Epson is back in the digital rangefinder game. Two years after
discontinuing the R-D1, the company has brought the camera back,
with some modifications, as the RD-1xG, it has been announced in
Japan. The camera, which looks much like the Voigtlander Bessa
series that is produced by specialty camera maker Cosina, uses the
same 6MP sensor as its predecessor and accepts
Leica M-mount lenses,
but also has a removable handgrip, a 2.5-inch LCD monitor (up from
the previous 2-inch version), and is compatible with
Epson also reportedly changed the feel of the shutter button, but
otherwise the camera's features are the same as the R-D1. The 6MP,
APS-C sensor's crop factor is 1.5x, so a 35mm lens would cover the
angle of view of a 52mm lens. The camera records RAW and JPEG image
files, uses lithium-ion batteries. While US pricing and availability
have not been announced, the camera is expected to be available in
Japan in April for around $2,000.
The R-D1's 6.1-megapixel APS-C sized CCD (23.7mm x 15.6mm) captures images in two sizes: 3008 x 2000 and 2240 x 1488. It records images to either JPEG or 12-bit CCD-RAW. It features aperture priority and manual exposure modes, a shutter speed range of 1 to 1/2000 seconds, and exposure compensation of +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps.
The Epson RD-1xG would become the only other digital rangefinder
currently available besides the $6,000 Leica R8.2--unless other
rangefinder cameras are announced at PMA.
There's something undeniably sexy, romantic even, about modern digital rangefinders. Perhaps it's the bevy of tactile controls that stand in such stark contrast to the button-less touchscreen trend infecting consumer electronics. Perhaps it's nostalgia. Whatever it is, the Epson R-D1x just created a momentary pause of reverence amongst Engadget editors. Not much has changed since the R-D1 (followed by the R-D1s) was introduced four years ago: that 6 megapixel APS-C CCD sensor, RAW and JPEG support, and Leica M and L glass compatibility remain. Epson just modernized things a bit by adding a handgrip (model R-D1xG), a bigger 2.5-inch LCD, support for the SDHC card format (up to 32GB), and improved EDiART
image processing. But this shooter isn't about the specs, it's about