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Canon G7 X vs M3

The Canon PowerShot G7 X and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and February 2015. The G7X is a fixed lens compact, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (G7X) and an APS-C (M3) sensor. The G7X has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the M3 provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon G7 X   Canon M3
Canon G7 X Canon M3
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Canon EF-M mount lenses
20 MP, 1" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 125-12800 ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
6.5 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
103 x 60 x 40 mm, 304 g 111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot G7 X and the Canon EOS M3? 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 G7 X vs M3

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G7 X and the Canon M3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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.

The M3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the G7X is only available in black.

Size Canon G7 X vs Canon M3
Compare G7X versus M3 top
Comparison G7X or M3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M3 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Canon G7 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7X nor the M3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G7X has a lens built in, whereas the M3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the G7X gets 210 shots out of its NB-13L battery, while the M3 can take 250 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 G7 X» 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
 
Canon M3« 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
 
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
 
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
 
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 649- i Canon T6s
 
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
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. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G7 X vs M3

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 G7 X features an one-inch sensor and the Canon M3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the M3 is 186 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon G7 X and Canon M3 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M3 offers a higher resolution than the G7X (20MP), but the M3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 2.41μm for the G7X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the G7X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon G7 X are 27.4 x 18.2 inch or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inch or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inch or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M3 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

G7X versus M3 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 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 G7 X» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
 
Canon M3« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
 
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
 
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
 
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
 
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

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 G7X provides a higher frame rate than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the M3 is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G7 X vs M3

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G7X and the M3 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the M3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G7 X and Canon M3 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 G7 X»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
 
Canon M3«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Canon M3
 
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n Canon M6
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n Canon M5
 
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
 
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
 
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n Canon M
 
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II
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 G7 X 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G7X and the M3 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon G7 X vs M3

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 G7 X and Canon EOS M3 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 G7 X»-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
 
Canon M3«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon M3
 
Canon M6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M6
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon M5« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon M5
 
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
 
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
 
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
 
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II

It is notable that the M3 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The G7X does not feature such a mic input.

Both the G7X and the M3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G7X was replaced by the Canon G7 X Mark II, while the M3 was followed by the Canon M6. 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: Canon G7 X vs M3

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon G7 X and the Canon M3? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G7 X:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (103x60mm vs 111x68mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M3).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M3 comes out slightly ahead of the G7X (10 : 9 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.

G7X 09:10 M3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G7 X and the Canon M3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 G7X or the M3. 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: Canon G7 X vs M3

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
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon G7 X»+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
 
Canon M3«o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
 
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
 
Canon G7 X Mark II« »+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
 
Canon M5« »+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
 
Canon G5 X« »+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
 
Canon G9 X« »+ +-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
 
Canon M10« »---o4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
 
Canon T6s« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649- i Canon T6s
 
Canon M« »+-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Sony RX100 IV« »+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony RX100 III« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon G7 X:
Check Ebay offers
Canon M3:
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 G7 X vs Canon M3

    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 G7 X Canon M3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Canon EF-M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2014 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 679
    Sensor Specs Canon G7 X Canon M3
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm 3.72 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2 7.22 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125-12800 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 DIGIC 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 11.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 556 1169
    Screen Specs Canon G7 X Canon M3
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon G7 X Canon M3
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 4.2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon G7 X Canon M3
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon G7 X Canon M3
    Battery Type NB-13L power pack LP-E17 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 103 x 60 x 40 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.6 in)
    111 x 68 x 44 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 304 g (10.7 oz) 366 g (12.9 oz)

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