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Panasonic Lumix S5 II review

Digital Camera World Verdict

Building on the solid foundation of the original LUMIX S5’s tough compact frame, class-leading 5-axis in-body image stabilization, and excellent color science, the LUMIX S5 II didn’t need any significant overhauls. However, the addition of phase detection autofocus brings the S5 right in line with some of the best hybrid cameras money can buy. We could be looking at a camera of the year contender.


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    Value for money

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    Best-in-class stabilization

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    Professional video functionality

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    Unlimited recording

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    Filmic image quality

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Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

As someone who’s used the LUMIX S1 since its launch in 2018 and the original LUMIX S5 since 2020, I’ve watched LUMIX full-frame steadily grow into a system that has every right to be revered among photographers and videographers. The one thing holding it back from capturing the attention of the masses was the contrast-based Depth-from-Defocus autofocusing system that Panasonic developed and championed for years, despite much of the competition adopting phase-detection-based AF setups.

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Uncharacteristically late to the innovation party, Panasonic is aiming the phase hybrid AF-powered LUMIX S5 II squarely at “Creators”. You know, that annoying tribe of people who make content for a living or a hobby, in the hope of someday turning it into a career. I can say that because I’m one of those annoying people. To tick the right boxes the S5 II needs to be able to deliver beautiful stills that are easy to edit and transfer off the camera on the go. It also needs to be able to capture a variety of video content; from self-shot presentations to robust video files that can be graded heavily, to slow-motion clips, time-lapses, and more. 

Entering the market with a lot of hype to live up to isn’t easy, but does the LUMIX S5 II deliver? Let’s get into it.

(Image credit: Jon Devo)

  • Panasonic Lumix S5II (Black) at Amazon for $1,997.99

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Specifications

Sensor: 24.2MP CMOS sensor without Low Pass Filter
Image processor: Co-developed with L2 Technology
AF points: 779-point Phase Hybrid AF
Dual Native ISO: Auto/Low/High
ISO range: ISO100-51200
Max image size:  6000x4000L (RAW, JPEG), 96MP High Resolution Mode (RAW, JPEG)
Metering modes: 1728-zone multi-pattern sensing system, centre-weighted, spot
Video: 6K (Full-sensor readout)/29.97/25/24/23.98p, 5.9K/29.97/25/24/23.98p, C4K/60/50/30/24p
HFR: C4K/47.95/48p, 4K/47.95/48p, 3.3K/47.95/48p, FHD/180/120/100/60/30/24p
Viewfinder: EVF, 3.68m dots
Memory card: 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS II)
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1. 84m dots
Max burst: 30fps (electronic shutter), 7 fps with AF-C (mechanical shutter)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Size: 134.3 x 102.3 x 90.1 mm
Weight: 740g (Body, Hot Shoe Cover, Battery, Card x 1)

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Key features

A newly designed 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor is housed inside the LUMIX S5 II. It’s the same resolution as the original S5, but it’s different in a key way, it now incorporates a 779-point phase hybrid autofocusing system. It’s a hybrid system because it also utilizes Panasonic’s DFD AF technology. Contrast detection tends to be more consistently accurate when taking pictures of still subjects. However, it’s not as quick or as clever when it comes to detecting and following moving subjects or recording video. Combining the two approaches effectively represents a remarkable, dare I say it “game-changing” upgrade for the LUMIX S5 II.

The Lumix S5 II has a brand new 24. 2MP CMOS sensor. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

Another key upgrade for the LUMIX S5 II includes Active I.S., but what is the difference between Active I.S. and familiar boosted image stabilization modes that we’ve seen before? Active I.S. utilizes the power of an entirely new image processor, co-developed with Leica. Active I.S. deploys algorithms that can detect and anticipate camera motion, particularly when the camera operator is also moving. The S5 II can monitor the 5-axis of motion and prioritize intended movements while suppressing unwanted movement that is likely to negatively impact picture or video quality.

The new processor and sensor combo are also designed to deliver greater color depth and detail, as well as a maximum of 14 stops of dynamic range. It also has Dual Native ISO of ISO 640 and 4000, which helped the original S5 deliver clean footage and stills at higher sensitivities. 

Speaking of depth, Panasonic has introduced a new function called Real-Time LUT. Not to be confused with Photo Styles, Real-Time LUT allows you to bake in the same LUTs you may use to grade your content while color grading. This time-saving trick applies to photos and videos and will appeal to people who want to achieve a specific look without having to spend extra time applying LUTs or presets at their desks.

The top dial houses control for the shooting mode as well as buttons for quickly switching up the ISO and exposure, and a red record button to jump straight into video shooting. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

In terms of video, the S5 II is a 10-bit video specialist. Almost all of its extensive recordable video formats can be captured with a maximum of 10-bit color, including 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K 60p video, which has no video recording limits. The LUMIX S5 II can also record up to 4:2:0 10-bit 6K/29.97p LongGOP video in an H.265 codec, using the full readout of the camera’s sensor and producing a 5952×3968 (3:2) image. 

Full sensor recording or “Open Gate” as camera manufacturers seem intent on calling it, is perfect for when you have to shoot content for multiple formats and aspect ratios. With such a large frame, you can comfortably crop a square, 4:5, or 9×16 frame for social media from videos shot this way. It can also now record up to 4 channels of 96kHz/24-bit audio when attaching a 3.5mm microphone or optional DMW-XLR1 adapter.

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Build and Handling

For a compact full-frame mirrorless camera, the LUMIX S5 II looks and feels assuredly tough, thanks to its boxy aesthetic and deep, texturized grip. At a glance, it could easily be confused for the original S5, but a quick game of spot the difference will draw your eye to the new S5 II left shoulder badge. 

