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Author Topic: Nikon vs. Cannon  (Read 233309 times)
valkyrie1965
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« on: March 03, 2007, 05:25:27 PM »
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I am a photography student and I am ready to buy a good digital SLR.  My  photography interest include:  landscape, action and portraiture.  My instructor has recommended the Cannon. My sister who is in the business says Nikon is industry standard. Price is not really an issue, but I want to be sure I don't regret my purchase. Any advice
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Christopher
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 06:04:18 PM »
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I am a photography student and I am ready to buy a good digital SLR.  My  photography interest include:  landscape, action and portraiture.  My instructor has recommended the Cannon. My sister who is in the business says Nikon is industry standard. Price is not really an issue, but I want to be sure I don't regret my purchase. Any advice
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Ok what do you mean by price is no factor ?  

I would go with Canon. Perhaps because I own three of their cameras, but I really would consider the Canon 5D. Fantastic, and I think gives you most for your money. 1Ds series is to unknoen, sorry wouldn't spent so much money know there we know, that something new is coming this fall.

I don't know why your sister is saying Nikon is standard. As much as I know Canon rules pretty much.


If you go for a cheaper Model you really should think about Nikon, because the D200 is nice, too. But I really prefer FF.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 06:12:20 PM »
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My photography interest include: landscape, action and portraiture.

That about covers the whole scope. I'd say look around to see what the pros use. Most sports events are dominated by Canons. In my business, architectural photography, Canons overwhelmingly dominate DSLR usage because of the full chip and availability of perspective control lenses. Look at what people are using in the fields that interest you.

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My sister who is in the business says Nikon is industry standard.

This was certainly true about 20 years ago. Since the digital revolution though it has swayed back and forth in DSLR between Canon and Nikon with an overall edge to Canon IMO. Next year anything is possible as the technology and competition escalates.

Frankly I don't think you could go wrong with either system for your stated purposes. More than anything else your results will depend on your budget for high end camera bodies and good lenses and doing your homework for quality purchases. There are dogs in each system. Beyond that how you use your equipment will matter enormously and perhaps more than the differences in the two excellent systems.

FWIW, I own a ton of Canon equipment, all of which I have bought in the last year. I could do my work with Nikons, but there would be some compromises. For the foreseeable future it looks like I made the right choice for my work.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 06:16:02 PM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

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AWeil
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 07:05:02 PM »
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Go to a well stocked camera-store and 'try them on'. Even if you have to travel a bit to do that, it will be worth your while. You will spend a lot of time with the camera in your hand and whatever feels more comfortable, more intuitive and 'fits' better to you personally will be the one. Both brands have an excellent line up of different models and lenses. And there are other brands as well.
Even if money is not an issue, it might be thought to go for a less expensive outfit and see which of the three topics interest you more (or most). Maybe, you would prefer a Hasselblad with a digital back? Just kidding.
The best advice would be: Take your time and actually handle the cameras you are interested in and some you have not thought about.

Angela
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ericstaud
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 07:12:14 PM »
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Looking at what the pros use will not be very useful to you as a student.  In cameras that cost anywhere from $500.00 to $1500.00 Nikon is a very clear leader if you are buying new.  The ergonomics and features on a camera like a D80 are better than the digital Rebel.  

The advantages that Canon gives you are: it's selection of sports lenses in the $2-10K range, it's ability to use exotic 3rd party wide angle lenses for architecture (costing $2-3K each), and that it is full frame (if you spend $3k or more on the body).  None of these is an actual advantage for a student.

What about some extra lenses for the portraits (some of those fast, fixed ones)....

Nikon 50mm 1.4  $250.00
Canon 50mm 1.2  $1600.00

Nikon 85mm 1.4  1000.00
Canon 85mm 1.2  1700.00

My main point here is that the Pros are using a different set of criteria to make decisions on these cameras.  The budget is very different.  I know you say price is not an issue, but the quality of images from a D200 will be so similar to a 5d at half the cost that price should be an issue.  The D200 will also squash the ergonomics and features of the Rebel series.

This is all IMHO of course.  I see a lot of photography students using Nikons.
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dseelig
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2007, 07:39:34 PM »
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Hi
 If you look at a canon 50 mm 1.4 oit goes for 275 or there abouts . It depends on the work you do. If you shoot in low light at all canon is a no brainer. It simpky has less noise then anything else out there. If low light means nbothing to you and do not shoot above 400 iso then there are pros and cons both ways . Nikon has the best mid level camera in terms oi weather seal the d200 . If you want fsat wide angle lenses go with canon and a full frame sensor. When I started shooting sports Sports Illustrated was 50- 50 nikon or canon Now Only one left shoots nothing but nikon most Shoot Canon .
 Good luck
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Looking at what the pros use will not be very useful to you as a student.  In cameras that cost anywhere from $500.00 to $1500.00 Nikon is a very clear leader if you are buying new.  The ergonomics and features on a camera like a D80 are better than the digital Rebel. 

