Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Started Nov 22, 2012 | Questions
Peter Berglund Regular Member • Posts: 103
Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

I'm looking to get a higher end small camera that will be used mainly, but not only, as a P&S. At least half of the pictures will be of our 18 month old daughter but overall I'm looking for high IQ. I currently have a Powershot SX210 IS and will keep it for outdoor shots where the 14x zoom is useful, but the shutter lag makes it difficult to take any shots of our daughter now that she is mobile.

I have narrowed it down to the S110 or EOS M (presumably with the kit zoom lens and a flash).

Any advise and thoughts would be very helpful.  Especially interested in Thanks.

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s100new New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Uhhhh. I myself has a S100 which I like and which is very similar (or almost identical) to S110 (picture taking wise, that is. Not about which one of the two has GPS or touch screen, I mean), but for the type of photo taking you are talking about (mainly indoor or actually at home taking photos of a 18-month old kid who might be constantly moving, and where size or weight of camera might not be much of a concern at all), I'd say a dSLR with a bright lens is the way to go.

Flash? I hate flash;-). I'd rather use F1.4, F1.8 or F2.0 (whichever is available) and high ISO if necessary than using flash at all. But that's just me;-)

abi170845 Regular Member • Posts: 348
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

I agree, I am also looking for a replacement for my s90 but the prices of premium compacts are the are more or less the same as getting a dslr! For versatility sake, get a dslr, for example I was thinking of getting these:

1. RX100, for the price I can get the 600D, little more the 60d

2. Fuji X-E1 with lens I can get a 7D

3. EOS M, I can get the 600D, 650D or 60D

4. Canon GX-1 I can get a 600D

I'd say just go for a dslr.

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crudman Regular Member • Posts: 209
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?
1

abi170845 wrote:

I agree, I am also looking for a replacement for my s90 but the prices of premium compacts are the are more or less the same as getting a dslr! For versatility sake, get a dslr, for example I was thinking of getting these:

1. RX100, for the price I can get the 600D, little more the 60d

2. Fuji X-E1 with lens I can get a 7D

3. EOS M, I can get the 600D, 650D or 60D

4. Canon GX-1 I can get a 600D

I'd say just go for a dslr.

All of which are tons more bulky than the requested 2. Premium Compacts are the versatile cameras. Once they upgrade they probably won't want to use their current camera any more which means taking it outdoors.

gadgets
gadgets Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Nikon 1 series is the camera you should consider for shooting your daughter running around. Best AF system available right now in compact cameras. Beats everything but DSLR for action shots.

OP Peter Berglund Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Thanks everyone!

It seems like the recommendations are either a) none of the above (get a true DSLR) or, b) get a Nikon 1.

I have pretty much ruled out getting a full sized DSLR since I wouldn't have it with me.  I will read up on the Nikon 1 cameras.  Is the cconsensus here that the V1 for example takes way better pictures than the S110 to motivate the price in terms of dollars and size?

Thanks

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PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Peter Berglund wrote:

Thanks everyone!

It seems like the recommendations are either a) none of the above (get a true DSLR) or, b) get a Nikon 1.

I have pretty much ruled out getting a full sized DSLR since I wouldn't have it with me. I will read up on the Nikon 1 cameras. Is the cconsensus here that the V1 for example takes way better pictures than the S110 to motivate the price in terms of dollars and size?

Thanks

The s110 isn't going to cut it for an active child. I have the s100 and the shutter lag is pretty slow (no one seems to know exactly if it's improved on the s100), and the sensor performance isn't quite going to be up to snuff for indoor lighting with an active child. It might be an option if it was the only choice, but the Sony rx100 is only slightly thicker, and better for both sensor performance and autofocus lag.

The EOS-M *is* the most compact camera you can currently buy with a dslr-sized sensor, and a compact prime lens (the f2.0 lens). But apparently with the f2.0 lens, it's autofocus isn't as fast as a dslr.

