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Canon XT vs Epson R-D1

The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Epson R-D1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2005 and March 2004. The XT 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 8 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 XT
versus
Epson R-D1
Canon XT   Epson R-D1
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
8 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, 115k dots 2.0 LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 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 Rebel XT 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XT 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

Size Canon XT vs Epson R-D1
Compare XT versus R-D1 top
Comparison XT 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 (6 percent) than the Canon XT. Moreover, the R-D1 is markedly heavier (15 percent) than the XT. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XT 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 (XT) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (R-D1).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
2.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
14.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
15.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
16.
 
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.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 XT 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

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. 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 more expensive and 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 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XT) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XT and Epson R-D1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon XT offers a higher resolution of 8 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 6.41μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the XT is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the R-D1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The resolution advantage of the Canon XT implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XT for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 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 EOS Rebel XT 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).

XT versus R-D1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
2.
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.110.456455
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
8.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
10.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
11.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
14.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
15.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
16.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the XT 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The XT 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon XT and Epson R-D1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Epson R-D1optical n2.0 / 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
8.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
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 XT has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the XT is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The XT 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 Rebel XT 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 XTY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Epson R-D1Y- / --------
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---

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

Both the XT and the R-D1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XT was replaced by the Canon Xti, 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 XT and the Epson R-D1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (8 vs 6MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 80g or 13 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • 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 modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the R-D1).

ilogo

Advantages 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 115k dots).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2004).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XT emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 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 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.

XT 07:04 R-D1

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XT 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
2.
 
Epson R-D1............ Mar 2004 2,999i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ +..+ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
14.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
15.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
16.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
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 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.

Canon XT:
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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon XT 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 XT Epson R-D1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 March 2004
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Canon XT Epson R-D1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 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) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 ..
    Screen Specs Canon XT Epson R-D1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XT Epson R-D1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 3 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 XT Epson R-D1
    External Flash 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 no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XT Epson R-D1
    Battery Type NB-2LH EU-85
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 620 g (21.9 oz)

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