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Panasonic G3 vs Ricoh GR

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2011 and April 2013. The G3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the GR is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (G3) and an APS-C (GR) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh provides 16.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic G3 versus Ricoh GR
Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses 28mm f/2.8
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 160-6,400 ISO 100-25,600
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 1230k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
270 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
115 x 84 x 47 mm, 336 g 117 x 61 x 35 mm, 245 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and the Ricoh GR? 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 Panasonic G3 and the Ricoh GR 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 G3 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, red, white), while the GR is only available in black.

Size Panasonic G3 vs Ricoh GR
Compare G3 versus GR top
Comparison G3 or GR rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Panasonic G3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G3 nor the GR are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR has a lens built in, whereas the G3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the G3 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G3 gets 270 shots out of its DMW-BLD10 battery, while the GR can take 290 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The power pack in the GR can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649i
 
Panasonic GM5 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749i
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
 
Panasonic GM1 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749i
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799i
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749i
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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G3 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Ricoh GR an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR is 64 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the G3 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the GR offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic G3 and Ricoh GR sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the GR offers a higher resolution than the G3 (15.8MP), but the GR nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 3.77μm for the G3) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the GR is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the G3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

G3 versus GR 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 consideration, the GR offers substantially better image quality than the G3 (overall score 22 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.6 bits higher color depth, 2.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional 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
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p........
 
Panasonic GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G3 provides a higher frame rate than the GR. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G3 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G3, the Ricoh GR, 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
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
 
Panasonic G72360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GM51166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic GM1none n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G51440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic GF2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G3 has a touchscreen, while the GR has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The G3 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GR does not have a selfie-screen.

The Ricoh GR has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G3 and the GR write their files to SDXC cards. The GR supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G3 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 and Ricoh GR 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
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G7YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic GM5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GM1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic G5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the G3 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G3 was replaced by the Panasonic G5, while the GR was followed by the Ricoh GR II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Ricoh websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic G3 better than the Ricoh GR or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2011).

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Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (22 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 460k dots).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the G3 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x61mm vs 115x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the G3).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 8 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 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.

G3 08:13 GR

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G3 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings 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 G3 or the GR. 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
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic G7+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649i
 
Panasonic GM5+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GF6+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
 
Panasonic GM1+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
 
Panasonic G5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic GF5....4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GF282/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799i
 
Sony RX100 II+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749i
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. 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.

Panasonic G3:
Check Ebay offers
Ricoh GR:
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. 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: Panasonic G3 vs Ricoh GR

    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 Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses 28mm f/2.8
    Launch Date May 2011 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4592 x 3448 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 56 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.6 13.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 667 972
    Screen Specs Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic G3 Ricoh GR
    Battery Type DMW-BLD10 DB65
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 115 x 84 x 47 mm
    (4.5 x 3.3 x 1.9 in)
    117 x 61 x 35 mm
    (4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 336 g (11.9 oz) 245 g (8.6 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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