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Fujifilm developing modified sensor to fix X10 and X-S1 white orbs

By dpreview staff on Mar 12, 2012 at 20:00 GMT

Fujifilm has released a statement explaining the causes of the 'white disc' blooming issue that affects certain images shot with the X10 high-end compact. The statement says the company is developing a modified sensor in response to the problem, that can also affect the X-S1 premium superzoom. It encourages X10 and X-S1 owners experiencing 'the white disc phenomenon' to contact their local Fujifilm service center.


Press Release:

Statement Regarding the FUJIFILM X10 and X-S1 Digital Camera ‘Blooming’ Effect

The XS-1, which shares a sensor with the X10, is also affected.

March 12, 2012

The FUJIFILM X10 and X-S1 digital cameras were made available by Fujifilm late last year, and have been generally very well received by customers, who admire the excellent picture quality, manual zoom lens and viewfinder.

However, we did receive some inquiries concerning the so-called ‘white disc’ or ‘blooming’ occurrence, where exceptional highlights in the picture can appear as strongly delineated rounded shapes. This ‘blooming’ effect can occur with all digital cameras which use CMOS sensors, to varying degrees.  It can also occur with the X10 and X-S1 when shooting in certain conditions, e.g. cars with front lights shining in dark night scene. The X10 and X-S1 are fitted with a very advanced sensor, which gives excellent picture quality and low noise, but which does give a different ‘blooming’ effect from other cameras. 

Fujifilm has a long-standing history of delivering top quality products to the market. In response to our customers’ comments, we have worked hard to find an improvement to reduce the ‘blooming’ effect of the X10 and X-S1. Below are the actions we have undertaken.

  1. In February, we announced a firmware upgrade for the X10 (version 1.03) which does reduce the white disc occurrence specifically in EXR mode. It works by identifying scenes that are likely to get ‘white disc’ blooming.  When the camera recognizes such a scene, it automatically increases the ISO and optimizes DR (dynamic range).  As the ISO increases, the white discs are less evident. * New firmware for the X-S1 will be available from March 21, 2012.
  1. We will also develop a modified sensor, which will more universally resolve the ‘white disc’ blooming effect in all modes. We are working hard to make this new sensor available from late May 2012.

We encourage any customer with an X10 and X-S1 who has experienced the ‘white disc’ phenomenon to call their local authorized Fujifilm service centre.

Fujifilm is committed to delivering the highest quality products to the photographic community, and is happy to provide this improvement. 

Comments

Total comments: 289
123
acassino
By acassino (Mar 13, 2012)

If I wanted the ISO increased, I'd increase it myself.

1 upvote
cab337
By cab337 (Mar 13, 2012)

When June rolls around we'll have even more photos of lamp posts to admire! Get your picture frames ready to frame the 8x10 of your neighborhood street at dusk!

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 13, 2012)

Yeah, because who'd want or expect a Fuji camera to be able to shoot this:

http://g2.img-dpreview.com/2CD32D8D026A41C2A647B5EA1EDA9B57.jpg

5 upvotes
cab337
By cab337 (Mar 13, 2012)

Hey that's a nice interesting picture!

1 upvote
Essai
By Essai (Mar 13, 2012)

this is one of the many reasons why you should avoid Fuji

2 upvotes
sterlinggold
By sterlinggold (Mar 13, 2012)

To all the disappointed x10 owners, why wait 3 months hoping Fuji will fix this? Deep inside you know they won't. Unlike Fuji I put my money where my keyboard is offering a 375$ bounty on a good condition unit. PM me if interested. No hate mail please, just trying to help... :-)

1 upvote
healer81
By healer81 (Mar 13, 2012)

They said they are going to replace the sensor for people. Stop trolling

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Mar 13, 2012)

If Fuji can turn this situation around... it will be a great boost to their brand and gain respect from current and future customers.

They should conduct an outright swap of the X10 to a brand new nominated equivalent or better camera.

.

