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Canon 400D vs Canon M

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon EOS M are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and July 2012. The 400D is a DSLR, while the Canon M is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 400D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon M provides 17.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 400D   Canon M
Canon 400D Canon M
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF-M mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 4.3 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge230 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 109 x 66 x 32 mm, 298 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D and the Canon EOS M? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Canon M are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 Canon M can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 400D is only available in black.

Size Canon 400D vs Canon M
Compare 400D versus Canon M top
Comparison 400D or Canon M rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Canon 400D. Moreover, the Canon M is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the Canon M 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. 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.

Concerning battery life, the 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the Canon M can take 230 images on a single charge of its LP-E12 power pack.

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 400D» 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon M« 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
 
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 350D« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 Canon M was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the 400D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the Canon M is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the Canon M uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC V) than the 400D (DIGIC II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 400D and Canon M sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the Canon M offers a higher resolution than the 400D (10.1MP), but the Canon M has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). Yet, the Canon M is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) than the 400D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Canon M for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 400D are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inch or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inch or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

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

The Canon EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

400D versus Canon M 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 400D» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon M« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
 
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
 
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
 
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 350D« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The Canon M indeed provides for movie recording, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the Canon M can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 400D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Canon M relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 400D and Canon M 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
 
Canon 400D»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon M«- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n Canon M
 
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n Canon M100
 
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
 
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 350D« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 400D has one, while the Canon M does not. While the built-in flash of the 400D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the Canon M uses SDXC 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 400D and Canon EOS M 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 400D»Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon M«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
 
Canon M100« »-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon T3i« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
 
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 350D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40X

Both the 400D and the Canon M have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the Canon M was followed by the Canon EOS M3. 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 400D or the Canon M – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).


Advantages of the Canon EOS M:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 33%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC V vs DIGIC II).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.3 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (109x66mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 258g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Canon M is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 4 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

400D 04:13 Canon M

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D and the Canon M place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 400D or the Canon M 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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
 
Canon 400D»+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon M«+-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Canon M100« »+-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i Canon M100
 
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon 760D
 
Canon M10« »---o4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Canon SL1« »+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon T3i« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
 
Canon 550D« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 350D« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Nikon D40X« »79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
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. 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 400D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon M:
Check Ebay offers

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 400D vs Canon M

    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 400D Canon M
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF-M mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Canon M
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC II DIGIC V
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 827
    Screen Specs Canon 400D Canon M
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder No viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 400D Canon M
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4.3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    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 400D Canon M
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 400D Canon M
    Battery Type NB-2LH LP-E12
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge230 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    109 x 66 x 32 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 298 g (10.5 oz)

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