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Leica X2 vs Panasonic G1

The Leica X2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2012 and September 2008. The X2 is a fixed lens compact, while the G1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X2) and a Four Thirds (G1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica X2
versus
Panasonic G1
Leica X2 Panasonic G1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
36mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g 124 x 84 x 45 mm, 360 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1? 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 X2 and the Panasonic G1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G1 is only available in black.

Size Leica X2 vs Panasonic G1
Compare X2 versus G1 top
Comparison X2 or G1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G1 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Leica X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the G1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens built in, whereas the G1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the G1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X2 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the G1 can take 410 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

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
1.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995 i
2.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599 i
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 n Jan 2013 1,299 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Sep 2013 399 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Oct 2013 999 i
6.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695 i
7.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850 i
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i
9.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i
10.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995 i
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099 i
12.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699 i
13.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499 i
14.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599 i
15.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899 i
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 i
17.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799 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 obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica X2 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic G1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G1 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X2 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica X2 and Panasonic G1 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the G1 (12MP), but the X2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 4.33μm for the G1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X2 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 7 months) than the G1, 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 X2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic G1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica X2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

X2 versus G1 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 X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none...... ..
2.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.3463 53
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p...... ..
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p...... ..
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p...... ..
6.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p...... ..
7.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.71082 75
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p...... ..
9.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.71320 78
10.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none...... ..
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.81164 80
12.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.0494 51
13.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.1411 52
14.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.3493 53
15.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.6772 64
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55
17.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.5972 78
The G1 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The X2 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica X2 and Panasonic G1 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 X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
6.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
12.
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
14.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
The G1 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 X2 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X2 and the G1 write their files to 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 X2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 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 X2Y----mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereomono--micro2.0---
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---

Both the X2 and the G1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, while the X2 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X2 and the Panasonic G1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 12MP) with a 18% 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G1 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 124x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the G1).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the G1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

X2 11:08 G1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X2 and the Panasonic G1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X2 or the G1. 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 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], 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 X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995 i
2.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599 i
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S5/5+ +81/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1......4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 399 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E24/5..80/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2013 999 i
6.
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695 i
7.
 
Leica T3/5....4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850 i
8.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i
9.
 
Leica X Vario3/5....4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i
10.
 
Leica X13/5..+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995 i
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099 i
12.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699 i
13.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499 i
14.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599 i
15.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899 i
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
17.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 X2:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G1:
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 X2 vs Panasonic G1

    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 X2 Panasonic G1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date May 2012 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 1,995 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Leica X2 Panasonic G1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 53
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 463
    Screen Specs Leica X2 Panasonic G1
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X2 Panasonic G1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica X2 Panasonic G1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X2 Panasonic G1
    Battery Type BP-DC8 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    124 x 84 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 345 g (12.2 oz) 360 g (12.7 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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