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Nikon D2X vs D70s

The Nikon D2X and the Nikon D70s are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2004 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D2X has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the D70s provides 6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D2X versus Nikon D70s
Nikon D2X Nikon D70s
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-800 (100 - 3,200) ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 235k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
3800 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g 140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D2X and the Nikon D70s? 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 physical size and weight of the Nikon D2X and the Nikon D70s are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.

Size Nikon D2X vs Nikon D70s
Compare D2X versus D70s top
Comparison D2X or D70s rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D70s is considerably smaller (34 percent) than the Nikon D2X. Moreover, the D70s is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the D2X. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D2X is splash and dust resistant, while the D70s does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D2X gets 3800 shots out of its EN-EL4a battery, while the D70s can take 500 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D2X has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D70s, there are third party battery grips available as optional accessories (see here on eBay).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999 i
2.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899 i
3.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799 i
4.
 
Nikon D3S 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199 i
5.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799 i
6.
 
Nikon D3 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999 i
7.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799 i
8.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699 i
9.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499 i
10.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
11.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749 i
12.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699 i
13.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999 i
14.
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499 i
15.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499 i
16.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999 i
17.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499 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 D70s was launched at a markedly lower price (by 82 percent) than the D2X, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D70s is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D2X and Nikon D70s sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the D2X offers a higher resolution than the D70s (6MP), but the D2X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). Moreover, the D70s is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the D2X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D2X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D2X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D70s are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D2X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D70s are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D2X versus D70s MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the D2X has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D70s (overall score 9 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. 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 D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.9476 59
2.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
3.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.91338 83
4.
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.03253 82
5.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.2787 70
6.
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.22290 81
7.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.0679 67
8.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.9489 59
9.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.0561 56
10.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
11.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.8560 55
12.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.5583 64
13.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
14.
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.0352 40
15.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none...... ..
16.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none...... ..
17.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none...... ..
Neither the D2X nor the D70s offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D2X and the D70s are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the D2X offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D70s (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D2X has a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D2X, the Nikon D70s, and comparable 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 D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
2.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
5.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
7.
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
9.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
15.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
17.
 
Nikon D1optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5 n n

One feature that is present on the D2X, but is missing on the D70s is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D2X and the D70s write their files to Compact Flash 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 D2X and Nikon D70s 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 D2XY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
3.
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Nikon D3SYstereo---mini2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
14.
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D1HY-----FW---
16.
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---
17.
 
Nikon D1Y-----FW---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D2X (unlike the D70s) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D2X and the D70s have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2X was replaced by the Nikon D2Xs, while the D70s was followed by the Nikon D80. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D2X and the Nikon D70s? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D2X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 6MP) with a 43% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.50x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 130k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3800 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2004).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D70s:

  • More compact: Is smaller (140x111mm vs 158x150mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 573g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (82 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D2X is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 5 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.

D2X 15:05 D70s

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D2X and the Nikon D70s place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D2X and the D70s 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 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 D2X....+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999 i
2.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899 i
3.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799 i
4.
 
Nikon D3S5/5..89/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199 i
5.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799 i
6.
 
Nikon D3....+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999 i
7.
 
Nikon D300..+ ++ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799 i
8.
 
Nikon D2Xs.......... Jun 2006 4,699 i
9.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499 i
10.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
11.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749 i
12.
 
Nikon D200..+ ++ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699 i
13.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999 i
14.
 
Nikon D2H....+ +.... Jul 2003 3,499 i
15.
 
Nikon D1H....+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499 i
16.
 
Nikon D1X....+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999 i
17.
 
Nikon D1....+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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 D2X:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D70s:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D2X vs Nikon D70s

    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 D2X Nikon D70s
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2004 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 4,999 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Nikon D2X Nikon D70s
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.7 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 372.09 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.52 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 59 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.9 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 476 529
    Screen Specs Nikon D2X Nikon D70s
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.50x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 235k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D2X Nikon D70s
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D2X Nikon D70s
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D2X Nikon D70s
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL4a EN-EL3a
    Battery Life (CIPA)3800 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1252 g (44.2 oz) 679 g (24.0 oz)

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