The Sony rx100 is the best truly compact camera you can buy for your purposes. It's autofocus is rated by imaging resource to be faster than several dslr's. It's sensor size is the same size as the Nikon 1 - essentially obsoleting the Nikon 1 completely. It's lens is f1.8 which is close to the best you can get on a compact (there are a few with a better lens, but they have a worse sensor, the rx100 still edges them out for being the best).

The other option is to get m43rds with their prime lens - their low light performance isn't quite as good as the EOS-M, but it's close, and they have a reputation for faster autofocus. Like the Panasonic gx1 with the f1.7 20mm prime.

I'd rate them like this:

Size (from best to less good):
1. Sony rx100
2. EOS-M & m43rds

Low Light Performance (from best to less good):
1. EOS-M
2. m43rds
3. Sony rx100
Autofocus Speed (with a compact prime for the mirrorless options):
1. Sony rx100
2. m43rds 
3. EOS-M
Cost:
1. Sony rx100 - $650
2. m43rds - Panasonic gx1 with f1.7 prime - $800
3. EOS-M w/f2.0 prime - $800
I think those 3 are your best options. There are other options, but I don't think they're as good. Canon makes a g1x with a large sensor, but it's autofocus is dog slow. The Nikon 1 series has been essentially obsoleted by the rx100, which is smaller though it uses the same size sensor. The Nikon 1 may have faster frames per second, but the rx100 is already 10fps or something - how much faster can one get? Plus the Nikon 1 is more expensive, it's bigger than the rx100 - and will give you the same low light performance at best. Sony also make the NEX, which has a dlsr-sized sensor and responsive autofocus - unfortunately they still don't have a *compact* prime lens that's f2.0 or better...sigh.

Anyways, I think it's between the Sony rx100, m43rds with f1.7 prime, and the EOS-M, if size if your priority. The rx100 is the only one that's small enough to carry in your jeans pocket - it's going to bulge out from your pocket a bit (it's not as sleek as the s100 by a small amount), but having a funny looking pocket is a lot better than the m43rds or EOS-M sizes which are big enough to be pretty awkward to walk around with in a pocket.

CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 6,040
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

I have a Canon S100 and a Panasonic LX3, but as much as I like them, I would not recommend either for children photography. I find that they are not responsive enough to take action photos of active children. By the time the camera focuses and the shutter releases, the kids have moved or blinked or made a funny face. I am not familiar with the M but I would recommend against the S110 since I doubt it is any faster than my S100.

Lk400
Lk400 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

PaulRivers wrote:

Peter Berglund wrote:

Thanks everyone!

It seems like the recommendations are either a) none of the above (get a true DSLR) or, b) get a Nikon 1.

I have pretty much ruled out getting a full sized DSLR since I wouldn't have it with me. I will read up on the Nikon 1 cameras. Is the cconsensus here that the V1 for example takes way better pictures than the S110 to motivate the price in terms of dollars and size?

Thanks

The s110 isn't going to cut it for an active child. I have the s100 and the shutter lag is pretty slow (no one seems to know exactly if it's improved on the s100), and the sensor performance isn't quite going to be up to snuff for indoor lighting with an active child. It might be an option if it was the only choice, but the Sony rx100 is only slightly thicker, and better for both sensor performance and autofocus lag.

The EOS-M *is* the most compact camera you can currently buy with a dslr-sized sensor, and a compact prime lens (the f2.0 lens). But apparently with the f2.0 lens, it's autofocus isn't as fast as a dslr.

The Sony rx100 is the best truly compact camera you can buy for your purposes. It's autofocus is rated by imaging resource to be faster than several dslr's. It's sensor size is the same size as the Nikon 1 - essentially obsoleting the Nikon 1 completely. It's lens is f1.8 which is close to the best you can get on a compact (there are a few with a better lens, but they have a worse sensor, the rx100 still edges them out for being the best).

The other option is to get m43rds with their prime lens - their low light performance isn't quite as good as the EOS-M, but it's close, and they have a reputation for faster autofocus. Like the Panasonic gx1 with the f1.7 20mm prime.

