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Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-M10

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and January 2014. The B500 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-M10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B500) and a Four Thirds (E-M10) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 versus Olympus E-M10
Nikon B500 Olympus E-M10
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 200-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting touchscreen
7.4 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
600 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 119 x 82 x 46 mm, 396 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10? 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 B500 and the Olympus E-M10. 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 B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the E-M10 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-M10
Compare B500 versus E-M10 top
Comparison B500 or E-M10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Nikon B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the E-M10 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B500 has a lens built in, whereas the E-M10 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 E-M10 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Olympus E-M10 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus E-M10 II 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 649i
 
Olympus E-PL7 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599i
 
Olympus E-P5 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999i
 
Panasonic FZ80 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Panasonic G6 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GX7 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 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 B500 was launched at a lower price than the E-M10, 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B500 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-M10 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M10 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon B500 and Olympus E-M10 sensor measures

Even though the E-M10 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This implies that the E-M10 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 1.33μm for the B500), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the B500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the E-M10, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M10 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

B500 versus E-M10 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the B500 provides a higher frame rate than the E-M10. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M10 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon B500 and Olympus E-M10 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
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX72760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-M10 has a touchscreen, while the B500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Olympus E-M10 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 B500 and the E-M10 write their files to SDXC cards. The E-M10 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the B500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Nikon Coolpix B500 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 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
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

It is notable that the E-M10 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The B500 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

Both the B500 and the E-M10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-M10 was replaced by the Olympus E-M10 II, while the B500 was followed by the Nikon B600. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon B500 or the Olympus E-M10 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-M10 requires a separate lens.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
  • 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: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the E-M10).

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Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M10:

  • 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M10 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 07:12 E-M10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Olympus E-M10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the B500 or the E-M10 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Olympus E-M10..80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus E-M10 II+ +80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 649i
 
Olympus E-PL7+..5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599i
 
Olympus E-P5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999i
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GX7+79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-M10:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. 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 B500 vs Olympus E-M10

    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 B500 Olympus E-M10
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-M10
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 884
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-M10
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-M10
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-M10
    External Flash no Hotshoe 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 NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-M10
    Battery Type 4xAA BLS-5
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    119 x 82 x 46 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 396 g (14.0 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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