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Nikon D300S vs D7000

The Nikon D300S and the Nikon D7000 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2009 and September 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D300S has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the D7000 provides 16.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D300S VS Nikon D7000
Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/24p Video 10800/24p Video
ISO 200-3200 (100-6400) ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
950 shots per battery charge1050 shots per battery charge
147 x 115 x 81 mm, 938 g 132 x 105 x 77 mm, 780 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D300S and the Nikon D7000? 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 Nikon D300S and the Nikon D7000. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D300S vs Nikon D7000
Compare D300S versus D7000 top
Comparison D300S or D7000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D7000 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Nikon D300S. Moreover, the D7000 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the D300S. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D300S gets 950 shots out of its EN-EL3e battery, while the D7000 can take 1050 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D300S» 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799iNikon D300S
 
Nikon D7000« 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499iNikon D7000
 
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699iCanon 7D
 
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 iNikon D7500
 
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199iNikon D7100
 
Nikon D3100« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599iNikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749iNikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 n Jan 2008 629iNikon D60
 
Nikon D90« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299iNikon D90
 
Nikon D700« » 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999iNikon D700
 
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699iNikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 32.5 oz 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699iNikon D200
 
Nikon D2X« » 6.2 in 5.9 in 3.4 in 44.2 oz 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999iNikon D2X
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 D7000 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the D300S, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 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. The sensor area in the D7000 is 1 percent smaller. 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.

Technology-wise, the D7000 uses a more advanced image processing engine (EXPEED 2) than the D300S (EXPEED), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Nikon D300S and Nikon D7000 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the D7000 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the D300S. 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 4.80μm versus 5.53μm for the D300S). However, it should be noted that the D7000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the D300S, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D7000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D7000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D300S are 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inch or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inch or 36.3 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D300S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D7000 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

D300S versus D7000 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D7000 has a markedly higher DXO score than the D300S (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 1.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265Nikon D60
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380Nikon D700
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659Nikon D2X

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D7000 provides a better video resolution than the D300S. It can shoot movie footage at 10800/24p, while the D300S is limited to 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D300S and the D7000 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.63x). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D300S and Nikon D7000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Nikon D500
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D60
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D700
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Nikon D2X

The Nikon D300S and the Nikon D7000 both have 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.

The D300S writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the D7000 uses SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

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 Nikon D300S and Nikon D7000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Canon 7DYmonononeY-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-YNikon D7500
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D60
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Nikon D700Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D700
 
Nikon D300Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D2XsYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D200
 
Nikon D2XYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D2X

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D300S (unlike the D7000) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D300S and the D7000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D300S was replaced by the Nikon D500, while the D7000 was followed by the Nikon D7100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D300S or the Nikon D7000 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D300S:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2009).


Advantages of the Nikon D7000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 2 vs EXPEED).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (10800/24p vs 720/24p).
  • More compact: Is smaller (132x105mm vs 147x115mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 158g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1050 versus 950) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D7000 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 3 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.

D300S 03:11 D7000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D300S and the Nikon D7000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D300S or the D7000 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799iNikon D300S
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499iNikon D7000
 
Canon 7D+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699iCanon 7D
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 iNikon D7500
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 iNikon D500
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199iNikon D7100
 
Nikon D3100+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599iNikon D3100
 
Nikon D5000+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749iNikon D5000
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629iNikon D60
 
Nikon D90+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299iNikon D90
 
Nikon D70089/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999iNikon D700
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699iNikon D2Xs
 
Nikon D200+ ++ +o5/5.. Nov 2005 1,699iNikon D200
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999iNikon D2X
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D300S:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D7000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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: Nikon D300S vs Nikon D7000

    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 Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2009 September 2010
    Launch Price USD 1799 USD 1499
    Sensor Specs Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.53 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video 10800/24p Video
    ISO Setting 200-3200 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-6400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED EXPEED 2
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 70 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.5 23.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.2 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 787 1167
    Screen Specs Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D300S Nikon D7000
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL3e EN-EL15
    Battery Life (CIPA)950 shots per charge1050 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 147 x 115 x 81 mm
    (5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 in)
    132 x 105 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 938 g (33.1 oz) 780 g (27.5 oz)

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