Epson has announced that the world's first digital rangefinder camera, the R-D1 is to begin shipping in the US on November 1 and is expected to cost around $2,999. The Epson R-D1, which is the first digital camera to use L- and M-mount lenses, conveys the classic feel of a rangefinder and offers 6.1 megapixelsm and an APS C-sized sensor.

Press Release:

THE EPSON R-D1 -- The World's First Rangefinder Digital Camera Begins Shipping in United States on Nov. 1

LONG BEACH, Calif. Oct. 21, 2004-- New Digital Rangefinder System is the First Digital Camera to Support L/M-Mount Lenses

Epson America Inc. has achieved another digital photography breakthrough with the introduction of the EPSON(R) R-D1 -- the world's first rangefinder digital camera. This camera was introduced in Japan earlier this year and will now be shipping in the United States in early November.

The EPSON R-D1 marks a significant milestone in the industry by combining the classic feel and precision engineering of a traditional rangefinder camera with the latest digital technology. It is the first digital camera allowing photographers to use revered L- and M-mount lenses.

The EPSON R-D1 links the future with the past -- a new digital camera with a classic rangefinder feel. The EPSON R-D1 is comprised of a magnesium alloy exterior and an aluminum die cast body, combining digital technology with the traditional feel of a finely tuned instrument. The camera features a 6.1 megapixel APS C-size CCD sensor with a 1.53 magnification factor for an image resolution up to 3008 x 2000 pixels, easily producing output of 16" x 20" and beyond. The Epson R-D1 supports a RAW mode as well as two JPEG modes. Both JPEG modes incorporate PRINT Image Matching(R) II technology for optimal prints.

"Epson is committed to the world of photography and has helped transform digital photo printing by developing ink jet printers and other digital photo printing technologies," said Philip Amato, product manager, Epson. "With the EPSON R-D1 we aimed to combine all that defines classic rangefinder photography with today's leading edge digital technology. Photographers can now experience a state-of-the-art digital camera with all of the advantages of a rangefinder camera."

The legendary rangefinder camera has been used by many of the world's greatest photographers. In keeping with this heritage, Epson designed the EPSON R-D1 to offer the creative possibilities and convenience of digital technology, while maintaining the classic rangefinder's look, feel and functionality. Designed with time-honored features and precision engineering, the camera brings together the best qualities of conventional rangefinders with the advanced image processing of contemporary digital cameras.

"It's finally arrived, the EPSON R-D1 is a true digital rangefinder camera that allows photographers like myself to work in the digital world with a classic rangefinder using the prized lenses we have accumulated over the years and know so well," said Ben Fernandez, award winning photojournalist, Guggenheim Fellow and sought after photo educator. "The EPSON R-D1 enables me to continue working with the same tools that I have grown accustom to throughout my career, and transition seamlessly, without compromise, into the new age of digital photography."

Digital Technology with Classic Feel

The EPSON R-D1 maintains a traditional rangefinder camera feel through its body style. With many of the camera's mechanical features reminiscent of the past, the EPSON R-D1 is traditional, yet uniquely modern. Features have been designed to function in a new capacity such as the film rewind knob, which has been transformed into a jog dial that enables photographers to scroll through images on the LCD. Additionally, the film advance lever actually re-cocks the mechanical shutter after a digital image has been taken, and chronographic dials and needle indicators bring back memories of precision-made watches. To indicate the number of frames available, the camera's outer scale is marked 500-0, while other indicators show the white balance setting, the resolution, image quality setting and battery power level.

More About the EPSON R-D1 - Key Product Features

The EPSON R-D1 offers a host of features and powerful performance:

  • Lens Mount: Features an EM mount, which is directly compatible with M-mount lenses and compatible with L-mount lenses through an optional third party adapter. There are currently over 200 lenses available.
  • 1.x Viewfinder: Enables photographers to view scenes, including panorama settings, as if looking without magnification through the naked eye. The bright, natural view provides photographers with the feel of a conventional rangefinder, and auto parallax correction enables users to capture what they see.
  • 6.1 Megapixel APS C-Size CCD Sensor: The CCD sensor's effective image area (23.7 x 15.6 mm) delivers 6.1 million effective pixels, easily producing 16"x 20" prints or larger.
  • LCD Monitor: Large two-inch color LCD monitor enables stored photos to be viewed after exposure and can be concealed; the screen rotates 180 degrees to be stored face-in.
  • Exposure Control: Features manual and aperture-priority AE exposure modes.
  • Memory: Supports Secure Digital(TM) memory cards up to 1 GB.
  • File Format: Supports Epson RAW or JPEG (normal/high).
  • File Type: EXIF 2.21, DCF (Design Rule for Camera File) System 2.0, and DPOF 1.1 (Digital Print Order Format) compliant.
  • Software: Includes Epson RAW Plug-in (Adobe PhotoShop 7.0 or higher and Elements 2.0 or higher), Epson RAW (Windows only) and a Tutorial DVD-ROM.
  • Power: The camera comes equipped with one Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger.

Pricing and Availability

The EPSON R-D1 rangefinder digital camera will be shipping in early November for an estimated street price of $2,999 through select camera retailers. The camera carries a one-year limited warranty and is also supported by the EPSON Connection(SM), a customer support and technical assistance line. For more information on Epson and its products, call 1-800-GO-EPSON (1-800-463-7766) or click here to visit Epson's website.