Pentax KP vs Canon 1D
The Pentax KP and the Canon EOS-1D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2017 and September 2001. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (KP) and an APS-H (1D) sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 4.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Pentax KP||Canon 1D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Pentax K mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||4.1 MP, APS-H Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-819200||ISO 200-1600 (100-3200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||2.0" LCD, 120k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7 shutter flaps per second||8 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|390 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|132 x 101 x 76 mm, 703 g||156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1585 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Pentax KP and the Canon EOS-1D? 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 KP and the Canon 1D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The KP can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 1D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 1D is considerably larger (85 percent) than the Pentax KP. Moreover, the 1D is substantially heavier (125 percent) than the KP. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the KP gets 390 shots out of its D-LI109 battery, while the 1D can take 500 images on a single charge of its NP-E3 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the KP, Pentax provides the D-BG7 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Pentax KP»||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Canon 1D«||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||55.9 oz||500||Y||Sep 2001||6,499||Canon 1D|
|Canon 1D X Mark III« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||50.8 oz||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499||Canon 1D X Mark III|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon 1D C« »||6.2 in||6.5 in||3.3 in||54.5 oz||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||54.1 oz||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||5.5 in||3.8 in||3.4 in||23.7 oz||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon D7500« »||5.4 in||4.1 in||2.9 in||25.4 oz||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299||Nikon D7500|
|Panasonic GH5« »||5.5 in||3.9 in||3.4 in||25.6 oz||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.9 in||24.3 oz||410||Y||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||720||Y||Apr 2015||1,099||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5« »||5.2 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||26.8 oz||740||Y||Sep 2010||1,099||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A9« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A77 II« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||22.8 oz||480||Y||May 2014||1,199||Sony A77 II|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 KP was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the 1D, which puts it into a different 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.
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. 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 Pentax KP features an APS-C sensor and the Canon 1D an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the 1D is 49 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.3. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Pentax KP offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 4.1 MP of the Canon 1D. 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 3.90μm versus 11.56μm for the 1D). However, it should be noted that the KP is much more recent (by 15 years and 4 months) than the 1D, 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 KP has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax KP implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the KP for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inch or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inch or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inch or 50.9 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D are 12.5 x 8.3 inch or 31.7 x 21.1 cm for good quality, 10 x 6.6 inch or 25.4 x 16.9 cm for very good quality, and 8.3 x 5.5 inch or 21.1 x 14.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
Unlike the 1D, the KP has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Pentax KP has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 819200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS-1D are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
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.
|Pentax KP||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Pentax KP|
|Canon 1D||APS-H||4.1||2496||1662||none||..||..||..||..||Canon 1D|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon 1D X Mark III|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79||Canon 80D|
|Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Fujifilm X-H1||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon D7500||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.3||14.0||1483||86||Nikon D7500|
|Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.6||13.6||1106||80||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.7||13.4||1216||80||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/25p||23.7||14.1||1162||82||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony A77 II|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The KP indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 1D does not. The highest resolution format that the KP can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The KP and the 1D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the KP has a higher magnification than the one of the 1D (0.63x vs 0.55x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Pentax KP and Canon 1D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Pentax KP||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/6000s||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Canon 1D||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||1/16000s||8.0||n||n||Canon 1D|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark III|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Canon 80D|
|Canon 1D C||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Fujifilm X-H1||3690||Y||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||14.0||n||Y||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D7500|
|Panasonic GH5||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/6000s||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||Y||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A9||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y||Sony A77 II|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The KP has one, while the 1D does not. While the built-in flash of the KP is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the KP is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Pentax KP 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 KP writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 1D uses Compact Flash 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 KP and Canon EOS-1D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Pentax KP||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||none||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Canon 1D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||FW||-||-||-||Canon 1D|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y||Canon 1D X Mark III|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 80D|
|Canon 1D C||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D C|
|Canon 1D X||Y||mono||none||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark II||Y||none||none||-||-||none||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II|
|Fujifilm X-H1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon D7500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D7500|
|Panasonic GH5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Pentax K-70||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Pentax K-3 II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3 II|
|Pentax K-3||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3|
|Pentax K-5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-5|
|Sony A9||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A77 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A77 II|
It is notable that the KP offers wifi support, while the 1D does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D (unlike the KP) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The KP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the 1D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1D was succeeded by the Canon 1D Mark II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Pentax and Canon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Pentax KP or the Canon 1D – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Pentax KP:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 4.1MP) with a 141% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60i movies.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.55x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 120k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (132x101mm vs 156x158mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 882g or 56 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 15 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 1D launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/6000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 390) out of a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2001).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the KP is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Pentax KP and the Canon 1D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the KP and the 1D in practical situations. 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.
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Specifications: Pentax KP vs Canon 1D
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 KP||Canon 1D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Pentax K mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||September 2001|
|Launch Price||USD 1099||USD 6499|
|Sensor Specs||Pentax KP||Canon 1D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-H Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||28.7 x 19.1 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||548.17 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||34.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||4.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6016 x 4000 pixels||2496 x 1662 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.90 μm||11.56 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.56 MP/cm2||0.76 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-819200 ISO||200-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-3200 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME IV||DIGIC|
|Screen Specs||Pentax KP||Canon 1D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||120k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Pentax KP||Canon 1D|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/24000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Pentax KP||Canon 1D|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||Firewire|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Pentax KP||Canon 1D|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||390 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
132 x 101 x 76 mm
(5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 in)
156 x 158 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||703 g (24.8 oz)||1585 g (55.9 oz)|
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