You’ll also notice the extra width of its viewfinder hump, expanded to house an all-new cooling system for the LUMIX S5 II. This helps to deliver practically unlimited recording in all modes. It does add some additional weight and size to the body, which is up 26g from 714g to 740g and it’s now fractionally taller by 5.2mm. 

These small increases deliver some decent benefits though. Panasonic states that the S5 II has been tested to operate in temperatures as extreme as 40°C, and offers unlimited recording times at up to C4K/60p. It does have a stated recording limit of 30 minutes when recording video at its maximum 6K resolution. 

However, if you change its Thermal Management setting to “High” and ok the subsequent Caution message, the S5 II will keep recording and fill whatever sized UHS-II SD cards you place in its dual UHS-II slots or until its 2,200mAh battery runs out. Of course, you could keep powering the S5 II via its USB 3.2 Type-C input with power delivery. 

The Lumix S5II has two separate SD card slots for alternate or simultaneous recording. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

The S5 II impressively retains a degree of dust and splash resistance, despite the new fan vents on either side of the EVF. It also has a full die-cast magnesium alloy frame, providing comprehensive protection against bumps and drops. 

Unlike the Sony A7IV, which costs $500/£400 more and has a partial magnesium frame, exchanging metal for tough polycarbonate plastic on its rear. Potential buyers of the S5 II will be pleased to know it is built with professional use with potentially tough conditions in mind.

Its logical button layout is identical to the original S5, with extensive options to fully customize how the camera operates. It also includes a dedicated anodized red REC button for recording videos and a dial for switching between focusing modes, as well as an 8-direction joystick for selecting focusing points. 

People who regularly need to switch between photography and video will find doing so on the S5 II intuitive, although the experience would be even more seamless if the camera would maintain the settings between movies and stills modes independently. But you do have the choice of creating custom menus and up to three custom profiles on the mode selection dial.

The body of the Lumix S5II is water resistant so can survive a spell of bad weather and keep going (Image credit: Jon Devo)

The S5 II does make a couple of small missteps in terms of build and design though. One of them is highlighted by another of its major improvements; the S5 II gains a full-size HDMI port. A very welcome addition. But, unfortunately, it didn’t also gain the ingenious tilt and flip screen that Panasonic first deployed in the LUMIX S1H and improved for the LUMIX GH6. 

It appears to be the same 1,840k LCD display as the GH6, just without the brilliant mechanism. Being able to tilt the screen up and then flip it out is vital for keeping the screen clear of cables, especially large full-sized HDMI inputs. I can only imagine this was due to cost, as the S5 II undoubtedly uses the same frame and rear molds as the original S5. But it’s genuinely frustrating to have cables prevent you from easily flipping or seeing the screen. Particularly while self-shooting. 

This leads us to the next issue I have with the design of the S5 II. It doesn’t have any tally lights. This is important for creators on or behind the camera, as well as other people being filmed. The LUMIX S5 II does have a recording frame indicator that can be switched on or off, but with a bunch of cables and the seal doors blocking the screen it’s not easy to see. It also means you can’t see the time you’ve been recording for at all. No tally light and keeping a now surpassed and awkward flip-out screen design aren’t deal breakers by any means, but those two updates would have made a practical improvement to how well this camera operates. 

Nit-picking, I’m also disappointed to not see a hole on the base of the S5 II near the standard tripod thread to house an anti-rotation pin. Anti-rotation pins ensure that cameras don’t turn slightly while fixed to professional tripod plates. The S1H and GH6 have all of these small pro-leaning design features in them, why are we taking small backward steps with the latest and potentially greatest camera from LUMIX so far?

With all of that said, you can tether the S5 II to a compatible smartphone or tablet via the LUMIX Sync app, which works great and lets you monitor and control camera settings via WiFi and Bluetooth.

The Lumix continues the angular styling of the Lumix S5 and S1 cameras. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Performance

Unfortunately, people hoping that a firmware upgrade could deliver similar focusing performance in older LUMIX cameras will be left disappointed. The LUMIX S5 II uses an entirely new image sensor and processor, which combine to deliver faster data readouts and utilize more sophisticated algorithms. The new imaging system at the core of the S5 II delivers on most of its intended promises, in full. 

How good is the autofocus of the LUMIX S5 II? And how does the S5 II compare to the S5? That’s what most people want to know. For the majority of situations, the most recent LUMIX cameras; the LUMIX GH6 and LUMIX S5, are pretty reliable, if not fast. But LUMIX S5 II combines DFD technology and phase detection autofocusing to deliver a system that is a significant step up in terms of speed and consistency. 

Looking through the camera’s bright 3,680k OLED viewfinder, the camera detects subjects immediately, forming a dynamic box around both humans and animals. It can also detect faces and eyes when subjects are in proximity, and it will highlight those as well. Autofocusing on the S5 II is reasonably customizable. 

It will allow you to select its speed and sensitivity, you can also choose which type of focus you want. You have three choices; Human, Face/Eye, and Animal+Human detection. 

The S5 II consistently and quickly identifies subjects as they enter the frame and with multiple people in the frame, you can use the joystick or tap the screen to select which person is a priority. One area of improvement though, I would like to see more options for subject recognition, such as AF detection for vehicles and birds. Fujifilm, Canon, and Sony all offer much more granular AF Subject Detection settings, so it would be good to see LUMIX add to its AF detection repertoire.

Above: Watch the face priority autofocus switch between a human face and the face of a statue.

Shooting stills, the S5 II can handle 7 fps bursts of RAW+JPEG shooting with AF-C for roughly 200 frames. If you need more speed, its mechanical shutter can do 9 fps with AF-S or 30 frames per second using its electronic shutter with AF-C. At the time of testing I was still using pre-production firmware and still, the results were impressive. 

From a panning burst of a person running in flat light for bursts of 10-20 frames, the camera lost focus slightly on one or two frames. But there were still plenty of usable shots from my sequences. 

