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Canon G1 X vs Leica V-LUX 4

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 4 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2012. Both the G1X and the V-LUX 4 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 4) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon G1 X
versus
Leica V-LUX 4
Canon G1 X   Leica V-LUX 4
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 25-600mm f/2.8
14.2 MP – 1.5" sensor 12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (1312k dots)
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 g 125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 4? 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 G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 4. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Leica V-LUX 4
Compare G1X versus V-LUX 4 top
Comparison G1X or V-LUX 4 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica V-LUX 4 is notably larger (15 percent) than the Canon G1 X. Moreover, the V-LUX 4 is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the V-LUX 4 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the V-LUX 4 can take 540 images on a single charge of its BP-DC12 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799ebay.com
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449ebay.com
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949ebay.com
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849ebay.com
Note: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The G1X was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 16 percent) than the V-LUX 4, 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. 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. 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 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 features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Leica V-LUX 4 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the V-LUX 4 is 89 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G1 X and Leica V-LUX 4 sensor measures

With 14.2MP, the G1X offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 4 (12MP), but the G1X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 1.53μm for the V-LUX 4) due to its larger sensor. However, the V-LUX 4 is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the G1X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 4 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Canon G1 X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G1X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 4 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica V-LUX 4 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

In terms of underlying technology, the G1X is build around a CMOS sensor, while the V-LUX 4 uses a BSI-CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

G1X versus V-LUX 4 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.811.150143
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.610.940941
9.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.732139
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the V-LUX 4 provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the V-LUX 4 has an electronic viewfinder (1312k dots), while the G1X 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Leica V-LUX 4, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
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.

Both the G1X and the V-LUX 4 have zoom lenses built in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the V-LUX 4 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Leica provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Canon. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1X and the V-LUX 4 write their files to SDXC cards. The V-LUX 4 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the G1X 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 PowerShot G1 X and Leica V-LUX 4 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 4Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the V-LUX 4 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G1X does not feature such a mic input.

Both the G1X and the V-LUX 4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, while the V-LUX 4 was followed by the Leica V-LUX Typ 114. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X or the Leica V-LUX 4 – 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.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 12MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
  • 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.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 125x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (16 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 4:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). 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.

G1X 11:11 V-LUX 4

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Leica V-LUX 4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X or the V-LUX 4 perform in practice. 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 expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799ebay.com
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 4............ Sep 2012 949ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
8.
 
Canon SX40..+....4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
12.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949ebay.com
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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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. 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 G1 X vs Leica V-LUX 4

    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 G1 X Leica V-LUX 4
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 25-600mm f/2.8
    Launch Date January 2012 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 949
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 4
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 4
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1312k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 4
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 G1 X Leica V-LUX 4
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Leica V-LUX 4
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 588 g (20.7 oz)
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