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Olympus E-P3 vs Panasonic G10

The Olympus PEN E-P3 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2011 and March 2010. Both the E-P3 and the G10 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-P3 versus Panasonic G10
Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
ISO 200-12,800 ISO 100-6,400
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0 LCD, 614k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
330 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
122 x 69 x 34 mm, 369 g 124 x 84 x 74 mm, 388 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-P3 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10? 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 Olympus E-P3 and the Panasonic G10 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-P3 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the G10 is only available in black.

Size Olympus E-P3 vs Panasonic G10
Compare E-P3 versus G10 top
Comparison E-P3 or G10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G10 is notably larger (24 percent) than the Olympus E-P3. Moreover, the G10 is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the E-P3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-P3 nor the G10 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 Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the E-P3 gets 330 shots out of its BLS-5 battery, while the G10 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

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.
 
Olympus E-P3 122 mm 69 mm 34 mm 369 g 330 n Jun 2011 799i
2.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649i
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699i
5.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999i
6.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599i
7.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599i
8.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599i
9.
 
Olympus E-PM1 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 265 g 330 n Jun 2011 499i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599i
11.
 
Olympus E-P1 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Jun 2009 799i
12.
 
Olympus E-P2 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Nov 2009 799i
13.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
15.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
16.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
17.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599i
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 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 G10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the E-P3, 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 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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic G10 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-P3 offers a slightly higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the G10. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.8 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-P3 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 4.33μm for the G10). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the E-P3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the G10, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Olympus PEN E-P3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

E-P3 versus G10 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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.
 
Olympus E-P3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651
2.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
5.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
6.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
7.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
8.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
9.
 
Olympus E-PM1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952
10.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754
11.
 
Olympus E-P1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655
12.
 
Olympus E-P2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556
13.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
14.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
15.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
16.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
17.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-P3 provides a higher video resolution than the G10. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Panasonic is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G10 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-P3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-3. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic G10 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.
 
Olympus E-P3optional n 3.0 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y
6.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
7.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-PM1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-P1none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
12.
 
Olympus E-P2optional n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
13.
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF3none n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One feature that differentiates the E-P3 and the G10 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-P3 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the G10 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-P3 and the G10 write their files to SDXC cards. The E-P3 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G10 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 Olympus PEN E-P3 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 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.
 
Olympus E-P3Ystereo---mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
4.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo---mini2.0---
8.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-PM1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo---mini2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-P1Ystereo---mini2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-P2Ystereo---mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---

Both the E-P3 and the G10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G10 was replaced by the Panasonic G3, while the E-P3 was followed by the Olympus E-P5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-P3 or the Panasonic G10 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P3:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 460k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x69mm vs 124x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 3 months after the G10).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 330) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2010).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-P3 is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-P3 09:04 G10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-P3 and the Panasonic G10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-P3 or the G10. 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 why expert reviews are important. 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.
 
Olympus E-P3..83/10074/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799i
2.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649i
4.
 
Olympus E-M104/5..80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699i
5.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999i
6.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
7.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599i
8.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599i
9.
 
Olympus E-PM1..86/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 499i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599i
11.
 
Olympus E-P1..+66/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799i
12.
 
Olympus E-P23/5+69/1004/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799i
13.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/10071/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
15.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
16.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/10070/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
17.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Olympus E-P3:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G10:
Check Ebay offers

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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: Olympus E-P3 vs Panasonic G10

    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 Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2011 March 2010
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4032 x 3024 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.29 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 5.42 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI Venus HD II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 51 52
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.8 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.1 10.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 536 411
    Screen Specs Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.52x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 614k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.6 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-P3 Panasonic G10
    Battery Type BLS-5 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 69 x 34 mm
    (4.8 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    124 x 84 x 74 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 369 g (13.0 oz) 388 g (13.7 oz)

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