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February 2010

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Nikon D50 DSLR


Nikon-D50-1Nikon have finally released details of their D50 DSLR - a 6.1 megapixel DSLR that is modelled on the award winning Nikon D70.

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Nikon D50 Press Release

- Extraordinary Nikon digital SLR picture quality in a camera that is smaller, lighter, easier to use, and more affordable than ever. Seeing is believing with the Nikon D50.

TOKYO � Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of a new entry level interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera designed to make it easier than ever to enjoy the thrill of outstanding digital SLR picture quality easily and instantly. Combining the outstanding response of Nikon's patented digital and photographic performance with optical performance available only from renowned Nikkor interchangeable lenses and expanded shooting options only available in a quality digital SLR camera, the new Nikon D50 makes exceptional digital SLR photography a reality for everyone.

The next evolution of Nikon's scene-optimized Digital Vari-Program modes simplifies picture taking, freeing the photographer to concentrate on capturing the evanescence of special moments. Selecting one of the seven easily distinguishable icons from the handy exposure mode dial optimizes otherwise complex settings and ISO-equivalent sensitivity to produce consistently remarkable results. Newly added is "Child" mode, which makes it easier to take memorable pictures of the little ones complete with ideal vivid color and contrast � ready to print beautifully without the fuss of later adjustments at the computer. Full manual exposure control is also available, allowing more advanced photographers all the creative freedom they desire, while also making it possible for all photographers to expand their enjoyment of photography.

The D50 features a new 6.1 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor and a highly advanced image processing engine that team together to create truly faithful image files capable of significant enlargement, yet remain manageable in overall file size, making it easier to take and store more great pictures. These optimized components produce more consistent results, even under shooting conditions that challenge other digital cameras, such as when working with light-colored subjects or long exposure shots.

Distinguishing itself over lesser systems, the Nikon D50 is always ready to shoot when that special moment or expression presents itself. When the power is turned on, the camera is ready to shoot in just 0.2 seconds for near-instant readiness. The shutter's release lag time is also minimized for near-instant response that virtually eliminates a common frustration of digital photography.

Continuous shooting at 2.5 frames per second can be maintained for bursts of up to 137� pictures, making action photography a reality. Pictures taken are instantly processed and recorded to the photographer's compact SD (Secure Digital) memory card. A new USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface supports faster transfer of images when connected to a compatible computer.

Shutter speed choices extend from 30 sec. to an action-stopping 1/4,000 sec. A high-speed flash sync speed up to 1/500 sec. makes great fill flash photography possible, and Nikon technology makes it automatic. A bulb setting is also included for long exposures. The shutter is designed to ensure fast curtain action for consistent operation and accurate, predictable results, even at high shutter speed settings. AUTO ISO maximizes available light by automatically setting ISO-equivalent sensitivity across the available range of 200 to 1600. D50 photographers can also opt to set the ISO sensitivity manually for personal control.

The D50�s 5-area autofocus system inherits Nikon's proven cross-type center sensor, broad frame coverage, and class-leading low light detection found only in the award-winning Nikon D70 camera, and delivers even greater AF precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking. The new system adopts AF-A mode for smooth automated operation that switches between AF-S (single-servo autofocus) and AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) depending on the movement of the subject in the framed shot. An AF-assist illuminator is also included, which helps maximize performance when shooting in low lighting conditions.

The D50 produces consistently natural coloration by measuring the entire frame of the shot and matching white balance to the light source. Advanced auto white balance handles most lighting situations, but the flexible options include a choice of six specific manual settings, white balance bracketing for added creative choice of results, as well as a preset option for using a gray or white object as a calibrating reference under mixed lighting conditions.

Nikon's new 3D Color Matrix Metering II ensures accurate exposure control in most types of lighting situations by automatically comparing input from its frame-wide 420-pixel sensor for each scene to a large onboard database of over 30,000 scenes from actual photography. Professionals and amateurs alike rely on Nikon's exclusive light metering technologies that produce ideal exposures instantly. Newly developed exposure evaluation methods detect highlights and shadows in the frame, and compensate for them to help minimize under- or over-exposure by comparing the lighting pattern of the frame with the onboard database of scenes, thus enhancing performance for more accurate and consistent exposures.

