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Canon M6 vs Sony A5000

The Canon EOS M6 and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2017 and January 2014. Both the M6 and the A5000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon M6 versus Sony A5000
Canon M6 Sony A5000
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-16,000
Viewfinder optional No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 461k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
9 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
295 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
112 x 68 x 45 mm, 390 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M6 and the Sony Alpha A5000? 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 M6 and the Sony A5000 are illustrated 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M6 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A5000 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).

Size Canon M6 vs Sony A5000
Compare M6 versus A5000 top
Comparison M6 or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon M6. Moreover, the A5000 is markedly lighter (31 percent) than the M6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M6 nor the A5000 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 M6 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5000 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, 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Canon M6 Mark II 120 mm 70 mm 49 mm 408 g 305 n Aug 2019 849 i
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-T20 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A5000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the M6, which puts it into a different 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A5000 is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M6) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon M6 and Sony A5000 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon M6 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the Sony A5000. 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 3.72μm versus 4.25μm for the A5000). However, it should be noted that the M6 is much more recent (by 3 years and 1 month) than the A5000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M6 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M6 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A5000 are 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm for good quality, 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The M6 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS M6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

M6 versus A5000 MP

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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Canon M6 Mark II APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p........
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774

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 M6 provides a higher frame rate than the A5000. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The M6 and the A5000 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 M6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M6 and Sony A5000 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon M6 Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 14.0 Y n
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M6 has a touchscreen, while the A5000 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 M6 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.

The M6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 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.

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 M6 and Sony Alpha A5000 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
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M6 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereomono--micro2.0---

It is notable that the M6 has a hotshoe, while the A5000 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the M6 and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A5000 was replaced by the Sony A5100, while the M6 was followed by the Canon M6 Mark II. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon M6 better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS M6:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 19.8MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • 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.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the A5000 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 121g or 31 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M6 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 4 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 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.

M6 12:04 A5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M6 and the Sony A5000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M6 and the A5000 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.

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 (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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Canon M6 Mark II+85/1004/5..4/5 Aug 2019 849 i
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Canon M10......o4/5 Oct 2015 499i
 
Fujifilm X-E3+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-T20+ +82/1005/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony NEX-3N....4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499i
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon M6:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A5000:
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 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.

~

    Specifications: Canon M6 vs Sony A5000

    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 M6 Sony A5000
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2017 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 779 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon M6 Sony A5000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1089
    Screen Specs Canon M6 Sony A5000
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M6 Sony A5000
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon M6 Sony A5000
    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 Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon M6 Sony A5000
    Battery Type LP-E17 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)295 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 112 x 68 x 45 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 390 g (13.8 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

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