I'd rate them like this:

Size (from best to less good):
1. Sony rx100
2. EOS-M & m43rds

Low Light Performance (from best to less good):
1. EOS-M
2. m43rds
3. Sony rx100
Autofocus Speed (with a compact prime for the mirrorless options):
1. Sony rx100
2. m43rds
3. EOS-M
Cost:
1. Sony rx100 - $650
2. m43rds - Panasonic gx1 with f1.7 prime - $800
3. EOS-M w/f2.0 prime - $800
I think those 3 are your best options. There are other options, but I don't think they're as good. Canon makes a g1x with a large sensor, but it's autofocus is dog slow. The Nikon 1 series has been essentially obsoleted by the rx100, which is smaller though it uses the same size sensor. The Nikon 1 may have faster frames per second, but the rx100 is already 10fps or something - how much faster can one get? Plus the Nikon 1 is more expensive, it's bigger than the rx100 - and will give you the same low light performance at best. Sony also make the NEX, which has a dlsr-sized sensor and responsive autofocus - unfortunately they still don't have a *compact* prime lens that's f2.0 or better...sigh.

Anyways, I think it's between the Sony rx100, m43rds with f1.7 prime, and the EOS-M, if size if your priority. The rx100 is the only one that's small enough to carry in your jeans pocket - it's going to bulge out from your pocket a bit (it's not as sleek as the s100 by a small amount), but having a funny looking pocket is a lot better than the m43rds or EOS-M sizes which are big enough to be pretty awkward to walk around with in a pocket.

Very good summary - totally agree

OP Peter Berglund Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Thank you for this fantastic and horough  review answer. Truly helpful!

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pixelDoc
pixelDoc Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Canon Powershot S110 or EOS M?

Please read this:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3529033#forum-post-51951796

In addition to your needs, I'd add that the S110 also has 8fps shooting mode. While the AF doesn't operate at 8fps, it works fine for me photographing my 4yr old & 2yr old nieces. Their mom won't let me post their pics online, but I found this one from a S100.

1080p video sample from S100

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQiyaKURcMg

John McCormack Veteran Member • Posts: 5,821
Don't Forget the G15

If you can live with the larger size, the G15 smokes the S100/110 (I had an S100 before the G15.) The G15's faster/sharper lens (f/1.8-2.8 at 28-140mm equiv.), faster AF and better controls put the S series to shame. Just my .02 cents.

OP Peter Berglund Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: Don't Forget the G15

Since it's now 9 months since I started this thread let me tell you what I ended up doing, in case it may interest some folks.

I couldn't justify spending enough money for a Sony RX-100 or an EOS M (which at the time got more and more bad criticism for its slow AF).

In Dec 2012 the Canon S-100 suddenly dropped in price substantially. I cannot remember the price anymore but I decided to buy it. Whid this camera we took amazing pictures. Even indoors without flash at f <3, with IQ our SX210 wouldn't have come close to.

In June, Canon released the firmware update for the EOS M (faster AF) and suddenly the prices dropped to $300 for the body with the 22 mm prime. We picked it up and couldn't be happier. It fits nicely in my shorts cargo pocket and I'm finally getting to experience being creative with depth-of-field etc. Of course, the IQ is magnitudes above any P&S I've ever used.

We still use the S-100 at times, especially for everyday stuff such as taking the stroller to the park, but also when we anticipate we will need the zoom or flash for whatever reason.

With 20-20 hind sight, would I have been better off doing something else? I don't think so. I got a great P&S and a mirrorless for less than what the RX100 would have cost and I think I have a more versatile setup now that what I would've got with the Sony alone. Sure, I could've got a DSLR but I know for sure I would've ended up taking most of the outdoor shots with the old SX210 since my hands most of the time are busy holding a 2-year old and a tricycle or diaper bag...

Next step: follow the development with Canon's mirrorless program. Maybe get a flash or a zoom lens before the winter darkness (moving from NC to Seattle). I'll probably upgrade to some future M (M3 or 4?) when it gets compelling.

