Canon SX420 vs Epson R-D1
The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Epson R-D1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and March 2004. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the R-D1 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and an APS-C (R-D1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 19.9 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.
|Canon SX420||Epson R-D1|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Rangefinder camera|
|24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6||Leica M mount lenses|
|19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||6 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|720/25p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-1,600||ISO 200-1,600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 230k dots||2.0 LCD, 235k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|0.5 shutter flaps per second||1 shutter flaps per second|
|104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 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 SX420 IS 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX420 and the Epson R-D1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the R-D1 is only available in black.
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 considerably larger (76 percent) than the Canon SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the R-D1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon SX420||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|Epson R-D1||5.6 in||3.5 in||1.6 in||21.9 oz||..||n||Mar 2004||2,999|
|Canon SX740||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon SX730||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||11.3 oz||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon SX620||3.8 in||2.2 in||1.1 in||6.4 oz||295||n||May 2016||279|
|Canon SX720||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon G5 X||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon SX410||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX610||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.1 in||6.7 oz||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|Canon SX710||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|Canon Rebel||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Leica X Vario||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Nikon D50||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|Nikon D70||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Panasonic ZS70||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX420 was launched at a lower price than the R-D1, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Epson R-D1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the R-D1 is 1221 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX420 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the R-D1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX420 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 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 1.19μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the SX420 is much more recent (by 11 years and 9 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX420 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX420 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX420 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 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 SX420 IS 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).
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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX420 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX420 can use is 720/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the R-D1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX420 and Epson R-D1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX420 has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX420 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The SX420 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the R-D1 uses SDHC cards.
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 SX420 IS and Epson R-D1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support, while the R-D1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the SX420) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the R-D1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the R-D1 from Epson. 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX420 and the Epson R-D1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (19.9 vs 6MP) with a 78% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/25p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the R-D1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm 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.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 11 years and 9 months of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.
Advantages of the Epson R-D1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (1 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- 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 SX420 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 11 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 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.
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 SX420 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.
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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|Epson R-D1||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2004||2,999|
|Canon SX740||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon SX620||..||..||..||..||4/5||May 2016||279|
|Canon SX720||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon G5 X||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon SX410||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX610||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|Canon SX710||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|Canon Rebel||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Leica X Vario||..||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Nikon D50||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||..||..||..||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|Nikon D70||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Panasonic ZS70||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D C vs Epson R-D1
- Canon 2000D vs Epson R-D1
- Canon 50D vs Epson R-D1
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Epson R-D1
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX540
- Canon SX420 vs Nikon D600
- Canon SX420 vs Panasonic ZS80
- Epson R-D1 vs Olympus E-5
- Epson R-D1 vs Olympus XZ-1
- Epson R-D1 vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
- Epson R-D1 vs Panasonic G7
- Epson R-D1 vs Sony NEX-5T
Specifications: Canon SX420 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 Model||Canon SX420||Epson R-D1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Rangefinder camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6||Leica M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||March 2004|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 2,999|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX420||Epson R-D1|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.9 Megapixels||6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5152 x 3864 pixels||3008 x 2000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.19 μm||7.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||70.91 MP/cm2||1.63 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/25p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||200 - 1,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX420||Epson R-D1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||235k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX420||Epson R-D1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Manual Focus|
|Continuous Shooting||0.5 shutter flaps/s||1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-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 SX420||Epson R-D1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||no USB|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX420||Epson R-D1|
104 x 69 x 85 mm
(4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
142 x 89 x 40 mm
(5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||325 g (11.5 oz)||620 g (21.9 oz)|
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