A key advantage and one source of the fun associated with Nikon digital SLR photography is the ability to take advantage of the creative possibilities offered by interchangeable lenses. The new D50 offers seamless compatibility with Nikon's extensive family of high-performance AF Nikkor lenses, as well as the expanding family of digital-dedicated DX Nikkor lenses, providing superb color reproduction, razor-sharp image clarity and fast and accurate autofocus performance.

The compact, light-weight design of the new D50 makes it easy to carry on any outing, while its body contours and easily accessible controls provide handling efficiency and easy operation. Newly designed on-screen menus present clear and helpful user information in plain language on the D50's large 2.0-inch LCD monitor, and intuitive help dialogs are available for on-the-spot reference to the respective menu selections. The high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery helps extend mobility and convenience by delivering the power to shoot up to 2,000 images�� on a single charge.

The D50 is an outstanding performer, right down to its diverse playback options, versatile custom settings, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface for easy connectivity or direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer with in-camera page setup, and Nikon's complimentary PictureProject software that will extend anyone�s photographic experience with easy image transfers, effective image organization and editing, creative page layout design, plus printing and sharing. PictureProject�s new version 1.5 provides customers with an exceptional added value topped only by its excellent performance.

These inherit advantages combine with the empowering and creatively inspiring components of Nikon's Total Imaging System, including high-quality AF and DX Nikkor lenses, the SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlights, which enable use of Nikon's Creative Lighting System, as well as versatile software options, to deliver a new level of operating ease, expanded creative possibilities, and pure enjoyment. The Nikon D50 presents the perfect opportunity for anyone to start enjoying the advantages of Nikon digital SLR photography today.

Sales release schedule: Nikon Corporation will launch the D50 worldwide in June 2005.

Note: Specifications, design, product name and standard accessories may differ by country or area.

Major Features of the Nikon D50

Vivid color and sharp details straight from the camera

New 6.1 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD imaging sensor that produces 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images with accurate color, high resolution and sharp details for great pictures capable of significant enlargement, or cropping for creative effect. File sizes remain manageable, making it easier to take and store more great pictures.

Advanced digital image processor that marks a further evolution of analog and digital processing and pre-conditioning technologies, producing images that are ready to print straight from the camera. Image quality is optimized, including auto white balance, auto tone and color control, and real-time processes diminish digital noise to produce beautiful long exposure shots.

3D Color Matrix Metering II ensures accurate exposure control and white balance.

Instant, precise response

Near-instant 0.2-second power-up, and quick shutter response.

Continuous shooting at 2.5 frames per second for continuous bursts of up to 137 pictures� without having to wait for the camera to record the images to the SD memory card.

Fast 5-area AF system with predictive focus tracking and Lock-on� delivers greater precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking to capture the action as it happens. Automatic AF-assist illuminator helps ensure top AF performance in dark situations.

Fast shutter speed with a range from 30 to 1/4,000 sec.

Fast flash sync shutter speeds up to 1/500 sec. for great fill-effects under brighter light and back-lighted conditions.

Fast data transfer and recording to SD memory cards keeps the D50 ready to shoot whenever a special moment presents itself.

Accurate automated and manual control for predictable results

Seven Digital Vari-Program selections for automatic adjustment of settings necessary to produce incredible digital photographs, including ISO-equivalent sensitivity, white balance, sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation and hue for crisp and vivid results that match the intended shot. Selections include Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, and Night Portrait.

Image enhancement options provide versatile sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation or hue while using Auto Multi Program [P], Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture-Priority Auto [A], or Manual [M] exposure modes to help match picture taking situations. The easy-to-set choices include Normal, Vivid, Sharp, Soft, Direct print, Landscape or Custom optimization.

Automatic control over ISO-equivalent sensitivity from ISO 200 to 1600; can also be set manually.