Trying to photograph birds was a little tougher. Using both of the LUMIX S PRO 70-200mm lenses, F4 and F2.8, I was able to get some decent shots of birds in flight, but tracking their movement without the assistance of an algorithm tuned to predict their movement was more challenging than I’ve found when using cameras like the Sony A7IV or Fujifilm X-h3S. 

But things can be improved via firmware and the competitors mentioned have enjoyed a decent head start. The fact that we’re now legitimately comparing a LUMIX to pricier cameras with some of the best AF systems available, is a positive sign of the brand’s direction of travel.

The autofocus is fast and accurate enough to catch birds in flight, but tracking was subpar. LUMIX S PRO 70-200mm, f/4, 1/400, ISO100. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

Face detection autofocus works well to pick out individual faces in a crowded place like the Tokyo subway. 24-105mm, f/4, 1/160, ISO 2500. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

With respect to video, the LUMIX S5 II is a standout camera in its class, offering a raft of recording and video monitoring options that are uncommon at its price point. As a hybrid camera, the main competition in this bracket comes in the form of the speedy Fujifilm X-h3S and the LUMIX GH6. 

The X-h3S has a slightly higher resolution 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, while the LUMIX GH6 has a 25.2-megapixel micro-four-thirds sensor. Due to their smaller sensor sizes, both rivals can do internal ProRes 422 HQ recording and 4K/120p video. 

Those are two features that would have been amazing to have in the S5 II, but I wouldn’t trade its full-frame sensor to gain them. The LUMIX S5 II camera can be used to produce cinematic quality footage that doesn’t need any correction work in post if you’ve exposed it to your tastes and perhaps taken advantage of its Real-Time LUT feature. 

However, its 10-bit files are robust enough to tune saturation in standard profiles, as well as recover moderately blown highlights and raise underexposed shots without the quality of your clips breaking down. It also comes with a full V-Log as standard and allows you to pre-load up to 10 .cube LUT files for assistance when shooting flat footage. 

There are other popular assist features included too, such as; Luminance Spot Metering, Waveform/VectorScop, Anamorphic Desqueeze Display, Synchro Scan, and more. These extras are part of the package that makes the S5 II such an enjoyable camera to use for video work because it’s designed with video creators in mind.

This low-light shot put the image stabilization and ISO to the test, with a good level of detail being maintained in the shadows and noise kept under control. 24-105mm, f/4, 1/30, ISO 512000. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

Beyond what was mentioned about the newly introduced “Active I.S.” in the features section, there’s not much to say about the image stabilization in this camera. The LUMIX S5 II image stabilization remains best-in-class, for now. And it will allow you to get away with not using a gimbal or a tripod in a lot of instances. If you’re trying to pack light or can’t use additional stabilization, the S5 II’s 5-axis IS have you covered. Its ability to steadily hold a frame is beyond black magic.

Above: Watch the Lumix S5 II’s new active image stabilization in action on a bumpy car journey.

Lastly, due to the fan, the battery life on the S5 II isn’t quite as good as that of the LUMIX S5, unless you operate the camera completely in Power Save mode. But there has to be some trade-off somewhere. As long as you have 2-3 fully charged batteries, you should have no problem getting a full day’s use from this camera.  

When I got caught short, because I’d forgotten to charge my spare battery, it was handy being able to plug my BioLite Charge 80 power bank straight into the LUMIX S5 II’s Type-C port and keep going. Any 5V-9V power bank should do the trick in a pinch!

The Lumix S5II handles low-light situations well, holding onto details in the shadows and keeping the highlights in check. 18mm, f/1.8, 1/13, ISO8000. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

The camera handles the exposure of these Tokyo towers well against the bright sky. 18mm, f/5, 1/1600, ISO1600. (Image credit: Jon Devo)

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Lab results

For our lab data comparison, we compared the Panasonic S5 II to three full-frame mirrorless rivals with similar price tags: the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, Nikon Z 6II, and Sony a7 IV.

We test resolution using Imatest charts and software, and dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio with DxO Analyzer.

Resolution (line widths/picture height):

(Image credit: Future)

With 33MP on tap, it’s no surprise the Sony a7 IV is the camera to beat in this sector if outright detail capture is of particular importance to you. The S5 II’s images are a little more prone to exhibiting moiré than those from the Canon and Nikon cameras, which has the effect of slightly obscuring the resolution patterns on our test chart. Consequently the S5 II scores slightly lower than the EOS R6 II and Z6 II, despite it having essentially the same sensor resolution.

Dynamic range (EV):

(Image credit: Future)

The S5 II is strong when it comes to capturing dynamic range, almost matching the class-leading Z6 II throughout the tested sensitivity range. At high ISOs the Panasonic can capture as much as 2EV more dynamic range than the Canon and Sony cameras.

Signal to noise ratio (decibels):

(Image credit: Future)

This test compares the amount of random noise generated by the camera at different ISO settings as a proportion of the actual image information (the ‘signal’). Higher values are better and we expect to see the signal to ratio fall as the ISO is increased.

The S5 II’s images exhibit very similar levels of noise to those from the EOS R6 II, though images from the Z6 II are marginally cleaner across the tested sensitivity range. Perhaps inevitably, the extra megapixels crammed onto the Sony’s sensor means it’s images contain a little more noise than those from the arguably more light-sensitive 24MP cameras on test.

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Verdict

Should I buy the Lumix S5 II? Is it important to have a weather-sealed camera with no recording limits, that is equally capable of capturing professional-level photography and video content, while shooting in a wide variety of environments? 

