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Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

The Nikon D610 and the Canon PowerShot G3 X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and June 2015. The D610 is a DSLR, while the G3X is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (D610) and an one-inch (G3X) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Nikon D610   Canon G3 X
Nikon D610 Canon G3 X
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6
24.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 20 MP, 1" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6400 (50-25600) ISO 125-12800 (125-25600)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.2" LCD, 921k dots 3.2" LCD, 1620k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 5.9 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
900 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
141 x 113 x 82 mm, 850 g 123 x 77 x 105 mm, 733 g

Body comparison: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D610 and the Canon G3 X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D610 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Nikon D610 and Canon G3 X
Compare D610 versus G3X top
Compare D610 or G3X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G3 X is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Nikon D610. 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 and possibly misleading, as the G3X has a lens built in, whereas the D610 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 D610 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D610 gets 900 shots out of its EN-EL15 battery, while the G3X can take 300 images on a single charge of its NB-10L power pack.

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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Nikon D610» 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
Canon G3 X« 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Nikon D750« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G3X was launched at a lower price than the D610, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 Nikon D610 features a full frame sensor and the Canon G3 X an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G3X is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D610 and Canon G3 X sensor measures

With 24.2MP, the D610 offers a higher resolution than the G3X (20MP), but the D610 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 2.41μm for the G3X) due to its larger sensor. However, the G3X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the D610, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Nikon D610 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot G3 X are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-25600..

D610 versus G3X MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the D610 provides substantially higher image quality than the G3X, with an overall score that is 31 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.7 bits higher color depth, 2.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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 D610» Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
Canon G3 X« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483Nikon D500
Nikon D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000

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, but the G3X provides a faster frame rate than the D610. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D610 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G3X relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the G3X can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D610 and Canon G3 X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Nikon D610»optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
Canon G3 X«- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n Nikon D500
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n Nikon Df
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000

One feature that is present on the D610, but is missing on the G3X is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The G3X 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 D610 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D610 and the G3X write their files to SDXC cards. The D610 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the G3X only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

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 D610 and Canon PowerShot G3 X 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Nikon D610»YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
Canon G3 X«YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
Nikon D500« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D500
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
Nikon D7100« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
Nikon D800« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000

It is notable that the G3X offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D610 does not offer wifi capability.

Both the D610 and the G3X are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The D610 replaced the earlier Nikon D600, while the G3X does not have a direct predecessor.


Review summary: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D610 and the Canon G3 X? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D610:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.2 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (31 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (900 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G3 X:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D610 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x77mm vs 141x113mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D610).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 8 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G3X comes out slightly ahead of the D610 (13 : 12 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.

D610 12:13 G3X

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D610 or the G3X handle or perform in practice. 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: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Nikon D610»HiRec87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
Canon G3 X«Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i Nikon D500
Nikon D750« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Nikon D600« »HiRec87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu 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: Nikon D610 vs Canon G3 X

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D610 Canon G3 X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 24-600mm f/2.8-5.6
    Launch Date October 2013 June 2015
    Launch Price USD 1999 USD 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 13.2 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0 2.7
    Sensor Resolution 24.2 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6016 x 4016 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.97 μm 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 2.80 MP/cm2 17.18 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 125-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-25600 ISO 125-25600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 DIGIC 6
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1620k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 5.9 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 power pack NB-10L power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 113 x 82 mm
    (5.6 x 4.4 x 3.2 in)
    123 x 77 x 105 mm
    (4.8 x 3.0 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 733 g (25.9 oz)

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