Cheers,
Peter

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Peter

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acipriano Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: Don't Forget the G15

Peter Berglund wrote:

Since it's now 9 months since I started this thread let me tell you what I ended up doing, in case it may interest some folks.

I couldn't justify spending enough money for a Sony RX-100 or an EOS M (which at the time got more and more bad criticism for its slow AF).

In Dec 2012 the Canon S-100 suddenly dropped in price substantially. I cannot remember the price anymore but I decided to buy it. Whid this camera we took amazing pictures. Even indoors without flash at f <3, with IQ our SX210 wouldn't have come close to.

In June, Canon released the firmware update for the EOS M (faster AF) and suddenly the prices dropped to $300 for the body with the 22 mm prime. We picked it up and couldn't be happier. It fits nicely in my shorts cargo pocket and I'm finally getting to experience being creative with depth-of-field etc. Of course, the IQ is magnitudes above any P&S I've ever used.

We still use the S-100 at times, especially for everyday stuff such as taking the stroller to the park, but also when we anticipate we will need the zoom or flash for whatever reason.

With 20-20 hind sight, would I have been better off doing something else? I don't think so. I got a great P&S and a mirrorless for less than what the RX100 would have cost and I think I have a more versatile setup now that what I would've got with the Sony alone. Sure, I could've got a DSLR but I know for sure I would've ended up taking most of the outdoor shots with the old SX210 since my hands most of the time are busy holding a 2-year old and a tricycle or diaper bag...

Next step: follow the development with Canon's mirrorless program. Maybe get a flash or a zoom lens before the winter darkness (moving from NC to Seattle). I'll probably upgrade to some future M (M3 or 4?) when it gets compelling.

Cheers,
Peter

Thanks for doing the update even after 9 months of time.  It's good to know what people ended up doing.

Yesterday I just bought an S110.  So far so good.  I wanted to get a quality camera that I can easily carry in my pocket.  I also have a 5D Mk2 that I tend to leave at home unless I am out for a dedicated day or trip for photography.  I also have a G11 that I rarely use and a Sony NEX-7 that I like a lot.  I use the NEX-7 the most.

Jeff Peterman
Jeff Peterman Forum Pro • Posts: 12,781
Re: Don't Forget the G15

If you can live with the larger size

That's the issue. I thought hard when choosing between the S110 and the G15, but in the end the small size of the S110 has been very important to me. Then again, I have other, bigger, cameras when I need better/faster lenses.

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Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 5,567
EOS M has some strong benefits...
1

Peter Berglund wrote:

I'm looking to get a higher end small camera that will be used mainly, but not only, as a P&S. At least half of the pictures will be of our 18 month old daughter but overall I'm looking for high IQ. I currently have a Powershot SX210 IS and will keep it for outdoor shots where the 14x zoom is useful, but the shutter lag makes it difficult to take any shots of our daughter now that she is mobile.

I have narrowed it down to the S110 or EOS M (presumably with the kit zoom lens and a flash).

Any advise and thoughts would be very helpful. Especially interested in Thanks.

Hi Peter.
The main differences between the s110 and the EOS-M is going to be:

  • Sensor size (EOS-M sensor is much larger) - which brings us to...
  • Light Sensitivity (s110 cannot perform in LOW light like the EOS-M can).
  • Image Quality.
  • Depth Of Field (DOF).
  • Speed of operation (the s110 is slightly slower than the EOS-M, more so in low light.
  • Size (the s110 fits in your pocket as a sub-compact).
  • Weight.
  • Image Quality.
  • Need for a flash in low light (EOS-M doesn't need it, the s110 does).
  • The EF-M 22mm f/2.0 Lens on the EOS-M is VERY good if purchased as a kit lens.

I carry an s95 (the predecessor to the s110) on my hip every day and I also own the EOS-M. The main differences that I personally note is the beauty of the images that the EOS-M captures. If you like a strong, shallow Depth Of Field in your pictures, you won't be able to do this with the s110 unless you are shooting a Macro shot.

