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Leica D-LUX 6 vs V-LUX 1

The Leica D-LUX 6 and the Leica V-LUX 1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2006. Both the D-LUX 6 and the V-LUX 1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 6) and a 1/1.8-inch (V-LUX 1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica D-LUX 6
versus
Leica V-LUX 1
Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7
10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 10 MP, 1/1.8" Sensor
1080/60p Video 480/30p Video
ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (235k dots)
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.0 LCD, 207k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
330 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
111 x 68 x 46 mm, 298 g 141 x 86 x 142 mm, 734 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica D-LUX 6 and the Leica V-LUX 1? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX 6 and the Leica V-LUX 1 is provided 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D-LUX 6 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the V-LUX 1 is only available in black.

Size Leica D-LUX 6 vs Leica V-LUX 1
Compare D-LUX 6 versus V-LUX 1 top
Comparison D-LUX 6 or V-LUX 1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica V-LUX 1 is considerably larger (61 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 6. Moreover, the V-LUX 1 is substantially heavier (146 percent) than the D-LUX 6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 6 nor the V-LUX 1 are weather-sealed.

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, 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.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699 i
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 141 mm 86 mm 142 mm 734 g 360 n Sep 2006 849 i
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599 i
6.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949 i
8.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995 i
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699 i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849 i
11.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599 i
13.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499 i
14.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799 i
15.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 D-LUX 6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the V-LUX 1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 Leica D-LUX 6 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Leica V-LUX 1 a 1/1.8-inch sensor. The sensor area in the V-LUX 1 is 10 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 4.8. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The D-LUX 6 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Leica D-LUX 6 and Leica V-LUX 1 sensor measures

Even though the D-LUX 6 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 10 megapixels. This implies that the D-LUX 6 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 2.05μm versus 1.95μm for the V-LUX 1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the D-LUX 6 is much more recent (by 6 years) than the V-LUX 1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Leica D-LUX 6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica V-LUX 1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

D-LUX 6 versus V-LUX 1 MP

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 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.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p...... ..
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p...... ..
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
4.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
5.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.3245 50
6.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p...... ..
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
8.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none...... ..
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p...... ..
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i...... ..
11.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.8114 37
13.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.7147 50
14.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.5972 78
15.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.4483 67

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D-LUX 6 provides a higher video resolution than the V-LUX 1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the V-LUX 1 is limited to 480/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V-LUX 1 has an electronic viewfinder (235k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the D-LUX 6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the D-LUX 6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica D-LUX 6 and Leica V-LUX 1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
5.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
6.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 1092764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
8.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
11.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
14.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
The V-LUX 1 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D-LUX 6 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Leica D-LUX 6 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.

Both the D-LUX 6 and the V-LUX 1 have zoom lenses built in. The D-LUX 6 has a 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 optic and the V-LUX 1 offers a 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the D-LUX 6 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the V-LUX 1, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The D-LUX 6 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The D-LUX 6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the V-LUX 1 uses SDHC cards.

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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 Leica D-LUX 6 and Leica V-LUX 1 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
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymonomono---2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
5.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
15.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the D-LUX 6 and the V-LUX 1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 1 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 2, while the D-LUX 6 was followed by the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica D-LUX 6 better than the Leica V-LUX 1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX 6:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 480/30p).
  • 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 (920k vs 207k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 141x86mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 436g or 59 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (18 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the V-LUX 1 launch.


Advantages of the Leica V-LUX 1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX 6 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 6 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 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.

D-LUX 6 14:06 V-LUX 1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica D-LUX 6 and the Leica V-LUX 1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom 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 D-LUX 6 or the V-LUX 1. 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 expert reviews 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], 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 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6......4/54/5 Sep 2012 699 i
2.
 
Leica V-LUX 1.......... Sep 2006 849 i
3.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599 i
6.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109......4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949 i
8.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995 i
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5......4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699 i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849 i
11.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599 i
13.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499 i
14.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799 i
15.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749 i
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica D-LUX 6:
Check Ebay offers
Leica V-LUX 1:
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. 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: Leica D-LUX 6 vs Leica V-LUX 1

    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 Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 849
    Sensor Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.8" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.44 x 5.58 mm 7.14 x 5.36 mm
    Sensor Area 41.5152 mm2 38.2704 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.3 mm 8.9 mm
    Crop Factor 4.65x 4.8x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.05 μm 1.95 μm
    Pixel Density 24.04 MP/cm2 26.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 480/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 235k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica V-LUX 1
    Battery Type BP-DC10 BP-DC5
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 111 x 68 x 46 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    141 x 86 x 142 mm
    (5.6 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)
    Camera Weight 298 g (10.5 oz) 734 g (25.9 oz)

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