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Canon EOS 20D

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200 218646 Dec 4, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,355.57
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- Second Generation 8.2 Megapixel CMOS Sensor with DIGIC II Image Processor
- Professional Level High-speed Continuous Shooting
- 9-Point High-precision AF with New Multi-controller
- Enhanced Color and White Balance Settings
- Rigid Magnesium Alloy Body for Outstanding Durability
- Advanced Viewing and Printing, Powerful Software
- Compatible with all EF/EF-S Lenses and Many EOS System Accessories


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Registered: Jun 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: build, 5fps, 1.6x, Image Quality, 3200 ISO, Price!

I also have a 5D, and that is why I gave a 1.6x as a positive aspect. I sold this camera a while back to fund for the 5D, but now I miss it and bought another one. This has got to be the best bang for the buck camera out there in the market. It is capable of delivering stunning, breathtaking Images at 5fps! The feel is good and the body is rock solid. Hands down, dollar for dollar, the 20D is simply unbeatable.

May 17, 2007
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Registered: Oct 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Mar 11, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,250.00

Pros: This is an update for my old post.

I have found the problem with setting the camera in manual mode was operator error! I was turning the dial past manual and of course it did not operate in manual. Kick my rating up to a 9 for the 20D. I think it is an excellent camera.

Mar 11, 2007
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Alex Nail
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Registered: Aug 2, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2863
Review Date: Mar 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build quality, comfortable in the hand, fast, excellent low noise capabilities, good battery life, ready to go whenever I am! For what I payed outstanding value for money.
Had the occasionaly software hickup usually solved by removing the battery

This camera has transformed my photography since upgrading from a point and shoot. To all those of you thinking of going for a Rebel XT or XTi seriously consider this one first because I wouldnt trade it for an XTi thats for sure!

Mar 5, 2007
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Jeffrey Gibson
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Registered: Feb 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Mar 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $890.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent, excellent camera. My dad had an older film Canon A2E, also a nice camera, but not digital, so my mom and I pitched in and bought a 20D for him. This is one of the simplest and most effective DSLRs I've seen. The frame rate is more than adequate at 5 frames per second and it can handle some very cold weather. I'm originally from Alaska, so the camera's been in some harsh conditions, and has held up perfectly. After using my father's, I bought one myself.
The only thing that could be better is if the camera had a full-frame CMOS sensor, but that's reserved for the higher end cameras like the 5D, 1D, and 1Ds.

Mar 2, 2007
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Registered: Oct 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jan 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: This is a fine camera as many others have said>
I was using it do some macro shots and tried, on manual to set a small f stop and 1/200 shutter speed. I was depending on the flash for light. The camera would not let me set the exposure more than 2 stops from the correct exposure. This left me at F 45 and 14s with the flash. I have been through the menu and have not found a solution. Does anyone have a solution?

I have a Canon D60 and I can use any f stop shutter speed combination I want on manual. There must be somthing I'm missing on the 20D.

Jan 27, 2007
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Registered: Jan 18, 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 200
Review Date: Jan 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: photo quality - ease of use (user friendlyness) - it's a Canon (EF lenses fit, great support, good additions available) - very informative display (histogram) - battery power (even in extremely cold conditions)
only built for RIGHT HANDED people with the right eye dominating - a real point metering is missing - a light correction wider than +/-3 would be welcome - weather proof would be a real plus

I bought this camera in the second quarter of 2005, and have almost 10'000 pictures now. It's a great camera and I love it.

My work is on my private site to underline this

Working conditions were sometimes hard:
- on sea during storms up to 10Bft (this is not only windy but also wet)
- in the Polish winter last year with temperatures down to -35C
- slight rainfall
- dusty offroad
But the camera never failed to satisfy!

That's the bottom line (very positive), however the major negative fact is that it is totally built for right handed people, but that is the same for soooo many things in this world. And I'm afraid that that discrimination will not soon stop, we just have to live with it: I mean that that holds for ALL cameras.

So, I'm very positive, butI'm considering an upgrade because of the following reasons:
- a real point metering is missing
- weather proof would be a real plus

to a lesser extend:
- a light correction wider than +/-3 would be welcome
- full frame would be preferable (as I like much landscape photography)
- auto sensor cleaning

All in all I would probably buy a 5D now (and if I would have the cash a Ds mark II), but the 20D is certainly very good value for money and I really reccomend it.

