Fujifilm X-A3 vs Nikon D1
The Fujifilm X-A3 and the Nikon D1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2016 and June 1999. The X-A3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D1 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 2.6 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 Fujifilm X-A3 and the Nikon D1? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A3 and the Nikon D1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A3 can be obtained in three different colors (silver, brown, pink), while the D1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D1 is considerably larger (206 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A3. Moreover, the D1 is substantially heavier (224 percent) than the X-A3. It is noteworthy in this context that the D1 is splash and dust-proof, while the X-A3 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-A3, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
As can be seen in the images above, the D1 has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. The power pack in the X-A3 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon D1||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||121 mm||84 mm||55 mm||370 g||270||n||Jan 2020||699||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Feb 2019||899||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||119 mm||68 mm||41 mm||320 g||440||n||Sep 2019||499||amazon.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon D2Xs||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||ebay.com|
|17.||Nikon D1X||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999||ebay.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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-A3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 93 percent) than the D1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 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. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Fujifilm X-A3 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 2.6 MP of the Nikon D1. 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 3.92μm versus 11.93μm for the D1). However, it should be noted that the X-A3 is much more recent (by 17 years and 2 months) than the D1, 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 Fujifilm X-A3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-A3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1 are 10 x 6.6 inches or 25.4 x 16.7 cm for good quality, 8 x 5.2 inches or 20.3 x 13.3 cm for very good quality, and 6.7 x 4.4 inches or 16.9 x 11.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm X-A3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D1 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.
In terms of underlying technology, the X-A3 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the D1 uses a CCD 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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|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 X-A3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-A3 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-A3, the Nikon D1, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon D1||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||2360||n||3.5 / 2780||swivel||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||none||n||3.5 / 2760||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D300S||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D2Xs||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|16.||Nikon D200||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Nikon D1X||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||3.0/s||n||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 X-A3 has one, while the D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A3 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The X-A3 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 D1 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 X-A3 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 Fujifilm X-A3 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.
The X-A3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D1 uses Compact Flash 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 Fujifilm X-A3 and Nikon D1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D300S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D300||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D2Xs||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D200||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Nikon D1X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X-A3 offers wifi support, while the D1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D1 (unlike the X-A3) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X-A3 and the D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D1 was replaced by the Nikon D1X, while the X-A3 was followed by the Fujifilm X-A5. Further information on the features and operation of the X-A3 and D1 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X-A3 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon D1 Manual.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-A3 or the Nikon D1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A3:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 2.6MP) with a 201% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 120k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 1.5 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 compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 157x153mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 761g or 69 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (93 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 17 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 1999).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-A3 is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Fujifilm X-A3 and the Nikon D1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-A3 or the D1. 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon D1||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jun 1999||5,499||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||3.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||699||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||3/5||..||3.5/5||81/100||4/5||3.5/5||Sep 2019||499||amazon.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2006||4,699||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699||ebay.com|
|17.||Nikon D1X||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2001||5,999||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 100D vs Nikon D1
- Canon 1Ds Mark III vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon 50D vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon 750D vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Nikon D1
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Panasonic TZ200
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Panasonic TZ90
- Leica M9 vs Nikon D1
- Leica X1 vs Nikon D1
- Nikon D1 vs Panasonic LX100
- Nikon D1 vs Panasonic LX7
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A3 vs Nikon D1
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||Fujifilm X-A3||Nikon D1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2016||June 1999|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 5,499|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Nikon D1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||2.6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||2000 x 1312 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||11.93 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.50 MP/cm2||0.71 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Nikon D1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||120k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Nikon D1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||1.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Nikon D1|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||Firewire|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Nikon D1|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
117 x 67 x 40 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
157 x 153 x 85 mm
(6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||339 g (12.0 oz)||1100 g (38.8 oz)|
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