1 upvote
gogo2
By gogo2 (Mar 13, 2012)

I can't help to read the article and summarize it as Fuji saying high quality image sensor causing the orb. So Fuji will reduce image quality from new sensor to fix the orb.

Does this means the new sensor will be bad IQ?

1 upvote
skyfotos
By skyfotos (Mar 13, 2012)

And you are dead boring!

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 14, 2012)

Even more ironically, some of those who railed against the "detractors" most strongly were the FIRST to put themselves on the list for a sensor replacement.

Eh, Crash/Max/Digby?

1 upvote
Kelvin L
By Kelvin L (Mar 13, 2012)

The way this issue has been discussed and handled is reminiscent of the Leica M8 infrared sensitivity problem.

1 upvote
Shomari
By Shomari (Mar 13, 2012)

Not announced on the Fuji site yet....Hmmm!

2 upvotes
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (Mar 13, 2012)

You sound suspiciously like a Fuji employee.

If you are, could you tell us how long it will take to replace the sensor? Who bears the shipping costs? (And how much dust is going to be included with the new sensor!)

"Warm response?" I also remember a firmware update Fuji claimed would solve the problem but did absolutely nothing of the sort. If it hadn't been for DPReview pointing out the useless firmware, I suspect Fuji would have done nothing at all.

Well I'm looking for a compact camera and after trying it out at the store, I thought the Fuji X10 was the one. After this debacle, however, I would not go near them. Their whole response to this problem has been cynical in the extreme. And I can't imagine anyone forking out near on 2000 euros for their new X-Pro 1 without waiting 6 months for all the stupid defects to emerge.

3 upvotes
metalized
By metalized (Mar 13, 2012)

Woow, I hope will they will replace the sensor with an X-Trans CMOS one :D

0 upvotes
timo
By timo (Mar 13, 2012)

Will the old X-10 sensor be replaced free? This is implied but not stated.

0 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Mar 13, 2012)

Good.
Now what about X100 sticky aperture blade recall?

3 upvotes
Webzilla
By Webzilla (Mar 13, 2012)

A few years ago I owned a Fuji F410 camera that worked fine untill one day (after about 10.000 pictures taken) the sensor failed. On their website Fuji admitted that there was a failure in this kind of sensor and that it would be replaced. And so they did, for free!
By the way, this camera costed me the same amount of money as the X10.

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Mar 13, 2012)

I am still using Fujifilm F11 for document recording; I have used this camera for nearly 6 years and shot for more than 80,000 documents... All the the camera, the XD memory card and the battery are still in excellent working condition.
Because the F11 is so good, I bought another Fujifilm F200 two years ago. But apparently, the workmanship of the F200 is not as good as F11 and there is no significant improvement in image quality when compared with F11.
F11 was made in Japan but F200 was made in China. I don't know whether this is the reason why F11 looks much better than F200.
Anyway, x10 and x-pro1 will be my next Fuji cameras.

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Mar 13, 2012)

Fujifilm should understand what is customer satisfaction. They should start the recall process immediately and stop shipment of the products until the problem of the sensor is fixed.
The brand name is more important than a short-term financial benefit.
I would consider an x10 when its problem is fixed.

4 upvotes
Tom Schum
By Tom Schum (Mar 13, 2012)

If Fuji can pull this off with good success, their XPro-1 sales will see a boost.

1 upvote
kevin camera
By kevin camera (Mar 13, 2012)

oh wow. this is a sensor problem now? it's good that fuji is hinting that there will be a recall. i'm more confident in buying the xpro 1 now...

0 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (Mar 13, 2012)

Great news. Unless there's something wrong with the new sensor, I'll be getting an X10 for the summer.

3 upvotes
shutterbobby
By shutterbobby (Mar 13, 2012)

Good for us..Fuji finally owned up to the problem...(which they knew about before they released the X10) and now we see in a few months if its really fixed...but then the X20 or whatever will be announced-and so it goes...

but the 1.03 firmware did Nothing for the Orbs.EXR bla bla bla...so please Fuji give us some credit for having a little intelligence....

