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Sony A5000 vs H300

The Sony Alpha A5000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and February 2014. The A5000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the H300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A5000) and a 1/2.3-inch (H300) sensor. The A5000 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the H300 provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Sony A5000
versus
Sony H300
Sony A5000   Sony H300
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Sony E mount lenses 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
19.8 MP – APS-C sensor 19.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-16,000 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 461k dots 3.0" LCD – 460k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
420 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g 128 x 89 x 92 mm, 590 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A5000 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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 Sony A5000 and the Sony H300 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 A5000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the H300 is only available in black.

Size Sony A5000 vs Sony H300
Compare A5000 versus H300 top
Comparison A5000 or H300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Sony A5000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A5000 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the H300 has a lens built in, whereas the A5000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A5000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

The power pack in the A5000 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449ebay.com
2.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219ebay.com
3.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499ebay.com
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon 1 J5 98 mm 60 mm 32 mm 231 g 250 n Apr 2015 399ebay.com
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999ebay.com
7.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429ebay.com
8.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549ebay.com
9.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599ebay.com
10.
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499ebay.com
11.
 
Sony RX100 III 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799ebay.com
12.
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319ebay.com
13.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329ebay.com
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499ebay.com
15.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749ebay.com
16.
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249ebay.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 obviously take relative prices into account. 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 H300 was launched at a lower price than the A5000, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A5000 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony H300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H300 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the A5000 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the H300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of chip-set technology, the A5000 uses a more advanced image processing engine (BIONZ X) than the H300 (BIONZ), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Sony A5000 and Sony H300 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the H300 offers a slightly higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the A5000. 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 1.19μm versus 4.25μm for the A5000). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the H300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Sony Alpha A5000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the A5000 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the H300 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

A5000 versus H300 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. 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.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
2.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.111.463045
3.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
5.
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
7.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
8.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
9.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
10.
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.111.462945
11.
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
12.
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.111.463045
13.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774
15.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
16.
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p19.911.252944
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 two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A5000 provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the H300 is limited to 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A5000 and the H300 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A5000, the Sony H300, 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.
 
Sony A5000none n3.0 / 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
2.
 
Sony H300none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6/s Y n
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s n Y
5.
 
Nikon 1 J5none n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0/s Y n
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n3.0 / 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Sony A5100none n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
9.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
10.
 
Sony HX400V210 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Sony H400210 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
14.
 
Sony NEX-3Noptional n3.0 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
15.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Sony H200none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The A5000 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 H300 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A5000 and the H300 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A5000 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the H300 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Sony Alpha A5000 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 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.
 
Sony A5000-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Sony H300-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Sony A5100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Sony HX400VYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Sony RX100 III-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
12.
 
Sony H400-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
15.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony H200-mono / mono---2.0---

Both the A5000 and the H300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The A5000 was replaced by the Sony A5100, while the H300 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the A5000 and H300 can be found, respectively, in the Sony A5000 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony H300 Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A5000 or the Sony H300 – 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 Sony Alpha A5000:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (BIONZ X vs BIONZ).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (420 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A5000 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5000 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 4 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 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.

A5000 17:04 H300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A5000 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A5000 and the H300 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. 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.
 
Sony A50003/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449ebay.com
2.
 
Sony H300..+....4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219ebay.com
3.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499ebay.com
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon 1 J5........4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399ebay.com
6.
 
Sony RX100 IV4.5/5+ +..85/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999ebay.com
7.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429ebay.com
8.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+....4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549ebay.com
9.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599ebay.com
10.
 
Sony HX400V4/5+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 499ebay.com
11.
 
Sony RX100 III5/5+ +..82/1004.5/55/5 May 2014 799ebay.com
12.
 
Sony H400..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2014 319ebay.com
13.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329ebay.com
14.
 
Sony NEX-3N3/5......4.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499ebay.com
15.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749ebay.com
16.
 
Sony H200........3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2013 249ebay.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. 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. 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? 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: Sony A5000 vs Sony H300

    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 Sony A5000 Sony H300
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date January 2014 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 219
    Sensor Specs Sony A5000 Sony H300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.2 x 15.4 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 357.28 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.8 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 19.8 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5456 x 3632 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.25 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 5.55 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 16,000 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 79 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1089 ..
    Screen Specs Sony A5000 Sony H300
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A5000 Sony H300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Sony A5000 Sony H300
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Sony A5000 Sony H300
    Battery Type NP-FW50 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)420 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    128 x 89 x 92 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 269 g (9.5 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)
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