Product Support

E-1

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What is the Olympus E-System?

The Olympus E-System with Digital Specific Lenses™, based on the Four Thirds® standard for digital SLR cameras and interchangeable lenses, is the world's first 100-percent all-digital interchangeable lens and SLR system.

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How do I update the firmware of my Olympus E-System camera body or lenses?

The firmware in Olympus E-System camera bodies and lenses may be updated via the Olympus imaging software.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS FIRST:

Step 1: While connected to the Internet, launch the software and select its Update Software function. The location of this function depends on the software being employed. For OLYMPUS Master 2.x, OLYMPUS Studio 1.x or OLYMPUS Viewer, select Help > Update Software. For OLYMPUS Master 1.x, select Online Service > Update Software. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 2:  On the camera's menu, select the menu and set PC Mode to Control. Remember to set it back to Storage after updating the firmware.

TO BEGIN FIRMWARE INSTALLATION:

Step 1. For OLYMPUS Viewer 1.1 (or above) or OLYMPUS Studio 1.1 (or above), launch the software and select Help > Update Firmware. For OLYMPUS Master 1.2 (or above), launch the software and choose Browse Images. Next, choose Online Service > Update Camera. For OLYMPUS Master 2.0 (or later), launch the software and choose Browse Images. Next, choose Camera > Update Camera/Add Display Language.

Step 2. Follow the on-screen instructions. After connecting the USB cable, select the available update you wish to download. Click Details for more information or Update to install.

Step 3. Review the License Agreement and click Agree. Then follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 4. Once you are notified that the firmware installation is successful, check to see whether any futher firmware updates are available -- for example, for an attached E-System flash, lens or lens accessory. Repeat the procedure for each additional firmware update.

Step 5. Remember to set PC Mode back to Storage once all updates are complete.

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I don't own an E-System camera body. How can I update the firmware of my E-System lens?

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. Therefore, the lens firmware can be updated by mounting the lens to a Panasonic camera body.

To update the firmware of an E-System lens when mounted to a Panasonic camera body, refer to the Panasonic support Web site.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, visit the Four Thirds System Web site.

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Can I use the E-1 to update the firmware of any Four Thirds System-compliant lens?

The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.

Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted to an Olympus E-System camera body can be updated using the software packaged with the camera. Click on the appropriate link below for complete instructions.

Update using OLYMPUS Master 2.x.
Update using OLYMPUS Master 1.x/ OLYMPUS Master Plus 1.x.
Update using OLYMPUS Studio 1.x / OLYMPUS Viewer 1.x.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, visit the Four Thirds System Web site.

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What benefits does the Olympus E-System offer professional photographers?

Designed to be digital from the ground up, the Olympus E-System provides professional photographers with powerful advantages in terms of edge-to-edge image quality, durability, speed, and camera and lens size. The E-1 delivers the highest dynamic range, lowest noise levels and best color of any mobile professional camera. The most complex, computerized digital camera built to date, the revolutionary E-1 is designed to deliver the best digital images for professional photographers today and into the future.

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What lenses and accessories are being introduced for the E-1?

Initially, Olympus will release five Zuiko Digital Specific LensesTM, one flash system, and a power grip set for the E-1, currently scheduled for release October 2003. These include:

  • 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 (28mm - 108mm equivalent for 35mm camera)
  • 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 (100mm - 400mm equivalent)
  • 50mm f2.0 1:2 Macro (100mm Macro equivalent)
  • 300mm f2.8 Super Telephoto (600mm equivalent)
  • EC14 1.4x Teleconverter (1.4x - 1 stop equivalent)
  • FL-50 Flash and Accessories
  • Power Battery Holder Set

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How many lenses, bodies and accessories will Olympus ultimately introduce for this system?

Over time, Olympus plans to introduce a wide range of bodies, lenses and accessories beginning with the 11-22mm f2.8/3.5 zoom, Ring Flash and Twin Flash later this year. We will also introduce bright telephoto lenses in addition to the 300mm f2.8, bright and fixed aperture zoom lenses, and bright fixed focal length wide lenses. All the Olympus E-Accessories and Zuiko Digital Lenses will be designed to meet the highest demands of digital photography. Olympus has also begun work on a consumer camera for 2004.

