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Canon 20D vs Leica M10

The Canon EOS 20D and the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2004 and January 2017. The 20D is a DSLR, while the M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (20D) and a full frame (M10) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 23.8 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 20D   Leica M10
Canon 20D Leica M10
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-3200) ISO 100-50000
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 118k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge210 shots per battery charge
144 x 106 x 72 mm, 770 g 139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g

Body comparison: Canon 20D vs Leica M10

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 20D and the Leica M10. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 20D is only available in black.

Compare Canon 20D and Leica M10
Compare 20D versus M10 top
Compare 20D or M10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M10 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Canon 20D. Moreover, the M10 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the 20D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 20D nor the M10 are weather-sealed.

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 will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (20D) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M10).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 20D» 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Leica M10« 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Leica M10-P« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Nikon D200« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 20D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 77 percent) than the M10, 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 20D vs Leica M10

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

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 20D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M10 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M10 is 153 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. 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 20D and Leica M10 sensor measures

With 23.8MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the 20D (8.2MP), but the M10 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 6.42μm for the 20D). Yet, the M10 is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 5 months) than the 20D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon EOS 20D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).

20D versus M10 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 M10 offers substantially better image quality than the 20D (overall score 24 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.5 bits higher color depth, 2.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.6 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
 
Canon 20D» APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Leica M10« Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
 
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon Rebel
 
Leica M10-P« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-----Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
 
Nikon D200« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.558364Nikon D200
The M10 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The 20D lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 20D vs Leica M10

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 20D and the M10 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 M10 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 20D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the M10 has a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.56x), 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 20D and Leica M10 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 20D»optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Leica M10«optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
 
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Canon Rebel
 
Leica M10-P« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n Y Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
 
Nikon D200« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D200

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 20D has one, while the M10 does not. While the built-in flash of the 20D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 20D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the M10 uses SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 20D vs Leica M10

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 20D and Leica M10 (Typ 3656) 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 20D»Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Leica M10«Y------Y--Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
 
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 50D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon XT« »Y-----2.0---Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »Y-----1.1---Canon Rebel
 
Leica M10-P« »Y------Y--Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« »Y-----2.0---Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica M Typ 240« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica M Typ 240
 
Nikon D200« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D200

It is notable that the M10 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 20D does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 20D (unlike the M10) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The M10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the 20D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 20D was succeeded by the Canon 30D. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Canon and Leica websites.


Review summary: Canon 20D vs Leica M10

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 20D better than the Leica M10 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 20D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (77 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2004).

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Advantages of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (23.8 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 70%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (24 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.6 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 (0.73x vs 0.56x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 118k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 144x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 110g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • 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 modern: Reflects 12 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 20D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M10 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 8 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.

20D 08:15 M10

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 20D and the M10 in practical situations. 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 20D vs Leica M10

This is why expert reviews are important. 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).

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 20D»-++-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Leica M10«--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »+80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 7D II« »+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 60D« »+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 7D« »++84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« »++++4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 40D« »++++4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 30D« »++++oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon XT« »80/100++oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
 
Canon 10D« »-++-o- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
Canon Rebel« »-++-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon Rebel
 
Leica M10-P« »----4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Nikon D200« »++++o5/5- Nov 2005 1,699- i Nikon D200
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 20D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M10:
Check Amazon price

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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 20D vs Leica M10

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 20D Leica M10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2004 January 2017
    Launch Price USD 1499 USD 6595
    Sensor Specs Canon 20D Leica M10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.5 x 15.0 mm 35.8 x 15.0 mm
    Sensor Area 337.5 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 8.2 Megapixels 23.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3504 x 2336 pixels 5952 x 3992 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.42 μm 6.00 μm
    Pixel Density 2.43 MP/cm2 2.78 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-50000 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-3200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 2 Maestro II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 24.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 13.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 721 2133
    Screen Specs Canon 20D Leica M10
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.56x 0.73x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 20D Leica M10
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 20D Leica M10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB no
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon 20D Leica M10
    Battery Type BP-511A power pack BP-SCL5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge210 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 144 x 106 x 72 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
    139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 770 g (27.2 oz) 660 g (23.3 oz)

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