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Canon G1 X vs Epson R-D1

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Epson R-D1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and March 2004. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an APS-C (R-D1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 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 G1 X
versus
Epson R-D1
Canon G1 X   Epson R-D1
Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Leica M mount lenses
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.0 LCD, 235k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 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 PowerShot G1 X 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Epson R-D1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon G1 X vs Epson R-D1
Compare G1X versus R-D1 top
Comparison G1X 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 larger (33 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the R-D1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X has a lens built in, whereas the R-D1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the R-D1 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
2.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
12.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
15.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
16.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
17.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
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 G1X was launched at a lower price than the R-D1, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Epson R-D1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the R-D1 is 41 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 1.5. The sensor in the G1X has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the R-D1 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G1 X and Epson R-D1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon G1 X offers a higher resolution of 14.2 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 4.30μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the G1X is much more recent (by 7 years and 10 months) than the R-D1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon G1 X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G1X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Epson R-D1 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Epson R-D1 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

G1X 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
2.
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.110.456455
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
12.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.811.150143
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
15.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
16.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
17.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The G1X indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1X 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Epson R-D1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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 G1 Xoptical n3.0 / 922 swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
2.
 
Epson R-D1optical n2.0 / 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0 n n
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n3.0 / 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n3.0 / 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
12.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G1X has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the G1X is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The G1X has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the R-D1 does not have a selfie-screen.

The G1X writes its imaging data to SDXC 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 PowerShot G1 X 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon G1 XYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Epson R-D1Y- / --------
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the G1X) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the G1X and the R-D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, 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 the Canon G1 X better than the Epson R-D1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 6MP) with a 51% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 235k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (1.9 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the R-D1 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x81mm vs 142x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the R-D1).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 10 months of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:

  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2004).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1X is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 3 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G1X 15:03 R-D1

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X or the R-D1 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+..76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
2.
 
Epson R-D1............ Mar 2004 2,999i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
12.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 4............ Sep 2012 949i
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
15.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
16.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
17.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon G1 X:
Check Ebay offers
Epson R-D1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X 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 G1 X Epson R-D1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2012 March 2004
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Epson R-D1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Epson R-D1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 74% 100%
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Epson R-D1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Epson R-D1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 no USB
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Epson R-D1
    Battery Type NB-10L EU-85
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

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