0 upvotes
Dan4321
By Dan4321 (Mar 13, 2012)

Can you say Recall?

Likely Fuji will end up losing money for every camera they already built/sold, recalls are a disaster but they are the only way to redeem the company that made the mistake and this is a pretty big one to get out the door.

1 upvote
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (Mar 13, 2012)

Well they should pull back all camera stock and stop selling this camera until the problem is solved and the new sensor is in the camera's. Both camera's are to expensive to just sell them at the time.

1 upvote
jrantaka
By jrantaka (Mar 12, 2012)

Just my 2 cents on the issue;

Fuji did the right thing, of course it did. Recalling and fixing the issues is a good thing and necessary for the users of the camera. They'll get what they paid for. I don't want to hear no explanation from people who don't experience the orbs because they don't take pictures in situations the orbs appear, no camera should function as a limit on what you can take photos on. Yes, I know it's advanced technology but it should be also READY when it's pushed out the market.

As to Fuji's dealings in general I kinda like their retro-nostalgic look of cameras but they really have to get their quality control together if they want to get the high-end market. I mean first the X100 aperture thing and now this. And I don't know about the general consumer but for my eyes the retro look is growing old really fast..

2 upvotes
tinternaut
By tinternaut (Mar 12, 2012)

It's not nice to have a product recall but at least Fuji are doing something about their foo fighters.

0 upvotes
Danielepaolo
By Danielepaolo (Mar 13, 2012)

It is not really a recall. Just a send the camera in for a replacement if you want to because we don't really beleive it is a problem.

2 upvotes
Indulis Bernsteins
By Indulis Bernsteins (Mar 13, 2012)

Yes- there is no problem that we'll admit to, this is why we've spent a lot of money fixing the nonexistent problem. Why they don't just come out and admit reality. It'd be refreshing to hear a company just say (early in the process!) "there is a major issue with the sensor. we apologise and will fix it or refund the purchase price". Even this announcement is full of spin about "degrees of blooming" and "different blooming effect". It is like saying a car whose steering wheel falls off has a "different driving experience".

5 upvotes
Dennis
By Dennis (Mar 13, 2012)

...a car whose steering wheel falls off has a "different driving experience"...

LOL :-)

0 upvotes
tipit08
By tipit08 (Mar 12, 2012)

I would actually wait until the beginning and maybe even the end of the summer to see the reviews and user comments on the new cameras to see if the problem has actually been solved.

I'm not sure a modified sensor developed in a few months and "as quickly as possible" is such a good idea...

I love the XS-1 concept but I may wait for the.... XS-2 !

1 upvote
Silent Oracle
By Silent Oracle (Mar 12, 2012)

I'm wondering if the fix will be free.

Everything aside, this is a big deal - that Fuji made this move.

2 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (Mar 12, 2012)

their statement would have been more credible if they honestly had admitted that the firmware DID NOT work.
Anybody can make a mistake once (white orbs, in this case). err is human.
but proposing a "firmware fix" was stupid: didn't they check if it would work or not?
well, the firmware DID NOT work.
and now not admitting that the firmware did not work is plain arrogant.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 12, 2012)

The X10 is done. At least until May. I don't see anyone in their right mind buying one until they know what Fuji intends to do then. And they have not clearly said you will get a free replacement.

10 upvotes
aeneon
By aeneon (Mar 12, 2012)

I am actually still feeling pretty sceptical . I wouldnt advise anyone to buy an X10 until we see others posting here in May claiming success.
There may be unseen issues and the new sensor may be scrapped and instead a new model rolled out !! Thats my fears .

8 upvotes
shutterbobby
By shutterbobby (Mar 13, 2012)

yes the X20 will be announced by then I think....maybe they will get it right then..as it has potential as a killer pocket cam...

1 upvote
igocompact
By igocompact (Mar 12, 2012)

I was just sitting on my couch laughing at the marvels of this camera. Every time I turn it on I learn something new about it. This camera is a gem and no, I'm not an orb denier. I have had a few that I purposely attempted to created when the news first broke of the problem. Apart from the orbs which for some is a major issue but not so much for me however I was wanting a fix.

