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Panasonic FZ150 vs Pentax MX-1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2011 and January 2013. Both the FZ150 and the MX-1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ150) and a 1/1.7-inch (MX-1) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic FZ150 versus Pentax MX-1
Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
12 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
410 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
124 x 82 x 92 mm, 528 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 and the Pentax MX-1? 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 Panasonic FZ150 and the Pentax MX-1 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Panasonic FZ150 vs Pentax MX-1
Compare FZ150 versus MX-1 top
Comparison FZ150 or MX-1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax MX-1 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Panasonic FZ150. Moreover, the MX-1 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the FZ150. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ150 nor the MX-1 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic FZ150 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Pentax MX-1 4.8 in 2.4 in 2.0 in 13.8 oz 290 n Jan 2013 499i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G15 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon SX40 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 380 n Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon SX30 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 370 n Sep 2010 429i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
 
Olympus XZ-2 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 12.2 oz 340 n Sep 2012 599i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Panasonic LF1 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.8 oz 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
 
Panasonic FZ200 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic LX7 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Panasonic LX5 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 Panasonic FZ150 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Pentax MX-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the MX-1 is 54 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 4.5. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Panasonic FZ150 and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

Even though the MX-1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the MX-1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ150), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the MX-1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the FZ150, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ150 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

FZ150 versus MX-1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the MX-1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the FZ150 (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

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 FZ150 provides a higher frame rate than the MX-1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ150 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the MX-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic FZ150, the Pentax MX-1, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
The FZ150 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 MX-1 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the FZ150 and the MX-1 have zoom lenses built in. The FZ150 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the MX-1 offers a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Pentax. The MX-1 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the FZ150 and the MX-1 write their files to SDXC cards.

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 and Pentax MX-1 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
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the FZ150 has a hotshoe, while the MX-1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the FZ150 and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ150 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ200, while the MX-1 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 Panasonic and Pentax websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic FZ150 or the Pentax MX-1 – 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.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • 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 (12 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2011).

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Arguments in favor of the Pentax MX-1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm vs 124x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 137g or 26 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ150 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 9 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 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.

FZ150 11:09 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ150 and the Pentax MX-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 FZ150 or the MX-1. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
 
Pentax MX-1..74/1004/53.5/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon SX40+..4.5/55/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon SX30+ +..3.5/54.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Nikon P7800....4/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
 
Olympus XZ-2+..4.5/54/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Panasonic LF1+..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
 
Panasonic FZ200+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Panasonic LX5+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

Panasonic FZ150:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax MX-1:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic FZ150 vs Pentax MX-1

    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 Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date August 2011 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 40 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.4 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.9 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 132 208
    Screen Specs Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic FZ150 Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type DMW-BMB9 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 528 g (18.6 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)

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