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Olympus E-410 vs Panasonic GF1

The Olympus E-410 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2007 and September 2009. The E-410 is a DSLR, while the GF1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-410
versus
Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-410   Panasonic GF1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
10 MP – Four Thirds sensor 12 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.5" LCD – 215k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
130 x 91 x 53 mm, 435 g 119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus E-410 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1? 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 Olympus E-410 and the Panasonic GF1. 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 Olympus E-410 vs Panasonic GF1
Compare E-410 versus GF1 top
Comparison E-410 or GF1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF1 is notably smaller (29 percent) than the Olympus E-410. Moreover, the GF1 is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the E-410. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-410 nor the GF1 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-410) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF1, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the E-410 gets 500 shots out of its BLS-1 battery, while the GF1 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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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.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699ebay.com
7.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus E-400 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Sep 2006 699ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599ebay.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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-410 was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the GF1 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus E-410 and Panasonic GF1 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GF1 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the E-410. This megapixels advantage translates into a 10 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GF1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.33μm versus 4.74μm for the E-410). However, it should be noted that the GF1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 5 months) than the E-410, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GF1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-410 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Olympus E-410 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

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.

E-410 versus GF1 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
1.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
2.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
3.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
4.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
5.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
6.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
7.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
8.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
9.
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
10.
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.010.612753
11.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
12.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
13.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
14.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
15.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GF1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-410 does not. The highest resolution format that the GF1 can use is 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-410 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-410 and Panasonic GF1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 450Doptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
4.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
6.
 
Olympus E-620optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
8.
 
Olympus E-520optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y Y
9.
 
Olympus E-510optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Olympus E-400optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
12.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G11440 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The E-410 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the GF1 uses SDHC cards. The E-410 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the GF1 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 Olympus E-410 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 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.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 450DY- / ---mini2.0---
4.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
6.
 
Olympus E-620Y- / ----2.0---
7.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Olympus E-520Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-510Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-400Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo / -Y-mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G1Y- / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---

Both the E-410 and the GF1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The E-410 was replaced by the Olympus E-420, while the GF1 was followed by the Panasonic DMC-GF2. Further information on the features and operation of the E-410 and GF1 can be found, respectively, in the Olympus E-410 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GF1 Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-410 and the Panasonic GF1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-410:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 380) 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 available for much longer (launched in March 2007).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 215k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x71mm vs 130x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 50g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the E-410 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GF1 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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-410 04:08 GF1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-410 and the Panasonic GF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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-410 or the GF1. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/100..69/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 450D..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/100..72/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699ebay.com
7.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-510..89/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Mar 2007 799ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus E-400..85/100....4/54/5 Sep 2006 699ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +..70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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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 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-410 vs Panasonic GF1

    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-410 Panasonic GF1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date March 2007 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-410 Panasonic GF1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.74 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 4.44 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic III Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 51 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.1 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.0 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 494 513
    Screen Specs Olympus E-410 Panasonic GF1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 215k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-410 Panasonic GF1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XD cards SDHC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-410 Panasonic GF1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-410 Panasonic GF1
    Battery Type BLS-1 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    119 x 71 x 36 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 435 g (15.3 oz) 385 g (13.6 oz)
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    Check GF1 offers at
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