Industry News: Nikon to end camera production in Japan

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
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LOL, we are saying the same thing. Note: I never said what the warning was about. I did that intentionally to avoid the can of worms that is current politics.
FWIW: I do read German reasonably well, and I did check the German sources first, but opted for the English wikipedia as a pointer to other sources as this is after all an English speaking forum.
I did fully understand your post right, that you were about to "defend" the label, too.
Thank you for doing so. :) And also thank you for checking different sources - not so common these days.
I just wanted to point that out more prominent.
As I said:
To get it (edit: ) even more precise: ...
 

dolina

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---

I thought I'd let everyone know even CANADA is coming into cameras and lens production now!

DSLR and Mirrorless Camera Optical Grade Acrylic Lenses Now Being Made in Canada:


I recently took a tour of the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Optical-grade Acrylic Lens and All-Aluminum Lens Barrel Machining factory and I was STUNNED at how much lens inventory they are building up for launch! I saw FIVE high end lenses that will be HALF the price and in some cases a FULL STOP FASTER than the competing Canon L-series or Sony G-series lenses!

Too many companies are being waaaay too GREEDY by destroying their local manufacturing base putting way too many people out of work! Anyways, all good things must come to an end sooner or later!
At least there is now a Made in Canada solution for some users of high end lenses!

V
Sometimes it isn't just labor cost. Does North America have enough skilled labor to fulfill demand? In places like China you can fill a football standium worth of industrial engineers. In the US they may have difficulty sourcing parts
 

dolina

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privatebydesign

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That's 2016 data.

How about last years?
Or how about showing a graph that actually illustrates the last 20 years honestly?

This graph from CIPA showing camera ‘out the door’ volume that actually covers the last 20 years aptly demonstrates my point of the market returning to historical norms. In 1999 the camera market (not including phones) was 5.09 million units, in 2019 it was 15.22 million units, three times the number of 20 years ago. The camera market is not in trouble, it is no longer enjoying the boom period from 2002 -2016, but it is far from in trouble.

79DD8484-97E0-4D6D-B2AE-B26DD7F2CBAA.jpeg
 

CanonFanBoy

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Or how about showing a graph that actually illustrates the last 20 years honestly?

This graph from CIPA showing camera ‘out the door’ volume that actually covers the last 20 years aptly demonstrates my point of the market returning to historical norms. In 1999 the camera market (not including phones) was 5.09 million units, in 2019 it was 15.22 million units, three times the number of 20 years ago. The camera market is not in trouble, it is no longer enjoying the boom period from 2002 -2016, but it is far from in trouble.

View attachment 194735
Yeah, but there’s also about 1.7 billion more people in the world 1999 vs 2020. ;) Nothing historically normal there in such a stat. Population increased greatly, ILC sales have not kept the “norm” at all. The market is far below the “historical norm”. I guess we could go back to 1965? See what was “normal “ back then? Who decided what the historical norm is? What were car sales in 1920 vs 2020? When will we return to the “historical norm” of sales in 1920? Kind of a silly line of logic. Why did you choose 1999? Why not 1970?
 
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20Dave

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This graph from CIPA showing camera ‘out the door’ volume that actually covers the last 20 years aptly demonstrates my point of the market returning to historical norms.
Just curious, is that ILC totals (digital + film) or just digital?
 

privatebydesign

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Just curious, is that ILC totals (digital + film) or just digital?
It says it is digital but I believe that is a mistake because the total camera sales in the early years align with combined film and digital camera sales.
 

privatebydesign

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Yeah, but there’s also about 1.7 billion more people in the world 1999 vs 2020. ;) Nothing historically normal there in such a stat. Population increased greatly, ILC sales have not kept the “norm” at all. The market is far below the “historical norm”. I guess we could go back to 1965? See what was “normal “ back then? Who decided what the historical norm is? What were car sales in 1920 vs 2020?
And as we know wealth inequality means most of those additional population numbers are too poor to buy food let alone be in the market for a new camera.

But look again, 2019 has over three times the sales of 1999, the world population in 1999 was 6,064,239,055 three times that is 18,000,000,000, yet there are currently only 7,713,468,100, any way you look at it the camera sales numbers are not bad.

The reason I used 20 years was because the original comment was based on the last ten years data, I merely pointed out that that is a particularly distorted view of a market that didn’t take into account the unprecedented grow in the ten years preceding that.
 
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CanonFanBoy

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And as we know wealth inequality means most of those additional population numbers are too poor to buy food let alone be in the market for a new camera.

