Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and the Nikon D3300 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2013 and January 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Sony A mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-16000 (100-25600)||ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)||Optical viewfinder|
|2.7" LCD, 460k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|690 shots per battery charge||700 shots per battery charge|
|129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g||124 x 98 x 76 mm, 430 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and the Nikon D3300? 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: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A58 and the Nikon D3300 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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.
The D3300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, grey, red), while the A58 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 Sony A58 and the Nikon D3300 are of equal size. However, the D3300 is markedly lighter (13 percent) than the A58. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A58 nor the D3300 are weather-sealed.
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.
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.
|Sony A58»||5.1 in||3.7 in||3.1 in||17.4 oz||690||n||Feb 2013||599||-||Sony A58|
|Nikon D3300«||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A7 II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 D3300 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the A58, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the D3300 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the A58. This megapixels advantage translates into a 10 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the D3300 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.31μm for the A58). However, it should be noted that the D3300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the A58, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D3300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A58 are 27.3 x 18.2 inch or 69.3 x 46.1 cm for good quality, 21.8 x 14.5 inch or 55.4 x 36.9 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.1 inch or 46.2 x 30.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3300 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 consideration, the D3300 has a markedly higher DXO score than the A58 (overall score 8 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 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.
|Sony A58»||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.3||12.5||753||74||Sony A58|
|Nikon D3300«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Canon SL1« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A7 II« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D3300 provides a faster frame rate than the A58. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A58 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the D3300 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the A58 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D3300 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A58 and Nikon D3300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A58»||1440||n||2.7||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y||Sony A58|
|Nikon D3300«||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Canon SL1« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A7 II« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX100« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
One feature that differentiates the A58 and the D3300 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A58 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the D3300 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.
The A58 writes its imaging data to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards, while the D3300 uses SDXC cards. The D3300 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A58 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
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 SLT-A58 and Nikon D3300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A58»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A58|
|Nikon D3300«||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Canon SL1« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A7 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
Both the A58 and the D3300 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A58 was replaced by the Sony A68, while the D3300 was followed by the Nikon D3400. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony and Nikon websites.
Review summary: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A58 or the Nikon D3300 – 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.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3300:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 19.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 62g or 13 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3300 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A58 and the Nikon D3300 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A58 or the D3300. 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: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
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 (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.
|Sony A58»||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599||-||Sony A58|
|Nikon D3300«||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Canon SL1« »||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5300« »||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3200« »||+ +||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Sony A7 II« »||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||-||Sony A7 II|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||+||-||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX100« »||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 6D vs Sony A58
- Canon 760D vs Nikon D3300
- Canon M5 vs Nikon D3300
- Canon M50 vs Sony A58
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Nikon D3300
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Nikon D3300
- Nikon D2Xs vs Sony A58
- Nikon D3300 vs Olympus E-PL8
- Nikon D3300 vs Panasonic FZ1000
- Nikon D3300 vs Sony HX400V
- Nikon D3400 vs Sony A58
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Sony A58
Specifications: Sony A58 vs Nikon D3300
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||Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Sony A mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2013||January 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.8 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5456 x 3632 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.41 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-16000 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||74||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.3||24.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.5||12.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||753||1385|
|Screen Specs||Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Sony A58||Nikon D3300|
|Battery Type||NP-FM500H power pack||EN-EL14a power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||690 shots per charge||700 shots per charge|
129 x 95 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
124 x 98 x 76 mm
(4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||492 g (17.4 oz)||430 g (15.2 oz)|
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