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Canon XS vs Panasonic GF5

The Canon EOS Rebel XS (called Canon 1000D in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2008 and April 2012. The XS is a DSLR, while the GF5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XS) and a Four Thirds (GF5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon XS
versus
Panasonic GF5
Canon XS   Panasonic GF5
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600) ISO 160-6,400 (160 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g 108 x 67 x 37 mm, 267 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel XS and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5? 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 XS and the Panasonic GF5. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the XS is only available in black.

Size Canon XS vs Panasonic GF5
Compare XS versus GF5 top
Comparison XS or GF5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF5 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Canon XS. Moreover, the GF5 is substantially lighter (47 percent) than the XS. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XS nor the GF5 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (XS) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF5). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF5, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the XS gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the GF5 can take 360 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLE9 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
16.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
17.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The XS was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the GF5 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 XS features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF5 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF5 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the XS has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF5 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon XS and Panasonic GF5 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GF5 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the XS. 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 4.33μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). However, it should be noted that the GF5 is much more recent (by 3 years and 9 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GF5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF5 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 Canon XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 160-12800.

XS versus GF5 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
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 T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
14.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
15.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
16.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
17.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
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 also of capturing video footage. The GF5 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the GF5 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the XS has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XS, the Panasonic GF5, 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T7optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF5 has a touchscreen, while the XS has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The XS writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the GF5 uses SDXC cards. The GF5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the XS 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 EOS Rebel XS and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 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 XSY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
15.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the XS has a hotshoe, while the GF5 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the XS and the GF5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the GF5 was followed by the Panasonic GF6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XS and the Panasonic GF5? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 126x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 235g or 47 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 9 months of technical progress since the XS launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF5 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 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 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.

XS 04:11 GF5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XS and the Panasonic GF5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the XS or the GF5. 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 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], 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 XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon T7..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
14.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
15.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
16.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
17.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 XS:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF5:
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 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 XS vs Panasonic GF5

    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 XS Panasonic GF5
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2008 April 2012
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon XS Panasonic GF5
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 1,600 ISO 160 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 618
    Screen Specs Canon XS Panasonic GF5
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon XS Panasonic GF5
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon XS Panasonic GF5
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XS Panasonic GF5
    Battery Type LP-E5 DMW-BLE9
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    108 x 67 x 37 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 502 g (17.7 oz) 267 g (9.4 oz)

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