But look again, 2019 has over three times the sales of 1999, the world population in 1999 was 6,064,239,055 three times that is 18,000,000,000, yet there are currently only 7,713,468,100, any way you look at it the camera sales numbers are not bad.

The reason I used 20 years was because the original comment was based on the last ten years data, I merely pointed out that that is a particularly distorted view of a market.
Camera sales in 2010 were 121 million units. 15 million in 2020? Sales aren’t bad? What distorted view? Sales are down near 90% in ten years. Sales in 1999 are not relevant. Sales in 1980 aren’t either. Are you really going to argue that because sales are 3x what they were 20 years ago that sales are fine after falling 90% off peak in just 10 years?
 
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privatebydesign

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Camera sales in 2010 were 121 million units. 15 million in 2020? Sales aren’t bad? What distorted view? Sales are down near 90% in ten years. Sales in 1999 are not relevant. Sales in 1980 aren’t either. Are you really going to argue that because sales are 3x what they were 20 years ago that sales are fine after falling 90% off peak in just 10 years?
Yes.

It isn’t difficult, Canon don’t hang their corporate survival on this years sales or next years sales, they have five and ten year plans at minimum. The camera market is going through unprecedented contraction, but only after going through unprecedented growth. Only a fool would say the height of the boom is the point at which you should base a market particularly when you consider the quantum shift to digital and the generally positive financial situation for many. Now cameras are not doubling in capability every two years and the economy is not in a boom situation.

However, camera sales per capita are still in a historically positive position, new models are coming out that push capabilities and refinement, and, a very important point, the cameras that are sold now average much higher values than the P&S and entry level DSLR sales numbers that you refer back to. Do Canon make more money selling ten Rebel XSi’s or one R5?

No, picking on a single unrepresentative short term figure to try to explain a complicated market shift is disingenuous at best. Start to fill in some of the back story and the situation is nothing like the simplistic 90% drop in sales number would initially imply.
 
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CanonFanBoy

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Yes.

It isn’t difficult, Canon don’t hang their corporate survival on this years sales or next years sales, they have five and ten year plans at minimum. The camera market is going through unprecedented contraction, but only after going through unprecedented growth. Only a fool would say the height of the boom is the point at which you should base a market particularly when you consider the quantum shift to digital and the generally positive financial situation for many. Now cameras are not doubling in capability every two years and the economy is not in a boom situation.

However, camera sales per capita are still in a historically positive position, new models are coming out that push capabilities and refinement, and, a very important point, the cameras that are sold now average much higher values than the P&S and entry level DSLR sales numbers that you refer back to. Do Canon make more money selling ten Rebel XSi’s or one R5?

No, picking on a single unrepresentative short term figure to try to explain a complicated market shift is disingenuous at best. Start to fill in some of the back story and the situation is nothing like the simplistic 90% drop in sales number would initially imply.
Well, I'll have to disagree. When I think of all the added production capacity, added employees, etc., and then the contracted capacity and the laid off employees... sales ain't fine for them. This hasn't to do with Canon smartly planning for a boom then bust. This has to do with the whole market landscape changing. So, we'll just agree to disagree. ;) 20 years is not a short term figure to try and explain the disaster that has taken this whole industry by the short hairs. ;) Heck, 20 years is nearly 1/3 of my lifetime. This ain't geology. Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, etc. never planned on, nor did they foresee, this collapse. So, please answer? Does Canon make more selling 10 of the 80D or 1 of the R5? Neither you nor I have any earthly idea about that. Don't know why you'd even mention the XSi today. :)
 

ISv

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Or how about showing a graph that actually illustrates the last 20 years honestly?

This graph from CIPA showing camera ‘out the door’ volume that actually covers the last 20 years aptly demonstrates my point of the market returning to historical norms. In 1999 the camera market (not including phones) was 5.09 million units, in 2019 it was 15.22 million units, three times the number of 20 years ago. The camera market is not in trouble, it is no longer enjoying the boom period from 2002 -2016, but it is far from in trouble.