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What levels of sharpness adjustment does the camera offer?

The E-1 offers nine selectable sharpness levels.

The E-1 has been designed with the flexibility to meet the needs of many different photographer's requirements. The default sharpness setting (0) is set to produce images which are not overly sharpened and have a natural appearance for easy importing into applications for image-editing like Adobe® PhotoshopTM. Those who wish to perform post-processing sharpening to the image on a personal computer desire this level of sharpening.

For photographers needing sharp and easy-to-post or print images directly from the camera, the E-1 has +1, +2 and +3 settings for this type of photographic need. For the results that best fit your needs we recommend you try the different settings to find the setting that best suits them. This allows photographers the flexibility to choose and fine-tune the image to the level of sharpness that matches their requirements for particular situations or assignments.

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What kind of image quality can pros expect from the Olympus E-System?

The Olympus E-System delivers unsurpassed edge-to-edge image quality with interchangeable Zuiko® Digital Specific Lenses™ designed to optimize light to the sensor, ensuring rich, accurate colors, sharp contrasts and bright images even at the edges. The system uses new and existing technologies like the exclusive Olympus TruePic® Technology to achieve the highest image quality and most realistic digital photographs. Newly-developed Noise Filter technology and the existing Noise Reduction technology produce clear, clean files. The new Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF™) significantly reduces the chances of dust settling on the CCD or image and blocking pixels. The system's new Super Latitude Full Frame Transfer CCD delivers the highest dynamic range, lowest noise levels and best color of any camera in its class.

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How fast is the E-1?

The E-1 delivers a true film-like experience with fast shooting and operating speeds, dramatically reducing the lag time often associated with digital cameras. The E-1's high-speed performance shortens the time it takes to capture an image and transfer data to the memory card. Second-generation coreless motors in the Digital Specific LensesTM achieve focus speeds comparable to or better than the best film SLR lenses.

Shutter lag times are comparable to or better than film SLR's. The E-1's new progressive Full Frame Transfer CCD increases the transfer speed of data from the CCD. Exclusive control Operating RAM and large MB of Buffer RAM, coupled with the E-1's parallel data processing 3 ASIC Digital Processor engine, overcome many of the bottlenecks in image processing and camera operations. The E-1 can capture images at 3 frames per second for a burst of 12 frames in all resolution modes. New capture software delivers another boost in shooting speed, allowing direct capture of data to a computer.

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How durable is the E-1?

The E-1 is built to last with a metal magnesium alloy body that is lightweight and durable for heavy daily use by the most demanding professional photographers. Splash-proof body and lenses provide maximum protection against dust and moisture, allowing photographers to shoot in many conditions without concern for the performance or life of the product.

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What size is the E-1?

The E-1 is sized for the professional market, built to fit the hand based on extensive input from many professional photographers. Dimensions are slightly smaller than the E-20N at 141 x 104 x 81mm. Weight (without batteries and CF card) is 23.2 oz/ 660 g. Zuiko Digital Specific LensesTM are also sized for the professional, offering more compact sizes than most 35mm film lenses of equivalent focal lengths paired with digital cameras.

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What types of shooting is the E-1 best suited for?

The Olympus E-1 Digital SLR is a dynamic camera that can handle many types of photographic situations and deliver superior results in a wide range of settings, from indoor to studio, fashion to journalism, sports to portrait photography, and much more. The system is durable yet lightweight as well as dust- and water-resistant, important advantages for journalists and outdoor photographers. These photographers will appreciate the compact lenses, especially in telephoto focal lengths. For sports, fashion, and journalism photography, speed of image capture is critical and the E-1 delivers with advanced technology. Studio photographers will be impressed with the color fidelity and resolution that the Zuiko Digital Specific LensesTM provide.

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How much will the E-1 cost?