What I also would appreciate is Image Stabilizer in the camera (and not in all the different lenses) ... or even better an IS function in the camera that collaborates with that of the lens Wink
Or do I ask too much here?

For any direct questions, please send mail or check my personal pages (with some info about my work etc.): Philippe's personal pages

Kindest Regards,

Jan 17, 2007
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Thomas Russ
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Registered: Sep 7, 2006
Location: Austria
Posts: 14
Review Date: Sep 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $730.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fps, build, ISO performance (come from nikon!), fair price, Magnesium body, 9 AF points
Small display (come from d70s), loud shutter, no spot meter

I switch from nikon (d70s) to canon EOS 20D and i'm very happy about this step. Great camera with many features, good speed and nice ISO performance!

I love it!

Sep 30, 2006
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Matt Lomeli
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Registered: May 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1177
Review Date: Sep 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Mostly everything about it is positive. ISO performance, build, fps, mp count, buffer, battery life, etc...
Shutter is quite loud compared to others

I've had this for 2 1/2 months now. This is my first dSLR. I was either going to get this or the XT. I chose this due to the added features compared to the XT. I've used the XT and this just felt better FOR ME. This is like an overall camera that is just about good for anything. I haven't used a 1 series camera, so I can't compare. What I think is holding the full potential of this my cheap current lens line-up. The kit lens is decent if it's the only one you have (like me). Do yourself a favor and get some quality lenses for this camera.

The difference between the 20D vs. 30D isn't a factor for me. This camera is plenty good. Would buy again or advise someone else to without thinking twice.

Sep 25, 2006
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Registered: Jul 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Sep 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: HUGE step up from my Rebel XT. I didn't like the feel of the XT at ALL. This, on the other hand actually feels like a camera should. I like the fact that you can do a RAW and various JPEG's (instead of only one choice). I also like the pictures it takes, battery life, overall ease of use. I got the "deal of the century" from Ritz. Camera, lens (GOD I HATE IT, See below) and a Canon 6000 printer for 1099.
Gripes: 1. WHAT THE HELL is Canon thinking with that cheap 18-55 kit lens?? CHARGE ME an extra 100 or so and give me something that I actually USE. I have put it in the box and will never use it. I have "replaced" it with a Tamron 17-35 and a 28-75 lens. Also, there seems to be a propensity to get more dust on the sensor/images. Now this could be the fact I am using Tamron glass, and also changing more, but I feel I am carefull...... 2. No ISO in the viewfinder. 3. The screen size is not as big a deal for me as the fact that it needs to be brighter!

I pretty much summed up everything above. However, if someone has any suggestions on keeping "dust" down or better cleaning, I am all ears.

[email protected]

My Gear:

BGE2 grip (invaluable for portraits)
430EX flash

Glass: Tamron 17-35, 28-75, 70-300 and the 90mm macro.

Tripod: Manfroto carbon fiber with ball head

Monopod: Manfroto with ball head

Bag: Tamrac Expidition 4 (would like bigger some day)

Wish list:

a 300mm f/4 and possibly a good portrait lens.....

Sep 20, 2006
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brian mayzes
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Registered: Oct 5, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 369
Review Date: Sep 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: definitely a step up from my XT..feels great in my big paws,vertical shooting a breeze now with grip, takes great pictures with my 70-200/f2.8..priced right

With the discounted price due to the 30D being released i couldn't pass it up.Bought it on-line a couple of months ago. The small viewfinder isn't a big problem as I am used to it coming from the XT. I shoot sports and I can see why those sportshooters like me ( who can't afford $5000 plus ) use it. A very happy customer

Sep 8, 2006
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Registered: Aug 16, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid body, Real value for money. A good solution for the amateur-plus.
Small display, Loud shutter

Aug 17, 2006
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Registered: Feb 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid build, intuitive controls, fast focusing, excellent photos!
LCD display is too small.