View attachment 194735
With all due respect - look at the trend: 1999 is not the, let's say 1940! If the camera production is simply going to the "historic levels", what "historic levels" do you mean?! Let's put it simply: people are getting more and more lazy/spoiled: "Why I have to learn something when there are gadgets that will do it for me". Or even worst: "For my needs it's enough - I don't need perfection". Before the cellphones there wasn't alternative - if you want photos for memory (no matter your grandma or your baby) you buy camera. Not now!
 

privatebydesign

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Well, I'll have to disagree. When I think of all the added production capacity, added employees, etc., and then the contracted capacity and the laid off employees... sales ain't fine for them. This hasn't to do with Canon smartly planning for a boom then bust. This has to do with the whole market landscape changing. So, we'll just agree to disagree. ;) 20 years is not a short term figure to try and explain the disaster that has taken this whole industry by the short hairs. ;) Heck, 20 years is nearly 1/3 of my lifetime. This ain't geology. Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, etc. never planned on, nor did they foresee, this collapse. So, please answer? Does Canon make more selling 10 of the 80D or 1 of the R5? Neither you nor I have any earthly idea about that. Don't know why you'd even mention the XSi today. :)
I never suggested sales were fine for them, I suggested sales were fine for the consumer, that is, the camera market is still profitable and there are well established big players who can withstand the ups and downs of a very dynamic generation of sales.

Yes, the whole market landscape changed, TWICE, looking at the second without considering the first is ridiculous considering they are two sides of the same wave.

It isn't a case of agreeing or disagreeing, it is a case of putting the ten your downturn in the perspective of the ten year upturn that directly preceded it. Nobody but a fool would anticipate long term sales of 121 million units per year, digital cameras were a film camera disruptive technology, heck it laid Kodak to rest and they invented the digital camera! In the same way cameras in phones are a disruptive technology to many entry and mid level cameras.

I would expect Canon, and to a certain extent the others, did anticipate this collapse, you don't diversify to the extent they have on a whim or quickly.

Of course it is geology in human lifetime terms, Canon are babies at 80, but look at the number of Japanese companies in the list of oldest companies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_companies heck 1-5 are all Japanese and 10 Japanese companies are over 1,000 years old.

I mention the XSi because in that heyday of 121 million unit of sales the vast majority of those sales were P&S's and Rebels/XS's/XSi"s. Canon don't sell $15,000 C line cameras back then, nor enthusiast orientated $4,000 bodies with $2,500 lenses.

All I was trying to do was point out that only looking at the downside curve of a wave gives a misleading picture of an industry, that was it. I never said the reduction was a good thing, nor that fit didn't affect some people, merely that it was not the entire picture and if you look at current sales numbers over time the industry is not on its knees or even close to it. If you still believe only looking at that set of sales numbers in isolation gives you any kind of insight into where the industry is now or is going in the future then you are better than anybody else!
 

YuengLinger

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In 2000 we were still using film, which, for many, was a PITA. Go on vacation, stash the rolls until getting home? Or print them and have more stuff to carry back? Plus waiting for the lab, and remember how many crappy prints with whacky colors came out of drugstores and supermarkets? Some good, some acceptable, some awful.

Then the magic of digital! Instant fun, and each generation of cameras came fast and with better IQ. THAT was the surge. But as phones came in, and their IQ kept getting better, and social media connectivity kept getting easier, interest in carrying "extra" gadgets that needed batteries, and needed to be connected with wires began to be redundant. Not seem redundant, actually redundant.

I hope calling people "lazy/spoiled" was tongue in cheek. If Apple and Samsung and others sell a faster, easier way to grab memories and share them instantly, why is there some kind of character flaw associated with using the new way? Why do people have to be serious about photography to enjoy taking photos in front of Cheesecake Factory or the Eifel Tower? The whole reason digital surged for a decade was because it offered "easier." Sure, many new photographers developed a passion during those years of changing over to digital and seeing the cameras improve dramatically, but point and shoots were a gateway for them only. For most consumers, point and shoots were just the easiest way to get snapshots. Period.

So people who thought film sucked saw a way to take photos without the hassle. And then smartphone cameras became good enough, and sharing the photos became much easier too. So, surge, decline, here we are, still ahead of film, but without promise of significant growth in the near future.

And while there are still a few good photos in newspapers, who is reading newspapers? (Have you looked at your local newspaper lately? No content!) And how long does anybody pause to appreciate photojournalism when scanning headlines online? (Except maybe for "serious" photographers!)

So if Canon no longer has volume, it has to charge more per unit-sold to survive, to avoid contracting to nothing. I certainly don't like the prices of Rf lenses! But I don't think we are paying only for individual lenses, but support, R&D, and, without any exaggeration intended, the year to year survival of Canon as we know it, not just another licensed brand name being used in Shenzhen.*

*But I ain't never paying $1100 for a Speedlight!
 

dilbert

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With lower sales numbers, it'll be interesting to see if the new product cycle slows down. EOS 50 to EOS 30 was 5 years. 5-6 years was the normal product lifetime.
 

CanonFanBoy

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In 2000 we were still using film, which, for many, was a PITA. Go on vacation, stash the rolls until getting home? Or print them and have more stuff to carry back? Plus waiting for the lab, and remember how many crappy prints with whacky colors came out of drugstores and supermarkets? Some good, some acceptable, some awful.

