Home > Olympus, Panasonic, Photography, Samsung, Sony > Looking for a small, light, quality camera?

Looking for a small, light, quality camera?

The success of the Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras shows that there is a demand for this type of camera – a small, light quality camera. Something smaller and lighter than a DSLR, but with better image quality and flexibility than a compact camera.

I’ve argued before that there is a proportion of this market segment for whom size and weight is a priority. It seems that Sony gets this: its recently announced NEX cameras demonstrate what can be done when size and weight are important design criteria.

But it’s not the weight of the size and weight of the camera that is important. It is the weight of the camera/lens/battery/memory card package that counts. Micro Four Thirds cameras have an inherent advantage here, since, for a given image quality, lenses for a m4/3 sensor can be made smaller and lighter than lenses for a APS-C image sensor.

This blog post collects together camera and lens sizes and weights. If camera size and weight is an important consideration for you, then these tables may be of some help. Note I make no attempt to compare the quality or ergonomics of any of these cameras, there are plenty of camera review sites that do that.

Mirrorless cameras

The following table gives the sizes of various mirrorless cameras, and their weights with various lenses. The pancake lens is the manufacturer’s wide angle prime lens. The zoom lens is the manufacture’s nearest equivalent to a 28-84mm (full frame) lens. The superzoom is the manufacture’s nearest equivalent to a 28-300mm (full frame) lens. All weights include batteries.

Model Weight Weight
Dimensions LCD Dots
Olympus E-P1 355g 426g 505g 645g 121 x 70 x 36 mm 230,000
Olympus E-P2 355g 426g 505g 645g 121 x 70 x 36 mm 230,000
Olympus E-PL1 334g 406g 484g 624g 115 x 72 x 42 mm 230,000
Panasonic GF1 315g 415g 480g 775g 119 x 71 x 36 mm 460,000
Sony NEX-3 297g 371g 511g 821g 117 × 62 × 33 mm 920,000
Sony NEX-5 287g 361g 501g 811g 111 × 59 × 38 mm 920,000
Samsung NX10 414g 499g 612g 831g 123 × 87× 40 mm 614,000

The overall lightest camera/lens combination is the Sony NEX-5 with 16mm lens. This is thanks to the low weight of the Sony camera. With zoom lenses, the inherent size/weight advantage of micro4/3 comes into play: the Panasonic GF1 provides the lightest camera with standard zoom combination and the Olympus E-PL1 provides the lightest camera with superzoom combination. (Of course slightly lighter combinations could be obtained by mixing Panasonic and Olympus lenses and bodies.)

Note that Samsung does not seem to have got it. The NX10 is barely smaller or lighter than some of the smallest DSLRs (see next section).


For comparison, here are the sizes and weight of some of the smaller and lighter DSLRs:

Model Weight Weight
Dimensions LCD Dots
Canon EOS 1000D 502g N/A 702g 1097g 126 x 98 x 65 mm 230,000
Nikon D60 522g N/A 787g 1082g 126 x 94 x 64 mm 230,000
Olympus E-450 426g 521g 616g N/A 130 x 91 x 53 mm 230,000

Compact cameras

And for further comparison, here are the weights and dimensions of some of the higher end compact cameras:

Model Weight Dimensions LCD Dots
Canon PowerShot G11 [28-140mm] 375g 112 x 76 x 48 mm 461,000
Canon PowerShot S90 [28-105mm] 195g 100 x 58 x 31 mm 461,000
Leica X1 [35mm] 306g 124 x 60 x 32 mm 230,000
Nikon Coolpix P6000 [28-112mm] 280g 107 x 66 x 42 mm 230,000
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 [24-60mm] 265g 109 x 60 x 27 mm 460,000


For reference, here are the weights and sizes of the lenses available for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras:

Model Weight Dimensions Filter diameter
Olympus 9-18mm[18-36mm] f4.0-4.6 155g 57 x50 mm 52mm
Olympus 14-42mm[28-84mm] f3.5-5.6 150g 62 x 44 mm 40.5mm
Olympus 14-150mm[28-300mm] f4.0-5.6 290g 64 x 83 mm 58mm
Olympus 17mm[34mm] f2.8 71g 57 x 22 mm 37 mm
Panasonic 7-14mm[14-28mm] f4.0 300g 70 x 83 mm
Panasonic 14-42mm[28-84mm] f3.5-5.6 165g 61 x 64 mm 52 mm
Panasonic 14-45mm[28-84mm] f3.5-5.6 195g 60 x 60 mm 52 mm
Panasonic 14-140mm[28-280mm] f4.0-5.8 460g 70 x 84 mm 62 mm
Panasonic 20mm[40mm] f1.7 100g 63 x 26 mm 46 mm
Panasonic 45mm[90mm] f2.8 225g 63 x 63 mm 46 mm
Panasonic 45-200mm[90-400mm] f4.0-5.6 380g 70 x 100 mm 52 mm
Samsung 18-55mm[28-85mm] F3.5-5.6 198g 63 x 65 mm 58 mm
Samsung 30mm[46mm] f2 85g 62 x 22 mm 43 mm
Samsung 50-200mm[77-308mm] F4-5.6 417g 70 x 101 mm 52 mm
Sony 16mm[24mm] f2.8 74g 62 x 23 mm 49 mm
Sony 18-55[27-83mm] f2.5-5.6 214g 62 x 60 mm 49 mm
Sony 18-200[27-300mm] f3.5-6.3 524g 76 x 99 mm 67 mm
  1. greyhat
    May 17, 2010 at 16:21

    Thanks for the important info, but if you plan to update it you should add:
    * between “()” the weight with a second battery – every one carries at least one spare battery.
    * weight with flash (when not built-in include smaller from same brand)
    * size with lenses (and battery and flash)
    * crop factor (to highlight different sensor DOF)
    * size with view finder accessory

    Other important info (valid but not so easy to include) would be kit zoom AF speed (available on reviews). This could also help folks that require a faster AF then other (e.g. shooting small kids)

    If you want I can gather that info for you.

    • Martin Budden
      May 17, 2010 at 20:17

      Thanks for your comment. You’re correct to point out that there is quite a bit of additional useful information that I could add. However the tables are already a getting a bit crowded and I wanted to include the minimal amount of information that would allow a useful comparison of the size and weight of these cameras with lenses.

      If you wish to do a complementary posting on your own blog with extra information, feel free to use by tables as a starting point (just link back to my post).

  2. May 17, 2010 at 19:23

    Thank you for this!

  1. May 17, 2010 at 10:48
  2. May 31, 2010 at 13:35
  3. Jun 30, 2011 at 20:33

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