To maximize performance throughout the infinite range of potential picture scenes, D50 provides a choice of three TTL (Through The Lens) exposure modes: 3D Color Matrix Metering II for quick changing conditions, Center-Weighted for strong backlighting and more personal control, and Spot Meters that give you total control of exposure when you have lots of time to set up the shot.

Auto exposure bracketing helps achieve the exact results desired.

Flash exposure compensation.
A choice of three color modes ensures the best match for the shot when operating the camera manually.
Mode Ia: Renders natural-looking skin tones out of the camera. (sRGB)
Mode II: Realizes a wider color range suited for processing or retouching. (Adobe RGB)
Mode IIIa: Renders vivid landscape and flora colors out of the camera. (sRGB)

Simultaneous recording of Compressed RAW (NEF) and JPEG image files for the same shot helps by providing a smaller JPEG image file that can be quickly sent via email, along with a Compressed RAW (NEF) file for more creative flexibility to enhance pictures using Nikon PictureProject or Nikon Capture software.

Intuitive handling and operating ease

Light and compact:
Dimensions (W x H x D): 133 x 102 x 76mm (5.3 x 4.1 x 3.0 in.)
Weight: Approx. 540g (1 lb. 3 oz.) without battery.

Intuitive and familiar operation with ergonomically designed and sensibly located buttons and controls, including the handy multi selector and mode dial

Quality optical viewfinder features diopter correction and information display.

New large 2.0-inch LCD monitor located directly below the viewfinder displays the large fonts of the easy-to-view, easy-to-understand menu design, and the intuitive help system dialogs that make understanding camera settings easy.

Versatile LCD playback options include Single image playback, Thumbnail image playback (4 or 9 pictures at a time), Zoom playback, Slide show, easy Histogram indication for determining highlights and shadow values, and Highlight point displays for even quicker highlight information, with automatic image rotation for vertical shots

LCD control panel on camera top makes it easy to confirm settings and camera status.

Long-life rechargeable lithium-ion battery with power to shoot up to 2,000 images�� on a single charge.

Custom Settings for personalizing camera operation to match the individual's shooting style, or different picture taking conditions.

Wireless remote control of the D50 is available with the optional ML-L3 remote control.

Easy image handling

New Small Picture function for saving photos within the camera at the reduced sizes of 640x480, 320x240, or 160x120 for Internet use - either for mail attachments or placement on web pages.

In-camera page setup support makes it easy to print directly from the D50 to any PictBridge compatible printer via the supplied USB cable.

Up to 36 alphanumeric characters can be entered in each image's EXIF header (file information) for personalized identification when images are viewed on a computer.

Video connector and supplied video cable makes it easy to connect the D50 directly to a television for playing slideshows or viewing individual images

Creative and versatile system components

High-quality Nikkor lenses: The unrivalled performance of AF, AF-S and DX Nikkor lenses greatly expands creative possibilities.

Built-in auto pop-up flash features exclusive i-TTL flash control, fast 1/500 sec. flash sync shutter speed, and coverage for lenses as wide as 18mm.

Supports Nikon's Creative Lighting System when using a SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlight mounted on the ISO flash shoe for additional on camera flash output in large rooms, or for longer distance shooting situations. Also allows off-camera multiple flash lighting with iTTL Technology with SB-800 and SB-600.

Integrated Nikon Software Solutions:

Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.3) with Capture Control is an optional software that provides a comprehensive image processing and remote camera control package that supports all Nikon NEF��� (RAW), TIFF and JPEG data. Among other features, the package offers Image Dust Off sensor dust and particle shade removal control, D-Lighting for scene-specific automatic dodge and burn control, the LCH editor, plus a wide selection of high-precision tools that extend every opportunity to perform effective image processing in-computer while creating the idealized archive file.

