Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony RX100 III
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2014 and May 2014. Both the G1X Mark II and the RX100 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) and an one-inch (RX100 III) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 13 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Sony RX100 III. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 III is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon G1 X Mark II. Moreover, the RX100 III is substantially lighter (48 percent) than the G1X Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X Mark II nor the RX100 III are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the G1X Mark II gets 240 shots out of its NB-12L battery, while the RX100 III can take 320 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|2.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|3.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|4.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||370||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|6.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|8.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|9.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|10.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|11.||Canon 500D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|12.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X Mark II features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Sony RX100 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 III is 56 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 2.7. The sensor in the G1X Mark II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 III offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 III offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 13 MP of the G1X Mark II. 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 2.41μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). However, it should be noted that the RX100 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the G1X Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G1 X Mark II are 20.8 x 15.6 inches or 52.8 x 39.6 cm for good quality, 16.6 x 12.5 inches or 42.3 x 31.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.9 x 10.4 inches or 35.2 x 26.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 RX100 III has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X Mark II (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|2.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|4.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|10.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX100 III provides a faster frame rate than the G1X Mark II. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G1X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G1X Mark II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X Mark II and Sony RX100 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon XC10||none||n||3.0 / 1030||tilting||Y||1/2000s||3.8||n||Y|
|6.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon 500D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n|
|12.||Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G1X Mark II has a touchscreen, while the RX100 III has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The Canon G1 X Mark II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the G1X Mark II and the RX100 III have zoom lenses built in. The G1X Mark II has a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 optic and the RX100 III offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 III offers the faster maximum aperture.
The G1X Mark II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 PowerShot G1 X Mark II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon 760D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon XC10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 500D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 450D||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the G1X Mark II has a hotshoe, while the RX100 III does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the G1X Mark II and the RX100 III have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X Mark II was replaced by the Canon G1 X Mark III, while the RX100 III was followed by the Sony RX100 IV. 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.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X Mark II or the Sony RX100 III – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 13MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 116x74mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 263g or 48 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 III is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X Mark II and the Sony RX100 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G1X Mark II and the RX100 III in practical situations. 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.
|1.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|2.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|3.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|4.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|5.||Canon XC10||..||..||..||80/100||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|6.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|8.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|9.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|10.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|11.||Canon 500D||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|12.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|13.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|16.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|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. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 50D vs Canon G1 X Mark II
- Canon 60D vs Canon G1 X Mark II
- Canon 70D vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Nikon D600
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Olympus E-330
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A5000
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A850
- Canon G15 vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon T2i vs Sony RX100 III
- Leica V-LUX Typ 114 vs Sony RX100 III
- Nikon B600 vs Sony RX100 III
- Panasonic GX8 vs Sony RX100 III
Specifications: Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony RX100 III
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 Model||Canon G1 X Mark II||Sony RX100 III|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.0-3.9||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||February 2014||May 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Sony RX100 III|
|Sensor Format||1.5" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||18.7 x 14.0 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||261.8 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||23.4 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||13 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4160 x 3120 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.49 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.96 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||58||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||581||495|
|Screen Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Sony RX100 III|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Sony RX100 III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Sony RX100 III|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon G1 X Mark II||Sony RX100 III|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
116 x 74 x 66 mm
(4.6 x 2.9 x 2.6 in)
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||553 g (19.5 oz)||290 g (10.2 oz)|
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