Canon SX50 vs Nikon 1 V1
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Nikon 1 V1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2011. The SX50 is a fixed lens compact, while the V1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and an one-inch (V1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Nikon 1 V1? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Nikon 1 V1. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon 1 V1 is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Canon SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the V1 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 V1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon 1 V1||113 mm||76 mm||44 mm||383 g||350||n||Sep 2011||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon 1 V2||109 mm||82 mm||46 mm||278 g||310||n||Oct 2012||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599||ebay.com|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX50 was launched at a lower price than the V1, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon 1 V1 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the V1 is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the SX50 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the V1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon 1 V1. 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 3.41μm for the V1). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the V1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.
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 Nikon 1 V1 are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 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 Nikon 1 V1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
In terms of underlying technology, the SX50 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the V1 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the V1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the SX50 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Nikon 1 V1||1-inch||10.0||3872||2592||1080/60i||21.3||11.0||346||54|
|6.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|12.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|13.||Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|16.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|17.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the V1 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the V1 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX50 (1440k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX50 and Nikon 1 V1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon SX50||202||n||3.0 / 461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon 1 V1||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon S120||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||Y||1/2000s||12.1/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon SX40||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon SX30||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon SX20||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Canon SX10||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|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 V1 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 V1 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V1 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon 1 V1 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the V1 write their files to SDXC cards. The V1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX50 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 Nikon 1 V1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon SX50||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon 1 V1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Canon S120||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon SX40||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon SX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon SX20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon SX10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SX50 has a hotshoe, while the V1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the SX50 and the V1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The V1 was replaced by the Nikon 1 V2, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. Further information on the features and operation of the SX50 and V1 can be found, respectively, in the Canon SX50 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon 1 V1 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Nikon 1 V1 – 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.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
- 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.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the V1 requires a separate lens.
- 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.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the V1).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon 1 V1:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/24p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x76mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2011).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V1 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 9 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Nikon 1 V1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX50 or the V1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews 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], 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.
|1.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon 1 V1||..||+||..||69/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||..||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon 1 V2||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2012||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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.
- Canon 5D vs Canon SX50
- Canon M50 vs Nikon 1 V1
- Canon SX50 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Canon SX50 vs Leica V-LUX Typ 114
- Canon SX50 vs Olympus E-M10 II
- Canon SX50 vs Panasonic GH2
- Canon SX50 vs Sony NEX-7
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon 1 V1
- Nikon 1 V1 vs Nikon D3100
- Nikon 1 V1 vs Nikon W150
- Nikon 1 V1 vs Sony HX99
- Nikon 1 V1 vs Sony RX100 IV
Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Nikon 1 V1
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 Model||Canon SX50||Nikon 1 V1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||Nikon 1 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||September 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX50||Nikon 1 V1|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3872 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||3.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||8.64 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||54|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.3||21.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||11|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||179||346|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX50||Nikon 1 V1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX50||Nikon 1 V1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX50||Nikon 1 V1|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no 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||Nikon 1 V1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||315 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
113 x 76 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 3.0 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||595 g (21.0 oz)||383 g (13.5 oz)|
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