Summary: Expensive? Yes, which means it DROPs a verdict star down to lack of value for money. Unique? Yes. But is it any good? No, it is simply superb. It is a great enthusiasts' camera, or the (almost) perfect professional’s back up instrument. Your only problem now will be finding one. Epson Europe tells us that they are almost sold out with no current plans for a replacement, though we believe that there are still a handful for sale in the UK.
Pros: Excellent magnesium alloy build, good 6MP sensor, accepts Leica M and L-mount lenses (L-mount lenses via an adapter), RAW capture
Cons: Slow menu system, fully manual control may not be to everyone’s liking.
Conclusion: In summary, I loved the picture-taking performance of the Epson R-D1 digital rangefinder camera body, but was perturbed by its misaligned rangefinder and frustrated by Epson's support staff. However, the Epson R-D1 is the only compact digital rangefinder camera body on the market that can utilize my Leica-M and Voigtlander 35 mm interchangeable lenses. I bought it because of my considerable investment in Leica 35mm M lenses and my fondness for the rangefinder design.
Pros: Rangefinder digital camera body that uses Leica M and Voigtlander 35 mm rangefinder interchangeable lenses, RAW mode, superb histogram, and excellent RAW file processing software, Images are very low noise and highly detailed, especially for 6 Megapixel camera, Viewfinder has 1:1 magnification, Auto parallax correction for focusing on both near and far objects, Wide range of ISO sensitivities between 200 and 1600, Intuitive controls during picture taking and editing
Cons: Very high price for 6 Megapixel camera, No continuous or burst mode, 1.53 x crop due to sensor size limits use of Leica wide-angle lenses, R-D1's rangefinder is harder to focus in low light than with Leica M7, Epson phone support polite but less than effective, No TTL Flash control, No option to change JPEG compression (fixed at 1:4)
Excerpt: Una volta tanto parliamo di una fotocamera digitale che esce dai tradizionali schemi imposti dal mercato, un prodotto che può piacere a chi ha giurato di non toccare mai una digitale in vita sua e che sicuramente piacerà a molti fotografi professionisti che fanno del reportage il loro pane quotidiano.
Excerpt: L'Epson R-D1 est un appareil hors norme. Il s'agit du premier appareil photo numérique du marché proposant une visée télémétrique. Alors que tout le monde s'attendait à voir surgir ce type d'appareil des laboratoires de Leica, c'est Epson associé à Cosina qui ont fait l'événement. Le R-D1 s'appuie sur un boîtier Voigtländer Bessa R2. La mécanique et les éléments photométriques sont fournis par Cosina et l'électronique par Epson.