Fujifilm X-E2S vs Nikon D3500
The Fujifilm X-E2S and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and August 2018. The X-E2S is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D3500 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Fujifilm X-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 200-6400 (100-51200)||ISO 100-25600|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|350 shots per battery charge||1550 shots per battery charge|
|129 x 75 x 37 mm, 350 g||124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-E2S and the Nikon D3500? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E2S and the Nikon D3500 are illustrated 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-E2S can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3500 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 D3500 is notably larger (24 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E2S. Moreover, the D3500 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the X-E2S. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-E2S nor the D3500 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. 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-E2S) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3500). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-E2S, 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.
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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Fujifilm X-E2S»||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Jan 2016||699||Fujifilm X-E2S|
|Nikon D3500«||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||12.9 oz||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-A7« »||4.7 in||2.7 in||1.6 in||11.3 oz||440||n||Sep 2019||499||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.7 in||11.9 oz||350||n||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.5 oz||350||n||Jan 2017||899||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X70« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.7 in||12.0 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||799||Fujifilm X70|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.7 oz||410||n||Dec 2016||399||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||12.3 oz||410||n||Jan 2015||399||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.4 oz||350||n||May 2015||799||Fujifilm X-T10|
|Fujifilm X-A1« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.6 oz||350||n||Sep 2013||399||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Fujifilm X-E2« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Oct 2013||999||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Fujifilm X-M1« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.6 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||699||Fujifilm X-M1|
|Fujifilm X-E1« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||999||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||Nikon D3300|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 D3500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 39 percent) than the X-E2S, 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.
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.
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 D3500 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-E2S. 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 3.91μm versus 4.80μm for the X-E2S). However, it should be noted that the D3500 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the X-E2S, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 Nikon D3500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-E2S are 24.5 x 16.3 inch or 62.2 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inch or 49.7 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 10.9 inch or 41.5 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X-E2S has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-E2S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
|Fujifilm X-E2S||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E2S|
|Nikon D3500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-A7||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-E3||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X70||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X70|
|Fujifilm X-A10||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-T10||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T10|
|Fujifilm X-A1||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Fujifilm X-E2||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Fujifilm X-M1||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-M1|
|Fujifilm X-E1||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/24p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Nikon D3400||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-E2S has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D3500 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the X-E2S offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D3500 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the D3500 has a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.41x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-E2S and Nikon D3500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-E2S|
|Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-A7||none||n||3.5||2760||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X70|
|Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T10|
|Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n||Fujifilm X-M1|
|Fujifilm X-E1||2360||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
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-E2S 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-E2S 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 X-E2S and the D3500 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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-E2S and Nikon D3500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-E2S|
|Nikon D3500||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-A7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X70|
|Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-T10|
|Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-M1|
|Fujifilm X-E1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-E1|
|Nikon D3400||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
It is notable that the X-E2S has a microphone port, which is missing on the D3500. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the X-E2S has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-E2S was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-E3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-E2S or the Nikon D3500 – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-E2S:
- 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.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 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 (129x75mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2016).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.41x).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (39 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the X-E2S launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-E2S is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-E2S and the Nikon D3500 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-E2S and the D3500 in practical situations. 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.
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 (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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D C vs Fujifilm X-E2S
- Canon 600D vs Nikon D3500
- Canon M100 vs Fujifilm X-E2S
- Canon SX50 vs Fujifilm X-E2S
- Canon XC10 vs Nikon D3500
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Fujifilm X-T100
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Panasonic GH5s
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Sony RX10
- Leica M8 vs Nikon D3500
- Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D5100
- Nikon D3500 vs Sony A3000
Specifications: Fujifilm X-E2S vs Nikon D3500
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-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 429|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-6400 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-51200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||EXPEED 4|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-E2S||Nikon D3500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||1550 shots per charge|
129 x 75 x 37 mm
(5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||350 g (12.3 oz)||365 g (12.9 oz)|
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