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Canon SX50 vs Leica X2

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and May 2012. Both the SX50 and the X2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an APS-C (X2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 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 Leica X2
Canon SX50 Leica X2
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 36mm f/2.8
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-12,500
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Leica X2? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Leica X2 is provided 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX50 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX50 vs Leica X2
Compare SX50 versus X2 top
Comparison SX50 or X2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X2 is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Canon SX50. Moreover, the X2 is substantially lighter (42 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the X2 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the X2 can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
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.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
12.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
15.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
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
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 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 markedly lower price (by 78 percent) than the X2, 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 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica X2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X2 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 X2 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX50 and Leica X2 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the SX50 (12MP), but the X2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the X2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Leica X2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX50 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

SX50 versus X2 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
1.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
2.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
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 30001080/24p........
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.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
12.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
14.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
15.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
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

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX50 can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX50 and Leica X2 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
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 SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
2.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
9.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y
11.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
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 X2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The SX50 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X2 comes with a built-in prime. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the X2 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The X2 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The SX50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X2 uses SDHC 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 SX50 HS and Leica X2 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 SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
9.
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---

Both the SX50 and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the X2 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 Leica websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX50 and the Leica X2? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • 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 (461k vs 230k 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.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (78 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the X2).

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Advantages of the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 250g or 42 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2012).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 10 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 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.

SX50 10:12 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Leica X2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 SX50 or the X2. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
2.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
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..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
10.
 
Canon G124/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499i
11.
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
12.
 
Leica T3/5....4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Leica X Vario3/5....4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
15.
 
Leica X13/5..+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
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 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X2:
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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Leica X2

    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 Leica X2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2012 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Leica X2
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    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 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,500 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 Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Leica X2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in 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 Leica X2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Leica X2
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

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