[Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Started Jan 31, 2014 | Discussions
Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 708
[Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Hi there,

So after my last thread, asking for advice on ultra compacts to go with my 5D, I'm pretty set on spending more for the GM1 rather than getting the GX1 or E-PM series.

However, I do have a few questions.

  1. I know the build quality is really good, but I'm curious about the material that the camera is wrapped in. Does it wrap all the way around from the front to the back? I cant tell from pictures whether or not the back of the camera has that same faux leather look/feel.
  2. What do I lose by importing the GM1 from Asia? I'm tempted to get the white model, but the prices for GM1s from Asia seem to be around $50 cheaper over all anyway. Do I lose warranty? Are the menus permanently in a foreign language?
  3. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.
  4. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

Thanks guys

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Canon EOS 5D +2 more
Canon EOS 5D Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
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safaridon Veteran Member • Posts: 3,321
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

If you look in 43rumors at the time the GM1 was released there was a picture showing its body parts with a front and rear magnesium alloy castings and aluminum top and bottom plates.  There were also pictures shown in DPR post and 43rumors showing how the camera body is built and is so strong it can even withstand somebody standing on the top of one with full weight without damage.  I doubt you would do that with any other camera.

Joachim Gerstl
Joachim Gerstl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,726
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Nippero wrote:

Hi there,

So after my last thread, asking for advice on ultra compacts to go with my 5D, I'm pretty set on spending more for the GM1 rather than getting the GX1 or E-PM series.

However, I do have a few questions.

  1. I know the build quality is really good, but I'm curious about the material that the camera is wrapped in. Does it wrap all the way around from the front to the back? I cant tell from pictures whether or not the back of the camera has that same faux leather look/feel.

The camera feels very nice. There isn't much on the back beside the screen.

  1. What do I lose by importing the GM1 from Asia? I'm tempted to get the white model, but the prices for GM1s from Asia seem to be around $50 cheaper over all anyway. Do I lose warranty? Are the menus permanently in a foreign language?

I think it looks best in black. Lenses are available in black too. There are no white lenses.

Warranty: I don't think so. Language: can be set in the menu

  1. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.

the kit lens is great. Get the 1.8/45 for portraits and the 1.8/17 for shallow DOF it feels much nicer than the 1.7/20 and focus is much faster too.

  1. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

real men wear black - cameras too.

Thanks guys

 Joachim Gerstl's gear list:Joachim Gerstl's gear list
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Chas2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,513
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

With respect to Warranty, none.

Be careful which Asian market you get it from.  If you get a Japanese domestic market camera, you are stuck with JAPANESE only menus.  Not so, for example, from Hong Kong.  You need to be very certain on this.  In addition, video tends be for the market....for example, NTSC or PALS.  An Asian market camera may very well have PALS compatible video.  I dont belive voltage to be a problem any more, you just need to get the correct plug, and the battery charger should autodetect voltage.  Nevertheless, you should check all these items before buying.  I used to buy film cameras and lenses from Asia all the time and never had any trouble.  I will still buy lenses, but think twice or three times about camera bodies now, and usually end up buying US warrantied stuff in the event I have to return it.

 Chas2's gear list:Chas2's gear list
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Ulric Veteran Member • Posts: 4,532
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Nippero wrote:


  1. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.

The camera is usable well above 1600, but then it is usable well above 1600 with the 20/1.7 too, so that relationship doesn't change. The kit zoom is pretty nice but slow like any kit zoom.

I don't think the camera is available body-only yet.

 Ulric's gear list:Ulric's gear list
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OP Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 708
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Nippero wrote:

Hi there,

So after my last thread, asking for advice on ultra compacts to go with my 5D, I'm pretty set on spending more for the GM1 rather than getting the GX1 or E-PM series.

However, I do have a few questions.

  1. I know the build quality is really good, but I'm curious about the material that the camera is wrapped in. Does it wrap all the way around from the front to the back? I cant tell from pictures whether or not the back of the camera has that same faux leather look/feel.

The camera feels very nice. There isn't much on the back beside the screen.

Is the back just plain plastic or a continuation of the faux leather material?

Mainly asking out of curiosity.

  1. What do I lose by importing the GM1 from Asia? I'm tempted to get the white model, but the prices for GM1s from Asia seem to be around $50 cheaper over all anyway. Do I lose warranty? Are the menus permanently in a foreign language?

I think it looks best in black. Lenses are available in black too. There are no white lenses.