Every S-series and GH LUMIX camera in the past five years ticks most boxes. But for some people, they’d be ruled out because of DFD autofocus, despite the brand’s reputation for faithful color science and intuitive functionality. Now, those days are gone. On a level playing field, the case for the LUMIX S5 II is undeniable. It has a quality 24. 2-megapixel sensor, paired with an image processor that was co-developed with Leica. It can capture rich stills at up to 30fps in E-Shutter mode and offers unbeatable image stabilization. Its phase hybrid autofocusing system matches or in some cases beats cameras above its price range. Oh, and it has a full-sized HDMI port.

By offering all of that with truly no limit 4K/60p 4:2:2 10-bit recording internally, S&Q 4K/60p and FHD/180p, as well as up to 6K, full sensor readout video recording, Panasonic have delivered a highly versatile camera for content production. Specs aside, the S5 II is easy to get familiar with and once you do, it handles like an extension of your hands. Every function is where you’d expect it to be on the body and within its menus. The kicker? You can now use EF-mount lenses with phase detection AF for stills and video on a LUMIX – via the Sigma MC-21 adapter. 

At $2500/£2000, the LUMIX S5 II is astonishingly good value for money. It’s more than just a camera, it’s a true tool for creators.  

Read more:

• Best L-mount lenses for Panasonic, Leica and Sigma mirrorless cameras
• L-mount lens roadmap
• Best camera for professionals
• Best mirrorless camera
• DSLR vs mirrorless cameras
• The cheapest full frame cameras
• Best full frame DSLR

Panasonic Lumix S5II: Price Comparison







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Jon is a gadget reviewer, content creator and influencer. He spends his time reviewing products, covering technology news, giving talks on content strategy and creating content in partnership with a wide variety of forward-thinking brands. He also contributes to commercial radio, as well as in national print newspapers and magazines.

Fujifilm X-h3S review | Digital Camera World

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Fujifilm X-h3S boasts the highest performance for stills and videos in the history of the X Series. With double the processing power of its predecessor, it offers a class-leading 40fps continuous shooting with full autofocus functions. The video specs are spectacular at 6.2K 30p uncropped, and with the option of three Apple ProRes codecs. For sports photographers, bird enthusiasts and users who do a lot of on-location work and don’t want the size or price of a full-frame sensor, the Fujifilm X-h3S is a terrifically powerful companion.


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    Up to 7 stops of stabilization

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    Continuous shooting at 40fps

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    6.2K 30p and 4K 120p video

Why you can trust Digital Camera World
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The Fujifilm X-Summit is always full of surprises, and the company used its most recent global event to announce the Fujifilm X-h3S. With it was the announcement of a brand-new fifth generation sensor and processor, the X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS and X-Processor 5 respectively. With the X-h3S, Fujifilm looks to have created a camera that high-speed photographers of sports, wildlife and action should love – and be well served by.

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We gave the Fujifilm X-h2 top marks when it was released more than 4 years ago, and we couldn’t help but give the Fujifilm X-T4 a five-star review back in 2020 (see our Fujifilm X-h3S vs X-T4 comparison). But does the Fujifilm X-h3S do enough to warrant its place as the manufacturer’s latest flagship? And, since we’re wondering, does it outsmart competitors such as the OM System OM-1?

  • Fujifilm X-h3S (Black) at Amazon for $2,499

The Fujifilm X-h3S is certainly one of the best professional cameras you can buy. Its continuous shooting speed using the electronic shutter is a staggering 40fps – that’s 10 to 20 fps faster than any full-frame stacked sensor camera currently on the market, including the Canon EOS R3 the Sony A1 and the sports-centric Nikon Z9. 

Thanks to the rumor mill surrounding Fujifilm’s May 2022 X-Summit event, we thought we were getting a 40MP Fujifilm X-h3 (we now learn that’s coming later in 2022) but the X-h3S surpasses many of our expectations – especially when it comes to its impressive video specs. We’ll delve into these more below, but needless to say that 10bit video at 6.2K 30p and 4K 120p internally, the addition of three Apple ProRes codecs, and an improved sensor readout speed during video recording (to suppress rolling shutter effects) are all things that serious video creators will look for.

Fujifilm is a bit late to the high-speed party, having traditionally aimed its cameras squarely at the lifestyle end of photography – think food, portrait and travel. However, the manufacturer might now have done enough to be considered a serious contender among those who rate speed as a priority when it comes to choosing a camera. And to be honest, speed aside, the the Fujifilm X-h3S is a brilliant camera in its own right – both for stills and video.

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The X-h3S has the highest performance for stills and videos in the history of the X Series (Image credit: Fujifilm)(Image credit: Fujifilm)The camera buttons have been streamlined somewhat (Image credit: Fujifilm)The vari-angle LCD is ideal for reaching fun angles both for stills and videos (Image credit: Fujifilm)A new battery gives capacity of up to 720 shots in economy mode – or up to 90min of 6.1K video recording (Image credit: Fujifilm)A dedicated video recording button is now on the top plate (Image credit: Fujifilm)


Sensor: 26.1MP 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS 5 HS
Image processor: X-Processor 5
Mount: Fujifilm X-mount
ISO range: 80 to 51,200
Shutter: 30 secs to 1/8000sec.
Image stabilization: 5-axis IBIS
Max image size: 6,240 x 4,160
Max video resolution: 6.2K 30p, 4K 120p, 1080 240p
Viewfinder: 5.76-million-dot OLED
Memory card: 2 x CFexpress Type B/SD UHS-II cards
LCD: Vari-angle touchscreen, 1.62m dots
Max burst: 40fps electronic, 15fps mechanical
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB-C
Size: 136.3 x 92.9 x 84.6mm
Weight: 579g (body only)

Key features

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

Aimed at pro photographers who need high-speed performance for tracking wildlife, sports or action, the Fujifilm X-h3S is designed to pack all the features that a photographer could want or need when shooting at a race track or tucked away in a bird hide. It’s also a powerful machine, catering to the diverse needs of the modern content creator as well as hybrid shooters.

