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Nikon D70 vs Olympus E-450

The Nikon D70 and the Olympus E-450 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2004 and March 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D70) and a Four Thirds (E-450) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 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
Nikon D70
versus
Olympus E-450
Nikon D70   Olympus E-450
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
6 MP – APS-C sensor 10 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 100-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD – 130k dots 2.7" LCD – 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
140 x 111 x 78 mm, 679 g 130 x 91 x 53 mm, 440 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D70 and the Olympus E-450? 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 physical size and weight of the Nikon D70 and the Olympus E-450 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D70 vs Olympus E-450
Compare D70 versus E-450 top
Comparison D70 or E-450 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-450 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Nikon D70. Moreover, the E-450 is substantially lighter (35 percent) than the D70. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D70 nor the E-450 are weather-sealed.

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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D70) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-450).

Concerning battery life, the D70 gets 400 shots out of its EN-EL3 battery, while the E-450 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 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.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699ebay.com
17.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699ebay.com
Note: 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 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. The E-450 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the D70, 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D70 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-450 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-450 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 D70 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-450 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D70 and Olympus E-450 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-450 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D70. 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 4.74μm versus 7.85μm for the D70). However, it should be noted that the E-450 is much more recent (by 5 years and 2 months) than the D70, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-450 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-450 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D70 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D70 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-450 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the D70 is build around a CCD sensor, while the E-450 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D70 versus E-450 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the E-450 has a markedly higher DXO score than the D70 (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
2.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
3.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
4.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
5.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
6.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
7.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
8.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
9.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
10.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
11.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
12.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.49.939448
13.
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
14.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
15.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
16.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
17.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
The E-450 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D70 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D70 and the E-450 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 (95%), but the viewfinder of the D70 has a higher magnification than the one of the E-450 (0.50x 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 Nikon D70, the Olympus E-450, 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)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
4.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
5.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y2.5 / 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s n n
12.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-600optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-620optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-520optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y Y
17.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The D70 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-450 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-450 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D70 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 Nikon D70 and Olympus E-450 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.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
4.
 
Nikon D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D2XY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Olympus E-600Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-620Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-520Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---

Both the D70 and the E-450 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D70 was replaced by the Nikon D70s, while the E-450 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 Nikon and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D70 or the Olympus E-450 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.50x vs 0.46x).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2004).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-450:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (215k vs 130k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x91mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 239g or 35 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • 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 (50 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D70 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-450 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 3 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.

D70 03:13 E-450

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D70 and the Olympus E-450 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D70 and the E-450 in practical situations. 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 (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.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D2X......+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-600..........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/100..72/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699ebay.com
17.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

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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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. 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: Nikon D70 vs Olympus E-450

    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 D70 Olympus E-450
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2004 March 2009
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Nikon D70 Olympus E-450
    Sensor Technology CCD 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 6 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 50 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.4 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.3 10.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 529 512
    Screen Specs Nikon D70 Olympus E-450
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 130k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D70 Olympus E-450
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D70 Olympus E-450
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D70 Olympus E-450
    Battery Type EN-EL3 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 140 x 111 x 78 mm
    (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 679 g (24.0 oz) 440 g (15.5 oz)
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