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Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 (called Panasonic TZ95 in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2019 and August 2018. Both the ZS80 and the HX95 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic ZS80   Sony HX95
Panasonic ZS80 Sony HX95
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 80-3200 (80-6400) ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)
Electronic viewfinder (2330k dots) Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
112 x 69 x 42 mm, 327 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 242 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95? 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: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic ZS80 and the Sony HX95 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.

The ZS80 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the HX95 is only available in black.

Size Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95
Compare ZS80 versus HX95 top
Comparison ZS80 or HX95 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX95 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Panasonic ZS80. Moreover, the HX95 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the ZS80. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the ZS80 nor the HX95 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the ZS80 gets 380 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the HX95 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 ZS80» 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 11.5 oz 380 n Feb 2019 449 i i Panasonic ZS80
 
Sony HX95« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 9.8 oz 330 n Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
 
Nikon A1000« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Panasonic LX100 II« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.6 in 13.8 oz 300 n Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TS7« » 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i i Panasonic TS7
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX99« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Sony WX800« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The HX95 was somewhat cheaper (by 4 percent) than the ZS80 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic ZS80 and Sony HX95 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the ZS80 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 18 MP of the HX95. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the ZS80 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.25μm for the HX95). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the ZS80 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the HX95, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 resolution advantage of the Panasonic ZS80 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the ZS80 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony HX95 are 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

ZS80 versus HX95 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 ZS80» 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Panasonic ZS80
 
Sony HX95« 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX95
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm XF10
 
Nikon A1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon A1000
 
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon W300
 
Panasonic LX100 II« » Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p----Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TS7« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Panasonic TS7
 
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX99« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
 
Sony WX800« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the ZS80 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX95 (2330k vs 638k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic ZS80, the Sony HX95, 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic ZS80»2330 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS80
 
Sony HX95«638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX95
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm XF10
 
Nikon A1000« »1166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon A1000
 
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
 
Panasonic LX100 II« »2764 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TS7« »1170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TS7
 
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX99« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
 
Sony WX800« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The ZS80 has a touchscreen, while the HX95 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the ZS80 is one of those camera that have an additional 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).

Both the ZS80 and the HX95 have zoom lenses built in. The ZS80 has a 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 optic and the HX95 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). The ZS80 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The ZS80 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX95 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The ZS80 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the HX95 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

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-ZS80 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 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 ZS80»-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic ZS80
 
Sony HX95«-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX95
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XF10
 
Nikon A1000« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon A1000
 
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
 
Panasonic LX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TS7« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TS7
 
Panasonic ZS70« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX99« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX99
 
Sony WX800« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

Both the ZS80 and the HX95 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The ZS80 replaced the earlier Panasonic ZS70, while the HX95 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.


Review summary: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic ZS80 or the Sony HX95 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 18MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2330k vs 638k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.5).
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the HX95).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95:

  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 112x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 85g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2018).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS80 is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 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 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.

ZS80 08:04 HX95

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic ZS80 and the Sony HX95 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 ZS80 or the HX95. 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: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

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 (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.

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 ZS80»--4.5/5-- Feb 2019 449 i i Panasonic ZS80
 
Sony HX95«----- Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« »-75/1004/5-4.5/5 Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
 
Nikon A1000« »--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Nikon W300« »+-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Panasonic LX100 II« »+82/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TS7« »+---3.5/5 May 2018 449 i i Panasonic TS7
 
Panasonic ZS70« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic ZS70
 
Sony HX99« »--4/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Sony WX800« »----- Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Panasonic ZS80:
Check Amazon price
Sony HX95:
Check Amazon price

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 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: Panasonic ZS80 vs Sony HX95

    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 ZS80 Sony HX95
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date February 2019 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Panasonic ZS80 Sony HX95
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 4896 x 3672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80-3200 ISO 80-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 80-6400 ISO 80-6400 ISO
    Image Processor Venus BIONZ X
    Screen Specs Panasonic ZS80 Sony HX95
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2330k dots 638k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic ZS80 Sony HX95
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingNo Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sno E-Shutter
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic ZS80 Sony HX95
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Panasonic ZS80 Sony HX95
    Battery Type DMW-BLG10 power pack NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 112 x 69 x 42 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 327 g (11.5 oz) 242 g (8.5 oz)

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