So today after my recent joy playing with my X10, I decided to check into dpreview to read what hyper negativity would be flying around..I wonder how many posting their negative comments have actually used the X10? So all I can say is I'm glad Fuji has moved to fix the sensor however I agree with skyfotos - "for pity's sake this is a camera!" We pay way too little for these amazing machines..i'm not saying $600. is nothing but in relative terms to what that would get you even 30 years ago..there is no comparison... My Konica Hexar cost $900. 20 years ago..great camera but no match for the X10.. just an example.

4 upvotes
ERKG
By ERKG (Mar 12, 2012)

Fujifilm is an innovative company that did not choose the easy conventional way to create their cameras .They could have consider using proven conventional Sony sensors in their cameras and sustain their business well with these sensors like many other camera makers do nowadays and avoid risks they live today.However Fuji chose the innovative and risky way.In x-10 they did it well but soon understood that the great image quality of that sensor was accompanied by a sideeffect ,the ORBs.Obviously they are now in a very hard position because of this problem.If we look with a customer's perspective we can easily accuse them and obviosly we are right.However if we look from companies perspective this is actually a very hard situation to manage.Yes Fuji did something wrong but because of their innovative POV and their willingness of reaching better image quality made me look tolerable to this matter.I do not want to see Fuji fade out from the market because of this failor.

4 upvotes
shutterbobby
By shutterbobby (Mar 13, 2012)

yes may be true and many good innovations on this camera..but why release it before its finished..that's what many are upset about..no one else has anything close at the moment..so what was the hurry..

1 upvote
Sanford
By Sanford (Mar 13, 2012)

Not exactly a stunning admission of guilt. Who wrote this for them, Rush Limbaugh? They built a faulty camera, put it on the market, and hoped no one would notice.

0 upvotes
Stefan Stuart Fletcher
By Stefan Stuart Fletcher (Mar 12, 2012)

One day, an electronics firm will say: "we f*cked up; we're sorry; we didn't do it on purpose; here's the fix".

I'm not holding my breath.

Instead, this release is so full of self-aggrandizing CYA statements that I have difficulty believing any of them.

I hope Fuji owners experiencing this problem get it fixed soon with or without all the doublespeak.

0 upvotes
skyfotos
By skyfotos (Mar 12, 2012)

READ THIS!

"We will also develop a modified sensor, which will more universally resolve the ‘white disc’ blooming effect in all modes. We are working hard to make this new sensor available from late May 2012.
We encourage any customer with an X10 and X-S1 who has experienced the ‘white disc’ phenomenon to call their local authorized Fujifilm service centre.

Fujifilm is committed to delivering the highest quality products to the photographic community, and is happy to provide this improvement."

1 upvote
igocompact
By igocompact (Mar 12, 2012)

people complain that Fuji does nothing and then when they do they complain even more. Such a bunch of negativity which is all pervasive in society today...nothing is good enough..no one is doing enough except for all the internet yackers. Fujifilm is moving on this issue.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 12, 2012)

What did they say they are doing exactly? Are you and I getting a free replacement in May? There's a lot of wiggle room here.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Webzilla
By Webzilla (Mar 13, 2012)

Please, which modern camera is there with no firmware updates?

0 upvotes
KeeChiuPeng
By KeeChiuPeng (Mar 12, 2012)

watch that typo caption,

"Fujifilm devoloping modified sensor to fix X10 and X-S1 white orbs" duh

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Mar 12, 2012)

I think that's an announcement.
The faulty sensors will be replaced end of May.
I am satisfied

1 upvote
skyfotos
By skyfotos (Mar 12, 2012)

Good on them! The sensors WILL be replaced in May when service centres expect to get them. Fuji confirmed this to me today. This is a major recall and is what we might expect from from major companies who provide quality consumer goods. This action is complied with by consumers when life-threatening faults are found in products such as motor cars and electrical goods - for pity's sake this is a camera!

