Pentax K-5 vs Sony RX100 II
The Pentax K-5 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and June 2013. The K-5 is a DSLR, while the RX100 II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (K-5) and an one-inch (RX100 II) sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 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 Pentax K-5 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-5 and the Sony RX100 II. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 II is considerably smaller (53 percent) than the Pentax K-5. It is worth mentioning in this context that the K-5 is splash and dust resistant, while the RX100 II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 II has a lens built in, whereas the K-5 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the K-5 gets 740 shots out of its D-LI90 battery, while the RX100 II can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX100 II can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.
|1.||Pentax K-5||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099|
|2.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|3.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|4.||Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099|
|5.||Olympus E-M5||122 mm||89 mm||43 mm||425 g||360||Y||Feb 2012||1,299|
|6.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|7.||Pentax KP||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099|
|9.||Pentax K-50||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||Jun 2013||599|
|10.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549|
|11.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|12.||Pentax K-30||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||650 g||410||Y||May 2012||849|
|13.||Pentax K-5 II||131 mm||97 mm||73 mm||760 g||740||Y||Sep 2012||1,099|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|16.||Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|17.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: 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 RX100 II was launched at a lower price than the K-5, 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.
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. 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 Pentax K-5 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX100 II an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 II is 69 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX100 II offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the K-5. 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 2.41μm versus 4.81μm for the K-5). However, it should be noted that the RX100 II is much more recent (by 2 years and 9 months) than the K-5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Sony RX100 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-5 are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Pentax K-5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
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"). Of the two cameras under review, the K-5 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX100 II, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 1.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 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.
|2.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|3.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|4.||Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|5.||Olympus E-M5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||22.8||12.3||826||71|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80|
|13.||Pentax K-5 II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.8||14.1||1235||82|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|15.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX100 II provides a faster frame rate than the K-5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the K-5 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX100 II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax K-5, the Sony RX100 II, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Pentax K-5||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-M5||1440||n||3.0 / 610||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||n||Y|
|6.||Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Pentax KP||optical||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/6000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y|
|9.||Pentax K-50||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Pentax K-500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y|
|12.||Pentax K-30||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Pentax K-5 II||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100||none||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One feature that is present on the K-5, but is missing on the RX100 II 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 Pentax K-5 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 K-5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 II uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Pentax K-5 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Pentax K-5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Olympus E-M5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Pentax KP||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Pentax K-50||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Pentax K-500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Pentax K-3||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Pentax K-30||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Pentax K-5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the K-5 has a microphone port, which is missing on the RX100 II. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax K-5 (unlike the RX100 II) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the K-5 and the RX100 II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The K-5 was replaced by the Pentax K-5 II, while the RX100 II was followed by the Sony RX100 III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Pentax and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax K-5 or the Sony RX100 II – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-5:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- 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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (740 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/25p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the K-5 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 131x97mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the K-5).
- 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the K-5 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-5 comes out slightly ahead of the RX100 II (14 : 13 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax K-5 and the Sony RX100 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 K-5 or the RX100 II. 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 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 (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.||Pentax K-5||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,099|
|2.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|3.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|4.||Olympus E-M5 II||5/5||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099|
|5.||Olympus E-M5||4/5||+ +||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||1,299|
|6.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|7.||Pentax KP||4/5||..||3/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099|
|8.||Pentax K-3 II||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||5/5||Apr 2015||1,099|
|9.||Pentax K-50||5/5||..||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||599|
|10.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549|
|11.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|12.||Pentax K-30||4/5||..||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||849|
|13.||Pentax K-5 II||5/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,099|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|16.||Sony RX100||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|17.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D vs Sony RX100 II
- Canon 5D Mark II vs Pentax K-5
- Canon 90D vs Sony RX100 II
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Sony RX100 II
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Pentax K-5
- Nikon D1H vs Pentax K-5
- Nikon D1X vs Pentax K-5
- Nikon D4S vs Pentax K-5
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony RX100 II
- Panasonic LX7 vs Sony RX100 II
- Panasonic TS7 vs Pentax K-5
- Sigma fp vs Sony RX100 II
Specifications: Pentax K-5 vs Sony RX100 II
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||Pentax K-5||Sony RX100 II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|Launch Date||September 2010||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 1,099||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Pentax K-5||Sony RX100 II|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.7 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.09 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.81 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.32 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/25p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME II||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.1||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1162||483|
|Screen Specs||Pentax K-5||Sony RX100 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Pentax K-5||Sony RX100 II|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Pentax K-5||Sony RX100 II|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Pentax K-5||Sony RX100 II|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||740 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
131 x 97 x 73 mm
(5.2 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
102 x 58 x 38 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||760 g (26.8 oz)||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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