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Epson R-D1 vs Leica M Typ 262

The Epson R-D1 and the Leica M (Typ 262) are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2004 and November 2015. Both the R-D1 and the M Typ 262 are rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras that are based on an APS-C (R-D1) and a full frame (M Typ 262) sensor. The Epson has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 23.7 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 Leica M Typ 262
Epson R-D1 Leica M Typ 262
Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
6 MP, APS-C Sensor 23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 200-6,400
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0 LCD, 235k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g 139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Epson R-D1 and the Leica M (Typ 262)? 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 Epson R-D1 and the Leica M Typ 262. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M Typ 262 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the R-D1 is only available in black.

Size Epson R-D1 vs Leica M Typ 262
Compare R-D1 versus M Typ 262 top
Comparison R-D1 or M Typ 262 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M Typ 262 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Epson R-D1. However, the M Typ 262 is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the R-D1. It is noteworthy in this context that the M Typ 262 is splash and dust-proof, while the R-D1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. A larger imaging sensor (as in the M Typ 262) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (R-D1). You can compare the optics available in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Epson R-D1 5.6 in 3.5 in 1.6 in 21.9 oz .. n Mar 2004 2,999i
 
Leica M Typ 262 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon Rebel 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica CL 5.2 in 3.1 in 1.8 in 14.2 oz 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica M10 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 5.5 in 3.1 in 3.5 in 22.4 oz 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica X Vario 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica M Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Leica M9 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
 
Nikon D40 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D50 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 R-D1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 42 percent) than the M Typ 262, 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.

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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 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Epson R-D1 features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M Typ 262 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M Typ 262 is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Epson R-D1 and Leica M Typ 262 sensor measures

With 23.7MP, the M Typ 262 offers a higher resolution than the R-D1 (6MP), but the M Typ 262 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). Yet, the M Typ 262 is a much more recent model (by 11 years and 8 months) than the R-D1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M Typ 262 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M Typ 262 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M Typ 262 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 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 Epson R-D1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M (Typ 262) are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

R-D1 versus M Typ 262 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 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
 
Epson R-D1 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
Neither the R-D1 nor the M Typ 262 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.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The R-D1 and the M Typ 262 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 Epson R-D1 and Leica M Typ 262 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
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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
 
Epson R-D1optical n 2.0 235 fixed n 1/2000s 1.0 n n
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n

The R-D1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the M Typ 262 uses SDXC cards. The M Typ 262 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.

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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 Leica M (Typ 262) 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Epson R-D1Y---------
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the M Typ 262) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the R-D1 and the M Typ 262 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M Typ 262 was replaced by the Leica M10, 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 Leica websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Epson R-D1 or the Leica M Typ 262 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Epson R-D1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (42 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2004).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica M (Typ 262):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (23.7 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 98%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • 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 (921k vs 235k dots).
  • 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.
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 142x89mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 8 months of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 262 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

R-D1 04:15 M Typ 262

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 M Typ 262 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Epson R-D1.......... Mar 2004 2,999i
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon Rebel..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica X-U Typ 113........3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Leica M9....4.5/54.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Epson R-D1:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M Typ 262:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Epson R-D1 vs Leica M Typ 262

    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 Leica M Typ 262
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2004 November 2015
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 5,195
    Sensor Specs Epson R-D1 Leica M Typ 262
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 23.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 5952 x 3976 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 6.01 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 2.77 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Epson R-D1 Leica M Typ 262
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 235k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Epson R-D1 Leica M Typ 262
    Focus System Manual Focus Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Epson R-D1 Leica M Typ 262
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector no USB USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Epson R-D1 Leica M Typ 262
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EU-85 BP-SCL2
    Body Dimensions 142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 620 g (21.9 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)

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