The advantages that Canon gives you are: it's selection of sports lenses in the $2-10K range, it's ability to use exotic 3rd party wide angle lenses for architecture (costing $2-3K each), and that it is full frame (if you spend $3k or more on the body).  None of these is an actual advantage for a student.

What about some extra lenses for the portraits (some of those fast, fixed ones)....

Nikon 50mm 1.4  $250.00
Canon 50mm 1.2  $1600.00

Nikon 85mm 1.4  1000.00
Canon 85mm 1.2  1700.00

My main point here is that the Pros are using a different set of criteria to make decisions on these cameras.  The budget is very different.  I know you say price is not an issue, but the quality of images from a D200 will be so similar to a 5d at half the cost that price should be an issue.  The D200 will also squash the ergonomics and features of the Rebel series.

This is all IMHO of course.  I see a lot of photography students using Nikons.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2007, 07:58:13 PM »
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Of the advice you've seen here so far, I think Angela's is the most important. "Ergonomics" isn't just a theoretical concept, it's what feels right to you, in your own hands. Both Nikon and Canon make excellent cameras and lenses (and both make some dogs.) If you spend some time at a camera store trying several models from each, you should pretty soon get a sense of what feels comfortable in your own hands.

I personally like full-frame, and I love my Canon 5D. I previously had a 10D which did very well, too. So I am personally solidly in the Canon camp, but that doesn't mean it's the best for you. My brother uses (and swears by) Nikons.

Good luck with your selection, and please let us know what you end up with.
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Christopher
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2007, 03:42:16 AM »
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"Ergonomics" are on part of a camera, but certainly not the biggest one or why else do so many of us still use something like 1D(s) Mk2 ;-)
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2007, 04:23:04 AM »
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I am a photography student and I am ready to buy a good digital SLR.  My  photography interest include:  landscape, action and portraiture.  My instructor has recommended the Cannon. My sister who is in the business says Nikon is industry standard. Price is not really an issue, but I want to be sure I don't regret my purchase. Any advice
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The truth is that it is a very bad time to ask the question.

Although I am, among other things, a Nikon user, I'd say that the most universal answer today is probably to get a Canon 5D.

I am saying that now is a bad timing because there are very insistent rumours that Nikon is about to annouce their own full frame (or nearly so) based camera. My recommendation would then instantly switch to Nikon.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Marsupilami
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 04:57:18 AM »
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The truth is that it is a very bad time to ask the question.

Although I am, among other things, a Nikon user, I'd say that the most universal answer today is probably to get a Canon 5D.

I am saying that now is a bad timing because there are very insistent rumours that Nikon is about to annouce their own full frame (or nearly so) based camera. My recommendation would then instantly switch to Nikon.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Funny that I am working with a 5D and think that for outdoor use the Nikon D2x would be the better camera (weather sealed, faster, much better viewfinder, better display,..) General I find the picture quality of the 5D very good, but only with the best lenses (24-70 2,8 for example) and only if you dont get a lemon which happens in both camps frequently I fear. My new purchased 17-40 L never made it up to the optical performance of the 24-70 so I sold it. Waiting for that 16-35 II for 1700.-, I am not sure if I will buy it for that price. (for super wide angle I do lot of stiching with really right stuff panorama plate, and that works very well).
If Nikon brings an almost full frame camera I predict that all Nikon users will start to find out the hard way, that Nikon is nothing better in wide angle performance than Canon. All optics of both companies were never designed for digital use, so unpleasant surprises will happen mainly below 28/24 mm optics. The main feature of a full frame sensor is ISO performance, which I needed when I purchased the 5D (weddings at candlelight for example - hard to do that with a Nikon). As I am now able to go back to more "outdoor" stuff again (never enjoyed the press/wedding stuff very much), I would say Nikon would suit me more. As mentioned ergonomics are important, I can work with Canon very well, but I had a D2X for testing a few days and liked it better (and actually I came from the Nikon D-100 camp, so I am used to Nikon too). Than there is the question of which optics you think you need, the more you go the wide angle the more you are better suited with Canon, but only with the expensive new 16-35 lens (look at threads about Canon users which adapt old olympus, leica or zeiss lenses to their cameras, they dont do it for fun, but because wide angle is a tough area with digital cameras). The more you go the Tele end, you will find advantages of the cropped sensor.
And also the Raw converter will have a very high impact on the quality of your files. DXO is amazing with landscape, architecture, but ACR is good with portrait, as it makes easier for a softer look (which is hard to get in DXO)

It is a hard decision, and the bad thing is, you might feel in a year that it was the wrong one, no matter what you did this time.

