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Epson R-D1 vs Panasonic LX7

The Epson R-D1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2004 and July 2012. The R-D1 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the LX7 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (R-D1) and a 1/1.7-inch (LX7) sensor. The Epson has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 10 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
Panasonic LX7
Epson R-D1   Panasonic LX7
Rangefinder camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica M mount lenses 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3
6 MP – APS-C sensor 10 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 200-1,600 ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.0" LCD – 235k dots 2.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
142 x 89 x 40 mm, 620 g 111 x 68 x 46 mm, 298 g
Epson R-D1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic LX7:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Epson R-D1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7? 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 Panasonic LX7 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.

The LX7 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the R-D1 is only available in black.

Size Epson R-D1 vs Panasonic LX7
Compare R-D1 versus LX7 top
Comparison R-D1 or LX7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX7 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Epson R-D1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the R-D1 nor the LX7 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX7 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 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, 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 2,999i
2.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
5.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
6.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
7.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
9.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
10.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
11.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
12.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
13.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
14.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
15.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
16.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The LX7 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 Panasonic LX7 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX7 is 89 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 4.65. The sensor in the R-D1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the LX7 offers a 4:3 aspect. The LX7 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Epson R-D1 and Panasonic LX7 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the LX7 offers a higher resolution of 10 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 2.05μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). However, it should be noted that the LX7 is much more recent (by 8 years and 4 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 Panasonic LX7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the LX7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

R-D1 versus LX7 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 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.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
5.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
6.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
7.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
8.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
9.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
10.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
11.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
12.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
13.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
14.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
15.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
16.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
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 LX7 indeed provides for movie recording, while the R-D1 does not. The highest resolution format that the LX7 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the R-D1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX7 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX7 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Epson R-D1 and Panasonic LX7 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.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon 350Doptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon 300Doptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
6.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
8.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0/s n n
10.
 
Leica M8optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0/s n 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 D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
15.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/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 LX7 has one, while the R-D1 does not. While the built-in flash of the LX7 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Panasonic LX7 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The R-D1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the LX7 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 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.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon 350DY- / ----2.0---
5.
 
Canon 300DY- / ----1.1---
6.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
8.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Leica M8Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Epson R-D1 (unlike the LX7) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the R-D1 and the LX7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The LX7 was replaced by the Panasonic LX10, 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 Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Epson R-D1 better than the Panasonic LX7 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • 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).

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p 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).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the R-D1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 142x89mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the R-D1).
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 4 months of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX7 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 8 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 08:15 LX7

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the R-D1 or the LX7 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 2,999i
2.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon 350D..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
5.
 
Canon 300D......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
6.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
7.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
9.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
10.
 
Leica M8......+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499i
11.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
12.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
13.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
14.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
15.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
16.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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
Panasonic LX7:
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. 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: Epson R-D1 vs Panasonic LX7

    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 Panasonic LX7
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3
    Launch Date March 2004 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Epson R-D1 Panasonic LX7
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 7.44 x 5.58 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 41.5152 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 9.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 4.65x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 2.05 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 24.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 12,800 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 20.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 147
    Screen Specs Epson R-D1 Panasonic LX7
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    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 Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Epson R-D1 Panasonic LX7
    Focus System Manual Focus Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 Panasonic LX7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 no Wifi
    Body Specs Epson R-D1 Panasonic LX7
    Battery Type EU-85 DMW-BCJ13
    Body Dimensions 142 x 89 x 40 mm
    (5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
    111 x 68 x 46 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 620 g (21.9 oz) 298 g (10.5 oz)
    Epson R-D1:
    Check Ebay offers
    Panasonic LX7:
    Check Ebay offers

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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