The E-1 SLR offers build and features quality equal to or better than the top professional quality cameras at the extremely competitive price of $2,199 MSRP.

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How much will the lenses and accessories cost?

The Olympus Zuiko Digital Specific LensesTM for the E-1 include (prices subject to change):

  • 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 (28mm - 108mm equiv. for 35mm film camera) at $599.00 MSRP
  • 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 (100mm - 400mm equiv. for 35mm) at $1199.00 MSRP
  • 50mm f2.0 1:2 Macro (100mm Macro equiv. for 35mm) at $599.00 MSRP
  • 300mm f2.8 Super Telephoto (600mm equiv. for 35mm) at $7999.00 MSRP
  • EC14 1.4x Teleconverter (1.4x - 1 stop equiv. for 35mm) at $549.00 MSRP
  • FL-50 Flash and Accessories $499.00 MSRP
  • Power Battery Holder Set $549.00 MSRP

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How many Megapixels is the E-1?

The E-1 features a new Super Latitude Full Frame Transfer CCD that delivers increased dynamic range and color fidelity for more realistic photographs. This new technology 5-Megapixel CCD outperforms many higher pixel count imagers.

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What type of image sensor is used in the E-1?

The E-1 features a high performance Full Frame Transfer CCD from Kodak that delivers the highest dynamic range, lowest noise levels and best color of any sensor in its class. The 4/3-type sensor measures 22.3mm diagonally with a 4:3 aspect ratio with 5.5 Megapixels total and 5.0 Megapixels effective. The individual pixels are 6.8µm square. The CCD features blooming protection for each pixel. Color is applied to pixels via an RGB mosaic color filter with overlying micro-lenses for improved color response and reproduction. The sensor will capture 14bit RGB information, which can be saved in the Adobe® RGB or sRGB color space.

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What are the benefits of a Full Frame Transfer CCD versus an Interline CCD?

Interline CCD's have traditionally been used in digital cameras and are either interlaced or progressive scan sensors. Interline chips are designed with a path or "highway" to move data. This highway takes up valuable real estate that could be used for image capture and reduces the size of the photodiode in each pixel. The E-1 Full Frame Transfer CCD transfers image data via a Vertical Charge Register that is a fraction of the size of an Interline highway. In fact, the active pixel area of the Full Frame Transfer CCD is about 1.5x larger than an Interline CCD of equal size. Using less of the pixel to transfer data means more space can be used to capture data for better image resolution.

The Full Frame Transfer CCD uses more of the pixel area to actually act as a sensor with a wider aperture for the photodiode and larger pixel capture area. With its larger capacitor, a Full Frame Transfer CCD captures more electrons than a conventional Interline CCD to deliver higher sensitivity, higher Signal/Noise ratio, and wider dynamic range and greater latitude. The E-1's progressive scan Full Frame Transfer CCD allows for better speeds and higher image quality than found in many 6+ Megapixel Interline CCD's.

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What are the advantages of the sensor's 4:3 aspect ratio?

In the real world of printing images, the traditional 3:2 aspect of 35mm film and APS sensors has resulted in lost information when printing to the standard non-consumer print sizes of 8" x 10", 11" x 14" and so on. Only consumer 4" x 6" prints neatly fit the 3:2 aspect ratio. The 4:3 aspect ratio of the E-1's Full Frame Transfer CCD allows photographers to fit their image easily into the standard print sizes used by professionals and press, thereby avoiding cropping. This means they can use the image as they composed it in the viewfinder without any loss of image quality.

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What does Blooming Protection do?

Blooming Protection reduces the overflow of electrons in the bright areas of a picture, preventing overly bright areas from experiencing a loss of detail. With this technology the image can retain more of the highlight detail, providing greater image quality.

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How does the external white balance detection sensor work?

The E-1 uses a light source detection sensor on the exterior of the camera to establish white balance, speeding up the camera's operation for faster shot-to-shot and initial release times for the shutter. By initially reading the light separately for the CCD, the camera can see a dramatic increase in speed without loss of accuracy.

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How do Noise Filter and Noise Reduction work?

