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Canon 550D vs Sony HX350

The Canon EOS 550D (called Canon T2i in some regions) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2010 and December 2016. The 550D is a DSLR, while the HX350 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (550D) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX350) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon 550D versus Sony HX350
Canon 550D Sony HX350
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g 130 x 93 x 103 mm, 652 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 550D and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 550D and the Sony HX350. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 550D vs Sony HX350
Compare 550D versus HX350 top
Comparison 550D or HX350 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX350 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Canon 550D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 550D nor the HX350 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX350 has a lens built in, whereas the 550D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 550D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 550D gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the HX350 can take 300 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
2.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 449 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon 1200D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
8.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon 600D 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
11.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Kodak AZ901 139 mm 104 mm 119 mm 777 g 400 n Jan 2016 499 i
13.
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
14.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
17.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 HX350 was launched at a lower price than the 550D, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 550D features an APS-C sensor and the Sony HX350 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX350 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 550D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the HX350 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 550D and Sony HX350 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the HX350 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the 550D. 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 1.19μm versus 4.31μm for the 550D). However, it should be noted that the HX350 is much more recent (by 6 years and 10 months) than the 550D, 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 HX350 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

550D versus HX350 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
2.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p........
3.
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
7.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
8.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
9.
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
10.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
11.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
12.
 
Kodak AZ901 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
13.
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
14.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
16.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
17.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the HX350 provides a faster frame rate than the 550D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX350 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the 550D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 550D and Sony HX350 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
1.
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
2.
 
Sony HX350202 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
12.
 
Kodak AZ901202 n 3.0 920 swivel n 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
13.
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
14.
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
17.
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y

The 550D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX350 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

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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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
1.
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Sony HX350-stereomono--micro2.0---
3.
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Kodak AZ901-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
14.
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the 550D has a hotshoe, while the HX350 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The HX350 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the 550D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 550D was succeeded by the Canon 600D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 550D better than the Sony HX350 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 550D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 300) 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).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 550D requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 550D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 550D emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

550D 12:09 HX350

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 550D and the Sony HX350 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 550D or the HX350. 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

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 550D..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
2.
 
Sony HX350........4/5 Dec 2016 449 i
3.
 
Canon 4000D..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon 1200D3/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
8.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon 600D3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon 1100D..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
11.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
12.
 
Kodak AZ901......3.5/53/5 Jan 2016 499 i
13.
 
Nikon B700..+..4/54/5 Feb 2016 499 i
14.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ80..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +..4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
17.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
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 550D:
Check Ebay offers
Sony HX350:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 550D vs Sony HX350

    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 Sony HX350
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
    Launch Date February 2010 December 2016
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon 550D Sony HX350
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 784 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 550D Sony HX350
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 550D Sony HX350
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 550D Sony HX350
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 550D Sony HX350
    Battery Type LP-E8 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    130 x 93 x 103 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 530 g (18.7 oz) 652 g (23.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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