Nikon Z5 vs Sony ZV-E10
The Nikon Z5 and the Sony ZV-E10 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2020 and July 2021. Both the Z5 and the ZV-E10 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a full frame (Z5) and an APS-C (ZV-E10) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Z5 and the Sony ZV-E10? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Nikon Z5 and the Sony ZV-E10 are illustrated 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The ZV-E10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the Z5 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony ZV-E10 is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Nikon Z5. Moreover, the ZV-E10 is substantially lighter (49 percent) than the Z5. It is worth mentioning in this context that the Z5 is splash and dust resistant, while the ZV-E10 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the Z5 gets 470 shots out of its EN-EL15c battery, while the ZV-E10 can take 440 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon Z5||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||470||Y||Jul 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony ZV-E10||115 mm||64 mm||45 mm||343 g||440||n||Jul 2021||699||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon R6||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||680 g||360||Y||Jul 2020||2,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon Z9||149 mm||150 mm||91 mm||1340 g||740||Y||Oct 2021||5,499||amazon.com|
|6.||Nikon Z7 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||420||Y||Oct 2020||2,999||amazon.com|
|7.||Nikon Z6 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||410||Y||Oct 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon Z6||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon Z7||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||330||Y||Aug 2018||3,399||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||727 g||400||Y||May 2021||1,699||amazon.com|
|11.||Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|12.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499||amazon.com|
|13.||Sony A6100||120 mm||67 mm||59 mm||396 g||420||n||Aug 2019||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 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 ZV-E10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the Z5, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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 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. 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 Z5 features a full frame sensor and the Sony ZV-E10 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the ZV-E10 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24.2MP, the Z5 offers a slightly higher resolution than the ZV-E10 (24MP), but the Z5 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.95μm versus 3.91μm for the ZV-E10) due to its larger sensor. However, the ZV-E10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the Z5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Nikon Z5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony ZV-E10 are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon Z5||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||2929||95|
|3.||Canon R6||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4k/60p||24.2||14.3||3394||90|
|5.||Nikon Z9||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||8K/30p||26.3||14.4||2451||98|
|6.||Nikon Z7 II||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/60p||26.3||14.7||2841||100|
|7.||Nikon Z6 II||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/60p||25.0||14.4||3303||94|
|8.||Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95|
|9.||Nikon Z7||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.3||14.6||2668||99|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.7||13.1||1136||79|
|11.||Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.1||14.5||2697||94|
|12.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z5 has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the ZV-E10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon Z5 and Sony ZV-E10 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon Z5||3690||n||3.2 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||4.5/s||n||Y|
|2.||Sony ZV-E10||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon R6||3690||n||3.0 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||3690||n||3.0 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||15.0/s||n||Y|
|5.||Nikon Z9||3690||Y||3.2 / 2089||full-flex||Y||1/32000s||30.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Nikon Z7 II||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Nikon Z6 II||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Nikon Z6||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Nikon Z7||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||9.0/s||n||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||3680||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Panasonic S5||2360||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||n||Y|
|12.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|13.||Sony A6100||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that differentiates the Z5 and the ZV-E10 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The Z5 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the ZV-E10 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.The ZV-E10 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 Z5 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon Z5 has 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 Z5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the ZV-E10 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The Z5 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the ZV-E10 only has one slot. The Z5 supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the ZV-E10 can use UHS-I cards.
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 Z5 and Sony ZV-E10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon Z5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Sony ZV-E10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon R6||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Nikon Z9||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Nikon Z7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Nikon Z6 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Nikon Z6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Nikon Z7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|11.||Panasonic S5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A6100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the Z5 and the ZV-E10 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Nikon and Sony. Further information on the features and operation of the Z5 and ZV-E10 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon Z5 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony ZV-E10 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon Z5 or the Sony ZV-E10 – 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.
Advantages of the Nikon Z5:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2020).
Arguments in favor of the Sony ZV-E10:
- 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 4.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (115x64mm vs 134x101mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 332g or 49 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Z5 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 8 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Z5 and the Sony ZV-E10 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Z5 or the ZV-E10 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Nikon Z5||4/5||..||4/5||89/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jul 2020||1,399||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony ZV-E10||4/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2021||699||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon R6||5/5||+ +||4/5||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2020||2,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||5/5||88/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon Z9||5/5||..||4.5/5||94/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2021||5,499||amazon.com|
|6.||Nikon Z7 II||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||2,999||amazon.com|
|7.||Nikon Z6 II||4.5/5||..||4/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|8.||Nikon Z6||5/5||..||5/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon Z7||5/5||+||4.8/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||3,399||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GH5 II||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2021||1,699||amazon.com|
|11.||Panasonic S5||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||88/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|12.||Sony A9 II||..||..||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499||amazon.com|
|13.||Sony A6100||..||..||4/5||82/100||4/5||5/5||Aug 2019||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Nikon Z5 vs Sony ZV-E10
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 Model||Nikon Z5||Sony ZV-E10|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon Z mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2020||July 2021|
|Launch Price||USD 1,399||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon Z5||Sony ZV-E10|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||858.01 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6016 x 4016 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.95 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.82 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 32,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 6||BIONZ X|
|Screen Specs||Nikon Z5||Sony ZV-E10|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon Z5||Sony ZV-E10|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.5 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/8000s||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon Z5||Sony ZV-E10|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon Z5||Sony ZV-E10|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
134 x 101 x 67 mm
(5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
115 x 64 x 45 mm
(4.5 x 2.5 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||675 g (23.8 oz)||343 g (12.1 oz)|
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