The Olympus E-System features a unique "noise reduction system" that reduces noise without reducing sharpness or color accuracy.

Long exposures (two seconds or longer) or high ISO speeds can cause bright or dark points to appear in digital images, a phenomenon called Fixed Pattern Noise. Olympus Noise Reduction technology cancels this noise by subtracting a black image from the actual taken image (a black image of the same exposure time is taken without opening the shutter), the same solution used in the Olympus E-20N/C-5050 Zoom. Since the camera has to take two exposures of equal time in the Noise Reduction mode, high-speed shooting is not possible.

Random noise is another problem that affects digital images when a picture is taken at high ISO speeds in the continuous color/tone part of the image. Noise Filter is an image processing method that reduces this phenomenon, reducing noise between the edges while retaining sharpness by actively checking the image part by part. Noise Filter requires extra processing time for the image to reduce the effect of Random Pattern Noise.

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What kind of viewfinder does the E-1 feature?

The E-1 features a 100% accurate vertical and horizontal viewfinder, designed based on feedback from professional photographers. To make viewing easy, the eyepiece is a High Eye Point viewfinder.

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What capture software does the E-1 feature?

Olympus Studio is the capture software, allowing nearly instantaneous capture to your computer (about 6 seconds with a RAW file). The E-1 also offers a JPEG + RAW capture mode with no loss in capture speed. This allows the photographer to simultaneously capture the highest quality image (RAW) as well as a JPEG of high quality.

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How does the E-1 connect to a computer?

The E-1 offers fast transmission speeds with the option of IEEE1394 or USB 2.0. USB 1.1 connectivity is also available.

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What kind of focusing screen does the E-1 have?

The E-1 features a newly-designed Neo-Lumi-Micron Matte IITM focusing screen. This new design reduces the moire effect in viewing and focusing, and is matched to the digital technologies developed for this camera system. There is a choice of two focusing screens, the FS-1 Matte screen that comes with the camera or the FS-2 Grid screen, featuring a 6 x 8 grid pattern. Both screens show the focusing points and metering areas. The focusing screens are optimized for the camera so images appear clearly, making it easier to focus accurately and quickly.

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How does the E-1 handle the problem of dust associated with the use of interchangeable lenses?

Olympus' patented new Supersonic Wave FilterTM protects the imager from the common problem of micro dust created by the shutter and from the environment. Located between the shutter and the CCD, the Supersonic Wave Filter uses high-speed ultrasonic vibration to cause most types of dust to simply fall away to be collected and held, preventing it from damaging the photograph.

For large dust (fluff dust, strings, etc.) and liquid (water drops, rain), the Supersonic Wave Filter may not effectively work, and Olympus recommends the E-1 should be sent to an authorized Olympus Digital Service Center to be cleaned.

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What is Color Space Control?

The E-1 offers professional photographers the right tools to capture and reproduce correct color with a choice of image capture using either sRGB or Adobe® RGB color spaces. sRGB is the color space standard for the Internet, scanners, Inkjet printers, and High-Definition televisions, and is found on almost all consumer digital cameras today. Adobe RGB offers a wider range of colors than the sRGB standard, designed to reproduce the colors found in CMYK printers and pre-press activities.

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How do the E-1's Versatile Color Adjustment Modes work?

The E-1 is the first Olympus camera to feature Versatile Color Adjustment modes, including five Saturation Adjustment modes and four Color Memory modes. Saturation Adjustment allows professional photographers to select one of five levels of color saturation from 0 (accurate) to 4 (super saturated). Color Memory allows the photographer to select a specific color emphasis, with options including red apple, spring green, sky blue, and soft red/pink for flesh tones.

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What focusing functions does the E-1 offer?

The E-1 offers both Manual and Auto focus. The Auto focus can be set by a body switch for Single or continuous operation. Manual focus allows the user to select the direction of focus with the lens focus ring.

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How do you view and edit images with the E-1?

Viewing and editing images in the camera has been improved with a newly-designed 134,000 pixel, 1.8" high-resolution Color LCD, offering more accurate color and higher resolutions.