2 upvotes
Klay
By Klay (Mar 12, 2012)

Bit unclear as to how they will treat those who already own the camera (or will buy one before the new sensor is in the new X10s). They have the firmware (attempted) fix and they can call a service center. Will they then be able to swap out the sensor for no-charge, a fee.. ? I see one person called the center in NZ and was told that a firmware update is coming. That sounds like the staff at the service center haven't gotten this memo

1 upvote
Jarrett84
By Jarrett84 (Mar 12, 2012)

Have half of you missed the statement where Fuji says CURRENT OWNERS CONTACT SERVICE CENTRE?

"We encourage any customer with an X10 and X-S1 who has experienced the ‘white disc’ phenomenon to call their local authorized Fujifilm service centre."

The service centre will fix/replace your X10 free of charge - everyone is under warranty. That's what they do.

4 upvotes
Klay
By Klay (Mar 12, 2012)

"The service centre will fix/replace your X10 free of charge - everyone is under warranty. That's what they do."

That's what they do if they decide to cover it under warranty and that the solution is to fix/replace the camera. If that's their policy, they should have stated it clearly. As it is, they have wiggle room to not replace or repair.

5 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (Mar 13, 2012)

I don't see where's that wiggle room. What else would they ask you to contact customer service for? To tell you "get stuffed and keep your faulty camera"?

1 upvote
Klay
By Klay (Mar 13, 2012)

They haven't clearly stated that they would replace the sensor (or the camera) if you called. Where does it say that? It doesn't. They have not even said that they would replace or repair under warranty (because that might be the same as admitting that all X10s are defective - also something they did not say). All they said is call. The wiggle room is in what they do after you call. Ignoring your silly "get stuffed" straw man, they might just guide you through the firmware update and hope you are happy, they might replace the camera, they might very well say "Sorry, we tested it and it's not defective and therefore not covered under warranty"... all kinds of wiggle room in the carefully written statement.

I tend to think that they will err on the side of replacing the sensor or camera to avoid more bad press... but they haven't been very concise.

2 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Mar 12, 2012)

1. firmware doesn't work
2. raising ISO is not what you want
3. stating a new sensor is coming indicates it is in fact a major problem that cannot be solved with a firmware update
4. They pray and delay (praying is a good thing though)

Makes me wonder if these giant companies have real world testers. Do you need one Fujifilm? I'm here for you!

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
chiane
By chiane (Mar 12, 2012)

My God, could they sprinkle that with any more rose petals and perfume? it's like their spin team (I really mean marketing team) went into overdrive to make this problem sound as mundane as humanly possible and their camera as fantastic as humanly possible. I don't work in advertising, but do the people that do really think they can fool customers by writing flowery prose?

8 upvotes
ljclark
By ljclark (Mar 12, 2012)

Trust me...It aint the spin team. It's the legal team.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 13, 2012)

I don't mean to be rude but when things like this occur--and we're not talking about bad Tylenol, just spoiled photos--companies never admit "guilt" or beg for mercy. Besides, even falling on swords would be an inadequate response for some people here.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 12, 2012)

I think the real villain in this fiasco was the person at Fuji who published the literal translation "the camera performs within specifications". Obviously, this meant that all the stuff in the back of the instruction manual-- shutter speeds, focus, exposure were working properly. And that's all that it meant(!) The technician could just as easily have said "well, we don't have a specific test for orbs". But Fuji misread the consumers, some of whom flew into a rage, saying that Fuji was denying the existance of these orbs when nobody has ever said they don't exist. I personally doubt they were even aware of them but I am quite sure that before any new camera is released they will take lots of photos of car headlights.

2 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Mar 12, 2012)

Agree :) and public lighting poles too

2 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Mar 13, 2012)

And anyone that takes photos of street lamps will be imposed an ORB tax.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Mar 12, 2012)

If the fix the problems in the May sensor, then they have got lots of publicity :)

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 12, 2012)

By May who wants a nine month old model?