I waited to upgrade from my 300D until I heard about the release of the 30D. The improvements in the 30D didn't justify the additional $300 in cost, plus the 30D wasn't available yet. I haven't been dissapointed with the 20D. With my 24-70mm f/2.8L and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, I really don't need anything else. Almost every photo is a keeper.

The only caveat is the small LCD display. I do a lot of catalog work, and it is sometimes difficult to see the photo number in bright sunny conditions. For this, you may want to consider the 30D. But that is the only reason.

Jul 16, 2006
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Registered: Jul 15, 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 169
Review Date: Jul 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: A lot for the money, well built, 5 fps - all-in-all everything with it makes me HAPPY!
Loud shutter.

Others pretty much have said it all, but I felt like adding some things, maybe from a somewhat different perspective (being a wheelchair using photog). I had the 300D, but had some things I missed with it. One was that it was too slow for me in some situations. Another was that I felt a large need to use a battery grip for good balance, especially with the 70-200/4L, which was really impractical for me, simply as it did not fit nicely into the bag that I use, hanging in front of my wheelchair. Simple little thing, but problematic nonetheless, as I need to put the camera into the bag for moving around when I use a manual wheelchair, and this bag has worked so very well as an "in-front-of-knees" bag supported by 2 "custom made" straps attached to the wheelchair back on each side. Having to either take off the lens or the grip, did not work well. Also, I need good balance, but it all can't be too heavy, as my arms aren't very strong. So I missed something that would give me the nice balance, without having to use an additional battery grip. And, I also missed a bit having a quicker camera in some situations (like action, moving kids/animals etc.). So when the 30D came, and prices on slightly used 20D's dropped like a heavy stone, the timing was perfect. From the very first day I have really LOVED this camera! There's really only one thing I miss, and that is a more silent shutter (and ISO in the viewfinder would have been nice!). The 300D's shutter was much better when taking pics in silent places, e.g. at conferences. Not fun when the person beside you suddenly gets up and moves to another seat (happened a couple of weeks ago)... Sad

Allover this camera is just a great find these days! I know for sure that this will be with me for years to come, and it gives me so much fun! It just works with you and obeys your commands, and I find the results very pleasing. Taking pics in both RAW and JPG is great, sometimes I will just use the JPG as it is, other times RAW is just what I need. Now my focus is building a "lens park", with reasonably good lenses that will suit my use, so that I have just what I need for the different challenges photography can throw at you as an aspiring "serious hobby photographer" (which for me means finding solutions of reasonably good speed, build and quality, without using the real big bucks, which I just can't).

This is somewhat beside the camera itself, but I have seen others do it and have found their additions useful myself, so I am choosing to do it too - mentioning what I have found and think will be the best "companions" for my 20D, for my use (hobby use, different types of photos). Allover I have found that, maybe with the exception of the kit lens 18-55mm which I actually do find quite useful (and an old "gem" 35-80mm III), cheap and slow lenses just don't "cut it". I'd like lenses where I can trust that they deliver, so I can concentrate on the creative part of photographing, at the same time as I just can't afford the real expensive ones and have to avoid the real heavy ones.

My "equipment park" will hopefully, in a year or two, consist of (original Canon if brand is not mentioned):
Sigma 10-20, EF-S 17-55 f2.8 (or new Tokina 16-50/2.8), 70-200 f4L, 50mm f1.8, 85 f1.8, Sigma 150 f2.8, Kenko 1.4X, Canon 500D close-up lens and a 550 or 580EX flash. In addition I already have some other zooms and MF Primes (macro's), an old Vivitar macro focusing 2X teleconverter, 4 manual flashes and 1 studio flash as well as different lighting accessories/radio slaves. The last ones on my list, yet to be bought (hopefully lightly used) are the Sigma 150mm (macro/concerts/action - complementing the 70-200/4 in low light etc), the Canon 500D ("travel macro" with 70-200), the Canon flash and the 85/1.8 (portraits etc., a *dream* would be the 85/1.2 though). With this "park", I truly think that my needs will be pretty well covered.

I realize this is a different review, but hope it will be of use to somebody! Smile

Good luck to you! If you are a wheelchair user that needs other's experiences on how to deal with challenges on how to handle getting around with gear etc., feel free to send me a message and I will try my best to share what I have experienced. Smile

Jul 11, 2006
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Registered: Jun 9, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 320
Review Date: Jul 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Amazing image quality! Lightweight Alloy! Its BLACK!!! The price is great considering how much DSLRs are.
Its a cheaper build then the Canon 10D. The battery grip doesn't mold to the camera body making it look bulky.