This is true. While I do like the white because its so unique, it would be a pain to match it with lenses. Same goes for orange :\

Warranty: I don't think so. Language: can be set in the menu

Good to know, thanks

  1. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.

the kit lens is great. Get the 1.8/45 for portraits and the 1.8/17 for shallow DOF it feels much nicer than the 1.7/20 and focus is much faster too.

Hm the thing is, I plan on sticking to one or at most two main lenses for my GM1. The kit lens and my 20/1.7. Not really interested in expanding my m43 gear much further than that because then I'd start overlapping with my Canon gear.

I'm really just looking to the GM1 as a camera I can stick in my bag and carry around all the time.

  1. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

real men wear black - cameras too.

Hah But black and silver or black on black? Hmmmm

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
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OP Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 708
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Chas2 wrote:

With respect to Warranty, none.

Be careful which Asian market you get it from. If you get a Japanese domestic market camera, you are stuck with JAPANESE only menus. Not so, for example, from Hong Kong. You need to be very certain on this. In addition, video tends be for the market....for example, NTSC or PALS. An Asian market camera may very well have PALS compatible video. I dont belive voltage to be a problem any more, you just need to get the correct plug, and the battery charger should autodetect voltage. Nevertheless, you should check all these items before buying. I used to buy film cameras and lenses from Asia all the time and never had any trouble. I will still buy lenses, but think twice or three times about camera bodies now, and usually end up buying US warrantied stuff in the event I have to return it.

Ah.. interesting. I think the ebay listings I saw were from Hong Kong so I guess I'd be okay there.

Question about the PALS and NTSC though. Does it really matter?
I dont even have an optical drive installed on my desktop anymore, so I'd never even play recorded video through a DVD player.
And I dont think any of my computers or media servers care about region locking... Not positive though.

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
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OP Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 708
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Ulric wrote:

Nippero wrote:

  1. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.

The camera is usable well above 1600, but then it is usable well above 1600 with the 20/1.7 too, so that relationship doesn't change. The kit zoom is pretty nice but slow like any kit zoom.

I don't think the camera is available body-only yet.

Very true, of course. My point though, was that I'm used to only being able to take images with f/1.7 and ISO 1600 or below. So moving to the kit lens  and ISO 1600+ might not feel like a noticable downgrade. Although knowing me I'll probably end up wanting to push the GM1 to its limits with the 20/1.7

Now I'm just making myself more conflicted about whether or not to get the kit or just the body. Its not sold officially as Body Only but there are some listings on forums, ebay and amazon that ask for about $550 to $600 for body only.

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
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Thomas Kachadurian
Thomas Kachadurian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

real men wear black - cameras too.

It appears than folks at Panasonic USA think there are no men here, since you can't get black.

I agree with you BTW.

Tom

www.kachadurian.com
Call me crazy. I happen to like photos of cats.

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Thomas Kachadurian
Thomas Kachadurian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Nippero wrote:

Question about the PALS and NTSC though. Does it really matter?
I dont even have an optical drive installed on my desktop anymore, so I'd never even play recorded video through a DVD player.
And I dont think any of my computers or media servers care about region locking... Not positive though.

I'm pretty sure you are correct. Video files like .MP4 or .MOV have no region code. NTSC or Pal only matter if you want to plug it into you TV.

DO buy the kit lens. You'll only save about $200 on the body and the lens, when available, is going to sell for $350. You can always sell it if you don't like it. It's only one of two Panasonic normal zooms that goes to 12mm, and the other one is $950 and big. The 12-32 is TINY. It also has OIS which is good for a stop or two and gets you close to the unstabilized 1.7 when you're at 12mm. It's a perfect fit for the GM1.

Tom

www.kachadurian.com
Call me crazy. I happen to like photos of cats.

 Thomas Kachadurian's gear list:Thomas Kachadurian's gear list
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Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Nippero wrote:

Hi there,

So after my last thread, asking for advice on ultra compacts to go with my 5D, I'm pretty set on spending more for the GM1 rather than getting the GX1 or E-PM series.

However, I do have a few questions.

  1. I know the build quality is really good, but I'm curious about the material that the camera is wrapped in. Does it wrap all the way around from the front to the back? I cant tell from pictures whether or not the back of the camera has that same faux leather look/feel.

Faux leather feels very nice ... grippy but not quite sticky. It stops at the seam on the sides, but there is a nice patch right under your thumb to operate as a grip. I just got mine today and wow ... I also have the Franiec grip shipping today.

  1. What do I lose by importing the GM1 from Asia? I'm tempted to get the white model, but the prices for GM1s from Asia seem to be around $50 cheaper over all anyway. Do I lose warranty? Are the menus permanently in a foreign language?

