Epson R-D1 vs Fujifilm X-A1
The Epson R-D1 and the Fujifilm X-A1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2004 and September 2013. The R-D1 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless, while the X-A1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Epson has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Epson R-D1 and the Fujifilm X-A1? 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 Epson R-D1 and the Fujifilm X-A1. 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 X-A1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, blue), 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 Fujifilm X-A1 is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Epson R-D1. Moreover, the X-A1 is substantially lighter (47 percent) than the R-D1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the R-D1 nor the X-A1 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 Leica M Lens Catalog (R-D1) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A1).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|1.||Epson R-D1||142 mm||89 mm||40 mm||620 g||..||n||Mar 2004||2,999|
|2.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|3.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|7.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|9.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|10.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|11.||Leica X-U Typ 113||140 mm||79 mm||88 mm||635 g||450||Y||Jan 2016||2,950|
|12.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|13.||Leica M9||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|14.||Nikon D40||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||470||n||Nov 2006||499|
|15.||Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|16.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|17.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-A1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 87 percent) than the R-D1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the X-A1 offers a higher resolution of 16 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the 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 4.80μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the X-A1 is much more recent (by 9 years and 6 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 Fujifilm X-A1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-A1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 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 Epson R-D1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X-A1 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.
| DXO |
|10.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|11.||Leica X-U Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|13.||Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The X-A1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-A1 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the R-D1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Epson R-D1 and Fujifilm X-A1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|11.||Leica X-U Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|12.||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 X-A1 has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The X-A1 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the R-D1 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the R-D1 and the X-A1 write their files to SDHC cards. The X-A1 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.
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 Fujifilm X-A1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|11.||Leica X-U Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the X-A1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the R-D1 does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the X-A1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the R-D1 and the X-A1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-A1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-A2, 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 Epson and Fujifilm websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Epson R-D1 and the Fujifilm X-A1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2004).
Advantages of the Fujifilm X-A1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 63%.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- 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 (920k vs 235k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in 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 (5.6 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 142x89mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 290g or 47 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (87 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 6 months of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-A1 is the clear winner of the contest (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.
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 R-D1 and the X-A1 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.
|1.||Epson R-D1||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2004||2,999|
|2.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|3.||Canon Rebel||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|7.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|9.||Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|10.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|11.||Leica X-U Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||Jan 2016||2,950|
|12.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|13.||Leica M9||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|14.||Nikon D40||..||81/100||+ +||o||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499|
|15.||Nikon D50||..||78/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|16.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|17.||Nikon D70||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Epson R-D1 vs Fujifilm X-A1
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||Epson R-D1||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Fujifilm X mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2004||September 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 2,999||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Epson R-D1||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||4896 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||4.80 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||4.33 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 1,600 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Epson R-D1||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||235k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Epson R-D1||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Focus System||Manual Focus||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||1 shutter flaps/s||5.6 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Epson R-D1||Fujifilm X-A1|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||no USB||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Epson R-D1||Fujifilm X-A1|
142 x 89 x 40 mm
(5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||620 g (21.9 oz)||330 g (11.6 oz)|
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