Good Luck !

Christian
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Khun_K
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2007, 05:17:18 AM »
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Funny that I am working with a 5D and think that for outdoor use the Nikon D2x would be the better camera (weather sealed, faster, much better viewfinder, better display,..) General I find the picture quality of the 5D very good, but only with the best lenses (24-70 2,8 for example) and only if you dont get a lemon which happens in both camps frequently I fear. My new purchased 17-40 L never made it up to the optical performance of the 24-70 so I sold it. Waiting for that 16-35 II for 1700.-, I am not sure if I will buy it for that price. (for super wide angle I do lot of stiching with really right stuff panorama plate, and that works very well).
If Nikon brings an almost full frame camera I predict that all Nikon users will start to find out the hard way, that Nikon is nothing better in wide angle performance than Canon. All optics of both companies were never designed for digital use, so unpleasant surprises will happen mainly below 28/24 mm optics. The main feature of a full frame sensor is ISO performance, which I needed when I purchased the 5D (weddings at candlelight for example - hard to do that with a Nikon). As I am now able to go back to more "outdoor" stuff again (never enjoyed the press/wedding stuff very much), I would say Nikon would suit me more. As mentioned ergonomics are important, I can work with Canon very well, but I had a D2X for testing a few days and liked it better (and actually I came from the Nikon D-100 camp, so I am used to Nikon too). Than there is the question of which optics you think you need, the more you go the wide angle the more you are better suited with Canon, but only with the expensive new 16-35 lens (look at threads about Canon users which adapt old olympus, leica or zeiss lenses to their cameras, they dont do it for fun, but because wide angle is a tough area with digital cameras). The more you go the Tele end, you will find advantages of the cropped sensor.
And also the Raw converter will have a very high impact on the quality of your files. DXO is amazing with landscape, architecture, but ACR is good with portrait, as it makes easier for a softer look (which is hard to get in DXO)

It is a hard decision, and the bad thing is, you might feel in a year that it was the wrong one, no matter what you did this time.

Good Luck !

Christian
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The debate on weather seal can be quite subjective. A weather seal camera needs to work with a weather seal lens and a weather sealed flash system so far only Canon offer such solution. The typical weather sealed option also depends on how far the user willing to push their equipment to go, and under not-so-harsh condition, perhpas 5D works as good as cameras so called weather sealed. But if one push the camera to go beyond normal, then the weather seal issue has to address to all the compobets - lens, flash and so on, then just the body won't work.
I think we should not doubt the Canon 5D as of today offer the top image in a common package. The nice thing about Canon is that if offer a logical range of cameras from the very low bottom to the very top end on 135mm type DSLR, with not just shooting rate, body build, pixel count, resolution, but also sensor size. Every camera brans has their loyalty customers, but it is no wonder Canon has the biggest pie.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2007, 06:54:25 AM »
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Funny that I am working with a 5D and think that for outdoor use the Nikon D2x would be the better camera (weather sealed, faster, much better viewfinder, better display,..) [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104532\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Christian,

That's my opinion too if landscape is the main application, but the OP also mentioned portrait.

The main value of the D2x for landscape is IMHO its APS sensor delivering both more DoF and a more uniform image quality with wide angle lenses.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2007, 01:25:42 PM »
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One more option??

The Fuji S5

The Fuji DSLRs are know for extended dynamic range and very natural skin tones.  The new S5 is also a big improvement in the body itself, which I believe is a D200.  About $1800.00.  It's worth considering.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2007, 01:30:58 PM »
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Looking at what the pros use will not be very useful to you as a student.

I couldn't disagree more. looking at what the pros use for a particular kind of photography teaches you allot about what features are optimum for a particular use and why. What is a better place to look? Some of the pros choices may be outside your budget but at least you have a sense of what you ultimately may need. Also, he did say that price was not a factor.

I teach at two universities and numerous workshops. Most students walk into entry level classes with (budget aside) less than optimum choices of cameras. The last place I would look for recommendations are students unless they are upper level or graduate students with some experience under their belt.
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2007, 02:02:20 PM »
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Any advice
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I use nikon

Go for Canon 5d

Full frame view looks right with todays focal ranges


Buy only lenses that will cover full frame exept maybe an extreme wide zoom which will go in the bin in time

You can get great value with prime lenses

---

One advantage of Nikon however is that you can get ancient lenses very cheap

50 1.4 etc - if only there was a cheap old wide (there isnt)

The fact that they dont meter and  dont have AF will help you progress from student to master very quickly

Id go Canon 5d and a 20 2.8  and a 50 1.8 and maybe a 135 or 180(?)