At the heart of the camera is a brand-new X-Trans CMOS 5 HS sensor. It has a signal readout speed that’s roughly four times faster than the Fujifilm X-T4 but the same 26.1MP resolution. The sensor has a stacked-layer structure, and this is what enables the photographer to achieve blackout-free continuous shooting up to a sort-of-ridiculous 40 frames per second. By comparison, the flagship Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 both max out at 30fps continuous shooting when using the electronic shutter. You’ll actually get over 1,000 frames when setting the high-speed burst shooting mode to 30 frames per second in JPEG, or 20 frames per second in RAW mode.

To keep up with such speed, the camera features dual memory card slots now supporting CFexpress Type B and SD UHS-II cards, as CFexpress Type B cards can process high-speed data – allowing the h3S’s fast continuous shooting and video performance to reach its full potential. The Fujifilm X-h3S also shoots 10 bit HEIF (High Efficiency File Format) files, which are more efficient than JPEGs when it comes to storage space and capturing greater color depth.

In terms of autofocus, Fujifilm says that an “improved prediction algorithm for AF” has led to a big boost in the X-h3S’s ability to track a moving subject. The camera uses an Intelligent Hybrid AF system (a mix of through the lens contrast and phase detection). Continuous autofocus is absolutely imperative for sports and wildlife photographers whose subjects often move erratically, and the processor now features subject-detection AF that’s been developed with Deep Learning technology to improve tracking in Continuous AF mode. 

This autofocus system can lock onto a myriad of subjects such as faces, animals, birds, bikes, planes, cars and trains. The aim is that the photographer can focus on the creativity of the shot and the composition while the AF system will keep things sharp. It’s worth pointing out that with the AI learning, the camera uses information from a massive database and doesn’t actually learn from the user, but obviously that’s something that Fujifilm has the potential to update over time.

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

When it comes to video, the Fujifilm X-h3S represents a potentially massive upgrade for pros. The new sensor/processor combo enables recording of 10bit video at 6.2K 30p, as well as high-speed 4K/120P video which will allow fast-moving subjects – birds, planes, runners – to be captured in slow-motion.

What’s more, the Fujifilm X-h3S supports three Apple ProRes codecs; ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. If you’re not familiar with Apple ProRes and why it’s important for many pros, it essentially streamlines the overall workflow from shooting to editing, as it’s a more efficient codec. 

F-Log2 capability is another new video feature on the camera, which preserves up to 14+ stops of dynamic range from the camera sensor.

In recent years the phenomenon of mirrorless cameras overheating and limiting video recording has been a notorious and even amusing source of contention, so what about maximum recording times? Well the Fujifilm X-h3S has been designed with a built-in heat-dissipating structure which increases the maximum video recording time to 240 minutes of 4K/60P video. This is only the quote for reasonable temperature climates, and to ensure longer video recording in high-temperature conditions, photographers will probably have to buy and attach Fujifilm’s new optional cooling fan (catchily named FAN-001) which extends the video recording further – priced at $199/£169.


The hefty vertical battery grip extends battery life for long shoots (Image credit: Fujifilm)

An optional cooling fan can be purchased and fitted to the rear of the X-h3S to extend its recording times in hot weather (Image credit: Fujifilm)

The Fujifilm X-h3S has been released with several optional add-on accessories that could definitely enhance the shooting experience – depending on your genre of photography. These include a Vertical battery grip (VG-XH) that fits two high capacity batteries, and File transmitter (FT-XH) due to be released in Sep 2022, which features wired LAN connectivity and high-speed wireless communications capability.

There’s also the cooling fan (FAN-001) that we mentioned earlier, which has been designed exclusively for the the Fujifilm X-h3S to allow it to record continuously for longer in high temperatures without shutting down. This small and portable fan clips onto the back of the camera body without cables, and it runs off the camera’s battery.

Build and handling

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

In many ways the X-h3S feels similar to the Fujifilm X-h2 when it’s in your hand. However it is slightly smaller, even though it uses a bigger battery with a capacity up to 720 frames in economy mode – a full day, in other words. It features a chunky and pleasing grip that works well to give you a secure hold even in smaller hands. Just like its predecessor, it has a monochrome LCD display on the top panel that displays at a glance the key exposure settings and camera modes. 

Fujifilm has taken on board feedback from its users and made some small but welcome changes that enhance handling, refining the modes and dials to improve operability. Some the switches and dials from the X-h2 have been removed entirely, so that you’re more reliant on the custom buttons for control, but this leads to a less cluttered design – where everything you need feels accessible and sensibly placed.

For example, the focus select switch has now gone, and a function button is in its place. The actual dials themselves feel more robust and nicer to press, and half-pressing the shutter button is so much smoother. Even the eyelets on the top plate have changed so that you can now fit larger straps on the camera. 

One obvious change is the addition of a dedicated record button on the top of the camera plate next to the shutter. This – alongside the 1.62-million-dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen – could cement the Fujifilm X-h3S as a more than decent hybrid camera.

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)


Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Sample images gallery

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

Sample images gallery

Plenty of detail captured by the APS-C sensor and fast prime, and a decent balanced exposure given the intermittent and changing sunshine (Image credit: Nial Hampton)

Sample images gallery

Pleasing colors, even with the Provia/Standard film simulation that may not have been the go-to choice here (Image credit: Nial Hampton)

Sample images gallery

The first thing you noticed about the Fujifilm X-h3S is how tactile it is, and how enjoyable the handling. The slightly larger grip allows you to grab onto it comfortably even when using it with very long lenses such as the new Fujifilm XF150-600mmF5.6-8 lens (which was announced at the May 2022 X-Summit at the same time).

As well as a street photography session around London’s Covent Garden, we got the opportunity for some action photography and video at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the frankly phenomenal burst speed wowed us most of all. 

