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Nikon D70s vs Panasonic L10

The Nikon D70s and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2005 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D70s) and a Four Thirds (L10) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic 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 D70s
versus
Panasonic L10
Nikon D70s   Panasonic L10
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
6 MP – APS-C sensor 10 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD – 130k dots 2.0" LCD – 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g 135 x 96 x 78 mm, 556 g
Nikon D70s:
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Panasonic L10:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D70s and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10? 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 D70s and the Panasonic L10 are illustrated 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D70s vs Panasonic L10
Compare D70s versus L10 top
Comparison D70s or L10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L10 is notably smaller (17 percent) than the Nikon D70s. Moreover, the L10 is markedly lighter (18 percent) than the D70s. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D70s nor the L10 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 (D70s) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (L10).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
2.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
3.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
4.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 470 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
5.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
6.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
7.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
8.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
9.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
10.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
11.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
12.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
13.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
15.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
16.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
Note: 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 L10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the D70s, 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D70s features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic L10 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L10 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 D70s has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L10 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D70s and Panasonic L10 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the L10 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D70s. 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 4.74μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). However, it should be noted that the L10 is much more recent (by 2 years and 4 months) than the D70s, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic L10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the L10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 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 D70s has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

D70s versus L10 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the L10 has a markedly higher DXO score than the D70s (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
2.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
3.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
4.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
5.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
6.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
7.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
8.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
9.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
10.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
11.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
12.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
13.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
14.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
15.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
16.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.48052
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
The L10 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D70s lacks this capability. 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 D70s and the L10 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 D70s has a higher magnification than the one of the L10 (0.50x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D70s and Panasonic L10 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
4.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-520optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y Y
15.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The L10 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D70s does not have a selfie-screen.

The D70s writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the L10 uses SDHC cards.

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 D70s and Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
4.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Nikon D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
12.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-520Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the D70s and the L10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, while the L10 does not have a direct successor. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D70s and the Panasonic L10? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Nikon D70s:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.50x vs 0.46x).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2005).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • 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 (207k vs 130k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (135x96mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 123g or 18 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D70s launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L10 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 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.

D70s 04:10 L10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D70s and the Panasonic L10 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D70s or the L10. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
2.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
3.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
4.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
5.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
6.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
7.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
8.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
9.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
10.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
11.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
12.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999i
13.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
15.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
16.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D70s:
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Panasonic L10:
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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 D70s vs Panasonic L10

    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 D70s Panasonic L10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date April 2005 August 2007
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Nikon D70s Panasonic L10
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 50 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.4 21.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.3 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 529 429
    Screen Specs Nikon D70s Panasonic L10
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 130k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D70s Panasonic L10
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D70s Panasonic L10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D70s Panasonic L10
    Battery Type EN-EL3a DMW-BLA13
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    135 x 96 x 78 mm
    (5.3 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 679 g (24.0 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)
    Nikon D70s:
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    Panasonic L10:
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