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Can the FP-1 Power Flash Grip be rotated for different angles?

Yes, the head of the FP-1 can rotate up to 180°.

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What does the optional OLYMPUS Studio 2 software do, and how can I get it?

OLYMPUS Studio 2 is imaging software for personal computers that allows photographers to speed up organizational and post-processing tasks associated with the photography workflow, such as examining and selecting the best shot from a large number of images; searching disparate folders and albums for a desired image; comparing similar images side-by-side on a virtual lightbox; batch processing edits and print jobs; etc. It also has a camera control function that lets photographers operate Olympus E-System cameras remotely or save images directly to a computer instead of a memory card. (These operations require that the camera be connected to the computer using its bundled USB cable.) The software can also be used to update the firmware of Olympus digital cameras or to change the language of the camera's menu system and LCD displays.

The software is supported on the following operating systems: Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional (32-bit), Windows Vista (32/64-bit), Windows 7 (32/64-bit, but please see these caveats), and Mac OS X 10.3 ("Panther") through 10.5 ("Leopard").

To download a free, 30-day trial of the latest version of OLYMPUS Studio 2, please click on the appropriate link:

For information on obtaining a permanent license key, please send an email to e-slrpro@olympus.com.

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Is there a way to shoot if I don't want to wait for autofocus to lock or the flash to recycle?

Normally, the E-1 will not shoot while autofocus is operating or the flash is charging. However, situations may arise where the photographer would want to override the camera and force it to fire under marginal shooting conditions when the camera may not be ready to shoot.

The Shutter Release Priority function will permit the camera to shoot even though normal shooting requirements are not met. The function is found in the Setup 1 menu (Wrench 1 icon) and can be specified for two autofocus modes:

  • RELEASE PRIORITY S: Set to [ON] to enable the camera to fire immediately, without waiting for focus confirmation, in the S+AF autofocus mode.
  • RELEASE PRIORITY C: Set to [OFF] to force the camera to secure focus before firing in the C+AF autofocus mode. Predictive AF is not available when this function is enabled.

Be advised that overriding the camera creates special considerations. Shooting before the flash has recycled may cause images to be underexposed if ambient light is insufficient to illuminate the subject. Shooting before the autofocus has locked may result in blurry images, particularly when the subject is in motion. To compensate for the loss of autofocus, increase the depth of field by shooting with the smallest aperture that is practical for acquiring the shot.

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When attempting to install OLYMPUS Studio® on a computer running Macintosh™ OS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), I get the following error: The current user does not have administrative privileges. Log on as an administrator. What should I do?

Please do the following:

  1. Download the latest version of OLYMPUS Studio by clicking here.
  2. Send an email to e-slrpro@olympus.com to request a license key for the latest version. Olympus Digital Technical Support will contact you to provide the key.
  3. Run the installer file (OS230EN.dmg) and follow the on-screen prompts. When prompted, enter the license key.

This procedure will overwrite the previous installation of OLYMPUS Studio and allow you to use the application in your environment.

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When attempting to install OLYMPUS Master® on a computer running Macintosh™ OS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), I get the following error: The current user does not have administrative privileges. Log on as an administrator. What should I do?

Download the latest version of OLYMPUS Master 2 by clicking here. Run the installer file (OM211EN.dmg). This will overwrite the previous installation of OLYMPUS Master 2 and allow you to use the application in your environment.

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After I attach a lens to the camera body, the camera seems unable to secure autofocus. This problem is intermittent, and it affects multiple lenses. Is the camera broken?

If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may indeed be broken. However, if the problem occurs sporadically -- and chiefly only after attaching or switching lenses -- then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.

Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount. Nine gold-colored pins are arranged below the mirror in an arc. These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens. This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.

To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (raised red knob) on the side of the lens. Then insert the lens into the camera’s body. Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click. The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position.  The lens lock pin is the small silver pin on the lens mount in between the mirror and the lens release button.

Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount.  The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin.  If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released.  This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place.  It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera.  This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.

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