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Epson R-D1 vs Kodak AZ901

The Epson R-D1 and the Kodak PixPro AZ901 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2004 and January 2016. The R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the AZ901 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (R-D1) and a 1/2.3-inch (AZ901) sensor. The Epson has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Kodak provides 20.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Epson R-D1
versus
Kodak AZ901
Epson R-D1   Kodak AZ901
Rangefinder camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica M mount lenses 22-1980mm f/3.1-6.8
6 MP – APS-C sensor 20.2 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.0" LCD – 235k dots 2.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
1 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g 139 x 104 x 119 mm, 777 g
Epson R-D1:
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Kodak AZ901:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Epson R-D1 and the Kodak PixPro AZ901? 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 physical size and weight of the Epson R-D1 and the Kodak AZ901 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Epson R-D1 vs Kodak AZ901
Compare R-D1 versus AZ901 top
Comparison R-D1 or AZ901 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Kodak AZ901 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Epson R-D1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the R-D1 nor the AZ901 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the AZ901 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 2,999i
2.
 
Kodak AZ901 139 mm 104 mm 119 mm 777 g 400 n Jan 2016 499 i
3.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
4.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
5.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
6.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
7.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 140 mm 79 mm 88 mm 635 g 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950i
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
9.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
10.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
11.
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
12.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
13.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
14.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
15.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
16.
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 449 i
17.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
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 AZ901 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Epson R-D1 features an APS-C sensor and the Kodak AZ901 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the AZ901 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the R-D1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the AZ901 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Epson R-D1 and Kodak AZ901 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the AZ901 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 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 1.18μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the AZ901 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.

The resolution advantage of the Kodak AZ901 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the AZ901 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 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 Kodak PixPro AZ901 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

R-D1 versus AZ901 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Kodak AZ901 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.311.780648
3.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
4.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
5.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p24.013.3178882
6.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
7.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.813.0161480
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
9.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
10.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
11.
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.411.881848
12.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
13.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
14.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
15.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
16.
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p20.511.989649
17.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The AZ901 indeed provides for movie recording, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the AZ901 can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the AZ901 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the R-D1 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Epson R-D1 and Kodak AZ901 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.
 
Epson R-D1optical n2.0 / 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0/s n n
2.
 
Kodak AZ901202 n3.0 / 920 swivel n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
5.
 
Leica CL2360 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n n
6.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
7.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s n Y
9.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0/s n n
11.
 
Nikon B700921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Sony HX350202 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
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 AZ901 has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the AZ901 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The AZ901 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.

The R-D1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the AZ901 uses SDXC 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 Epson R-D1 and Kodak PixPro AZ901 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.
 
Kodak AZ901-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
5.
 
Leica CLYstereo / mono----Y--
6.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
7.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereo / mono---2.0---
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon B700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
12.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
16.
 
Sony HX350-stereo / mono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the R-D1 has a hotshoe, while the AZ901 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the AZ901) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The AZ901 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Kodak. 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 Epson and Kodak websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Epson R-D1 or the Kodak AZ901 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:

  • 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.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (142x89mm vs 139x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • 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 available for much longer (launched in March 2004).

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Advantages of the Kodak PixPro AZ901:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 79%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • 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 swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the R-D1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • 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.
  • 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.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the AZ901 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 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.

R-D1 10:14 AZ901

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the R-D1 and the AZ901 in practical situations. 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 why expert reviews are important. 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.
 
Epson R-D1............ Mar 2004 2,999i
2.
 
Kodak AZ901........3.5/53/5 Jan 2016 499 i
3.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
4.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
5.
 
Leica CL....4.2/5....4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
6.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
7.
 
Leica X-U Typ 1133.5/5........3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950i
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
9.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
10.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
11.
 
Nikon B700..+....4/54/5 Feb 2016 499 i
12.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
13.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
14.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
15.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
16.
 
Sony HX350..........4/5 Dec 2016 449 i
17.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Epson R-D1:
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Kodak AZ901:
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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 your choice using the following search menu. 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: Epson R-D1 vs Kodak AZ901

    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 Epson R-D1 Kodak AZ901
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses 22-1980mm f/3.1-6.8
    Launch Date March 2004 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Epson R-D1 Kodak AZ901
    Sensor Technology CCD BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Epson R-D1 Kodak AZ901
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 235k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Epson R-D1 Kodak AZ901
    Focus System Manual Focus Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Epson R-D1 Kodak AZ901
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector no USB USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Epson R-D1 Kodak AZ901
    Battery Type EU-85 LB-070
    Body Dimensions 142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    139 x 104 x 119 mm
    (5.5 x 4.1 x 4.7 in)
    Camera Weight 620 g (21.9 oz) 777 g (27.4 oz)
    Epson R-D1:
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    Kodak AZ901:
    Check current price at
    i

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