PictureProject is Nikon's versatile software that extends the enjoyment of photography into your computer. Simplified image transfer helps move images easily from camera to computer, where PictureProject's intuitive interface lets photographers effectively organize and edit, apply selected effects, design album page layouts, or share their images. Adding to the fun, a complimentary copy is included with the purchase of any Nikon digital camera. The combination of direct printing with Pictbridge technology and in-computer PictureProject technology empowers users with great picture performance. Optional Plug-in software can be added to PictureProject for added creativity. Plug-in software that will prove useful to any photographer includes nik Color Efex Pro filters and Muvee �software that enables you to prepare very creative slide show presentations with special effects, music added and more.

� Using JPEG NORMAL - Large settings, and a SanDisk Ultra II SD Card (256MB). The number of continuous shots possible in a single burst may be fewer depending on the type of SD card used.

�� 2,000 images per charge achieved under following test conditions:
Fully charged EN-EL3 battery; temperature of 20�C (68�F); Zoom-Nikkor AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G SG IF ED lens; continuous shooting mode; continuous-servo autofocus; image quality set to JPEG BASIC; image size set to Medium; shutter speed 1/250 sec.; shutter release pressed halfway for three seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range three times with each shot; monitor turned on for five seconds after six shots and then turned off; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off.

��� NEF images taken with the D50 require Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.3) or later.

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Nikon D50 Reviews

Lets Go Digital has a preview of the Nikon D50 and writes - 'The new Nikon D50 is designed to make digital photography as easy as possible. With the new digital SLR Nikon has combined their excellence and experiences and put them into a small and attractive body. The result is an entry-level digital SLR camera with full potential for those who would like to learn more or want to expand their creative skills, but also for those who would like to experience the quality of digital SLR photography, but don't want to handle any extras like manual settings, etc. Within our limited acquaintance with the Nikon D50 digital SLR camera we can only share this feeling and believe that the Nikon D50 will absolutely be a favorite for many of us.'

DP Review has reviewed the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'Unlike Canon when they produced the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) Nikon chose not to cripple their affordable digital SLR. Instead the D50 while lacking some of the D70's features doesn't compromise performance or photographic flexibility, most important for first time buyers who (surely) the manufacturers hope will progress to a more expensive D-SLR later.

The D50's sensor and image processing pipeline are clearly different to that of the D70/D70s, it exhibits fewer of the moire/maze artifacts but at the same time isn't quite as crisp as its 'elder siblings'. That said the D50 is more than capable of producing some fantastic results, and is tuned to deliver bright and colorful images from the first exposure. If this isn't to your taste you can of course configure the image processing to produce D70-like images.'

Ken Rockwell has a review of the Nikon D50 DSLR and advises - 'The Nikon D50 is a great camera for basic photographers, non-photographers or backup. Image quality should be identical to the D70 and D70s, which means brilliant 12 x 18� prints that many people confuse with prints from a medium format film camera. Most people will never miss the few features I would, so if you don't have any idea what I'm talking about in my comparisons get a D50 and you'll love it.'

Imaging Resource has a preview/review of the Nikon D50 Digital Camera and writes - 'The latest result of this process is the new Nikon D50 digital SLR, delivering most of the features that made the D70 such an exceptional product, but at a lower price point and with the camera's size and user interface retooled somewhat to better match the needs of the �family photographer.� - Or anyone else who wants a feature-rich, easy-to-use, compact (but not too much so) digital SLR for a bargain price. Final judgement will have to wait until we can get our hands on a production sample, but if the Nikon D50's image quality is on par with the rest of the camera, this should be another big winner for Nikon. There's just an awful lot to like here, from the just-right grip size that will feel comfortable across a wide range of hand sizes, to its excellent ease of use in �green zone,� to its a complete feature bound to appeal to more advanced users. If its image quality measures up, this is going to be a very, very popular camera.'

DC Resource has a review of the Nikon D50 DSLR and makes a comparison between the Nikon D50 and the D70 - 'Trying to decide between the D50 and the D70s? Look at the chart at the top of the review and see if you can live without some of the D70s' features. I think most people could probably survive with the D50. Trying to decide between the D50 and the Rebel XT? First, if you have a sizable investment in lenses I'd just stick with the manufacturer of said lenses. Just starting out? Then it becomes more difficult. While the Rebel wins in terms of resolution and features, I much prefer the design of the D50. Both perform very well and each takes high quality photos, though the photographer matters more than the camera, in my opinion. You can't really go wrong with either camera, so it comes down to personal preference. That's why I always suggest trying them in person and then deciding which camera you prefer!'