How great is the Canon 20D compared to most other SLR cameras out there? There is no comparison (unless the D series or 5d). The only one in its price range that might come close is the the Nikon D100. The D100 doesnt come close enough though.

I've been into photography since 1999. Only recently though have I moved from Film SLR to Digital SLR. It IS/WAS very expensive but the results I have got were totally worth it.

The 20D has been replaced by the Canon EOS 30D. However the 30D is just an improved 20D mainly in the software areas of the camera. Issues that really didn't need that much improvement in the first place. One of the great things about Canon EOS SLR cameras. Is that they can use any EF lens mount lens from Canon and most other third party lens will also work no matter if they were for Film or Digital SLR cameras. Only bad side is the 1.6 crop factor when taking wide angle pictures but its a bonus when doing telephoto pictures.

For its price you will not find a better camera. I give it a 8 out of 10 only because of the 1.6 crop factor because I mainly take pictures of Landscapes and buildings. My recommendations after getting a 20D is to invest in good lens.

Jul 4, 2006
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Registered: Feb 9, 2005
Location: Romania
Posts: 198
Review Date: Jun 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fair price, the best to learn with
no spot metering, SMALL veiwfinder

i am a young photographer from Romania.
when i started my quest in photo world i needed a good camera that could let me learn basics of photgraphy and offer decent results in the same time.
well, i am very pleased with this camera so far.
-a decent camera for a decent price.
-decent built quality for this what he was ment to be and for the people he has been designed for.
-good quality pictures for an APS-C sensor, good iso noise ratio, decent focus speed..
-dimension is another advantage... with grip it becomes more ballanced but when u need a small, easy camera to carry on in vacations this is a great choice wo grip and packed with a nice zoom.
-again1.6 crop sensor...limits a little the use of L wide lenses but instead offers u a great tele capability.

-i would very much liked an spot metering that would allow me to compose more accurate some great panorama's when wrking with bracketing or with multiple exposures(5 to 7 frames for a picture)
is not a drama that 20D has no spot, after few months of heavy use i managed to "read" the light pretty accurate and when working in RAW u can do the job u want , no pb.

-another important bad issue is the small viewfinder.
i shoot mainly model photo, i own a site for bodybuilding models... i love to shoot in the deep forest or on the beach, early in the morning or at the dusk, when the light is warm and creates an unique atmosphere...
unfortunately i needed a lot manual focus and i must say the VF was often making my work hard...
u need extra continuous light even eith a very fast prime to be able to see thru it.... but i supopose if u have money to pay esxtra people and to carry professional lighting and to bring electricity source in the wild...u probably have the money to gat a more serious profi camera...

-the rest of the cons i consider to be unsignificant ...after all is an entry level semi pro camera..
iso in VF would have been nice some times, when i was into hurry...err99 hapened few times,last time it was -20C and deep fog and the camera jamed..i needed to keep it in the warm hotel room for 2-3 hrs to come back "alive" Smile
some everexposing tendency in some ocasions...

and so on.
but as i said, this camera was not ment to be a pro tool, the price is what it is so i think it would be absurd to ask for it what u ask from a 3000 camera or even worst, a 6-7 k one...
excepting the VF that stopped me 2 or 3 times to continue my work in very very natural low light conditions, i consider all the other cons as acceptable ones.
if u have patience and skill u overcome all of them .

a GREAT camera for it's target and price range.
i consider 30D not worthing the extra few hundred bucks for a larger lcd(i read mainly the hystogram only) adn a spot metering...the spot alone does not whrth it, neither extra iso steps....
i will probably go for a 1d series in one year or so because i have now a 580EX, 430EX, 70-200 2.8L, 17-40 f4L for studio work, 135 f2L (incredible piece of glass), 28, 50 and 85 primes, plus studio equipment....
for what i do i have it all i start to reach camera's limits i will go further nut i will KEEP 20D
why? because would be a great back-up, an all-round every day gear and a great camera for tele photo.
i do not live selling tele pictures and because of that buying a long L glass would be throwing of money on the window.
but with my old 20D, a TC 1.4 and my 70-200 i have great fun photographing animals in the great Danube Delta..for my own leasure, for my soul.

