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Olympus E-30 vs Sony H200

The Olympus E-30 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2008 and January 2013. The E-30 is a DSLR, while the H200 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-30) and a 1/2.3-inch (H200) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 15.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-30 versus Sony H200
Olympus E-30 Sony H200
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Four Thirds lenses 24-633mm f/3.1-5.9
12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens-based stabilization
750 shots per battery charge240 shots per battery charge
142 x 108 x 75 mm, 701 g 123 x 83 x 87 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus E-30 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-30 and the Sony H200 is provided 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Olympus E-30 vs Sony H200
Compare E-30 versus H200 top
Comparison E-30 or H200 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H200 is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Olympus E-30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-30 nor the H200 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the H200 has a lens built in, whereas the E-30 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 E-30 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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
 
Olympus E-30 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299i
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499i
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449i
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-P1 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Jun 2009 799i
 
Olympus E-P2 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Nov 2009 799i
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-3 142 mm 116 mm 75 mm 876 g 750 Y Oct 2007 1,699i
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799i
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 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. The H200 was launched at a lower price than the E-30, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-30 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony H200 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H200 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus E-30 and Sony H200 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the H200 offers a higher resolution of 15.2 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the E-30. 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 1.36μm versus 4.29μm for the E-30). However, it should be noted that the H200 is much more recent (by 4 years and 2 months) than the E-30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the H200 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony H200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 14.7 inches or 65.8 x 37.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 11.7 inches or 52.7 x 29.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 9.8 inches or 43.9 x 24.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-30 are 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm for good quality, 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Olympus E-30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

E-30 versus H200 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Olympus E-30 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.453055
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
 
Olympus E-P1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655
 
Olympus E-P2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
 
Olympus E-3 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.610.557156
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The H200 indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-30 does not. The highest resolution format that the H200 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-30 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the H200 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-30 and Sony H200 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
 
Olympus E-30optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Olympus E-450optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Olympus E-600optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-P1none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-P2optional n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
 
Olympus E-3optical Y 2.5 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

One feature that is present on the E-30, but is missing on the H200 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 E-30 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the H200 does not have a selfie-screen.

The E-30 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the H200 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The E-30 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the H200 only has one slot.

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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 Olympus E-30 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200 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
 
Olympus E-30Y-----2.0---
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-600Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-P1Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-P2Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-3Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-510Y-----2.0---
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the E-30 has a hotshoe, while the H200 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The H200 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the E-30 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the E-30 from Olympus. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-30 and the Sony H200? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-30:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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 optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • 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 (1/8000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2008).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.2 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • 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).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the E-30 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (123x83mm vs 142x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the E-30).
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the E-30 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-30 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 10 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-30 16:10 H200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-30 and the Sony H200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-30 or the H200. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Olympus E-30..71/1004.5/5..4/5 Nov 2008 1,299i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus E-450....4/5..4/5 Mar 2009 499i
 
Olympus E-600........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449i
 
Olympus E-62088/10072/1004.5/5o5/5 Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-P1+66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799i
 
Olympus E-P2+69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799i
 
Olympus E-42085/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
 
Olympus E-52087/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-388/100+ +oo4/5 Oct 2007 1,699i
 
Olympus E-41086/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
 
Olympus E-51089/100+ +3.5/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Olympus E-30:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H200:
Check Amazon price

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: Olympus E-30 vs Sony H200

    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 Olympus E-30 Sony H200
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Four Thirds lenses 24-633mm f/3.1-5.9
    Launch Date November 2008 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 249
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-30 Sony H200
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 15.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4032 x 3024 pixels 5184 x 2930 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.29 μm 1.36 μm
    Pixel Density 5.42 MP/cm2 54.10 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic III+ BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.3 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.4 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 530 ..
    Screen Specs Olympus E-30 Sony H200
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-30 Sony H200
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens-based stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XD cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-30 Sony H200
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-30 Sony H200
    Battery Type BLM-1 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge240 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 108 x 75 mm
    (5.6 x 4.3 x 3.0 in)
    123 x 83 x 87 mm
    (4.8 x 3.3 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 701 g (24.7 oz) 530 g (18.7 oz)

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