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Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Olympus E-400

The Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Olympus E-400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2019 and September 2006. The M-E Typ 240 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the E-400 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M-E Typ 240) and a Four Thirds (E-400) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica M-E Typ 240
versus
Olympus E-400
Leica M-E Typ 240   Olympus E-400
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/25p Video no Video
ISO 200-6,400 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 130 x 91 x 53 mm, 435 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Olympus E-400? 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 Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Olympus E-400. 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.

Size Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Olympus E-400
Compare M-E Typ 240 versus E-400 top
Comparison M-E Typ 240 or E-400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-400 is notably larger (6 percent) than the Leica M-E Typ 240. However, the E-400 is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the M-E Typ 240. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M-E Typ 240 is splash and dust resistant, while the E-400 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. 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 Leica M Lens Catalog (M-E Typ 240) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-400).

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.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
2.
 
Olympus E-400 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Sep 2006 699i
3.
 
Leica M10-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
4.
 
Leica Q2 130 mm 80 mm 92 mm 718 g 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
5.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
6.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
7.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
9.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
10.
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999i
11.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
12.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
13.
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799i
14.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
15.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
16.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
17.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the M-E Typ 240, 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.

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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M-E Typ 240 features a full frame sensor and the Olympus E-400 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-400 is 74 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.0. The sensor in the M-E Typ 240 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-400 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica M-E Typ 240 and Olympus E-400 sensor measures

With 23.7MP, the M-E Typ 240 offers a higher resolution than the E-400 (10MP), but the M-E Typ 240 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 4.74μm for the E-400) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M-E Typ 240 is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 9 months) than the E-400, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M-E Typ 240 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M-E Typ 240 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-400 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M-E (Typ 240) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-400 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

M-E Typ 240 versus E-400 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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
2.
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none........
3.
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none........
4.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196
5.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
6.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
7.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
9.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
10.
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
11.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
12.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
13.
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
14.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
15.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
16.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
17.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The M-E Typ 240 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-400 does not. The highest resolution format that the M-E Typ 240 can use is 1080/25p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M-E Typ 240 and the E-400 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 viewfinder in the M-E Typ 240 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the E-400 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the M-E Typ 240 has a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.46x), 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 Leica M-E Typ 240, the Olympus E-400, 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.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
2.
 
Olympus E-400optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n3.0 / 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
4.
 
Leica Q23680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
5.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n3.0 / 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
6.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
7.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
9.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
10.
 
Nikon Z63690 Y3.2 / 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
11.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-510optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
17.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The E-400 has one, while the M-E Typ 240 does not. While the built-in flash of the E-400 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The M-E Typ 240 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-400 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-400 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M-E Typ 240 only has one slot.

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 M-E (Typ 240) and Olympus E-400 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.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono / ----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-400Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Leica M10-RY- / -----Y--
4.
 
Leica Q2Ystereo / mono----Y-Y
5.
 
Leica M10-PY- / -----Y--
6.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
7.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereo / mono---2.0---
10.
 
Nikon Z6Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
11.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-510Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
17.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY

The M-E Typ 240 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the E-400 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-400 was succeeded by the Olympus E-410. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Olympus E-400? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M-E (Typ 240):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 10MP) with a 57% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/25p movies.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.46x).
  • 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 215k dots).
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 12 years and 9 months of technical progress since the E-400 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-400:

  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 245g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M-E Typ 240 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 5 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.

M-E Typ 240 13:05 E-400

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M-E Typ 240 or the E-400 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240............ Jun 2019 3,999 i
2.
 
Olympus E-400..85/100....4/54/5 Sep 2006 699i
3.
 
Leica M10-R4.5/5..4/5....4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
4.
 
Leica Q2......84/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
5.
 
Leica M10-P....3/5....4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
6.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
7.
 
Leica M Typ 262............ Nov 2015 5,195i
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
9.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5......4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
10.
 
Nikon Z65/5..5/589/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999i
11.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
12.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
13.
 
Olympus E-510..89/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
14.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
15.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
16.
 
Sony A9 II....5/590/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
17.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +4.5/589/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica M-E Typ 240:
Check Amazon price
Olympus E-400:
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 M-E Typ 240 vs Olympus E-400

    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 M-E Typ 240 Olympus E-400
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2019 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 3,999 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Olympus E-400
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/25p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    Screen Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Olympus E-400
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Olympus E-400
    Focus System Manual Focus Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Olympus E-400
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Olympus E-400
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 BLS-1
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 435 g (15.3 oz)

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