20D i a great camera i u ask from her what it was ment to offer u, no more, if u understand it's limitations but u are smart enough the get from it every drop of performance.
i rated with 9 overall because it is not perfect for what it was ment to be and at this time there are better camera's in it's class...but a smaller rate would be unfair.

this camera will die in my posesion, no doubt about that. i love it as it is. is like a woman, not perfect but if u know how to handle and what to ask from she will give u satisfaction.

Jun 1, 2006
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Registered: Feb 27, 2005
Location: Argentina
Posts: 493
Review Date: May 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,059.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: 1.6 crop is great for 70-200 f2.8 L IS and 2x tele extender. 5 FPS. Lighter than the 1 series. Fast AF speed. Magnesium body. Good build, feels durable. Screen is visible in daylight. Multicontroller very useful for choosing AF points through CF. Very good battery life with external speedlite flash. PC sync terminal and comatability with the RS-80N3
Warning: 1 series gripes........ ISO incremecrents in 1/2 stops. Scrolling through the menu with jump button takes a bit to get used to. Best bang for the buck at the time of this review. No spot metering. Small screen. No RGB histogram. No ISO display in viewfinder. No built-in eyepiece cover. Pop-up flash useless with some L Lenses. No weather sealing. Lacks the assist and FEL button. No off switch for wheel controller. Small viewfinder. Image quality is not as good as the original 1D. No SD card slot.

Coming from the 1 series camera, the 20D does feel a bit like a toy. The cons do outweight the pros, but then again I was spoiled by the 3, 1V, 1D, and 1D MKII N. I was mainly looking for a good backup camera that won't slow me down and affect my mobility. Carrying two 1D cameras can be a real pain with L lenses attached. I was thinking about getting the 30D to complement my 1D MKII N but I couldn't justify paying an extra $400 for the same image quality produced by the 20D and the 30D. As a backup camera, it stays in my holster bag 80-90% of the time so I don't really need to rely on the 100,000 shutter life. This camera is to be used for a longer throw for telephoto lens where the 1D's 1.3x crop lacks. The Digital Rebel XT (350D) is lighter, is more or less a toy to me, it's plastic, the build is mediocre, the grip is probably the worst, and does not have the same buffer or framerate as the 20D. The 5D may be full frame but I'm not going to benefit much from a 1x crop for telephoto lens. Both the 30D and the 5D has spot metering but it's not multispot metering like the 1 series. Lack of the FEL button is a bit annoying since I use multispot metering, my index finger would try to look for it when I'm using the 20D. Coming from film and the 1 series, I do not chimp as much except to change settings so the 2.5" screen is just an added bonus. The 20D more or less fits the bill. It's not too light, nor too heavy. It's of a good build, has a nice, firm grip, the body is made of magnesium, good framerate, decent buffer, good battery life. I always shoot in RAW so exposure or white balance is not a real issue for me. Most of the bugs have been ironed out with the latest firmware. The 20D may not be weatherproof but it could still handle a minor splash of water thrown at it. The menu and buttons takes a while to get used to but I can't complain. The 20D doesn't feel like the lens mount is going to fall off when I'm using a 70-200 IS, even without the BG-E2 grip. My only gripes are the small viewfinder, lack of ISO display there and focus hunting on some low light conditions. Another issue I have is the half moon this camera produces when the popup flash is used to fill with the 17-40, 16-35, and 24-70 with the lens hood attached. Using the external flash unit does not have this problem. Overall I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I still regret the fact that I got rid of my original 1D. What I gained from it is less weight, longer throw, more room to crop (4.15 MP vs 8.2 MP), and FAT32 compatibility. I would recommend it to anyone who is upgrading from film, or any DSLR from Digitital Rebel (300D) or 10D and the previous models, to use as the primary camera. I gave it a fair rating as if this is my primary camera so that you're not misled by the cons that are listed.

May 30, 2006
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Canon EOS 20D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
200 218646 Dec 4, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $1,355.57
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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