The effective in-body image stabilization and, where available, lens stabilization too, makes it much easier to get sharp shots handheld from a static position. Our panning experiments worked out pretty well too, and while even with subject detection enabled the X-h3S didn’t offer a 100% hit rate, it did enable a good percentage of sharp shots at very slow panning speeds.

Here’s some sample video we shot at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (thanks, Fujifilm).

The stabilization comes into play for video shooting too, and here the X-h3S demonstrated very effective static stabilization but did produce more mixed results with panning movements. We’ve seen this many times before with in-body stabilization systems – the technology is great when the camera is still, but not so effective with deliberate camera movements. The X-h3S seems to do a kind of occasional  ‘jump-reset’ with its stabilizer that we’ve seen with the X-S10 too.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)

The X-h3S’s IBIS and fast burst shooting let us pull off some pretty decent panning shots. Fujinon XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR, 1/125sec, fast pan. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

The X-h3S is a great all-round camera, not just for high-speed action and video. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Detail rendition is excellent, making the best possible use of the 26MP X-Trans sensor. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Although we know that the name of the game with the Fujifilm X-h3S is speed, it also handled portraits well. Fujifilm is well known for its color science and color profiles, and the camera rendered skin tones accurately and smoothly. 

Thanks to the 5-axis in-body image stabilization, we found that we were able to capture sharp handheld shoots indoors and as the weather turned grim, so we’d likely have no qualms about taking the camera on a low-light shoot without a tripod – especially given the ISO capabilities of up to 51,200.

Fujifilm X-h3S: Lab results

For our lab data comparison, we compared the X-h3S to rival cameras which are strong performers for both still and video shooting, as well as being capable of fast burst shooting. Given that the price of the Fujifilm puts it in the realms of full-frame camera territory, we’ve included two full-frame cameras in the comparison.

We test resolution using Imatest charts and software, and dynamic range and signal to noise ratio with DxO Analyzer.


(Image credit: Future)

Resolution is measured using standardized text charts which give results in line widths / picture height, which is independent of sensor size. We chose three rivals based on price and broad capabilities – the full frame Canon EOS R6 and Nikon Z6 II, and the APS-C Sony A6600.

The results here are broadly in-keeping with each camera’s sensor resolution, with the R6 resolving slightly less detail than the Nikon, and the 26.1MP X-h3s coming out on top. The surprise performer is the 24MP A6600, which manages to equal the Fujifilm’s resolving power at lower sensitivities, and even resolve more detail at higher ISOs.

Dynamic range:

(Image credit: Future)

Dynamic range is a measure of a camera’s ability to record extreme brightness ranges and still retain detail in the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. It’s measured in EV (exposure values, or ‘stops’).

At lower sensitivities, the X-h3S can capture an almost identical amount of dynamic range as the EOS R6 and Z6 II, which both have full frame sensors. It remains level-pegging with Canon right through our tested ISO range, though the Nikon manages to record as much as 1EV broader dynamic range at ISO 6400 and above. The A6600 has an older sensor design and can’t match the other three cameras for dynamic range across the ISO scale.

Signal to noise ratio:

(Image credit: Future)

The X-h3S has the highest resolution in this group and is also up against two full frame cameras, so it does well to stay only slightly behind for noise. The A6600 trails by some margin.


(Image credit: Fujifilm)

We’ve now been able to spend some time with a production version of the X-h3S and it’s clear that Fujifilm’s new flagship will be an excellent choice for pros who are keen to stick with the APS-C format but want a camera that breaks new speed barriers – all without breaking the bank. It’s not cheap for an APS-C model, but it is when you put it against comparable full frame models. 

The other key factor is that Fujifilm has built a very convincing array of lenses for all manner of photographic genres – including pro sports photography – and in the APS-C market only Sony has come close to matching that. And Sony’s best APS-C camera, the A6600, is no match for the Fujifilm X-h3S.

The initial price point is around $2499/£2499, which is a touch more than some of the best hybrid cameras and the much-loved Fujifilm X-T4, one of (in our opinion) the best APS-C hybrid cameras ever made, but the performance and capabilities of the X-h3S easily justify that price tag.

If you already shoot with the Fujifilm X-h2 or Fujifilm X-T4, you might not find enough of a reason to upgrade to the h3-S just yet unless your work involves shooting fast subjects (in which case the X-h2 might not be the best choice anyway). 

But if you want to experience the latest and greatest Fujifilm X-series flagship and potentially future-proof yourself with a stills and video camera that will last for many years to come, the Fujifilm X-HS2 looks to be a very good buy indeed, especially if you’re already an X-system user looking for the next step up.

Read more: 

Fujifilm X-T4 review
Fujifilm X-h3 vs X-T4
The best Fujifilm camera
The best Fujifilm lenses

Fujifilm X-h3S: Price Comparison








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Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit.  

An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW’s sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. 

In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography.

90,000 UMC-S3CA-universal robotic chamber 4K


Superfiguration 4K-Vidocamer with 35-mm full-frame EXMOR ™


Camera for shooting in any situation, since it can be installed on stabilizing suspensions or VR VR -rigs. The compact body and the ability to record to an internal memory card make this camera ideal for remote POV shooting, as well as documentaries, wildlife and action videos in challenging environments (in tight spaces or when cables are not available). The UMC-S3CA is more than just a 4K robot camera. It is suitable for multi-camera shooting of live broadcasts thanks to the external synchronization function, and it also features ultra-high sensitivity and long recording time (depending on the memory capacity of the SD card).

In terms of recording capabilities, the UMC-S3CA is different from other robotic cameras available on the market. It’s all about the storage capacity for 4K recordings (4K/29.97P/25P in XAVC S format at up to 100 Mbps) and high sensitivity at a minimum illumination of 0.004 lux / ISO 409600*. In this light, images from other cameras significantly increase the noise level.

