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Sony A6000 vs RX1

The Sony Alpha A6000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and September 2012. The A6000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A6000) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Sony A6000   Sony RX1
Sony A6000 Sony RX1
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Sony E mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 (100-51200) ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
120 x 67 x 45 mm, 344 g 113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A6000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1? 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: Sony A6000 vs RX1

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A6000 and the Sony RX1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A6000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the RX1 is only available in black.

Size Sony A6000 vs Sony RX1
Compare A6000 versus RX1 top
Comparison A6000 or RX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Sony A6000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A6000 nor the RX1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1 has a lens built in, whereas the A6000 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 A6000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the A6000 gets 360 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the RX1 can take 270 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 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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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
 
Sony A6000» 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony RX1« 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
 
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799- i Nikon D5300
 
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
 
Sony RX1R II« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-F3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.1 oz 470 n May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
 
Sony NEX-3« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 10.1 oz 330 n May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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. 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: Sony A6000 vs RX1

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 Sony A6000 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 132 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A6000 and Sony RX1 sensor measures

Even though the RX1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the RX1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 3.91μm for the A6000), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the A6000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the RX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The A6000 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Sony Alpha A6000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

A6000 versus RX1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 RX1 offers substantially better image quality than the A6000 (overall score 11 points higher). The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
 
Sony A6000» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony RX1« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1
 
Nikon D5300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883Nikon D5300
 
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300
 
Sony RX1R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-F3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.712.3111473Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7
 
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« » APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669Sony NEX-5

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A6000 vs RX1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A6000 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A6000 and Sony RX1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Sony A6000»1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony RX1«- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1
 
Nikon D5300« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5300
 
Sony A6300« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
 
Sony RX1R II« »2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-F3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7
 
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A6000 and the RX1 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A6000 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the RX1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony A6000 vs RX1

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 Sony Alpha A6000 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 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
 
Sony A6000»Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony RX1«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1
 
Nikon D5300« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5300
 
Sony A6300« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300
 
Sony RX1R II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A5000« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony A3000« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-F3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony NEX-7« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony NEX-7
 
Sony NEX-3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5

It is notable that the A6000 offers wifi support, while the RX1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the A6000 and the RX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1 was replaced by the Sony RX1R, while the A6000 was followed by the Sony A6300. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony A6000 vs RX1

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A6000 or the Sony RX1 – 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.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6000:

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for quicker and more confident autofocus.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the RX1).


Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A6000 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6000 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 7 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 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.

A6000 10:07 RX1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A6000 and the Sony RX1 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 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 A6000 or the RX1. 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: Sony A6000 vs RX1

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
 
Sony A6000»+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony RX1«-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
 
Nikon D5300« »+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i Nikon D5300
 
Sony A6300« »+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
 
Sony RX1R II« »-82/100-o4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A5000« »+-4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« »+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony A3000« »+-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »--4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »+ +78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-F3« »-74/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony NEX-7« »+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
 
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »+ +71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

Sony A6000:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX1:
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 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: Sony A6000 vs Sony RX1

    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 Sony A6000 Sony RX1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date February 2014 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 2799
    Sensor Specs Sony A6000 Sony RX1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.8 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 852.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 5.96 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 2.82 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-51200 ISO 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 93
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.1 25.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.1 14.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1347 2534
    Screen Specs Sony A6000 Sony RX1
    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 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A6000 Sony RX1
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Sony A6000 Sony RX1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Sony A6000 Sony RX1
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 120 x 67 x 45 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
    113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 344 g (12.1 oz) 482 g (17.0 oz)

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