Or a nikon and an 18 and a 35 1.4 mF

What you need to be evaluatiing is the difference between the expensive 5d and cheap wide lenses and a cheaper nikon but expensive (or crappy) wide lenses

I dont think zooms help you learn and I dont think lenses with apertures smaller than 2.8 help you learn focus control either

You only need three lenses a wide a normal and a tele - get the tele last and learn to get up close and personal

My recomend

canon 5d 20mm or 24mm and 50mm

or on a real budget  nikon (D100?) and 12-24 and 50 1.8 manual

With canon you wont ever need to upgrade from those lenses so could be cheaper in the long run

SMM
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2007, 02:34:01 PM »
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I was a Nikon user up until I shifted to FF Canons. Ergonomics are different, but you can learn to use a camera but can't change the camera's format so your decision will key you in to a specific system for some time to come - unless your budget really is unlimited. Although there are subtleties of the Nikons that I miss, one thing that I do like is not having to 'relearn' lenses - I much prefer to use '35mm' focal lengths on FF - something which is akin to 'mental ergonomics' in a way. As already stated, I'd stick to fixed focal lengths and keep things simple - 24/50/135 or 20/35/85, etc will cover an awful lot at not a hideous outlay. Lastly, if you are so minded, various adapters allow you to use Nikon lenses on the Canon FFs so you can hedge your bets (not G or DX lenses) and have access to loads of cheaper, older lenses (and find out whether Nikon w/as are as good/equal/better than Canon's at the same time) albeit at the expense of metering and focus automation. As has been already stated, this is not a bad way to learn.
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BJL
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2007, 03:05:50 PM »
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What amazingly dogmatic suggestions you have received!

My dogmatic suggestions?

- Set a price range

- Study the options for body and lens combinations in that price range and see how they work for you. Read online reviews, study sample photos, including downloading and printing some if possible, try gear out in a camera store, and so on. Maybe borrow cameras from fellow students.

- Consider even other brands: many very good photographers are getting good results, with Fuji, Olympus, Pentax, and Konica-Minolta/Sony DSLR's.

- Focus on gear in your price range and maybe a bit beyond, not far more expensive gear of the same brand. Brand choice is not "till death do us part" so it is better to run a small chance of having to change brand later if you move to far higher price level than to hamper yourself with gear that is not a good fit now. (I have been through Pentax, Canon and Olympus so far in three decades of SLR usage.)
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2007, 08:53:07 PM »
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In the 70's and 80's Nikon was way ahead of canon, it probably outsold canon 3 to 1, today is the other way around. For how long? Funny that back then, the camera that made most money for me was a Pentax, (a 6x7)....
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2007, 10:29:20 PM »
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In the 70's and 80's Nikon was way ahead of canon, it probably outsold canon 3 to 1, today is the other way around.
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These things are changing quick.

The sales figures of DSLR in Japan for early 2007 give Nikon 49% market share while Canon is at 35%. Granted, this figure is probably strongly influenced by the success of the D40 and might not be representative of the overall levels of both companies.

The figures are probably different also in other geos, but it is pretty obvious that the clear lead Canon had 2 years ago has overall been reversed.

This shows that it is important to distinguish a possible technological lead in the high end and the way volume cameras are preceived by consumers and selling. Canon releasing tomorrow a 40MP 2ds with perfect corner sharpness and ISO 12800 would probably not impact their market share much until they implement the new technologies in bodies most people can afford.

The bottomline being that, for someone looking for pro grade cameras, the market share of the company producing the camera is IMHO irrelevant. The 5D would still be a great camera even if Nikon were to outsell Canon 2 to 1 like in the old days.

Regards,
Bernard
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2007, 11:35:22 PM »
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Two more things for the original poster to consider:

You said you were a student.  Are you considering working for a school publication such as newspaper or yearbook, or might you in the future?  If so, what sort of gear pool does your school have?  Being able to borrow is always a good thing and can really help you out when you are saving your money at first.

I second BJL's advice about setting a budget, but don't just budget for a camera/lens.  Remember all the little (or not so little) pieces of gear you might need/want: tripod, monopod, flash, bags, belts, vests, batteries, pocket wizards, another flash, some softboxes, memory cards, an extra charger, vertical grip, gaff tape, ramen to eat because you spent all your money on gear......the list goes on and on!
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