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Nikon D3300 vs Olympus E-510

The Nikon D3300 and the Olympus E-510 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and March 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D3300) and a Four Thirds (E-510) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 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 Olympus E-510
Nikon D3300 Olympus E-510
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
700 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
124 x 98 x 76 mm, 430 g 136 x 92 x 68 mm, 538 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3300 and the Olympus E-510? 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 D3300 and the Olympus E-510. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D3300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, grey, red), while the E-510 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3300 vs Olympus E-510
Compare D3300 versus E-510 top
Comparison D3300 or E-510 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-510 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Nikon D3300. Moreover, the E-510 is markedly heavier (25 percent) than the D3300. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3300 nor the E-510 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3300) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-510).

Concerning battery life, the D3300 gets 700 shots out of its EN-EL14a battery, while the E-510 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

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 D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799i
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449i
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-30 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299i
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
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 D3300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the E-510, 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3300 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-510 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-510 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D3300 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-510 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D3300 and Olympus E-510 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3300 offers a higher resolution than the E-510 (10MP), but the D3300 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.74μm for the E-510). However, the D3300 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 10 months) than the E-510, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 Olympus E-510 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 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 Olympus E-510 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D3300 versus E-510 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 E-510, with an overall score that is 30 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 2.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.6 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
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
 
Olympus E-30 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.453055
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D3300 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-510 does not. The highest resolution format that the D3300 can use is 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D3300 and the E-510 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 E-510 (0.57x vs 0.46x), 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 Olympus E-510 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
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-600optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-30optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n

One feature that differentiates the E-510 and the D3300 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-510 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the D3300 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.

The D3300 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-510 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-510 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3300 only has one slot.

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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 Olympus E-510 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 D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-510Y-----2.0---
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-600Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-30Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the D3300 and the E-510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-510 was replaced by the Olympus E-520, 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 and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3300 or the Olympus E-510 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3300:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 10MP) with a 58% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (30 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 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 0.46x).
  • 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 215k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 108g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 10 months of technical progress since the E-510 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-510:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2007).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3300 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 4 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.

D3300 14:04 E-510

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3300 and the Olympus E-510 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3300 or the E-510 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 expert reviews 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.

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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 D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Olympus E-51089/100+ +3.5/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
 
Olympus E-600........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449i
 
Olympus E-62088/10072/1004.5/5o5/5 Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-30..71/1004.5/5..4/5 Nov 2008 1,299i
 
Olympus E-52087/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-41086/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D3300:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-510:
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 Olympus E-510

    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 Olympus E-510
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2014 March 2007
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3300 Olympus E-510
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED 4 TruePic III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 52
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.3 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.8 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1385 442
    Screen Specs Nikon D3300 Olympus E-510
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3300 Olympus E-510
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3300 Olympus E-510
    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 Olympus E-510
    Battery Type EN-EL14a BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    136 x 92 x 68 mm
    (5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    Camera Weight 430 g (15.2 oz) 538 g (19.0 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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