Digital Review has reviewed the Nikon D50 Digital SLR and writes - 'Nikon's latest entry-level digital SLR aimed at the family / travel photographer, the Nikon D50, certainly has a lot to offer. Incorporating many of the same features found in the higher end Nikon D70s, the Nikon D50 is a very versatile camera. Offering point and shoot ease of use with convenient Auto settings, or full manual override flexibility for those that want to further their photographic skills, the Nikon D50 is a camera that will appeal to a broad range of photographers.

The image quality results that we have seen so far from the Nikon D50 are very good. Both the Nikkor DX AF-S 18-70mm ED zoom and the AF-D 50mm f/1.8 lens that we tested, offered nice sharpness, colour and contrast throughout our tests.'

Digital Outback has a user diary of the Nikon D50 DSLR.

DC Views has reviewed the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'Compact users who are looking to make the step to DSLR photography could do worse than buy the Nikon D50. The camera is a pleasure to work with, with excellent handling and with all controls in exactly the right place. It is an outstanding performer thanks to its many versatile custom settings, high speed USB 2.0 interface and direct print options. Images show plenty of detail with good sharpness across the range and nice punchy colours.'

PhotographyBLOG reviews the Nikon D50 and writes - 'The Nikon D50 is an entry-level digital SLR camera with a professional-level feature set. Nikon have resisted the temptation to dumb down their budget camera by removing lots of important features, so much so that the D50 isn't all that different to the more expensive D70s. If you want a D70s but can't quite afford one, buy the D50 instead - it delivers 90% of the performance at a lower cost. Having said that, the D50 obviously cuts some corners in order to keep the overall price down. The all-plastic body and 18-55mm kit lens don't initially inspire much confidence, although they are fine in actual use, and there are a number of missing features that more experienced photographers will regret not having, such as depth of field preview and mirror lockup.'

Steves Digicams reviews the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'The D50's image quality was excellent. Its exposure and autofocus system complemented each other, producing sharp, well-exposed images. The 5-point AF system is fast and accurate, and its predictive focus tracking is able to keep up with moving subjects. Image noise was not an issue with the D50. At ISO 200 and 400 noise was essentially absent. Shadow noise is detectable in images captured at ISO 800, and noticeable at ISO 1600, but highlight noise is remarkably low even at ISO 1600. The quality of the D50's images at high sensitivity settings will be a compelling benefit to photographers upgrading from consumer digicams.'

PC Magazine reviews the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'When it comes to the digital SLR market, Nikon has always focused on high-end, professional models like the D2X. While the company has not ignored consumer D-SLRs, its primary mission has always been serving pro shooters. That is why we were pleasantly surprised by the introduction of the D50 and what seems to be more of a commitment to the consumer. The D50 has a great price and includes helpful, user-friendly features. These, combined with excellent quality and performance, made it easy to single out this camera as our new Editors' Choice for D-SLRs.'

Photo Camera Mag reviews the Nikon D50 and writes - 'The new Nikon D50 surely is a very interesting product, because basically it's a D70 only a little less fast, a little tinier and with some missing functions. It's a successful machine that can be an ideal entry in Nikon digital SRL world.

Photographers that would increase they skill in the time being, would quickly feel the need to have a better machine in their hands (there are spreading rumors that a new Nikon D200 will soon be launched). But for the rest of them Nikon D50 would be an ideal companion for a long time. I'd good to spend some money on good lenses, the ones that can make the difference.'

Megapixel reviews the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'One of the highlights of the D50's performance is at its high ISO settings. The D50's sensitivity range starts at 200 ISO, a level at which many cameras equipped with smaller CCDs already start to show noise. But, with the D50, noise is not only absent at 200 ISO, it is also nearly undetectable at 400 ISO. Only at the 800 ISO level does noise begin to appear in the images. At 1600 ISO, noise is visible, but is remarkably low and the images are completely useable.