Then the magic of digital! Instant fun, and each generation of cameras came fast and with better IQ. THAT was the surge. But as phones came in, and their IQ kept getting better, and social media connectivity kept getting easier, interest in carrying "extra" gadgets that needed batteries, and needed to be connected with wires began to be redundant. Not seem redundant, actually redundant.

I hope calling people "lazy/spoiled" was tongue in cheek. If Apple and Samsung and others sell a faster, easier way to grab memories and share them instantly, why is there some kind of character flaw associated with using the new way? Why do people have to be serious about photography to enjoy taking photos in front of Cheesecake Factory or the Eifel Tower? The whole reason digital surged for a decade was because it offered "easier." Sure, many new photographers developed a passion during those years of changing over to digital and seeing the cameras improve dramatically, but point and shoots were a gateway for them only. For most consumers, point and shoots were just the easiest way to get snapshots. Period.

So people who thought film sucked saw a way to take photos without the hassle. And then smartphone cameras became good enough, and sharing the photos became much easier too. So, surge, decline, here we are, still ahead of film, but without promise of significant growth in the near future.

And while there are still a few good photos in newspapers, who is reading newspapers? (Have you looked at your local newspaper lately? No content!) And how long does anybody pause to appreciate photojournalism when scanning headlines online? (Except maybe for "serious" photographers!)

So if Canon no longer has volume, it has to charge more per unit-sold to survive, to avoid contracting to nothing. I certainly don't like the prices of Rf lenses! But I don't think we are paying only for individual lenses, but support, R&D, and, without any exaggeration intended, the year to year survival of Canon as we know it, not just another licensed brand name being used in Shenzhen.*

*But I ain't never paying $1100 for a Speedlight!
Damn straight on that speedlite. :ROFLMAO:
 
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HarryFilm

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Sometimes it isn't just labor cost. Does North America have enough skilled labor to fulfill demand? In places like China you can fill a football standium worth of industrial engineers. In the US they may have difficulty sourcing parts
===

Unfortunately, what I saw in the Vancouver, Canada Acrylic lens factory was almost completely automated with flexible robotic systems making the actual optical grade Acrylic from petro-chemical sources, then molding and pressing the lens elements by machine, then machining them to ultra high precision at micron-levels of variance and the aluminum lens barrels being auto-extruded, annealed and anodized all autonomously to micron-level tolerances, and the Quality Assurance being done autonomously by machine vision and interferometry. Even the packaging and on-site warehousing was mostly done by machine.

It looks like the future is MACHINE-BASED manufacturing with only a tiny few employees!

After testing the 50 mm to 800 mm super-Sports-Zoom, the f/1.0 35mm, the f/1.0 50mm, the f/1.0 85mm and the f/1.2 135 mm primes for a week in the wild, I found the image output quality and lens manufacturing quality was basically at Zeiss Otus lens levels which I did a direct comparison against.

Since almost no humans were involved during the manufacturing process itself, output quality was CONSISTENTLY SUPERB across many samples of lenses with basically ALMOST NO VARIANCE among the same lens focal lengths even if made during a different time-period lens manufacturing batch.

This type of machine-controlled quality-assurance and automation pretty much spells DOOM for the human workforce. I don't have ANY answers as to what we humans are to do in the future for basic money earning power BUT I can tell you that inexpensive ultra-high quality All-Acrylic lenses ARE coming to anyone who wants them!

---

I should also note that this Vancouver, Canada factory will be producing Combined Stills/Video CAMERAS and Personal Super-Workstation Computers in this facility which is now FULLY Vertically Integrated needing no other outside parts or suppliers OTHER THAN than suppliers of raw petro-chemical, raw aluminum, raw titanium, Si/Ga/As and basic sheet paper/cardboard products.

So much automation was put into this factory that it is basically fully lights-out, needing almost NO multi-human supervision or intervention.

V
 
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dolina

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This graph from CIPA showing camera ‘out the door’ volume that actually covers the last 20 years aptly demonstrates my point of the market returning to historical norms. In 1999 the camera market (not including phones) was 5.09 million units, in 2019 it was 15.22 million units, three times the number of 20 years ago. The camera market is not in trouble, it is no longer enjoying the boom period from 2002 -2016, but it is far from in trouble.

View attachment 194735
World population
Smartphone initial release
2019 Worldwide shipments
Yup... smartphones did not impact sales of digital still cameras (DSC). /s

Your graph's upward ascent paused in 2008, dipped in 2009 and bounced back in 2010.

