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Epson R-D1 vs Nikon D1H

The Epson R-D1 and the Nikon D1H are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2004 and February 2001. The R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the D1H is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Epson has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 2.6 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
Nikon D1H
Epson R-D1   Nikon D1H
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
6 MP – APS-C sensor 2.6 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 200-800 (200 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD – 235k dots 2.0" LCD – 120k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g 157 x 153 x 85 mm, 1100 g
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Check R-D1 offers at
ebay.com
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Check D1H offers at
ebay.com

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Epson R-D1 and the Nikon D1H? 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 Nikon D1H are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Epson R-D1 vs Nikon D1H
Compare R-D1 versus D1H top
Comparison R-D1 or D1H rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D1H is considerably larger (90 percent) than the Epson R-D1. Moreover, the D1H is substantially heavier (77 percent) than the R-D1. It is noteworthy in this context that the D1H 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. 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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D1H).

As can be seen in the images above, the D1H has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
 
Epson R-D1 142 mm 89 mm 40 mm 620 g .. n Mar 2004 2,999ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
4.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 amazon.com
5.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595ebay.com
6.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 140 mm 79 mm 88 mm 635 g 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950ebay.com
7.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
8.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D1 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g .. Y Jun 1999 5,499ebay.com
Note: 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 R-D1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the D1H, 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.

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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Epson R-D1 and Nikon D1H sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the R-D1 offers a higher resolution of 6 megapixels, compared with 2.6 MP of the D1H. This megapixels advantage translates into a 50 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the R-D1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 7.85μm versus 11.93μm for the D1H). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the R-D1 is much more recent (by 3 years and 1 month) than the D1H, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Epson R-D1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the R-D1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1H are 10 x 6.6 inches or 25.4 x 16.7 cm for good quality, 8 x 5.2 inches or 20.3 x 13.3 cm for very good quality, and 6.7 x 4.4 inches or 16.9 x 11.1 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 Nikon D1H are ISO 200 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-3200.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

R-D1 versus D1H 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
3.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
4.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p24.013.3178882
5.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
6.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.813.0161480
7.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
8.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
9.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
10.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
11.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
12.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
13.
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
14.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
15.
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
16.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
17.
 
Nikon D1 APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the R-D1 nor the D1H 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

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The R-D1 and the D1H 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Epson R-D1 and Nikon D1H 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.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0/s n n
3.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
4.
 
Leica CL2360 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n n
5.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
6.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0/s n n
9.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s n n
10.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y2.5 / 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s n n
14.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y2.5 / 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0/s n n
16.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0/s n n
17.
 
Nikon D1optical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 1.5/s n n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that is present on the D1H, but is missing on the R-D1 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The R-D1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D1H uses Compact Flash 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 Nikon D1H 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.
 
Nikon D1HY- / ----FW---
3.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
4.
 
Leica CLYstereo / mono----Y--
5.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
6.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereo / mono---2.0---
7.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D2XsY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D2XY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
15.
 
Nikon D2HY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D1XY- / ----FW---
17.
 
Nikon D1Y- / ----FW---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the R-D1 and the D1H have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D1H was replaced by the Nikon D2H, 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 Nikon websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Epson R-D1 or the Nikon D1H – 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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Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (6 vs 2.6MP) with a 51% higher linear resolution.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 120k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (142x89mm vs 157x153mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 480g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D1H launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D1H:

  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2001).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). 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.

R-D1 06:06 D1H

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the R-D1 or the D1H. 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 adjacent summary-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]). 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 2,999ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D1H......+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
4.
 
Leica CL....4.2/5....4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 amazon.com
5.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595ebay.com
6.
 
Leica X-U Typ 1133.5/5........3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950ebay.com
7.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850ebay.com
8.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D2Xs............ Jun 2006 4,699ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D2X......+ +.... Sep 2004 4,999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D2H......+ +.... Jul 2003 3,499ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D1X......+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D1......+ +.... Jun 1999 5,499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Check D1H offers at
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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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Epson R-D1 vs Nikon D1H

    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 Nikon D1H
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2004 February 2001
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 4,499
    Sensor Specs Epson R-D1 Nikon D1H
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 2.6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 2000 x 1312 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 11.93 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 0.71 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Epson R-D1 Nikon D1H
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.0inch 2.0inch
    LCD Resolution 235k dots 120k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Epson R-D1 Nikon D1H
    Focus System Manual Focus Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Epson R-D1 Nikon D1H
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector no USB Firewire
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Epson R-D1 Nikon D1H
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EU-85 EN-4
    Body Dimensions 142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    157 x 153 x 85 mm
    (6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 620 g (21.9 oz) 1100 g (38.8 oz)
    logo
    Check R-D1 offers at
    ebay.com
    logo
    Check D1H offers at
    ebay.com

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