Likewise, the D50 is fast. The camera is on instantly when the power switch is thrown, and its shutter lag is negligible.

Another aspect of the D50 that is worth noting is that its version of Nikon's famed 3D Matrix metering, 3D Colour Matrix Metering II, appears to be more in line with what most users would expect. The D50 seems to produce images that are brighter overall than those of the D70. Where the D70 tended to favour capturing details in the highlights, the D50 seems to be more even-handed and may even on occasion give preference to the shadows.'

CNET Reviews has a review of the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'Bargain-hunting digital-SLR consumers will find a few features missing from the D70s's array, including a 1/8,000-second top shutter speed, a depth-of-field preview, and a second command dial; also, the kit lens has about 25 percent less telephoto reach: 27mm to 82.5mm vs. 27mm to 105mm (35mm-camera equivalent). But improved image-processing algorithms give the junior Nikon SLR better noise characteristics at ISO settings up to 1600 and offer gentler treatment of highlights. Budding shutterbugs looking for fast operation coupled with useful features such as a robust burst mode, accurate exposure metering, and iTTL electronic flash control (both internal and external) will find a lot to like about this budget digital SLR contender.'

Pocket Lint Reviews the Nikon D50 DSLR which they rate very highly (9 out of 10). They write - 'The D50 represents an ideal D-SLR for those first time D-SLR buyers on a more modest budget. Image quality, handling, responsiveness and key features strike an excellent balance, and while the D50 lacks some of the more advanced bits of the D70s, it is no slouch and so should be at the top of � or at the very least � near the very the top of your list if your in the market for such a camera.'

Digital Camera Info reviews the Nikon D50 Digital Camera and writes - 'The Nikon D50 is a bridge camera, meant to snag users who are on the fence, deciding between a high-end �SLR-like� camera and a low-end DSLR. Here's the case for the D50: it has a larger sensor than most �SLR-like� cameras, leading to richer images with more dynamic range and less noise. This will surely provide a much better 6 megapixel image than you would get from a smaller sensor. The camera contains a deep set of manual controls that are easily accessible and well organized. Nikon also included a full set of image parameters and selectable color modes to expand image control in-camera.'

Trusted Reviews has reviewed the Nikon D50 DSLR and writes - 'The D50 kit is a mixed bag. On the one hand it is a truly affordable, easy-to-use digital SLR that offers an entry point into the huge Nikon system. It is well designed, well made and performs admirably. On the other hand it has a sub-par lens and some problems with image quality. Maybe the D50 would be better with a more expensive lens, but there�s no denying that at under �500, it is going to be found under a lot of trees this Christmas.'

Shutterbug reviews the Nikon�s D50 and writes - 'Both novices and some photo enthusiasts will love the Nikon D50 for its versatility, speed, and reliability. Others will gladly pay extra for the larger D70s in order to get slightly more rugged construction and specific extra features that they consider essential. There�s really no wrong decision but the D50 clearly offers maximum value for the money. On the other hand, the D70s is more of a serious shooter�s camera that will expand to meet new needs and pay dividends for a willingness to experiment with additional capabilities.'

Camera Hobby has posted a review of the Nikon D50 SLR where they sum it up pretty well in terms of who the D50 is good for - 'For those that demand more from the camera, they should be looking at the D200 or D2 series of pro cameras as being the appropriate tools for use in demanding environments with commensurate performance. For the intended market Nikon is catering the D50 towards, consumers wanting better quality than high-end digicams, the D50 has a good mix of features and capabilities and the various D50 kit prices are competitive with high-end digicams that can�t match the speed, handling, and high ISO performance of the D50. Given the choice between say the Sony R1 and the D50 with a kit lens, there�s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I�d take the D50 that offers much better flexibility and ability to grow with you as one develops as a photographer.'

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Posted by Darren in our Nikon category on April 20, 2005

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