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Nikon B600 vs Panasonic L1

The Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2019 and February 2006. The B600 is a fixed lens compact, while the L1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B600) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon B600 versus Panasonic L1
Nikon B600 Panasonic L1
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 125-6,400 ISO 100-1,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 2.5 LCD, 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
280 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
122 x 82 x 99 mm, 500 g 146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1? 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 B600 and the Panasonic L1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the L1 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B600 vs Panasonic L1
Compare B600 versus L1 top
Comparison B600 or L1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L1 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Nikon B600. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B600 nor the L1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B600 has a lens built in, whereas the L1 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 L1 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

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, 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 B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
2.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
4.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
6.
 
Nikon P950 140 mm 110 mm 150 mm 1005 g 290 n Jan 2020 799 i
7.
 
Nikon A1000 114 mm 72 mm 41 mm 330 g 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
8.
 
Nikon P1000 146 mm 119 mm 181 mm 1415 g 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
9.
 
Nikon W300 112 mm 66 mm 29 mm 231 g 280 Y May 2017 389 i
10.
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
11.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
12.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
13.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
14.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Sony WX800 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 233 g 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The B600 was launched at a lower price than the L1, despite having a lens built in. 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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 Nikon B600 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 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.

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

Nikon B600 and Panasonic L1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon B600 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the Panasonic L1. 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 1.33μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, it should be noted that the B600 is much more recent (by 12 years and 10 months) than the L1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B600 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon B600 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the B600 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic L1 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix B600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

B600 versus L1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.

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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 B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
2.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
3.
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
4.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
6.
 
Nikon P950 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
7.
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
8.
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
9.
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
10.
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
11.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
12.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
13.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
14.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
17.
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The B600 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the L1 does not. The highest resolution format that the B600 can use is 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 L1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B600 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon B600 and Panasonic L1 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.
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
4.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon P9502359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
7.
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
8.
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
9.
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
10.
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
11.
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
12.
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

The B600 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the L1 uses SDHC cards. The B600 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the L1 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 B600 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 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 B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Panasonic L1Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
6.
 
Nikon P950YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
7.
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
8.
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
9.
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
10.
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
11.
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the B600 offers wifi support, while the L1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The B600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the L1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the L1 was succeeded by the Panasonic L10. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B600 and the Panasonic L1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix B600:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 7.4MP) with a 47% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 207k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the L1 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x82mm vs 146x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the L1).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 12 years and 10 months of technical progress since the L1 launch.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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 optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B600 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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.

B600 15:10 L1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B600 and the Panasonic L1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the B600 or the L1 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 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 (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 B600..+..3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
2.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon SX520..+..3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
4.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499i
6.
 
Nikon P950......4/54/5 Jan 2020 799 i
7.
 
Nikon A1000..+ +..3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 429 i
8.
 
Nikon P1000..+73/1003.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
9.
 
Nikon W300..+..4/54/5 May 2017 389 i
10.
 
Nikon B500..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
11.
 
Nikon P900....77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
12.
 
Nikon L840..+ +..3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
13.
 
Olympus E-330....+o.. Jan 2006 999i
14.
 
Olympus E-300....+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon B600:
Check Amazon price
Panasonic L1:
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: Nikon B600 vs Panasonic L1

    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 B600 Panasonic L1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2019 February 2006
    Launch Price USD 349 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic L1
    Sensor Technology 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 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic L1
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic L1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic L1
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B600 Panasonic L1
    Battery Type EN-EL12 CGR-S602
    Battery Life (CIPA)280 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 82 x 99 mm
    (4.8 x 3.2 x 3.9 in)
    146 x 87 x 64 mm
    (5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 500 g (17.6 oz) 606 g (21.4 oz)

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