2 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (Mar 13, 2012)

What?? It's MONTHS, not years, dude. I'll definitely want one, as there's nothing else out there equivalent to the X10. IF they fix the white disc problem I'll be all over it

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Mar 12, 2012)

If Fuji wants credibility with the high end market (and lets face it... the X100, X10, and X1-Pro are all aimed at the high end of their respective markets) then they really have to make this right.

And this means "a sensor replacement" and not another firmware fix that only works if you squint your eyes and talk yourself into believing it works.

If they don't make this right, they can go back to selling $89 P&S cameras at Walmart in 14 different colors.... and they can forget about ever being taken seriously again.

8 upvotes
RadPhoto
By RadPhoto (Mar 13, 2012)

Well said.

0 upvotes
Dennis
By Dennis (Mar 12, 2012)

Can the above statement be found at a Fujifilm website? I don't see anything at www.fujifilm.com/news

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Mar 12, 2012)

Thanks to DPR, all complainants, whiners and unhappily people that who refused to accept and conform to a defect of Fuji. It seems that their prayers were answered. That's good.

Funny side of the coin, even those who feel that their camera is in good condition and criticized those who complained, they also will take advantage of this movement and its advantages if they choose to change the sensor in your camera.I think the Fuji should not change their sensor :o) lol

Let's see the next Fuji steps...

1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (Mar 12, 2012)

Pretty insipid statement, that doesn't really admit fault. But hey it's such a non-issue we are making a new sensor.

Glad I didn't rush into an X10 purchase.

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Mar 12, 2012)

Redraw the sensor and replace the sensor of affected cameras is already a sign of assumed guilt. I personally don't run to buy a camera as soon as they come out to the market, I am waiting for opinions and tests. And so I hope to continue to do so.
And I advise not to go run and buy the X 1-Pro until they get results from this model.

1 upvote
exp1orer
By exp1orer (Mar 12, 2012)

so what are they going to do with those loyal customers who already bought their defective cameras?

1 upvote
wlad
By wlad (Mar 12, 2012)

so, these "new sensors" - will they make it only into new camera models ? Or new batches of the affected cameras ? Or will the current users get a replacement ?

..not that I have such a camera, I'm just wondering how will fujifilm deal with current owners...

0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Mar 12, 2012)

Fuji is a lying, unethical company.

6 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Mar 12, 2012)

true that

0 upvotes
Joe11
By Joe11 (Mar 12, 2012)

Disappointing statement, especially also for the interested parties, which were waiting for this statement before buying this camera.
Now we don't know what to do. Wait further 3 months and stay with the old camera for the time being ? Will this new sensor maybe have some further improvements or is it "just" without contamination of raw-material ?
Fuji should give further more detailed statements, because with current statement, I probably will buy no X10, as long as there is no improved sensor.
Don't know, if Nikon 5100 has face recognition for it's self-timer. Then I maybe buy this one. Don't want to wait further 3 months now ..

2 upvotes
Juraj Lacko
By Juraj Lacko (Mar 12, 2012)

Fuji brings fresh ideas to customers that are highly desirable. Sadly often their products have issues that put me off buying their products. I am curious what new X-Pro1 will suffer with...

6 upvotes
andywhoa
By andywhoa (Mar 12, 2012)

I think it's reasonable to presume most DPreviewers are adults, and the global extent of dreadful parenting is impressive. Some of you are the most infantile human beings to plague this planet.

13 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Mar 12, 2012)

its called "customer" aka the guys that pay for all the stuff that keeps companies like fuji in the business you know? :)

and in 2012 the customers are more grown up then ever and thats a good thing

i dont own a x10 but i owned a x100 and fuji deserves every angry customer they have

0 upvotes
xoio
By xoio (Mar 12, 2012)

Well
At least we now have it confirmed that it WAS a duff sensor all along, and the only fix is going to have to be a new one, but will they be honourable and offer a swap for existing customers?

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Mar 12, 2012)

Now I believe that yes, if they call the current owners of these cameras, they will certainly change the sensor for free.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 289
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