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Canon SL1 vs Epson R-D1

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Epson R-D1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2013 and March 2004. The SL1 is a DSLR, while the R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 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 SL1
versus
Epson R-D1
Canon SL1   Epson R-D1
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
17.9 MP – APS-C sensor 6 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 200-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 2.0" LCD – 235k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.9 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g 142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g
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Check SL1 offers at
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Check R-D1 offers at
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 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 SL1 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 successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SL1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the R-D1 is only available in black.

Size Canon SL1 vs Epson R-D1
Compare SL1 versus R-D1 top
Comparison SL1 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 (19 percent) than the Canon SL1. Moreover, the R-D1 is substantially heavier (52 percent) than the SL1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL1 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 (SL1) 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T6 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449ebay.com
8.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649ebay.com
10.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599ebay.com
11.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849ebay.com
12.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599ebay.com
13.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
14.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
Note: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SL1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 82 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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (SL1) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon SL1 and Epson R-D1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SL1 offers a higher resolution of 17.9 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 4.31μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the SL1 is much more recent (by 9 years) 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 SL1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SL1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 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 SL1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Epson R-D1 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the SL1 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the R-D1 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

SL1 versus R-D1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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 SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
2.
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.110.456455
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon T6 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.612.9149779
6.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
7.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
8.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
9.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
10.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
11.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
12.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
13.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
14.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
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 SL1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the SL1 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SL1 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 SL1 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
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9/s Y n
2.
 
Epson R-D1optical n2.0 / 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0/s n n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T6optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon Mnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3/s n n
11.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
12.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
13.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
14.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SL1 has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the SL1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The SL1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the R-D1 uses SDHC cards. The SL1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the R-D1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Rebel SL1 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 SL1Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Epson R-D1Y- / --------
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T6Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
9.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon MYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
14.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--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 SL1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the SL1 and the R-D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The SL1 was replaced by the Canon SL2, 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 SL1 and the Epson R-D1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 6MP) with a 72% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • 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 (1040k vs 235k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x91mm vs 142x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 213g or 34 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (82 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 9 years of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:

  • 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 number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL1 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

SL1 14:02 R-D1

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SL1 and the R-D1 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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 SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Epson R-D1............ Mar 2004 2,999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T64/5o4/573/1004/54/5 Mar 2016 449ebay.com
6.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499ebay.com
7.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449ebay.com
8.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
9.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649ebay.com
10.
 
Canon M3/5+....4/54/5 Jul 2012 599ebay.com
11.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849ebay.com
12.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599ebay.com
13.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
14.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon SL1 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 SL1 Epson R-D1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2013 March 2004
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Canon SL1 Epson R-D1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 843 ..
    Screen Specs Canon SL1 Epson R-D1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SL1 Epson R-D1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 4.9 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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SL1 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
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SL1 Epson R-D1
    Battery Type LP-E12 EU-85
    Body Dimensions 117 x 91 x 69 mm
    (4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 407 g (14.4 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)
    logo
    Check SL1 offers at
    ebay.com
    logo
    Check R-D1 offers at
    ebay.com

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