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Nikon D3300 vs D50

The Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D50 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and April 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D3300 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the D50 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 D3300 versus Nikon D50
Nikon D3300 Nikon D50
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 2.0 LCD, 130k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
124 x 98 x 76 mm, 430 g 133 x 102 x 76 mm, 620 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D50? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D50 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 D3300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, grey, red), while the D50 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D50
Compare D3300 versus D50 top
Comparison D3300 or D50 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D50 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Nikon D3300. Moreover, the D50 is substantially heavier (44 percent) than the D3300. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3300 nor the D50 are weather-sealed.

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 D3300 gets 700 shots out of its EN-EL14a battery, while the D50 can take 400 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499 i
2.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749 i
3.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
4.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
5.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i
6.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899 i
7.
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199 i
8.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799 i
9.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599 i
10.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629 i
11.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499 i
12.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
13.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899 i
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449 i
16.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
17.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599 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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 D3300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the D50, 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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D50 is 1 percent bigger. 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 D3300 and Nikon D50 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Nikon D3300 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D50. 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 3.91μm versus 7.85μm for the D50). However, it should be noted that the D3300 is much more recent (by 8 years and 8 months) than the D50, 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 D3300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D50 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 D3300 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D50 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D3300 versus D50 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. Of the two cameras under review, the D3300 provides substantially higher image quality than the D50, with an overall score that is 27 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.4 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
1.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.81385 82
2.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.8560 55
3.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
4.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.01306 84
5.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.91192 86
6.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.01438 84
7.
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.71256 83
8.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.91338 83
9.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.21131 81
10.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.4562 65
11.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.0561 56
12.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
13.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
15.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.01089 79
16.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.71347 80
17.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.11347 82

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D3300 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D50 does not. The highest resolution format that the D3300 can use is 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3300 and the D50 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D3300 has a higher magnification than the one of the D50 (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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D3300 and Nikon D50 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 D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
3.
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
16.
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n

The D3300 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D50 uses SD cards. The D3300 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the D50 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 D3300 and Nikon D50 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 D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
4.
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
6.
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
9.
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
15.
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the D3300 and the D50 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D50 was replaced by the Nikon D40, while the D3300 was followed by the Nikon D3400. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D50? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Nikon D3300:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 6MP) with a 100% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (27 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.4 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.50x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 130k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 190g or 31 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D50 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D50:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2005).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D3300 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 2 points). 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.

D3300 16:02 D50

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D50 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 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 D3300 and the D50 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499 i
2.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749 i
3.
 
Nikon D3500....75/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
4.
 
Nikon D56004/5..79/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
5.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i
6.
 
Nikon D55005/5+79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899 i
7.
 
Nikon D71005/5+ +85/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199 i
8.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799 i
9.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599 i
10.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629 i
11.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499 i
12.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
13.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899 i
14.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Sony A50003/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449 i
16.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+..4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
17.
 
Sony A60005/5+80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D3300:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D50:
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 D3300 vs Nikon D50

    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 D3300 Nikon D50
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2014 April 2005
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3300 Nikon D50
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.3 20.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.8 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1385 560
    Screen Specs Nikon D3300 Nikon D50
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 130k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3300 Nikon D50
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3300 Nikon D50
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D3300 Nikon D50
    Battery Type EN-EL14a EN-EL3
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    133 x 102 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 430 g (15.2 oz) 620 g (21.9 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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