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Panasonic LF1 vs LX7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2013 and July 2012. Both the LF1 and the LX7 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The LF1 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the LX7 provides 10 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic LF1
versus
Panasonic LX7
Panasonic LF1   Panasonic LX7
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3
12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 10 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800) ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800)
Electronic viewfinder (200k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD – 920k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
103 x 62 x 28 mm, 192 g 111 x 68 x 46 mm, 298 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7? 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 Panasonic LF1 and the Panasonic LX7. 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.

The LX7 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the LF1 is only available in black.

Size Panasonic LF1 vs Panasonic LX7
Compare LF1 versus LX7 top
Comparison LF1 or LX7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX7 is notably larger (18 percent) than the Panasonic LF1. Moreover, the LX7 is substantially heavier (55 percent) than the LF1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LF1 nor the LX7 are weather-sealed.

The power pack in the LF1 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

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
1.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 100 mm 59 mm 33 mm 206 g 240 n Oct 2013 499ebay.com
9.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499ebay.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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the LX7 is 2 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 4.5 (LF1) and 4.65. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX7 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Panasonic LF1 and Panasonic LX7 sensor measures

With 12MP, the LF1 offers a higher resolution than the LX7 (10MP), but the LF1 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 2.05μm for the LX7). However, the LF1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the LX7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic LF1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the LF1 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 Panasonic LX7 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

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.

LF1 versus LX7 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 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.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
2.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
7.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
8.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.311.0-39047
9.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
10.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
12.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.510.057350
13.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.145950
14.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the LX7 provides a faster frame rate than the LF1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the LF1 is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the LF1 has an electronic viewfinder (200k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX7 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX7 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LF1, the Panasonic LX7, 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.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2/s Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm XQ1none n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The Panasonic LX7 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.

Both the LF1 and the LX7 have zoom lenses built in. The LF1 has a 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 optic and the LX7 offers a 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the LX7 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the LF1, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX7 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the LF1 and the LX7 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-LF1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 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.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Fujifilm XQ1-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic FZ200Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the LF1 offers wifi support, while the LX7 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the LF1 and the LX7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The LX7 was replaced by the Panasonic LX10, while the LF1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the LF1 and LX7 can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic LF1 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic LX7 Manual.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic LF1 and the Panasonic LX7? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (103x62mm vs 111x68mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 106g or 36 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the LX7).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:

  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/2.0).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 versus 250) out of 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 July 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LF1 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 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 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.

LF1 10:08 LX7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic LF1 and the Panasonic LX7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the LF1 or the LX7. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+....4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
7.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm XQ1........4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 499ebay.com
9.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 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 LF1 vs Panasonic LX7

    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 LF1 Panasonic LX7
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3
    Launch Date April 2013 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Panasonic LF1 Panasonic LX7
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.44 x 5.58 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 41.5152 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 9.3 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x 4.65x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 2.05 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 24.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor Venus Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 52 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.8 20.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.6 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 211 147
    Screen Specs Panasonic LF1 Panasonic LX7
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 200k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic LF1 Panasonic LX7
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic LF1 Panasonic LX7
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Panasonic LF1 Panasonic LX7
    Battery Type DMW-BCN10 DMW-BCJ13
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 103 x 62 x 28 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
    111 x 68 x 46 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 192 g (6.8 oz) 298 g (10.5 oz)
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