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Canon Rebel vs T3

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel (called Canon 300D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and February 2011. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Rebel has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the T3 provides 12.2 MP.

As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 belong to Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras. This range of APS-C cameras, which started out with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel in 2003, has been a big commercial success and the backbone of Canon's dominance in the digital camera market. The popularity of the Rebel cameras is the result of them inheriting much of the sensor and shooting technology from earlier released professional DSLRs, while being sold at a much more budget-friendly price point. The strong brand reputation of Canon and the comprehensive EOS system of compatible lenses and accessories further contributes to the appeal of the Rebel cams, including the Canon Rebel and Canon T3. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon Rebel
versus
Canon T3
Canon Rebel   Canon T3
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
6.3 MP – APS-C sensor 12.2 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD – 118k dots 1.8" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge700 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g
Canon Rebel:
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Canon T3:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and the Canon EOS Rebel T3? 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 Rebel and the Canon T3 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon Rebel vs Canon T3
Compare Rebel versus T3 top
Comparison Rebel or T3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Canon Rebel. Moreover, the T3 is markedly lighter (24 percent) than the Rebel. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Rebel nor the T3 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the Rebel gets 400 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the T3 can take 700 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 power pack.

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.

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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 Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
2.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
8.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
14.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
15.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
16.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
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 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 T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the Rebel, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the T3 is 6 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. 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 Rebel and Canon T3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the T3 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the Rebel. 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 5.15μm versus 7.38μm for the Rebel). However, it should be noted that the T3 is much more recent (by 7 years and 5 months) than the Rebel, 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 T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon Rebel are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T3 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

Rebel versus T3 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the T3 has a markedly higher DXO score than the Rebel (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
2.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.713.1158680
5.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
7.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
8.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
9.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
14.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
15.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
16.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T3 indeed provides for movie recording, while the Rebel does not. The highest resolution format that the T3 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Rebel and the T3 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the Rebel has a higher magnification than the one of the T3 (0.55x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon Rebel and Canon T3 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
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 Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
2.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
15.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The Rebel writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the T3 uses SDXC 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 EOS Digital Rebel and Canon EOS Rebel T3 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 RebelY- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
16.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---

Both the Rebel and the T3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Rebel was replaced by the Canon XT, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon Rebel and the Canon T3? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.50x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 154g or 24 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 5 months of technical progress since the Rebel launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 2 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.

Rebel 02:12 T3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon Rebel and the Canon T3 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 Rebel or the T3. 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 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 (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 Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
2.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
7.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
8.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
14.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
15.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
16.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon Rebel:
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Canon T3:
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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 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 Rebel vs Canon T3

    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 Rebel Canon T3
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 February 2011
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon Rebel Canon T3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 22.0 x 14.7 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 323.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 26.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 5.15 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 3.76 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 62
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 755
    Screen Specs Canon Rebel Canon T3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon Rebel Canon T3
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon Rebel Canon T3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon Rebel Canon T3
    Battery Type BP-511 LP-E10
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge700 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 495 g (17.5 oz)
    Canon Rebel:
    Check current offers at
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    Canon T3:
    Check current offers at
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