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Epson R-D1 Comparison Review

The Epson R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera that was announced in March 2004 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 6 megapixel.

camera

Is the Epson R-D1 a good camera? The R-D1 has a Camera Elo of 831. This rating puts the R-D1 below average of all rangefinder cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the R-D1 also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Epson R-D1 is more than 18 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2004.

Headline Specifications
Epson R-D1
Rangefinder camera
Leica M mount lenses
6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video
ISO 200 - 1 600
Optical viewfinder
2.0 LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1 shutter flaps per second
142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Epson R-D1 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Epson R-D1 vs credit card front
R-D1 versus credit card top view
R-D1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Epson R-D1 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible 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.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999ebay.com
2.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
4.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595ebay.com
5.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
6.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999ebay.com
7.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
11.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Epson R-D1 was launched in the US market at a price of $2,999. 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.

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Check R-D1 offers at
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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.

The Epson R-D1 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Epson R-D1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Epson R-D1 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative 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.
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.110.456455
2.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
3.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
4.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
5.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
6.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
7.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
8.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
9.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
10.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
11.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the R-D1 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the 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)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Epson R-D1optical n2.0 / 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0/s n n
2.
 
Canon 350Doptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 300Doptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
4.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
5.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0/s n n
7.
 
Leica M8optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0/s n n
8.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Connection 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 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.
 
Epson R-D1Y- / --------
2.
 
Canon 350DY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 300DY- / ----1.1---
4.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
5.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
7.
 
Leica M8Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---

Further information on the features and operation of the R-D1 can be found in the free online Epson R-D1 Manual or on the Epson support site.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Epson R-D1............ Mar 2004 2,999ebay.com
2.
 
Canon 350D..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
3.
 
Canon 300D......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
4.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595ebay.com
5.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
6.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999ebay.com
7.
 
Leica M8......+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
11.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799ebay.com
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

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Epson R-D1 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the R-D1.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the R-D1?

The camera features a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the R-D1?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Epson R-D1?

Epson does not publish a shutter rating for the R-D1. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The R-D1's flash sync speed is 1/125 sec.

Which battery does the R-D1 use?

The camera gets its power from the EU-85, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review with another camera, just use the search menu below. 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 Summary
    Camera Model Epson R-D1
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2004
    Launch Price USD 2 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 370 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3 008 x 2 000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1 600 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Size 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 1 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    USB Connector no USB
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EU-85 power pack
    Body Dimensions 142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    Camera Weight 620 g (21.9 oz)

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