Epson R-D1 vs Pentax 645D
The Epson R-D1 and the Pentax 645D are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2004 and March 2010. The R-D1 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the 645D is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (R-D1) and a medium format (645D) sensor. The Epson has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 39.5 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 Pentax 645D? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Epson R-D1 and the Pentax 645D is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645D is considerably larger (44 percent) than the Epson R-D1. Moreover, the 645D is substantially heavier (139 percent) than the R-D1. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645D 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Epson R-D1||142 mm||89 mm||40 mm||620 g||..||n||Mar 2004||2,999|
|Pentax 645D||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995|
|Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|Leica M9||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|Leica M8||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499|
|Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|Pentax 645Z||156 mm||117 mm||123 mm||1550 g||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499|
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.
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 70 percent) than the 645D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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 Pentax 645D a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645D is 292 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 0.79. The sensor in the R-D1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645D offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 39.5MP, the 645D offers a higher resolution than the R-D1 (6MP), but the 645D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.06μm versus 7.85μm for the R-D1). Yet, the 645D is a much more recent model (by 6 years) 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 645D has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax 645D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 645D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.3 x 27.2 inches or 92.3 x 69.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.1 x 21.8 inches or 73.8 x 55.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.2 x 18.1 inches or 61.5 x 46.1 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 Pentax 645D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
|Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The R-D1 and the 645D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Epson R-D1, the Pentax 645D, and comparable cameras.
|Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
One feature that is present on the 645D, 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 Pentax 645D 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 645D uses SDXC cards. The 645D features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the R-D1 only has one slot.
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 Pentax 645D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 1D X||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica S Typ 006||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
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 645D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 645D was replaced by the Pentax 645Z, 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 Pentax websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Epson R-D1 and the Pentax 645D? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Epson R-D1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More compact: Is smaller (142x89mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 860g or 58 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2004).
Reasons to prefer the Pentax 645D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (39.5 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 151%.
- 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.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- 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.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the R-D1 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 645D is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 5 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.
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 645D 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.
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 (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.
|Epson R-D1||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2004||2,999|
|Pentax 645D||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Mar 2010||9,995|
|Canon 1D X||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||..||89/100||..||5/5||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|Canon 350D||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Canon 300D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Leica M10||..||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica X Vario||..||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|Leica M9||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|Leica M8||..||+ +||..||..||..||Sep 2006||5,499|
|Nikon D3S||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Nikon D50||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||..||..||..||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|Nikon D70||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jan 2004||999|
|Olympus E-300||..||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|Pentax 645Z||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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.
- Canon M vs Epson R-D1
- Epson R-D1 vs Fujifilm X-T10
- Epson R-D1 vs Fujifilm X-T30
- Epson R-D1 vs Leica X2
- Epson R-D1 vs Sony A9
- Epson R-D1 vs Sony HX95
- Leica Q Typ 116 vs Pentax 645D
- Nikon D3400 vs Pentax 645D
- Olympus E-M1 vs Pentax 645D
- Olympus E-M10 vs Pentax 645D
- Panasonic G9 vs Pentax 645D
- Pentax 645D vs Sony A99 II
Specifications: Epson R-D1 vs Pentax 645D
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||Pentax 645D|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2004||March 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 2,999||USD 9,995|
|Sensor Specs||Epson R-D1||Pentax 645D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||44.0 x 33.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||1452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||39.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||7264 x 5440 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||6.06 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||2.72 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1262|
|Screen Specs||Epson R-D1||Pentax 645D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||235k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Epson R-D1||Pentax 645D|
|Focus System||Manual Focus||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Epson R-D1||Pentax 645D|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||no USB||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Epson R-D1||Pentax 645D|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
142 x 89 x 40 mm
(5.6 x 3.5 x 1.6 in)
156 x 117 x 119 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||620 g (21.9 oz)||1480 g (52.2 oz)|
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