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Sony A58 vs RX1

The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2013 and September 2012. The A58 is a DSLR, while the RX1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A58) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. The A58 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the RX1 provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Sony A58 VS Sony RX1
Sony A58 Sony RX1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Sony A mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-16000 (100-25600) ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
2.7" LCD, 460k dots 3.0" LCD, 1229k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationNo shake reduction
690 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
129 x 95 x 78 mm, 492 g 113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha SLT-A58 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1? 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 A58 and the Sony RX1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A58 vs Sony RX1
Compare A58 versus RX1 top
Comparison A58 or RX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Sony A58. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A58 nor the RX1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1 has a lens built in, whereas the A58 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 A58 gets 690 shots out of its NP-FM500H battery, while the RX1 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1 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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A58» 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.1 in 17.4 oz 690 n Feb 2013 599iSony A58
 
Sony RX1« 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799iSony RX1
 
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549iCanon SL1
 
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649iCanon T5i
 
Nikon D5600« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499iNikon D3300
 
Nikon D5300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 16.9 oz 600 n Oct 2013 799iNikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 540 n Apr 2012 599iNikon D3200
 
Sony RX1R II« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 iSony RX1R II
 
Sony A68« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 21.5 oz 540 n Nov 2015 699iSony A68
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999iSony A7 II
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 iSony A5100
 
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599iSony A6000
 
Sony A3000« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329iSony A3000
 
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799iSony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349iSony NEX-7
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

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. 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 Sony A58 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 132 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A58 and Sony RX1 sensor measures

With 24MP, the RX1 offers a higher resolution than the A58 (19.8MP), but the RX1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 4.31μm for the A58) due to its larger sensor. However, the A58 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the RX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony RX1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX1 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

A58 versus RX1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1 offers substantially better image quality than the A58 (overall score 19 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.8 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.8 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A58 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374Sony A58
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684Nikon D5600
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883Nikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181Nikon D3200
 
Sony RX1R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179Sony A68
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX1 provides a faster frame rate than the A58. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the A58 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 A58 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A58 and Sony RX1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony A581440 n 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y Sony A58
 
Sony RX1optional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5600
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D3200
 
Sony RX1R II2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Sony A68
 
Sony A7 II2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-72359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A58 and the RX1 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 SLT-A58 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A58YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A58
 
Sony RX1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYNikon D5600
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3200
 
Sony RX1R IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony RX1R II
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---Sony A68
 
Sony A7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony A3000
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-7YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony NEX-7

Both the A58 and the RX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1 was replaced by the Sony RX1R, while the A58 was followed by the Sony A68. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A58 or the Sony RX1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A58:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (690 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the RX1).


Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 19.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • 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 (1229k vs 460k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the A58 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 129x95mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the A58).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX1 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 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 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.

A58 06:12 RX1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A58 and the Sony RX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 A58 or the RX1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

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 (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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A58....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599iSony A58
 
Sony RX1..79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799iSony RX1
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549iCanon SL1
 
Canon T5i..76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649iCanon T5i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499iNikon D3300
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799iNikon D5300
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599iNikon D3200
 
Sony RX1R II..82/100..o4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 iSony RX1R II
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699iSony A68
 
Sony A7 II+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999iSony A7 II
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 iSony A5100
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599iSony A6000
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329iSony A3000
 
Sony RX1R....4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799iSony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-7+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349iSony NEX-7
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. 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.

Sony A58:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX1:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony A58 vs Sony RX1

    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 A58 Sony RX1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Sony A mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date February 2013 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 2799
    Sensor Specs Sony A58 Sony RX1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.8 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 852.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 19.8 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5456 x 3632 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 5.96 μm
    Pixel Density 5.41 MP/cm2 2.82 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-16000 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO 50-102400 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 74 93
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.3 25.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.5 14.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 753 2534
    Screen Specs Sony A58 Sony RX1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A58 Sony RX1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationNo handshake reduction
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Sony A58 Sony RX1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 Sony RX1
    Battery Type NP-FM500H NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)690 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 95 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 3.1 in)
    113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 492 g (17.4 oz) 482 g (17.0 oz)

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