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Canon SX30 vs Sony HX400V

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and February 2014. Both the SX30 and the HX400V are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX30
versus
Sony HX400V
Canon SX30 Sony HX400V
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.6 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
123 x 92 x 108 mm, 601 g 130 x 93 x 103 mm, 660 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V? 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 SX30 and the Sony HX400V. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX30 vs Sony HX400V
Compare SX30 versus HX400V top
Comparison SX30 or HX400V rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX400V is notably larger (7 percent) than the Canon SX30. Moreover, the HX400V is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the SX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX30 nor the HX400V are weather-sealed.

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 SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429 i
2.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
3.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429 i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429 i
6.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429 i
7.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
8.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399 i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949 i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849 i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499 i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499 i
13.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 449 i
14.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
15.
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
16.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX30 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the HX400V, 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.

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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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX30 and Sony HX400V sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX400V offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 14 MP of the SX30. This megapixels advantage translates into a 20 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX400V has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.41μm for the SX30). However, it should be noted that the HX400V is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 months) than the SX30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony HX400V implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX400V for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX30 are 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

SX30 versus HX400V 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 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
1.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p...... ..
2.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p...... ..
3.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.8127 39
5.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.2179 47
6.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p...... ..
7.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
8.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p...... ..
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i...... ..
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.9132 40
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i...... ..
13.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p...... ..
14.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p...... ..
15.
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p...... ..
16.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p...... ..

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the HX400V provides a better video resolution than the SX30. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the HX400V offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the SX30 (210k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX30 and Sony HX400V 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
1.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
2.
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
13.
 
Sony HX350202 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
15.
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
16.
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

Both the SX30 and the HX400V have zoom lenses built in. The SX30 has a 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 optic and the HX400V offers a 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3 (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 more tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX30 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX30 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX400V uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

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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 SX30 IS and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V 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
1.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
2.
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
7.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony HX350-stereomono--micro2.0---
14.
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the HX400V offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX30 does not provide wifi capability.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the HX400V has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The HX400V is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the SX30 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX30 was succeeded by the Canon SX40. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX30 better than the Sony HX400V or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 20%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 0.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the SX30 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX400V is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 5 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX30 05:11 HX400V

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX30 and the Sony HX400V place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX30 or the HX400V. 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], 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 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429 i
2.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +..4/54/5 Feb 2014 499 i
3.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429 i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i
5.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429 i
6.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429 i
7.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
8.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399 i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949 i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849 i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499 i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499 i
13.
 
Sony HX350........4/5 Dec 2016 449 i
14.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +..4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
15.
 
Sony H400..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
16.
 
Sony H300..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
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. 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 SX30:
Check Ebay offers
Sony HX400V:
Check Amazon price

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 SX30 vs Sony HX400V

    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 SX30 Sony HX400V
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-840mm f/2.7-5.8 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
    Launch Date September 2010 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX30 Sony HX400V
    Sensor Technology CCD BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 BIONZ X
    Screen Specs Canon SX30 Sony HX400V
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 210k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX30 Sony HX400V
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.6 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    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 no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX30 Sony HX400V
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port YES HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX30 Sony HX400V
    Battery Type NB-7L NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 92 x 108 mm
    (4.8 x 3.6 x 4.3 in)
    130 x 93 x 103 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 601 g (21.2 oz) 660 g (23.3 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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