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Canon 1Ds vs XTi

The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi (labelled Canon 400D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2002 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds) and an APS-C (XTi) sensor. The 1Ds has a resolution of 11 megapixels, whereas the XTi provides 10.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 1Ds
versus
Canon XTi
Canon 1Ds   Canon XTi
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
11 MP, Full Frame Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,250 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0 LCD, 120k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
600 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1265 g 127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1Ds and the Canon EOS Rebel XTi? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds and the Canon XTi. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1Ds vs Canon XTi
Compare 1Ds versus XTi top
Comparison 1Ds or XTi rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XTi is considerably smaller (57 percent) than the Canon 1Ds. Moreover, the XTi is substantially lighter (56 percent) than the 1Ds. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1Ds is splash and dust resistant, while the XTi 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. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 1Ds) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (XTi). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 1Ds gets 600 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the XTi can take 370 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1Ds has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the XTi, Canon provides the BG-E3 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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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
1.
 
Canon 1Ds 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1265 g 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999i
2.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark III 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1440 g 2850 Y Jan 2020 6,499 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
5.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
6.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon 1D C 158 mm 164 mm 83 mm 1545 g 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999i
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IV 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1230 g 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 1D Mark III 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1155 g 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499i
11.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999i
12.
 
Canon 1D Mark II N 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1565 g 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999i
13.
 
Canon 5D 152 mm 113 mm 75 mm 895 g 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299i
14.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Canon 1D Mark II 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1535 g 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499i
16.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1215 g 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999i
17.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The XTi was launched at a markedly lower price (by 91 percent) than the 1Ds, 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

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 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 Canon 1Ds features a full frame sensor and the Canon XTi an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the XTi is 62 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the XTi uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC II) than the 1Ds (DIGIC), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 1Ds and Canon XTi sensor measures

With 11MP, the 1Ds offers a slightly higher resolution than the XTi (10.1MP), but the 1Ds nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.83μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi) due to its larger sensor. However, the XTi is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 11 months) than the 1Ds, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS-1Ds has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1250, which can be extended to ISO 50-1250. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XTi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

1Ds versus XTi MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon 1Ds Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704none21.811.095463
2.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark III Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.214.5324891
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
5.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
6.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
7.
 
Canon 1D C Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p24.313.0215585
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IV APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
10.
 
Canon 1D Mark III APS-H 10.1 3888 2592none22.711.7107871
11.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744none24.012.0166380
12.
 
Canon 1D Mark II N APS-H 8.2 3504 2336none22.311.297566
13.
 
Canon 5D Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912none22.911.1136871
14.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
15.
 
Canon 1D Mark II APS-H 8.2 3504 2336none22.311.1100366
16.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328none23.311.3148074
17.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the 1Ds nor the XTi offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1Ds and the XTi are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the 1Ds offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the XTi (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 1Ds has a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1Ds and Canon XTi along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Canon 1Dsoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n
2.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIoptical Y3.2 / 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 20.0 n n
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y3.2 / 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
5.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 1D Coptical Y3.2 / 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IVoptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIoptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n
11.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIoptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
12.
 
Canon 1D Mark II Noptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.5 n n
13.
 
Canon 5Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 n n
14.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Canon 1D Mark IIoptical Y2.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 8.3 n n
16.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIoptical Y2.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 n n
17.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

One feature that is present on the 1Ds, but is missing on the XTi is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 1Ds and the XTi write their files to Compact Flash cards.

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 Canon EOS-1Ds and Canon EOS Rebel XTi 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 1DsY- / ----FW---
2.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIIYmono / monoYYmini3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmono / monoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 1D CYmono / monoYYmini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IVYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 1D Mark IIIY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIYmono / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon 1D Mark II NY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Canon 5DY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Canon 1D Mark IIY- / ----1.1---
16.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIY- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1Ds (unlike the XTi) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 1Ds and the XTi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1Ds was replaced by the Canon 1Ds Mark II, while the XTi was followed by the Canon Xsi. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1Ds or the Canon XTi – 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.


Advantages of the Canon EOS-1Ds:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.49x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2002).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC II vs DIGIC).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 120k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 709g or 56 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (91 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 1Ds launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1Ds emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1Ds 10:08 XTi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1Ds and the Canon XTi place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1Ds or the XTi perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 1Ds......+ +.... Sep 2002 8,999i
2.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark III..+ +5/5..4.5/54/5 Jan 2020 6,499 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II....4.5/589/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
5.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
6.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
7.
 
Canon 1D C............ Apr 2012 14,999i
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IV5/5....89/100.... Oct 2009 4,999i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 1D Mark III............ Feb 2007 4,499i
11.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III......+ +4.5/5.. Aug 2007 7,999i
12.
 
Canon 1D Mark II N............ Aug 2005 3,999i
13.
 
Canon 5D..88/100..+ +o.. Aug 2005 3,299i
14.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
15.
 
Canon 1D Mark II......+ +.... Jan 2004 4,499i
16.
 
Canon 1Ds Mark II......+ +.... Sep 2004 7,999i
17.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 1Ds:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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: Canon 1Ds vs Canon XTi

    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 Canon 1Ds Canon XTi
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2002 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 8,999 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon 1Ds Canon XTi
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 23.8 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 856.8 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 11 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4064 x 2704 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.83 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 1.28 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,250 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 1,250 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC DIGIC II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 954 664
    Screen Specs Canon 1Ds Canon XTi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.49x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 120k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1Ds Canon XTi
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1Ds Canon XTi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector Firewire USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1Ds Canon XTi
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type NP-E3 NB-2LH
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 1265 g (44.6 oz) 556 g (19.6 oz)

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