This compact camera with large storage capacity (SD card dependent) is ideal for shooting in tight spaces where images from small cameras can be noisy.

* ISO standard 100-102400, extended 50-409600.

Universal rig mount

Thanks to its unique compact design, the UMC-S3CA can be mounted on gimbals and VR rigs. And with the external sync function, it can be used for multi-camera shooting to record live broadcasts and documentaries from different angles.

Easy remote control

Camera movements can be controlled remotely from a PC or Mac using the Camera Control Manager software. Thanks to this, the UMC-S3CA can be used in various situations (for example, mounted on a roof and controlled from below). And with interchangeable lenses, you can easily focus on the right subject.

3D/VR Recording

The UMC-S3CA is ideal for multi-camera 2D/3D virtual reality shooting thanks to the versatility of installation with the external sync function. Using the Camera Control Manager software, you can synchronize multiple cameras and record VR videos.

Extensive shooting options with E-mount FE lenses

The camera can be used in a wide range of shooting situations with support for E-mount FE lenses (sold separately)*. They enhance the capabilities of the 35mm full-frame sensor by maintaining high resolution throughout the image, from center to edge.

* Compatible E-mount FE lenses: SEL35F14Z (35mm, F1.4), SEL35F28 (35mm, F2.8), SEL28F20 (28mm, F2.0), and SEL55F18Z (55mm, F1.8)

The UMC-S3CA also captures 12MP color photos with low noise. The camera is equipped with a mechanical shutter, which allows you to take clear photos even of fast-moving objects. Various interchangeable E-mount FE lenses (sold separately) let you adjust the angle of view for more shooting options.

Ideal for shooting in tight spaces, this compact camera measures only 104.0 x 84.0 x 48.0 mm (4 1/8 x 3 3/8 x 1 15/16 inches). The camera weighs no more than 395 g (14 oz), so it can be easily mounted on vehicles or robot arms.

4K photos and videos can be recorded to an internal SD memory card or output to an external recorder or monitor using an HDMI cable, even when the camera is moving. Using the multi connector, you can connect the camera to a Micro USB compatible device and use a variety of accessories to remotely control zoom, release the shutter, and start and stop recording.

A 256 GB SD memory card can record up to 8 hours 35 minutes of continuous 4K standard quality video (29.97P / 60 Mbps).

Movies can be played on a computer using standard MP4-compatible media players (such as Windows Media Player).


General specifications

Camera type

Interchangeable lens digital camera

Lens mount


Lens compatibility

Sony E-mount lenses

Image sensor


Exmor 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor

Number of pixels (effective)

approx. 12.2 MP

Number of pixels (total)

approx. 12.4 MP

Sensor format


Color filter

R, G, B, primary color

Dust proof


Dust protection system

Anti-static coating
Optical filter and mechanism
ultrasonic vibration

Dust protection activation (auto)

Power off

Recording system (photo)

Recording format

9000 4 JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif 2.3, MPF Baseline compatible), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

Image size (pixels) [3:2]

Full frame, 35mm L: 4240 × 2832 (12M), S: 2768 x 1848
(5.1M), S: 2128 × 1416 (3.0M)
APS-C L: 2768 x 1848 (5.1M), S: 2128 x 1416 (3.0M) 1376
x 920 (1.3M)

Image size (pixels) [16:9]

Full frame 35mm L: 4240 x 2384 (10M), M: 2768 x 1560
(4.3M), S: 2128 x 1200 (2.6M)
APS-C L: 2768 x 1560 (4.3M), M: 2128 x 1200 (2.6 M), S: 1376
x 776 (1.1M)

Image Quality Modes

JPEG Superfine
JPEG Standard

14-bit RAW

9 0004 Yes

Picture Profile

Yes (Off / PP1-PP9) Settings: Black Level, Gamma
(Video, Photo, Cinema 1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3),
Black Gamma, Gamma Curve, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset

Functions for Dynamic Range

Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level 1-5), Auto High Dynamic Range
(Auto Exposure Difference Compensation Range (1-6 EV, 1. 0 EV steps))

Color space

sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut)



Recording system (video)

Recording format


Video compression format


Image size (pixels) [XAVC S]

XAVC S 4K: 3810 x 2160
XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080

Picture profile

Yes (Off / PP1-PP9) Options: Black Level, Gamma (Video, Photo, Cinema 1–4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3),
Black Gamma, Gamma Curve, Color Mode, Saturation, Color Phase, Color Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset

Color Space

xvYCC Standard (x.v.Colour when connected via HDMI cable), compatible with TRILUMINOS color gamut

Video recording system (XAVC S 4K)

3840 x 2160 (29.97P, 100M)

Approx. 100Mbps
(NTSC mode)

3840 x 2160 (25P, 100M)

Approx. 100 Mbps
(PAL mode)

3840 x 2160 (23.98P, 100M)

Approx. 100Mbps
(NTSC mode)

3840 x 2160 (29. 97P, 60M)

Approx. 60Mbps
(NTSC mode)

3840 x 2160 (25P, 60M)

Approx. 60 Mbps
(PAL mode)

3840 x 2160 (23.98P, 60M)

Approx. 60 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

Video recording system (XAVC S HD)

1920 x 1080 (119.88p, 100M)

Approx. 100 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

1920 x 1080 (100p, 100M)

Approx. 100 Mbps
(PAL mode)

1920 x 1080 (119.88p, 60M)

Approx. 60 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

1920x 1080 (100p, 60M)

Approx. 60Mbps
(PAL mode)

50 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

1920 x 1080 (50p, 50M)

Approx. 50 Mbps
(PAL mode)

1920 x 1080 (29.97p, 50M)

Approx. 50 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

1920 x 1080 (25p, 50M)

Approx. 50 Mbps
(PAL mode)

