Seiko/Epson R-D1

Started Dec 10, 2011 | User reviews
Peter Nelson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,890
Seiko/Epson R-D1

I have had this camera since 2006 and it's now 2011 and I'm still using it several times a week. That has got to speak for itself, especially when you consider I have the Kodak FF DSLR the SLR/n, Canon 1DsMkII, Nikon D1H, 50D, 20D, 450Xsi and 300D and Olympus E-P1 and Pannasonic G1.
The 6mp provides excellent IQ and at a smaller file size. When using my Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux First Version the IQ is as good as that from my 1DsMkII. The R-D1 is a real all mechanical camera that happens to have a digital sensor and reversing/closable LCD screen. It's a pleasure to use and the shutter cocking lever is exactly like a 35mm film cameras. It provides me with a good rythem for my work flow. All the mechanical controls are external for everything, it's the only camera I know of that is like this.
I used this camera without flash with the Summilux at f/1.4 this past Thanksgiving and the images were better than those from my 1DsMkII with 580EX flash and off camera flas bracket and a whole lot smaller and lighter to use. I was using the R-D1 in very dark conditions at ISO 1600 and slow shutter speeds as low as 1/39 sec and many at 1/45 sec. But because there is no mirror to flip up and then flip down there is very little vibration so the shots came out sharp.
The viewfinder works very well for me and focusing is one of the most enjoyable things about this camera. The all manual focusing is very exacting and this improves the sharpness and image detail over other cameras.
It also takes all of my 9 Leica lenses, which are very small and portable.
The smallish size of the R-D1 makes it the most portable of all my better digital cameras save the Oly E-P1 and rhe difference between these two cameras in size and weight is not all that great.
If I were someone reading this I would search around untill I found one of these excellent cameras and purchase it. Even if it takes 2 years to locate one. That's my advice.


I oiled the shutter relese button and within 5 images I could no longer advance or open the shutter. This was my mistake and I was responsible for damaging this camera. I sent it out to Steve's Photo in California, the repair bill was $350 which included some new parts and some new black camera body covering material. I consider the money very well spent and would pay for any future repairs for my R-D1 I like it that much. Other than my stupid mistake the camera has proven to be 100% reliable and has never failed me.

Epson R-D1
6 megapixels • 2 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Mar 11, 2004
Peter Nelson's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
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