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Canon 300D vs Epson R-D1

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Epson R-D1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 and March 2004. The 300D is a DSLR, while the R-D1 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Epson provides 6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 300D
versus
Epson R-D1
Canon 300D   Epson R-D1
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 118k dots 2.0 LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 g 142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 300D and the Epson R-D1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Epson R-D1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 300D vs Epson R-D1
Compare 300D versus R-D1 top
Comparison 300D or R-D1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Epson R-D1 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the R-D1 is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D nor the R-D1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (300D) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (R-D1).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
2.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i
5.
 
Canon 700D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
6.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799 i
8.
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
9.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499 i
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999 i
12.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749 i
13.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899 i
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 300D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 70 percent) than the R-D1, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the R-D1 is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (300D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 300D and Epson R-D1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 300D offers a higher resolution of 6.3 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Epson R-D1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 7.38μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). Moreover, it should be noted that the R-D1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the 300D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Epson R-D1 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

300D versus R-D1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
2.
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none...... ..
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.8581 58
5.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
6.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
7.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.8644 60
8.
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
9.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.0721 62
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.9571 57
12.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.8560 55
13.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.3529 50
15.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none...... ..
Neither the 300D nor the R-D1 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 300D and the R-D1 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 300D and Epson R-D1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
2.
 
Epson R-D1optical n 2.0 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon 700Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
8.
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 300D has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the 300D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the R-D1 uses SDHC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 300D and Epson R-D1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
2.
 
Epson R-D1Y---------
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 700DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
11.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the 300D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 300D and the R-D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the R-D1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Epson websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 300D and the Epson R-D1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 300D:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2003).

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Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 118k dots).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (6 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 300D comes out slightly ahead of the R-D1 (5 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

300D 05:04 R-D1

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 300D and the R-D1 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 300D....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
2.
 
Epson R-D1.......... Mar 2004 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i
5.
 
Canon 700D....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
6.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799 i
8.
 
Canon 400D..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
9.
 
Canon 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
10.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499 i
11.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999 i
12.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749 i
13.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899 i
14.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999 i
15.
 
Olympus E-300....+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 300D:
Check Ebay offers
Epson R-D1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 300D vs Epson R-D1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 300D Epson R-D1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 March 2004
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Canon 300D Epson R-D1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 300D Epson R-D1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 300D Epson R-D1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 300D Epson R-D1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 1.1 no USB
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 300D Epson R-D1
    Battery Type BP-511 EU-85
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

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