6 Megapixels of Pure Gold | Epson R-D1s
When talking about the Epson, the question of specs invariably comes up.
This is mostly because many could almost ignore the “pitiful” performance in 2023 in exchange for the other unique charms this camera brings to the table. I say “almost”, because in recent years and months the camera has gained a bit of a cult following and the prices have skyrocketed into the $1500–2500 price range. I doubt most people could overlook the poor performance and the increased price simultaneously.
This came partly as a result of the internet making vintage cameras and lenses trendy again. I am guilty of both following and adding to this trend myself, oops.
Why not a Leica M8/M9 ?
Many people would say the camera is entering “Leica’’ territory in pricing and hype. I would lean toward agreeing with them. You could probably find a decent M8 (10mpx APS-H) or a rough M9 (18 mpx full frame) for the same price as a perfect Epson RD1. Both of those cameras would use the same lenses as the Epson and both would boast large lensors and higher resolution sensors. They would also both be Leicas, which carries its own entry fee by name alone.
It would be hard to push someone toward the obscure Epson, who’s brand name is more associated with office printers than with luxury rangefinder cameras. However, I would try to push them all the same.
At the time of writing this, I have 3 digital Leicas (Leica CL, SL, and M246 Monochrom), and all of them have been special to me in different ways. The Epson however, charms me in a way that only the monochrome Leica comes close too.
Fine, let’s talk about megapixels.
With this in mind, I won’t spend forever listing off the specs of the Epson R-D1s (the world’s first digital rangefinder camera), because…