Risky. You lose the warranty. If you want to save a few bucks, try BJPhoto in Waterloo Ontario ... I got mine for 739cad, which is under 700usd and it came with a full version of LR5, which I will flog on eBay to further reduce the cost. All in all, more than $100usd cheaper that way ... lowest price I have seen in the world right now.

I bought yesterday at 11am and it arrived to my door at 12:30pm today. Crossing the border would no doubt cost more and take longer, but ... may still be well worthwhile.

But US residents lose the America warranty, have to get serviced in Canada.

  1. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.

I wandered about today shooting indoors at 12800 (the limit I set on auto) and was blown away ... almost as clean as my GX1 was at 3200 ... I'm a believer ...

  1. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

I bought the black kit ... looks excellent.

Second from the right ...

 Kim Letkeman's gear list:Kim Letkeman's gear list
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Hen3ry
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Real men wear black? Every woman has her little black dress

Thomas Kachadurian wrote:

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

real men wear black - cameras too.

It appears than folks at Panasonic USA think there are no men here, since you can't get black.

I agree with you BTW.

Is this the same thing?

My E-PL3 was silver, my G6 is white, my GM1 is orange (if white had been available, I would have bought it, but in the end, I'm really happy with the orange).

By the way, OP, the orange is a light color. The "silver" is actually black except for the top and bottom plates.

The kit lens is excellent.

The sensor is the latest panny -- the same as the GX7 -- so you can go to higher ISO than of yore.

An enormously capable little cam.

Cheers, geoff

 Hen3ry's gear list:Hen3ry's gear list
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Ulric Veteran Member • Posts: 4,532
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Nippero wrote:

Very true, of course. My point though, was that I'm used to only being able to take images with f/1.7 and ISO 1600 or below. So moving to the kit lens and ISO 1600+ might not feel like a noticable downgrade. Although knowing me I'll probably end up wanting to push the GM1 to its limits with the 20/1.7

Now I'm just making myself more conflicted about whether or not to get the kit or just the body. Its not sold officially as Body Only but there are some listings on forums, ebay and amazon that ask for about $550 to $600 for body only.

I got the kit myself and found 25/5.6 a bit ridiculous so the zoom ended up being used as a 12/3.5 prime and eventually replaced by the old 14/2.5. So now I have another slow kit zoom sitting in the cupboard.

The money you save getting body only can be used as a down payment on a 45/1.8. GM1+45 is a great combo.

 Ulric's gear list:Ulric's gear list
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FM51 Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Build quality is absolutely great. I've bought the GM1 in black, looked much nicer compared to the silver or orange version. All colors seem to be in stock in the Netherlands.

Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Ulric wrote:

Nippero wrote:

Very true, of course. My point though, was that I'm used to only being able to take images with f/1.7 and ISO 1600 or below. So moving to the kit lens and ISO 1600+ might not feel like a noticable downgrade. Although knowing me I'll probably end up wanting to push the GM1 to its limits with the 20/1.7

Now I'm just making myself more conflicted about whether or not to get the kit or just the body. Its not sold officially as Body Only but there are some listings on forums, ebay and amazon that ask for about $550 to $600 for body only.

I got the kit myself and found 25/5.6 a bit ridiculous so the zoom ended up being used as a 12/3.5 prime and eventually replaced by the old 14/2.5. So now I have another slow kit zoom sitting in the cupboard.

I chose this model with the kit because it can shoot in the stratosphere of ISO (matters to me) and because it s the only 12mm lens to which I have access.

14mm is definitely not 12mm ... I have two others that do a creditable job at 14mm and don't need the prime (but will eventually get it anyway )

And yes, 25mm at 5.6 is silly .. I have the 19mm 2.8 Sigma and it is excellent. I also have the 30mm 2.8 Sigma and it is even better. The 45 1.8 is one of my favourites too.

The point being that the kit lens is dirt cheap and that 12mm is very nice ...

The money you save getting body only can be used as a down payment on a 45/1.8. GM1+45 is a great combo.

Yes. I would also like to grab the 20mm 1.7 at some point ... probably in a GX7 kit later in the year or next year to perhaps replace the G5 ... not sure about that.

Hmmm ... I think I might have gas ...

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Mike Ronesia
Mike Ronesia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,036
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Nippero wrote:

Hi there,

So after my last thread, asking for advice on ultra compacts to go with my 5D, I'm pretty set on spending more for the GM1 rather than getting the GX1 or E-PM series.

However, I do have a few questions.

