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Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and November 2017. Both the GH5 and the CL are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (GH5) and an APS-C (CL) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Panasonic GH5   Leica CL
Panasonic GH5 Leica CL
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Leica T mount lenses
20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-25600 ISO 100-50000
Electronic viewfinder (3680k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.2" LCD, 1620k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
12 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
410 shots per battery charge220 shots per battery charge
139 x 98 x 87 mm, 725 g 131 x 78 x 45 mm, 403 g

Body comparison: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GH5 and the Leica CL. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the GH5 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic GH5 and Leica CL
Compare GH5 versus CL top
Compare GH5 or CL rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica CL is notably smaller (25 percent) than the Panasonic GH5. Moreover, the CL is substantially lighter (44 percent) than the GH5. It is worth mentioning in this context that the GH5 is splash and dust resistant, while the CL does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the GH5 gets 410 shots out of its DMW-BLF19 battery, while the CL can take 220 images on a single charge of its BP-DC12 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5» 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Leica CL« 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Canon M6« » 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Fujifilm X-H1« » 140 mm 97 mm 86 mm 673 g 310 Y Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
Fujifilm X100F« » 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i Fujifilm X100F
Leica C-LUX« » 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica TL« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Nikon D500« » 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Olympus E-M1 II« » 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
Panasonic G9« » 137 mm 97 mm 92 mm 658 g 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic G80« » 128 mm 89 mm 74 mm 505 g 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i Panasonic G80
Panasonic GX8« » 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GH4« » 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Sony A7 III« » 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A9« » 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
Sony A7 II« » 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II

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 GH5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 28 percent) than the CL, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 GH5 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Leica CL an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the CL is 65 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 GH5 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the CL offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic GH5 and Leica CL sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the GH5 (20.2MP), but the CL nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 3.34μm for the GH5) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the CL is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the GH5, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).

GH5 versus CL 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. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5» Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Leica CL« APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica CL
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Fujifilm X-H1« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-H1
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X100F
Leica C-LUX« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
Leica TL« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica TL
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
Panasonic G80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671Panasonic G80
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the GH5 provides a higher frame rate than the CL. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Leica is limited to 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GH5 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the CL (3680k vs 2360k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GH5, the Leica CL, and comparable cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5»3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Leica CL«2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 10.0 n n Leica CL
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Fujifilm X-H1« »3690 Y 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 8000 14.0 n Y Fujifilm X-H1
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X100F
Leica C-LUX« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n Leica TL2
Leica TL« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica TL
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n Nikon D500
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
Panasonic G80« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G80
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 8000 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y Sony A9
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II

One feature that differentiates the GH5 and the CL is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The GH5 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the CL has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The GH5 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 CL does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GH5 and the CL write their files to SDXC cards. The GH5 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the CL only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

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 DC-GH5 and Leica CL (Typ 7323) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5»YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Leica CL«Ystereomono----Y--Leica CL
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Fujifilm X-H1« »YstereomonoY-micro3.0Y--Fujifilm X-H1
Fujifilm X100F« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X100F
Leica C-LUX« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« »Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
Leica TL« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
Nikon D500« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
Panasonic G9« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-YPanasonic G9
Panasonic G80« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G80
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II

It is notable that the GH5 has a microphone port, which is missing on the CL. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Both the GH5 and the CL are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The GH5 replaced the earlier Panasonic GH4, while the CL does not have a direct predecessor.


Review summary: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic GH5 better than the Leica CL or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3680k vs 2360k dots).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (28 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2017).

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Arguments in favor of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More compact: Is smaller (131x78mm vs 139x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 322g or 44 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GH5 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 10 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.

GH5 17:10 CL

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GH5 or the CL handle or perform in practice. 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: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5»HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Leica CL«----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Fujifilm X-H1« »Rec86/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i Fujifilm X100F
Leica C-LUX« »--4.5/5-4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica TL« »----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Olympus E-M1 II« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
Panasonic G9« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic G80« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i Panasonic G80
Panasonic GX8« »Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Panasonic GH4« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic GH5 vs Leica CL

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic GH5 Leica CL
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2017 November 2017
    Launch Price USD 1999 USD 2795
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 23.6 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0 1.5
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.34 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 8.96 MP/cm2 6.52 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 4K/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO 100-50000 ISO
    Image Processor Venus 10 Maestro II
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Resolution 3680k dots 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic ShutterElectronic Shutter
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 3.1 USB no
    HDMI Port full HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type DMW-BLF19 power pack BP-DC12 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge220 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 139 x 98 x 87 mm
    (5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4 in)
    131 x 78 x 45 mm
    (5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 725 g (25.6 oz) 403 g (14.2 oz)

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