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Canon SX50 vs Epson R-D1

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Epson R-D1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and March 2004. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an APS-C (R-D1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Epson provides 6 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50
versus
Epson R-D1
Canon SX50   Epson R-D1
Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Leica M mount lenses
12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 6 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 200-1,600
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 235k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g
Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Epson R-D1:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Epson R-D1? 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 SX50 and the Epson R-D1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX50 vs Epson R-D1
Compare SX50 versus R-D1 top
Comparison SX50 or R-D1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Epson R-D1 is notably larger (18 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the R-D1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX50 has a lens built in, whereas the R-D1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the R-D1 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999i
3.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
7.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
8.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499i
11.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
12.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
13.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
15.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX50 was launched at a lower price than the R-D1, despite having a lens built in. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Epson R-D1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the R-D1 is 1221 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX50 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the R-D1 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX50 and Epson R-D1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Epson R-D1. 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 1.53μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is much more recent (by 8 years and 6 months) than the R-D1, 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 SX50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Epson R-D1 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Epson R-D1 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

SX50 versus R-D1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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 SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
2.
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.110.456455
3.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
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 G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
7.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
8.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.610.940941
9.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
10.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
11.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
12.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
13.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
15.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
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 SX50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the R-D1 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX50 and Epson R-D1 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
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 SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
2.
 
Epson R-D1optical n2.0 / 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0/s n n
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/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 G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon 300Doptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX50 has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX50 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The SX50 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the R-D1 does not have a selfie-screen.

The SX50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the R-D1 uses SDHC 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 SX50 HS and Epson R-D1 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 SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Epson R-D1Y- / --------
3.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 300DY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo / ---mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the SX50) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the SX50 and the R-D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the R-D1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Epson websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Epson R-D1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 6MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 235k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.2 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the R-D1 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x87mm vs 142x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the R-D1).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 6 months of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:

  • 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 flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2004).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX50 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 8 points). 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 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.

SX50 15:08 R-D1

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX50 or the R-D1 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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 SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Epson R-D1............ Mar 2004 2,999i
3.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
7.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
8.
 
Canon SX40..+....4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
9.
 
Canon 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
11.
 
Canon 300D......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
12.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
13.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
14.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
15.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
16.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
17.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +..76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Epson R-D1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 SX50 vs Epson R-D1

    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 SX50 Epson R-D1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 March 2004
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Epson R-D1
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 47 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.3 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 ..
    Screen Specs Canon SX50 Epson R-D1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Epson R-D1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Epson R-D1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 no USB
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Epson R-D1
    Battery Type NB-10L EU-85
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)
    Canon SX50:
    Check Ebay offers
    Epson R-D1:
    Check Ebay offers

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