2011-onwards it nose dived.

2017 was the year that more than 1 rear cameras with a wide, standard or tele lens started becoming the norm.

Would not be surprised if ultra wide, wide, standard, tele and super tele lenses would come out within the next 5 years.

Thus negating super zooms and ultra wide point & shoots.

For 2020 I would be very surprised if shipments breached 9 million DSC relative to 2019's 15.22 million.

10 out of 12 months of 2020 had less than 7 million DSC shipped globally. Assuming a very optimistic 80% of Nov-Dec 2019 DSC shipped in the last 2 months of 2020 would only be less than 2 million.

Will 2030 have the DSC back to shipping 5 million SDC like in 1999? Smartphones had zero involvement!

Be aware that sales people tend to encourage dealers to order more than they could possibly sell. Manufacturers may tolerate delayed accounts receivables from their dealers. Would not be surprised if dealers have more than normal number of inventory on hand with the option to return with little to no penalty. Manufacturers have an incentive to tolerate to do a bit of window dressing for end of year.

So shipments is not that good an indicator. Would be better to show settled accounts receivable.

Point & shoots dried up and went premium with larger image sensors than an smartphone or specialized with super zooms and underwater features. Would not be surprised that point & shoot numbers for 2019 is about 20% of what it was at its peak.

ILCs like SLRs and mirrorless are somewhat less impacted but outside of (a) working photographers, (b) first time ILC buyers that have at most 2 lenses and (c) well funded pensioners no one is upgrading to every new Mark 2, 3 or 4 upgrade. People tend to keep their cameras until they fall apart then evaluate if they should buy a camera that's bigger than their smartphone. Would not be surprised that point & shoot numbers for 2019 is about 20% of what it was at its peak.

1 out of 3 users has their carrier's "push" upgrades to them when their contract ends in 2-3 years. So people get a new "camera" every 2-3 years. Every new replacement smartphone has a better camera which does not need a PC to get involved to download, post process and share.

If my carrier allowed me to buy a R5 on a 2 year contract I'd probably go for one at $162.50/month + $11/month service.

So did smartphone put an end on the bull run of worldwide shipments of cameras? Probably not. /s

Best camera you can ever own is the one with you always. For the past decade it was either a iPhone or Android.
 
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dolina

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===

Unfortunately, what I saw in the Vancouver, Canada Acrylic lens factory was almost completely automated with flexible robotic systems making the actual optical grade Acrylic from petro-chemical sources, then molding and pressing the lens elements by machine, then machining them to ultra high precision at micron-levels of variance and the aluminum lens barrels being auto-extruded, annealed and anodized all autonomously to micron-level tolerances, and the Quality Assurance being done autonomously by machine vision and interferometry. Even the packaging and on-site warehousing was mostly done by machine.

It looks like the future is MACHINE-BASED manufacturing with only a tiny few employees!

After testing the 50 mm to 800 mm super-Sports-Zoom, the f/1.0 35mm, the f/1.0 50mm, the f/1.0 85mm and the f/1.2 135 mm primes for a week in the wild, I found the image output quality and lens manufacturing quality was basically at Zeiss Otus lens levels which I did a direct comparison against.

Since almost no humans were involved during the manufacturing process itself, output quality was CONSISTENTLY SUPERB across many samples of lenses with basically ALMOST NO VARIANCE among the same lens focal lengths even if made during a different time-period lens manufacturing batch.

This type of machine-controlled quality-assurance and automation pretty much spells DOOM for the human workforce. I don't have ANY answers as to what we humans are to do in the future for basic money earning power BUT I can tell you that inexpensive ultra-high quality All-Acrylic lenses ARE coming to anyone who wants them!

---

I should also note that this Vancouver, Canada factory will be producing Combined Stills/Video CAMERAS and Personal Super-Workstation Computers in this facility which is now FULLY Vertically Integrated needing no other outside parts or suppliers OTHER THAN than suppliers of raw petro-chemical, raw aluminum, raw titanium, Si/Ga/As and basic sheet paper/cardboard products.

So much automation was put into this factory that it is basically fully lights-out, needing almost NO multi-human supervision or intervention.

V
I'm glad manufacturing is back in rich nations. But what you describe is not what local labor meant by bringing back manufacturing to their province/state
 

expatinasia

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I expect Canon, Sony and other brands to relocate their production lines to South East Asia. Hopefully to the Philippines like Pentax in Cebu.
Cebu would be a very, very cool place to live and work. Would have to watch the weight though. All those delicious mangoes and lechon! Where do I apply?!! :love:
 
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