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Canon SX520 vs SX620

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2014 and May 2016. Both the SX520 and the SX620 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX520 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the SX620 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 SX520
versus
Canon SX620
Canon SX520   Canon SX620
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1008mm f/3.4-6 25-625mm f/3.2-6.6
15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge295 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 441 g 97 x 57 x 28 mm, 182 g
Canon SX520:
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Canon SX620:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS? 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 SX520 and the Canon SX620. 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.

The SX620 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, red), while the SX520 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX520 vs Canon SX620
Compare SX520 versus SX620 top
Comparison SX520 or SX620 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX620 is considerably smaller (44 percent) than the Canon SX520. Moreover, the SX620 is substantially lighter (59 percent) than the SX520. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX520 nor the SX620 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX520 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the SX620 can take 295 images on a single charge of its NB-13L power pack.

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.

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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 SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
2.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
3.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
7.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
10.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349i
12.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
13.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
14.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
15.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
16.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
17.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
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 SX620 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the SX520, 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. 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.

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 SX520 and Canon SX620 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the SX620 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX520. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the SX620 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the SX520). However, it should be noted that the SX620 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the SX520, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly 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 Canon SX620 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX620 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 SX520 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

SX520 versus SX620 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 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 SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.111.567246
2.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.411.883849
3.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.511.990049
4.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
5.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.780648
6.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
7.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.211.672047
8.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.671247
9.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.211.671247
10.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
11.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.111.462945
12.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
13.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
14.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p20.011.358645
15.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.712.2109552
16.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
17.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p19.911.252944
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX520 and the SX620 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX520 and Canon SX620 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 SX520none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX620none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX430none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX530none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX610none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX700none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5/s Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX60922 n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4/s Y Y
13.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Canon SX510none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8/s Y Y
15.
 
Nikon B600none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4/s Y Y
16.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Sony H200none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Both the SX520 and the SX620 have zoom lenses built in. The SX520 has a 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 optic and the SX620 offers a 25-625mm f/3.2-6.6 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the SX520 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the SX620. The SX620 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX520 and the SX620 write their files to 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 PowerShot SX520 HS and Canon PowerShot SX620 HS 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 SX520-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon SX620-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX430-mono / mono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
8.
 
Canon SX530-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon SX60Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon SX510-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
15.
 
Nikon B600-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
16.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony H200-mono / mono---2.0---

It is notable that the SX620 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the SX520 does not provide wifi capability.

The SX620 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the SX520 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX520 was succeeded by the Canon SX530. 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? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX520 or the Canon SX620 – 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 SX520 HS:

  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2014).


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.2 vs f/3.4).
  • More compact: Is smaller (97x57mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 259g or 59 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (295 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX620 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 3 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.

SX520 03:11 SX620

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX520 and the Canon SX620 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 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 SX520 or the SX620. 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.

Expert reviews

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.

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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 SX520..+....3.5/53.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
2.
 
Canon SX620..........4/5 May 2016 279 i
3.
 
Canon SX430........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
4.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
5.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399 i
6.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
7.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
8.
 
Canon SX530..+ +....4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
9.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
10.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
11.
 
Canon SX700..+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 349i
12.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
13.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
14.
 
Canon SX510..+ +....4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
15.
 
Nikon B600..+....3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
16.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
17.
 
Sony H200........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX520:
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Canon SX620:
Check current price at
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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 SX520 vs Canon SX620

    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 SX520 Canon SX620
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 25-625mm f/3.2-6.6
    Launch Date July 2014 May 2016
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 279
    Sensor Specs Canon SX520 Canon SX620
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS 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 15.9 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 4+
    Screen Specs Canon SX520 Canon SX620
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX520 Canon SX620
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX520 Canon SX620
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX520 Canon SX620
    Battery Type NB-6LH NB-13L
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge295 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    97 x 57 x 28 mm
    (3.8 x 2.2 x 1.1 in)
    Camera Weight 441 g (15.6 oz) 182 g (6.4 oz)
    Canon SX520:
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    Canon SX620:
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