Epson have announced an exciting new product, the Epson Rangefinder Digital Camera
R-D1 *1 , the world's first rangefinder digital camera, in partnership with Cosina
Digital image processing technology is already being used in Epson's printer
drivers, high-resolution scanners and other input and output devices, but Epson
had been looking for new potentially intriguing applications for it, as well.
It was while scouting the possibilities that Epson met up with Cosina, a company
that can boast some of the world's foremost original optical technologies.
Cosina has developed outstanding original optics technologies in the production
of camera lenses while still maintaining a rigorous fidelity to the historic
photography heritage. Epson felt that if the companies were to use the rangefinder
camera platforma platform that is being left in the wake of progress toward
the digital ageand if they were to merge Epson's digital image processing
technology with Cosina's advanced optics technology, they might be able to discover
some completely new creative photographic possibilities. This idea led to collaboration
between the two companies, with engineers from both sides paying uncompromising
attention to detail during product development. Thus was born the R-D1
The R-D1 dares to swim against the high tide of fully automatic electronic
digital cameras. It is a digital camera that still manages to feel like a traditional
manual camera, for people who appreciate the peculiar satisfaction that comes
with the ability to use an analog camera well. In other words, the R-D1 is simultaneously
a state-of-the-art digital camera that offers outstanding performance and image
quality, and a throwback that offers camera buffs the look and feel of a vintage
film camera, as well as the joy of skillfully using their camera as a tool.
Digital camera firsts
Among many digital camera firsts, the R-D1 is the world's first rangefinder
digital camera. A rangefinder is a type of camera that has a built-in device
for measuring distance based on the principles of triangulation. The photographer
focuses the camera by superimposing two slightly different views of a scene
with the rangefinder. In general, compared to an auto-focus system, performance
does not change even if lenses are swapped, and focus can be achieved quickly,
accurately and with a light level that is nearly the same as the unaided eye,
even in dimly lit locations. In addition, since the field of view is not blocked
by the action of a shutter as it is with a single-lens reflex camera, the photographer
will not miss the decisive moment.
The R-D1 is also the world's first digital camera to accept Leica L- and M-mounts
*2 . As such, it offers a new platform that links the future with the past.
A huge number of lens types more than 200 have been created and
sold over the long history of photography. This camera gives twenty-first century
photographers a way to use these famed lenses from our photographic heritage.
The new camera gives photographers the chance to develop a new cult of photography
by allowing them to resurrect their familiar old lenses in a digital world.
The R-D1 also uses the world's first 1x viewfinder, enabling photographers
to view scenes including panoramas - through the camera as if they were
looking at scenes using their naked eyes. The camera also has the advantage
of improved focus precision compared to low magnification optical finders.
Epson = Photo
With "Epson = Photo" as its watchword, Epson is committed to bringing
color to life and to the way people communicate, by aspiring to create new possibilities
that expand the horizons of the digital photo market and by suggesting new ways
to enjoy digital photography using advanced digital image processing technology.
The R-D1 will be exhibited at the 2004 Photo Expo, which will be held from
March 19-21 at the Tokyo Big Sight.
*1 Epson Rangefinder Digital Camera R-D1 is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corp.
*2 The L-mount is adaptor-compatible.
Note: Lenses with external dimensions exceeding 20.5 cannot be used with this
camera. In addition, the following lenses cannot be used (correct as of March
Hologon 15mm F8, Super Angulon 21 mm F4, Super Angulon 21 mm F3.4, Elmarit
28 mm F2.8 (early models), Summicron 50 mm F2 (dual range Summicron), Hektor
50 mm F2.5, and Elmar 50 mm F3.5.