  1. I know the build quality is really good, but I'm curious about the material that the camera is wrapped in. Does it wrap all the way around from the front to the back? I cant tell from pictures whether or not the back of the camera has that same faux leather look/feel.
  2. What do I lose by importing the GM1 from Asia? I'm tempted to get the white model, but the prices for GM1s from Asia seem to be around $50 cheaper over all anyway. Do I lose warranty? Are the menus permanently in a foreign language?
  3. At first I was set on just finding and buying a Body to use with my 20/1.7 but now I've become curious about the kit lens. I'm used to limiting myself to below ISO 1600 due to my current cameras (5Dc and G1) so I always needed the faster f/1.7 aperture. But will I really miss it now if I go for the GM1 + Kit lens? This is assuming I don't care about shallow depth of field.
  4. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

Thanks guys

I got mine from a HK seller because I wanted orange, which looks really good buy the way. It came with a vendor warranty listed on Ebay and also a card in the box. Any problems and you ship it back to them and they will handle it.

It is a PAL version, but with English. I was able to change it to NTSC. But I can't change it from 25/50 to 30/60. It has 24p so that is what I have it set at.

I like the orange and it looks great with both the silver kit and the black 20. which are my two primary lenses for it. The kit is fine for daytime and the 20 + the great high ISO is good for night or indoor shooting.

Get the kit lens. It's really small, nice and versatile. It's what's on the camera when I head out for the day. I really like it.

 Mike Ronesia's gear list:Mike Ronesia's gear list
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OP Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 708
Is there an easier way. . .

. . . to reply while quoting multiple people? Sheesh. Its been a while since I've been on these forums and it gets confusing swapping between threaded view and flat view.

Anyway, so I've read everyones reply up until now.

I really wish all variants were sold in the US so I could just walk over to B&H and see them in person.

The orange has definitely caught my eye in some pictures while looking quite offensive (i.e. NEON orange) in others. But luckily it seems like the US will be getting that color, so I can go to B&H to check it out soon-ish.

I guess at this point white is out. Black/black is too since I'm tired of my G1 and 5D's black on black. This also lets me rule out needing to import the camera, so thats a plus.

Oh and hm I'm leaning towards getting the full kit for all the reasons mentioned. Body only isnt much of a savings. I could get lightly used (mint) GM1 kits on Ebay for only ~100 more than what the body is currently going for. Not sure how much I'd really use it when compared to my 20/1.7 but yea, as someone mentioned, I could always sell the lens.

SIGHH I just told myself I wouldnt make any more major purchases for a while... not sure how long I can keep that promise.

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
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OP Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 708
Re: [Questions] GM1: Build quality, Importing, Body or Kit?

Kim Letkeman wrote:

Nippero wrote:
What do I lose by importing the GM1 from Asia? I'm tempted to get the white model, but the prices for GM1s from Asia seem to be around $50 cheaper over all anyway. Do I lose warranty? Are the menus permanently in a foreign language?

Risky. You lose the warranty. If you want to save a few bucks, try BJPhoto in Waterloo Ontario ... I got mine for 739cad, which is under 700usd and it came with a full version of LR5, which I will flog on eBay to further reduce the cost. All in all, more than $100usd cheaper that way ... lowest price I have seen in the world right now.

I bought yesterday at 11am and it arrived to my door at 12:30pm today. Crossing the border would no doubt cost more and take longer, but ... may still be well worthwhile.

But US residents lose the America warranty, have to get serviced in Canada.

I actually just looked up that site and damn thats a good deal.

Getting serviced in Canada might not be such a big problem assuming I dont get a lemon by bad luck. None of my other cameras have ever needed warranty support (I hope I'm not shooting myself by saying this lol).

Dont know If I like the black on black though

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
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Bluephotons Veteran Member • Posts: 6,707
Re: Is there an easier way. . .
1
  1. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

Thanks guys

In my opinion this is the best attire to compliment any colour you may want to choose:

The orange is not a problem , as you can see, It feels like screaming: Summer!

You should also check the Pentax options to avoid any regrets.

-- hide signature --

Bluephotons
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. Bob Dylan

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Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: Is there an easier way. . .

Bluephotons wrote:

  1. (Opinions) Which color do you guys like the most and why? I'm currently leaning towards Silver/Black since it seems to go well with lenses of any color without looking too plain. I like the orange but it seems too bright in some pictures + I feel like the back of the camera in all orange looks really bad.

All black, which is what I ordered. Gorgeous, and stealthy as it gets (unless you are trying to hide in a flock of Flamingos.)

I find orange to be cute, in the way of a toy. After shooting the GM1 for a few days, I can say unequivocally that this is no toy. Wow ...

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