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Canon 550D vs M10

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Canon EOS M10 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2010 and October 2015. The 550D is a DSLR, while the M10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 17.9 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D VS Canon M10
Canon 550D Canon M10
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF-M mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-12800) ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
3.7 shutter flaps per second 4.6 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge255 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 108 x 67 x 35 mm, 301 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Canon EOS M10? 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 550D and the Canon M10 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 550D is only available in black.

Size Canon 550D vs Canon M10
Compare 550D versus M10 top
Comparison 550D or M10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M10 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Canon 550D. Moreover, the M10 is substantially lighter (43 percent) than the 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D 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. 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 550D gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the M10 can take 255 images on a single charge of its LP-E12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 550D» 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Canon M10« 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499iCanon M10
 
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 iCanon 4000D
 
Canon M100« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499iCanon M100
 
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449iCanon T6
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749iCanon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649iCanon 760D
 
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679iCanon M3
 
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449iCanon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649iCanon 700D
 
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549iCanon SL1
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599iCanon M
 
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599iCanon 600D
 
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799iCanon 500D
 
Nikon D5100« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.8 oz 660 n Apr 2011 749iNikon D5100
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The M10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the 550D, 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

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the M10 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6) than the 550D (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 550D and Canon M10 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 17.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the 550D and the M10 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the M10 is much more recent (by 5 years and 8 months) than the 550D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The M10 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS 550D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M10 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

550D versus M10 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p........Canon T6
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380Nikon D5100

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 550D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 550D and Canon M10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n Canon M100
 
Canon T6optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon T6
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Canon M3
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n Canon M
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5100

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M10 has a touchscreen, while the 550D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The M10 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 550D does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 550D and the M10 write their files to SDXC cards. The M10 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 550D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 550D and Canon EOS M10 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 550DYstereononeY-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
 
Canon T6Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D5100

It is notable that the 550D has a hotshoe, while the M10 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the 550D and the M10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 550D was replaced by the Canon 600D, while the M10 was followed by the Canon M100. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 550D and the Canon M10? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 255) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M10:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.6 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 229g or 43 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • 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.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 8 months of technical progress since the 550D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 5 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.

550D 05:14 M10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Canon M10 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 550D or the M10. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499iCanon M10
 
Canon 4000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 iCanon 4000D
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499iCanon M100
 
Canon T6o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449iCanon T6
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749iCanon 750D
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649iCanon 760D
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679iCanon M3
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449iCanon 1200D
 
Canon 700D..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649iCanon 700D
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549iCanon SL1
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon M+..4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599iCanon M
 
Canon 600Do77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599iCanon 600D
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799iCanon 500D
 
Nikon D5100+ +76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749iNikon D5100
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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 550D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon M10:
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 550D vs Canon M10

    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 550D Canon M10
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF-M mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2010 October 2015
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Canon M10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 753
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Canon M10
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder No viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Canon M10
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 4.6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon 550D Canon M10
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon 550D Canon M10
    Battery Type LP-E8 LP-E12
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge255 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    108 x 67 x 35 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 301 g (10.6 oz)

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