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Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

The Canon EOS 450D (called Canon XSi in some regions) and the Nikon D40 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2008 and November 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 450D   Nikon D40
Canon 450D Nikon D40
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 200-1600 (200-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g 124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 450D and the Nikon D40? 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: Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 450D and the Nikon D40. 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.

Size Canon 450D vs Nikon D40
Compare 450D versus D40 top
Comparison 450D or D40 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D40 is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Canon 450D. Moreover, the D40 is slightly lighter (0 percent) than the 450D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 450D nor the D40 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (450D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40).

Concerning battery life, the 450D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the D40 can take 470 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9 power pack.

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 450D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Nikon D40« 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
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 G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 D40 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the 450D, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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 D40 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (450D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 450D and Nikon D40 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 450D offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D40. 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 5.19μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the 450D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the D40, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 450D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 450D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D40 are 15 x 10 inch or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inch or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inch or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 450D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D40 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-3200.

450D versus D40 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 450D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D40 (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 450D» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Nikon D40« APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
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 G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« » APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.910.856055Nikon D50
The 450D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D40 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 450D and the D40 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 450D has a higher magnification than the one of the D40 (0.54x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 450D, the Nikon D40, and comparable cameras.

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 450D»optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Nikon D40«optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
 
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 G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D50

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 450D and the D40 write their files to SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

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 450D and Nikon D40 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 450D»Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Nikon D40«Y-----2.0---Nikon D40
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Nikon D3400« »Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D40X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D50

Both the 450D and the D40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40 was replaced by the Nikon D40X, while the 450D was followed by the Canon 500D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.


Review summary: Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 450D better than the Nikon D40 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 450D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 6MP) with a 42% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the D40).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D40:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 450D is the clear winner of the match-up (6 : 2 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 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.

450D 06:02 D40

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 450D and the Nikon D40 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 450D or the D40 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Canon 450D vs Nikon D40

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 450D»+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Nikon D40«81/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
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 G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« »+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
 
Canon 1000D« »82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Canon 400D« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Nikon D3400« »+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D40X« »79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »78/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 450D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D40:
Check Ebay offers

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 450D vs Nikon D40

    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 450D Nikon D40
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2008 November 2006
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon 450D Nikon D40
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 200-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200-3200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692 561
    Screen Specs Canon 450D Nikon D40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 450D Nikon D40
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 450D Nikon D40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 450D Nikon D40
    Battery Type LP-E5 power pack EN-EL9 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

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