.

Shots like this are possible handheld with the EOS-M but would not be possible with the s110 without additional lightsources (ie a Flash)

This is about the limit for the s95 - and this is a fairly well lit scene.  Out of the 8 pictures I took here, 4 were blurred slightly.

The shutter lag isn't there on the EOS-M so, as long as you have locked focus, you can snap away and capture the scene or the subject. AF is good on the EOS-M as long as you have the latest firmware which ships on the present cameras. The s110, on the other hand, is most likely going to be much the same as your other PowerShot camera. But the moment you use the zoom (unless you are in a brightly lit environment), you cut down on the light reaching the lens and risk high noise with a high ISO or a dark image. I've taken pictures in a darkened room with candle light and the s95 gave me a black image whereas the EOS-M was able to capture the shot with an f/2 lens simply because the sensor is so large on it and it therefore gathers much more light. Some of the EOS-M shots that forum members have posted of their children have had exceptional detail in the eyes and hair.

.
If I had to replace my cameras but could choose only one, I'd get another EOS-M. I've simply found that I get many, many more "keepers" from this camera than any other that I've used.

EOS-M Vs s95 - same WB and same time of day with same subject. Both were subjected to the same Post Processing methods.

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pixelDoc
pixelDoc Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: EOS M has some strong benefits...

Marco Nero wrote:

EOS-M Vs s95 - same WB and same time of day with same subject. Both were subjected to the same Post Processing methods.

Pretty decent bokeh from S100 considering this point & shoot is $400.

When you add the EF-S mount (+$150) and decent fast lens like 50mm f/1.4 (+$400), you're at more than double the price of the S1xx line.
I also have the EOS M.  It kicks ass at low light.  However, it is not as versatile as the S1xx line.  S1xx is really a Swiss knife of pocket cameras.  Yes, you have to sacrifice some image quality.  But, you only have to spend $400 and don't have to carry any extra flashes, lenses or ND filters.

Do you actually carry the EOS M and S95 together?  That seems redundant to me.  It is with great regret that I'm going to return my EOS M soon.  I can't justify two compact cameras.
The EOS M's main benefit is picture quality.  But going to Disney World, I don't want to carry a prime lens, a zoom lens, and an external flash with me...along with extra batteries.  Yes, the LOW LIGHT picture quality will be much better than the S1xx series but it's not worth the hassle to me.

The S1xx series is super convenient.  I wish Canon would take all the buttons and dials from the S1xx and put it on the M2.  I will come back to the EOS M at that time.  I esp want them to add a 1 touch Custom WB button.  I love having that on my S100 & S110, use it all the time indoors because it's so quick and simple!

olddog99 Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: EOS M has some strong benefits...

Everyone comes at this a slightly different way. In the film days, I was primarily a Nikon user, starting in 1960, but I worked the trade then and had other cameras for other purposes. I didn't keep anything that didn't pay its way was sold.

I'm retired now, back to a peak in interest. I collect vintage cameras but generally have been a Canonholic, starting with 20D to all three versions of the 5D, a succession of point and shoots, most recently the S90 (my wife's now) and S100. I like the S100, it's pretty versatile. I love the Fuji X100 but couldn't commit to the extended line. I have a Leica M9-P and enjoy using it, I'm an old manual guy.

When I travel, I can't carry as much gear as I would like - and don't try. I'm at an age and arthritis point that the weight can wipe me out. The 5D3 is my go to camera, with a basic 24-105 f/4 that serves as a travel lens over the f/2.8 versions. I've been carrying it with a 70-300, a 15mm fisheye (depends). I have a fisheye zoom, but I tend to avoid it on travel, now at least. I have the Sigma 12-24mm lens which is sweet. I'm not running a laundry list as much as citing what I need to replace to some degree.  My goal was to cut back to the 5D3, the 24-105, the 12-24 and one of the  fisheyes. Maybe the 16-35. It depends on the trip.

