Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/10/29

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Subject: [Leica] Epson R-D1 vs. M8?
From: grduprey at (
Date: Sun Oct 29 12:50:55 2006

I thought the RD-1 was $3000, which would make the M8 only $1795 more, seems 
a reasonalbe increase for a far superior camera.


-------------- Original message from David Young <>: 

> At 29/10/2006, you wrote: 
> >For those who have used both an R-D1 and M8 -- how much actual 
> >difference is there in the feel and image quality? I really like 
> >the idea of a digital rangefinder capable of using Leica M glass. 
> >However, $6000 is cost prohibitive for me and I'll bet for many 
> >other "advanced amateurs". Used R-D1 are priced within my 
> >grasp. What am I giving up for the $4000 difference? I figure that 
> >the digital technology in either camera will be obsolete long before 
> >the hardware wears out. 
> > 
> >Rob McClure 
> Hi Rob! 
> First of all, the price will be under $5000 US, so it's a mere $3000 
> extra! 
> Secondly, there is no comparison. The RD-1 is a really neat little 
> camera, but Leica have gone out of their way to produce a sensor 
> (with Kodak's help) that works much better with w/a lenses. (More 
> sophisticated micro-lenses.) 
> Thirdly, although the RD-1 is quite easy to use, the M8's firmware is 
> much more intuitive... very much like an "M". (I wish my DMR were 
> that easy to use!) 
> Fourthly, the RD-1, like all sub-MF digital cameras - other than the 
> DMR and M8 - uses a low-pass filter to reduce the chance of geometric 
> noise (Moire patterns in the shots). These filters work by blurring 
> the image, which the firmware then re-sharpens afterwards. Although 
> this process can yield some very nice looking shots, the fine detail 
> is lost, and no amount of sharpening will bring it back. That's why 
> the DMR is most often compared with Canon's 16mpixel IDS MkII. The 
> M8 is every bit as good! 
> Lastly, though the RD-1 is nicely made, the build quality of the M8 
> is far superior . 
> So, like everything else in this world, you get what you pay for. 
> How do I know all this? Because, through the courtesy of Tom A., I 
> had the pleasure of using a pre-production copy for a week, in early 
> September, and from using one at the Leica Akademie, a few weeks 
> ago. See: I've taken hundreds 
> of shots with the M8 and my only wish is that they do as well with 
> the next "R" camera! For more, see my upcoming article in the next 
> LHSA "Viewfinder". 
> As for being obsolete before the hardware wears out, this is 
> true. However, 'obsolete' does not mean no longer of use. After 
> all, each September every car in the world is rendered obsolete by 
> the introduction of new models. Do we all immediately go and throw 
> away our old cars? Do they no longer work, quite 
> satisfactorily? If a camera works and provides a quality photos in 
> the sizes of prints you make, why would you replace it? 
> I still use my Leica SL - obsolete for some 30 years... but it still 
> takes fine photographs! 
> Buy the M8. You won't regret it! 
> Cheers! 
> --- 
> David Young, 
> Logan Lake, CANADA 
> Wildlife Photographs: 
> Personal Web-pages: 
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