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Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony H300

The Nikon Coolpix A and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2013 and February 2014. Both the Coolpix A and the H300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (Coolpix A) and a 1/2.3-inch (H300) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon Coolpix A versus Sony H300
Nikon Coolpix A Sony H300
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28mm f/2.8 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 25,600) ISO 80-3,200
Viewfinder optional No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
111 x 64 x 40 mm, 299 g 128 x 89 x 92 mm, 590 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix A and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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 Coolpix A and the Sony H300. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The Coolpix A can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the H300 is only available in black.

Size Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony H300
Compare Coolpix A versus H300 top
Comparison Coolpix A or H300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is considerably larger (60 percent) than the Nikon Coolpix A. Moreover, the H300 is substantially heavier (97 percent) than the Coolpix A. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Coolpix A nor the H300 are weather-sealed.

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 Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
 
Fujifilm X100T 127 mm 74 mm 52 mm 440 g 330 n Sep 2014 1,299i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Nikon P1000 146 mm 119 mm 181 mm 1415 g 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
 
Sony RX100 V 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799i
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499i
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
 
Sony NEX-6 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999i
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 H300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the Coolpix A, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 Nikon Coolpix A features an APS-C sensor and the Sony H300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H300 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the Coolpix A has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the H300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon Coolpix A and Sony H300 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the H300 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Coolpix A. 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 1.19μm versus 4.78μm for the Coolpix A). However, it should be noted that the H300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the Coolpix A, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. 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 H300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon Coolpix A are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix A has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

Coolpix A versus H300 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"). 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
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
 
Fujifilm X100T APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........
 
Sony NEX-6 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878

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 Coolpix A provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Coolpix A and the H300 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. That said, the Coolpix A can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DF-CP1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon Coolpix A and Sony H300 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
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X100T2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Sony NEX-62359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n

The Nikon Coolpix A 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.

The H300 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Coolpix A comes with a built-in prime. The H300 has a 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the Coolpix A offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Nikon. The Coolpix A offers the faster maximum aperture.

The Coolpix A writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 A and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 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 Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X100TYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---
 
Sony NEX-6Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--

It is notable that the Coolpix A has a hotshoe, while the H300 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The H300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the Coolpix A has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the Coolpix A from Nikon. 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon Coolpix A and the Sony H300? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix A:

  • 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.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/2000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x64mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 291g or 49 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Coolpix A is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 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.

Coolpix A 15:07 H300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Coolpix A and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Coolpix A and the H300 in practical situations. 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 (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 Coolpix A+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
 
Fujifilm X100T+81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony NEX-3N....4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
 
Sony NEX-6+ +78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon Coolpix A:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H300:
Check Amazon price

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 Coolpix A vs Sony H300

    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 Coolpix A Sony H300
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28mm f/2.8 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date March 2013 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 1,099 USD 219
    Sensor Specs Nikon Coolpix A Sony H300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.6 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 368.16 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.78 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 4.37 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 80 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1164 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon Coolpix A Sony H300
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon Coolpix A Sony H300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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 Coolpix A Sony H300
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon Coolpix A Sony H300
    Battery Type EN-EL20 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 64 x 40 mm
    (4.4 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
    128 x 89 x 92 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 299 g (10.5 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)

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