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Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon B500

The Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon Coolpix B500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and January 2016. Both the V-LUX 2 and the B500 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 15.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica V-LUX 2 versus Nikon B500
Leica V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 80-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 7.4 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge600 shots per battery charge
124 x 80 x 95 mm, 520 g 114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon Coolpix B500? 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 V-LUX 2 and the Nikon B500 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 B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the V-LUX 2 is only available in black.

Size Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon B500
Compare V-LUX 2 versus B500 top
Comparison V-LUX 2 or B500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon B500 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 2. However, the B500 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the V-LUX 2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 2 nor the B500 are weather-sealed.

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.

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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
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Fujifilm X100 126 mm 75 mm 54 mm 445 g 300 n Sep 2010 1,199i
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 1 141 mm 86 mm 142 mm 734 g 360 n Sep 2006 849i
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
 
Panasonic FZ82 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The B500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the V-LUX 2, 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.

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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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Leica V-LUX 2 and Nikon B500 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the B500 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 14 MP of the V-LUX 2. This megapixels advantage translates into a 7 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the B500 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 1.41μm for the V-LUX 2). However, it should be noted that the B500 is much more recent (by 5 years and 4 months) than the V-LUX 2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 B500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the B500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 2 are 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica V-LUX 2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix B500 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

V-LUX 2 versus B500 MP

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 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
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Fujifilm X100 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
 
Panasonic FZ82 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V-LUX 2 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica V-LUX 2 and Nikon B500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X1001440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ821166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
The V-LUX 2 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 B500 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the V-LUX 2 and the B500 have zoom lenses built in. The V-LUX 2 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the B500 offers a 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The V-LUX 2 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the V-LUX 2 and the B500 write their files to SDXC 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 V-LUX 2 and Nikon Coolpix B500 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
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X100Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymonomono---2.0---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ82Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the V-LUX 2 has a hotshoe, while the B500 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the V-LUX 2 and the B500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 2 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 3, while the B500 was followed by the Nikon B600. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica V-LUX 2 or the Nikon B500 – 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.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 2:

  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 7.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.0).
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 410) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 4 months of technical progress since the V-LUX 2 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the B500 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 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.

V-LUX 2 08:11 B500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon B500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the V-LUX 2 and the B500 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.

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 (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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Fujifilm X100..75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 1.......... Sep 2006 849i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon D5100+ +76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
 
Panasonic FZ82+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 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. 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.

Leica V-LUX 2:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon B500:
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 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.

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    Specifications: Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon B500

    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 V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5
    Launch Date September 2010 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 849 USD 299
    Sensor Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    Screen Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 7.4 shutter flaps/s
    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 no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Nikon B500
    Battery Type BP-DC9 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge600 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 80 x 95 mm
    (4.9 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 541 g (19.1 oz)

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