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Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-E2

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Fujifilm X-E2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2014 and October 2013. The SX520 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-E2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX520) and an APS-C (X-E2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 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 Fujifilm X-E2
Canon SX520 Fujifilm X-E2
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1008mm f/3.4-6 Fujifilm X mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 16 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 51,200)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0 LCD, 461k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.6 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
120 x 82 x 92 mm, 441 g 129 x 75 x 37 mm, 350 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and the Fujifilm X-E2? 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 SX520 and the Fujifilm X-E2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 X-E2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX520 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-E2
Compare SX520 versus X-E2 top
Comparison SX520 or X-E2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-E2 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon SX520. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX520 nor the X-E2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX520 has a lens built in, whereas the X-E2 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 X-E2 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX520 gets 210 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the X-E2 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-W126 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Fujifilm X-E2 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999i
 
Canon SX540 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX700 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon T5 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon SX510 4.1 in 2.8 in 3.1 in 12.3 oz 250 n Aug 2013 249i
 
Fujifilm X-T20 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-E2S 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699i
 
Fujifilm X-T10 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X-M1 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Jun 2013 699i
 
Fujifilm X-E1 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Sep 2012 999i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Sony HX90V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 SX520 was launched at a lower price than the X-E2, 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 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. 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 SX520 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Fujifilm X-E2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-E2 is 1214 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 SX520 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X-E2 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX520 and Fujifilm X-E2 sensor measures

With 16MP, the X-E2 offers a higher resolution than the SX520 (15.9MP), but the X-E2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 1.33μm for the SX520) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX520 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the X-E2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 X-E2 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon PowerShot SX520 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X-E2 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

SX520 versus X-E2 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-E2S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-M1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-E1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-E2 provides a faster frame rate than the SX520. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-E2 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX520 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX520 and Fujifilm X-E2 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
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon SX540none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX700none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E2S2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-M1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E12360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

The Fujifilm X-E2 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 SX520 and the X-E2 write their files to SDXC cards. The X-E2 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX520 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Fujifilm X-E2 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
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X-E2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Canon SX540-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX700-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E2SYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-T10YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-M1Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

It is notable that the X-E2 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.

Both the SX520 and the X-E2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-E2 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-E2S, while the SX520 was followed 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 and Fujifilm websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX520 and the Fujifilm X-E2? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS:

  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the X-E2 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the X-E2).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E2:

  • 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.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 1.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • 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 October 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-E2 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 4 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 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.

SX520 04:18 X-E2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX520 and the Fujifilm X-E2 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 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 SX520 or the X-E2 perform in practice. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Fujifilm X-E2..80/1004.5/5..5/5 Oct 2013 999i
 
Canon SX540.......... Jan 2016 399 i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon SX700+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 349i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon T5+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon SX510+ +..4.5/5..4/5 Aug 2013 249i
 
Fujifilm X-T20+ +82/1005/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-E2S..77/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
 
Fujifilm X-T10+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X-M1+77/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2013 699i
 
Fujifilm X-E1+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 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 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.

Canon SX520:
Check Ebay offers
Fujifilm X-E2:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-E2

    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 Fujifilm X-E2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.4-6 Fujifilm X mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2014 October 2013
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Canon SX520 Fujifilm X-E2
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.6 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 368.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4896 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ EXR Processor II
    Screen Specs Canon SX520 Fujifilm X-E2
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.41x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX520 Fujifilm X-E2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1.6 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX520 Fujifilm X-E2
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX520 Fujifilm X-E2
    Battery Type NB-6LH NP-W126
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    129 x 75 x 37 mm
    (5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 441 g (15.6 oz) 350 g (12.3 oz)

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