1920 x 1080 (23.98p, 50M)

Approx. 50 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

High frame rate recording

1920 x 1080 (29.97p, 16M)

Approx. 16 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

1920 x 1080 (25p, 16M )

Approx. 16 Mbps
(PAL mode)

1920 x 1080 (23.98p, 12M)

Approx. 12 Mbps
(NTSC mode)

Feeling Feeling


Temporary Code/ User Bit

(Prevention of temporary code/ user bits, format/ creating temporary code, changing temporary code when shooting, recording temporary code/ user bits)

Auto slow shutter


Recording control


HDMI output

3840 x 2160 (25p)
1920 x 1080 (5 0p)
1920×1080 (50i)
1920×1080 (23.98p)
1920×1080 (59.94p)
1920×1080 (59.94i)
3840×2160 (29, 97p)
3840 x 2160 (23, 98p),
YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit

Recording system


SD memory card
SDHC (UHS-I support)
SDXC (UHS-I support)
microSD 90 093 microSDHC

Memory card slot

SD memory card

File system

FAT12/16/32, exFAT

Noise Reduction

Long Exposure NR: On/Off, at 1 sec shutter speed. and longer
High ISO noise reduction: Normal/Low/Off

Multi Frame NR

Auto/ISO 100 to 409600

White Balance


Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Underwater, Color Temperature oh filter

Auto micro white balance


Focus System


Contrast Detection AF

Focus Sensor

Exmor CMOS Sensor

Focus Points

9 0004 169 points (autofocus with contrast detection)

Sensitivity range

EV-4 to EV20 (ISO100 equivalent with f/2.0 lens)

AF mode

AF-S (Single Shot AF), AF-C (Continuous AF), Manual Focus

Focus area

Wide (169 points, contrast AF)

Other features

Focus lock

Exposure control

Metering type

1 200-zone evaluative

Metering sensor

Exmor CMOS sensor

Metering sensitivity

EV-3–EV20 (at ISO100 equivalent with f/2.0 lens)



Exposure modes

AUTO (iAuto, Superior Auto)
Programmed AE (P)
Aperture priority (A)
Shutter priority (S)
Manual (M)
Movie, High Frame Rate (Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A) ), Shutter priority (S), Manual (M))

Exposure compensation

+/-5. 0 EV (1/3 EV step or 1/2 EV step selectable)

AE lock

Locked when button shutter is pressed halfway. The function is available with the autofocus button held down. (On/Off/Auto)

ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)

Still photography: ISO 100 – -102400 (expandable to ISO 50 – 409600),
AUTO (ISO 100 – -12800, selectable upper and lower limits). Movie: ISO 100–102400 equivalent (expandable to ISO 409600),
AUTO (ISO 100–12800, selectable upper and lower limits)

Other specifications

Minimum shutter speed at ISO AUTO


90 004 Clock , setting


Zone Adjust


Clear Image Zoom


Approx. 2x


Approx. 2x

Digital zoom

Digital zoom (still image)

Full frame 35mm: L – approx. 4x, M – Approx. 6.1x, S – Approx. 8x
APS-C: L – Approx. 4x, M – Approx. 5.2x, S – Approx. 8x

Digital zoom (movie)

Full frame 35mm: Approx. 4x
APS-C: Approx. 4x



Electronic, vertical, curtain type

Shutter speed

still image 1/8000-30 sec., long exposure; movie shooting 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 steps), up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter mode)

Electronic front curtain shutter

Yes (On/Off) )

Silent shooting

Yes (on/off)


Drive modes

Single shooting
Continuous shooting

Speed ​​(approx., max.)*1

Continuous shooting mode: max. 2.5 frames per second

Number of recordable frames* (approx.)*1, *2

Burst mode:
JPEG super L – 109 frames
Burst mode:
JPEG fine L – 200 frames
Burst mode :
JPEG standard L – 200 frames
Burst mode:
RAW – 67 frames
Burst mode:
RAW and JPG – 42 frames

Live playback




Multi/micro USB



UHD/HD Output

DC Power Input 9 0005

IEC60130-10 (JEITA RC-5320A standard ), TYPE 4
DC voltage: 12V -25%/+10% (9~13. 2V)

I/O terminal

Mini DIN, 8-pin
External clock Input: 75Ω internal output, HD (tri-level sync signal), SD (black burst signal)

Power supply

Watch battery

MS621T, button type, manganese silicon, approx. 0.23 g (without solder contacts), 1 pc.

Power consumption

With viewfinder

19 W (with lens)


Camera only

Approx. 395 g
(without lens)

Camera only (oz.)

Approx. 14 oz
(excluding lens)


mm (W x H x D) excluding protrusions

Approx. 104 x 84 x 48 mm

inches (W x H x D) excluding protrusions

Approx. 4 1/8 x 3 3/8 x 1 15/16 inches

Body material

Body material

Magnesium alloy, high strength engineering plastic outer coating

Operating temperature

Operating temperature

90 004 0…45°C

Accessories included

Housing cover (1)
Tripod adapter (1)
Tripod adapter fixing screws (4)
Safety standards (1)
Instructions for use: required to download online (1)
1 year warranty booklet (1)
Ferrite core (1)

Safety standards

UL60950-1 , cUL No. 60950-1, IEC60950-1
VCCI (Class A), FCC Part15B (Class A), IC ICES-003 (Class A)
Emission: EN55032 (Class A), EN61326-1 (Class A)
Immunity: EN55024, EN61326-1
Emission: AS/NZS CISPR32 (EN55032) (Class A)
MSIP EMC KN32 (Class A), KN35



Depending on shooting conditions and memory card.


Continuous shutter mode (Hi)


Supports micro USB compatible devices.

Downloads and Resources


  • Outline Views: UMC-S3CA


  • Technical Documents: Verified Memory Card List

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