That was where the M was supposed to come in. It would give me a walkabout camera with good low light capability, etc. And a longish lens would replace the 70-300 with a big weight loss. It didn't work for me. The problem is that for nearly a year, the M's focus was so wobbly I didn't trust it. The control system was way too complicated. And as eveyone who has one knows, it had its upside. Just not enough for me. So I bought a Sony NEX-7 which has been a smashing success for me - a month before the firmware upgrade came. Canon wouldn't tell us anything about the firmware, much less admit there was a problem serious enough to work on. The firmware was a big step forward. The menus make sense and the focus is much better. I still have trouble dealing with live screens view in bright sunlight.  It irritates me that a pricier camera can't have GPS while the s100 forward does.

I've considered a second Canon crop factor DSLR and will probably go that way for travel.  Ounces matter. But my frustration over the M led me to the NEX 7 which may be older in terms of market. With the 10-18mm and 18-200, it covers most of the bases. It gives me an eyepiece to view with, useful in sun. Image quality is first rate. Controls are not simple, but they are intuitive and don't require a lot of aging memory cells from me. Adapters make it easy for me to play with M-mount Leica mounts, I enjoy that because there's the F/1.1 50mm which bowls me over. The 50mm F/2 collapsible looks cool, if not the most practical.

I don't find in camera HDR, as the 5D3 does, quite to my liking - I prefer to do post in a standalone, e.g. Photomatix. The NEX 7 makes me aware of something else which is it's bracketing happens faster in real time which in handheld makes it easier to control motion of multiple kinds.

But I've kept the M and will hold on to it.There are things it does very well. Low light, it's a killer. It also does some of the style things that the s100 does, i.e. rapid exposures in low light etc. And the sensor is bigger than the S100 et al, producing an image that is close to that of full frames. So, for what it's worth does the Nex-7 with a 24 meg image.

We'll be bicoastal this coming weekend and more than likely, I'll just carry the Sony and the M. AT some point, I'll probably add a 70D or the 7DII if there is one. I still own enough lenses for one. That would reduce weight more. The laptop will be downscaled in weight as will the Kindle and iPad (Paperwhite and mini-ipad).  In the past, I frequently carried a much heavier load now, full frame, suite of lenses and two, sometimes three vintage cameras to exercise them.

I realize I've gone beyond the scope of this question, but  while I agree the EOS M has some strong benefits now, especially since the firmware upgrade, I think Canon missed the boat with people like me -- I have probably owned or bought for other people 20-25 Canons. Unless Canon does something to make the M more compelling, I'm likely to stop where I am. I have three lenses for it, but on travel I stick to the 22mm.  The NEX has found a place in the bag. FWIW, I'm not overly fond of electronic finders. SLRS have some built in advantages for me just in the finder area and there are others.

Hope I haven't bored you to death, but what I've tried to do is explain the process as it affects me. If the M meets all your needs, I have no criticism. I'm still a Canonholic -- but in the end, what I shoot with is less important than whether it suits me in my approach.

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acipriano Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: EOS M has some strong benefits...

I agree with most of your thoughts.  Being a long time Canon fan boy, I passed on the M.  I also got the NEX-7 and very happy with it.
I'm an older guy too, retired for four years now.  The weight of my 5d Mk2 and lenses is more than my body can take for extended carry.  My NEX-7 with the kit lens, 18-200, and a Zeiss 24 works well for me.  I also have the S110 in my pocket.

panamforeman
panamforeman Senior Member • Posts: 1,208
Re: EOS M has some strong benefits...

acipriano wrote:

I agree with most of your thoughts. Being a long time Canon fan boy, I passed on the M. I also got the NEX-7 and very happy with it.
I'm an older guy too, retired for four years now. The weight of my 5d Mk2 and lenses is more than my body can take for extended carry. My NEX-7 with the kit lens, 18-200, and a Zeiss 24 works well for me. I also have the S110 in my pocket.

Ah!....The S110; There you go!

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