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Canon T6 vs XSi

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 (called Canon 1300D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (labelled Canon 450D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2016 and January 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T6 has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the XSi provides 12.2 MP.

As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Rebel T6 and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi belong to Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras. This range of APS-C cameras, which started out with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel in 2003, has been a big commercial success and the backbone of Canon's dominance in the digital camera market. The popularity of the Rebel cameras is the result of them inheriting much of the sensor and shooting technology from earlier released professional DSLRs, while being sold at a much more budget-friendly price point. The strong brand reputation of Canon and the comprehensive EOS system of compatible lenses and accessories further contributes to the appeal of the Rebel cams, including the Canon T6 and Canon XSi. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T6
versus
Canon XSi
Canon T6   Canon XSi
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP – APS-C sensor 12.2 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 920k dots 3.0" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
129 x 101 x 78 mm, 485 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g
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Check T6 offers at
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Check XSi offers at
ebay.com

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T6 and the Canon EOS Rebel XSi? 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 T6 and the Canon XSi are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T6 vs Canon XSi
Compare T6 versus XSi top
Comparison T6 or XSi rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XSi is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon T6. However, the XSi is markedly heavier (8 percent) than the T6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T6 nor the XSi are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449ebay.com
2.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
5.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549ebay.com
7.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649ebay.com
10.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
12.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449ebay.com
13.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799ebay.com
14.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
15.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799ebay.com
Note: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T6 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the XSi, 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.

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the XSi is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the T6 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4+) than the XSi (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon T6 and Canon XSi sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T6 offers a higher resolution than the XSi (12.2MP), but the T6 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.19μm for the XSi). However, the T6 is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 1 month) than the XSi, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T6 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T6 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XSi are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XSi are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

T6 versus XSi 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. Of the two cameras under review, the T6 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the XSi (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.1 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.778166
2.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
3.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p23.813.3168481
4.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
5.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
6.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
7.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
8.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
9.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
10.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
11.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
12.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
13.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
14.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
15.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
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 can also record movies. The T6 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the XSi does not. The highest resolution format that the T6 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T6 and the XSi are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the XSi has a higher magnification than the one of the T6 (0.54x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T6, the Canon XSi, and comparable 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 T6optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T7optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
14.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5/s Y n
15.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The T6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XSi 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 EOS Rebel T6 and Canon EOS Rebel XSi 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 T6Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---

It is notable that the T6 offers wifi support, while the XSi does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the T6 and the XSi have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The XSi was replaced by the Canon T1i, while the T6 was followed by the Canon T7. Further information on the features and operation of the T6 and XSi can be found, respectively, in the Canon T6 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon XSi Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon T6 better than the Canon XSi or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T6:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP) with a 21% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4+ vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • 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 (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 1 month of technical progress since the XSi launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XSi:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.50x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T6 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 3 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.

T6 10:03 XSi

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T6 and the Canon XSi place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T6 and the XSi in practical situations. 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 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 T64/5o4/573/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449ebay.com
2.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T7..o3.5/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
5.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549ebay.com
7.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499ebay.com
8.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649ebay.com
10.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
11.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
12.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449ebay.com
13.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799ebay.com
14.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
15.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 T6 vs Canon XSi

    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 T6 Canon XSi
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2016 January 2008
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Canon T6 Canon XSi
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 4272 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 5.19 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 3.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22 21.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 781 692
    Screen Specs Canon T6 Canon XSi
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T6 Canon XSi
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon T6 Canon XSi
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon T6 Canon XSi
    Battery Type LP-E10 LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 101 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 485 g (17.1 oz) 524 g (18.5 oz)
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    Check T6 offers at
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    Check XSi offers at
    ebay.com

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