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Nikon B500 vs Sony WX800

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and October 2018. Both the B500 and the WX800 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 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
Nikon B500   Sony WX800
Nikon B500 Sony WX800
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-6400 ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting touchscreen
7.4 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 233 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800? 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 Sony WX800. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the WX800 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).

Size Nikon B500 vs Sony WX800
Compare B500 versus WX800 top
Comparison B500 or WX800 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony WX800 is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Nikon B500. Moreover, the WX800 is substantially lighter (57 percent) than the B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the WX800 are weather-sealed.

The power pack in the WX800 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500» 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299- i Nikon B500
 
Sony WX800« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Nikon B600« » 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i i Nikon B600
 
Nikon A1000« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« » 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Nikon B700« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i i Nikon B700
 
Nikon P900« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840« » 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299- i Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i i Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX99« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Sony HX95« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
 
Sony HX80« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i i Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i i Sony HX90V
 
Sony H200« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i i Sony H200
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the WX800, 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon B500 and Sony WX800 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the WX800 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the B500. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the WX800 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.33μm for the B500). However, it should be noted that the WX800 is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the B500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that 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 resolution advantage of the Sony WX800 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the WX800 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B500 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

B500 versus WX800 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500» 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i----Nikon B500
 
Sony WX800« 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony WX800
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Nikon B600« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Nikon B600
 
Nikon A1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon W300
 
Nikon B700« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Nikon B700
 
Nikon P900« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i----Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX99« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
 
Sony HX95« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX95
 
Sony HX80« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p----Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p----Sony HX90V
 
Sony H200« » 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p----Sony H200

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 WX800 provides a better video resolution than the B500. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The B500 and the WX800 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. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon B500 and Sony WX800 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500»- n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B500
 
Sony WX800«- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony WX800
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Nikon B600« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B600
 
Nikon A1000« »1166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« »2359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
 
Nikon B700« »921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y Nikon B700
 
Nikon P900« »921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840« »- n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10 Y Y Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX99« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
 
Sony HX95« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX95
 
Sony HX80« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX90V
 
Sony H200« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H200

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The WX800 has a touchscreen, while the B500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The WX800 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 B500 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the B500 and the WX800 have zoom lenses built in. The B500 has a 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 optic and the WX800 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Sony. The B500 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The B500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the WX800 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

 

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500»-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B500
 
Sony WX800«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony WX800
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Nikon B600« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon B600
 
Nikon A1000« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
 
Nikon B700« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B700
 
Nikon P900« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX99« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX99
 
Sony HX95« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX95
 
Sony HX80« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX90V
 
Sony H200« »-monomono---2.0---Sony H200

The WX800 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the B500 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the B500 was succeeded 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 Sony websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon B500 better than the Sony WX800 or vice versa? 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 Coolpix B500:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3 vs f/3.5).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2016).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 114x78mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 308g or 57 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the B500 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (8 points each). 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 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 08:08 WX800

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Sony WX800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 B500 or the WX800 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 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500»+-4/5-3.5/5 Jan 2016 299- i Nikon B500
 
Sony WX800«----- Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Nikon B600« »+-3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2019 349 i i Nikon B600
 
Nikon A1000« »--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« »+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« »+-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Nikon B700« »+-4/5-4/5 Feb 2016 499 i i Nikon B700
 
Nikon P900« »-77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840« »+ +-3.5/5-4/5 Feb 2015 299- i Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80« »+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i i Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX99« »--4/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Sony HX95« »----- Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
 
Sony HX80« »----- Mar 2016 349 i i Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »+ +-4/5-4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i i Sony HX90V
 
Sony H200« »--3.5/5-3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i i Sony H200
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Sony WX800:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Sony WX800

    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 Sony WX800
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date January 2016 October 2018
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 399
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Sony WX800
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4896 x 3672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO 80-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80-6400 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Sony WX800
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Sony WX800
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 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 Nikon B500 Sony WX800
    External Flash no 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 NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Sony WX800
    Battery Type 4xAA NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 233 g (8.2 oz)

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