 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Nikon 1 V2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

V2 versus GX1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 GX1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the V2 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
1.
 
Nikon 1 V2 1-inch 14.2 4608 30721080/60p20.210.840350
2.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
3.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
4.
 
Fujifilm X-M1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
5.
 
Nikon 1 V3 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.738452
6.
 
Nikon 1 J4 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653
7.
 
Nikon 1 V1 1-inch 10.0 3872 25921080/60i21.31134654
8.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
9.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
10.
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
11.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
12.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
13.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
14.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
15.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
16.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the V2 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon 1 V2 and Panasonic GX1 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
1.
 
Nikon 1 V21440 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 15.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
3.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X-M1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
5.
 
Nikon 1 V3optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon 1 J4none n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon 1 V11440 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 n n
8.
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
9.
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
10.
 
Panasonic GM1none n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Panasonic G51440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GX1 has a touchscreen, while the V2 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V2 is one of those camera that have an additional 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 Nikon 1 V2 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 V2 and the GX1 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of 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 Nikon 1 V2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 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.
 
Nikon 1 V2-stereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Fujifilm X-M1Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Nikon 1 V3-stereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Nikon 1 J4-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Nikon 1 V1-stereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Panasonic GM1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Panasonic G5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
16.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the GX1 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The V2 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

Both the V2 and the GX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GX1 was replaced by the Panasonic GX7, while the V2 was followed by the Nikon 1 V3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon 1 V2 and the Panasonic GX1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon 1 V2:

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 40g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the GX1).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x68mm vs 109x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2011).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V2 comes out slightly ahead of the GX1 (8 : 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.

V2 08:07 GX1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 V2 and the Panasonic GX1 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 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 V2 or the GX1 perform in practice. 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.
 
Nikon 1 V23/5....4.5/54/5 Oct 2012 799i
2.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
3.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-M13/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 699i
5.
 
Nikon 1 V33/5..76/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2014 799i
6.
 
Nikon 1 J43/5....4.5/54/5 Apr 2014 549i
7.
 
Nikon 1 V1..+69/1004.5/54/5 Sep 2011 799i
8.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +..5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
9.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
10.
 
Panasonic GM13/5+78/1005/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
11.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
12.
 
Panasonic GF53/5....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
13.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
15.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
16.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon 1 V2:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GX1:
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon 1 V2 vs Panasonic GX1

    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 Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon 1 mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2012 November 2011
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3072 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.86 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 12.19 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 12,800 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 50 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.2 20.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 403 703
    Screen Specs Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 15 shutter flaps/s 4.2 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sno E-Shutter
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic GX1
    Battery Type EN-EL21 DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)310 shots per charge320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 109 x 82 x 46 mm
    (4.3 x 3.2 x 1.8 in)
    116 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 278 g (9.8 oz) 318 g (11.2 oz)

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