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Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2002 and July 2017. The 1Ds is a DSLR, while the TL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (1Ds) and an APS-C (TL2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 11 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
Canon 1Ds   Leica TL2
Canon 1Ds Leica TL2
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
11 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1250 ISO 100-50000
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.0" LCD, 120k dots 3.7" LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
600 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1265 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g

Body comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds and the Leica TL2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.

Compare Canon 1Ds and Leica TL2
Compare 1Ds versus TL2 top
Compare 1Ds or TL2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL2 is considerably smaller (62 percent) than the Canon 1Ds. Moreover, the TL2 is substantially lighter (68 percent) than the 1Ds. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1Ds is splash and dust resistant, while the TL2 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.

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. The power pack in the TL2 can be charged via the USB port, 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 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
Canon 1Ds» 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1265 g 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Leica TL2« 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Canon M6« » 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D C« » 158 mm 164 mm 83 mm 1545 g 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1230 g 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1155 g 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1565 g 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« » 152 mm 113 mm 75 mm 895 g 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1535 g 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1215 g 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Leica C-LUX« » 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica CL« » 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Leica TL« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Nikon D2Xs« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs

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 TL2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 78 percent) than the 1Ds, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1Ds features a full frame sensor and the Leica TL2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the TL2 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon 1Ds and Leica TL2 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the TL2 offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 11 MP of the 1Ds. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 8.83μm for the 1Ds). However, it should be noted that the TL2 is much more recent (by 14 years and 9 months) than the 1Ds, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the TL2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 Leica TL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).

1Ds versus TL2 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds» Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704-21.811.095463Canon 1Ds
Leica TL2« APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D C« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p----Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« » APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« » APS-H 10.1 3888 2592-22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
Leica C-LUX« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica C-LUX
Leica CL« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica CL
Leica TL« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica TL
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The TL2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1Ds does not. The highest resolution format that the TL2 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1Ds has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1Ds and Leica TL2 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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds»optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds
Leica TL2«- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n Leica TL2
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D C« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
Leica C-LUX« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Leica C-LUX
Leica CL« »2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 10.0 n n Leica CL
Leica TL« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica TL
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica T
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs

One feature that is present on the 1Ds, but is missing on the TL2 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.

The 1Ds writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TL2 uses SDXC cards. The 1Ds features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the TL2 only has one slot.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

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 Leica TL2 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
Canon 1Ds»Y-----FW---Canon 1Ds
Leica TL2«Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D C« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
Leica C-LUX« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica C-LUX
Leica CL« »Ystereomono----Y--Leica CL
Leica TL« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
Leica T« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica T
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs

It is notable that the TL2 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 1Ds does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1Ds (unlike the TL2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the 1Ds has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1Ds was succeeded by the Canon 1Ds Mark II.


Review summary: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1Ds or the Leica TL2 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1Ds:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 250) 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.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2002).

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Advantages of the Leica TL2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 11MP), which boosts linear resolution by 48%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 120k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 866g or 68 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (78 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 14 years and 9 months of technical progress since the 1Ds launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

1Ds 10:14 TL2

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 1Ds or the TL2 handle or 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: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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
Canon 1Ds»-HiRec--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Leica TL2«--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1D C« »----- Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« »---rev- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-HiRec4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »-HiRec-rev- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-HiRec--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Leica C-LUX« »--4.5/5-4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica CL« »----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Leica TL« »----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Nikon D2Xs« »---rev- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1Ds:
Check Ebay offers
Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 1Ds vs Leica TL2

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1Ds Leica TL2
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2002 July 2017
    Launch Price USD 8999 USD 1950
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 23.8 mm 23.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 856.8 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 11 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4064 x 2704 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.83 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 1.28 MP/cm2 6.52 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1250 ISO 100-50000 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-1250 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 954 ..
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% n/a
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x n/a
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing n/a Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0 inch 3.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 120k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector Firewire USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack BP-DC13 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 1265 g (44.6 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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