Epson: World first camera no more
No more of the world’s first digital rangefinder cameras will be made. Epson has confirmed that it will not produce any further units of the R-D1 or R-D1s, despite acknowledging a recent upsurge in interest in such models.
Instead, Epson plans to concentrate its ‘R&D’ resources in other areas of its business, according to a UK spokeswoman.
The confirmation appears to spell the end of the R-D1 and its successor the R-D1s, production of which has sold out in Europe.
The Epson UK spokeswoman told us: ‘We regret to say that we will not be able to fulfil existing demand. However in Japan the product is still available. At the moment there is no plan for a successor model.’
Launched in 2004 the R-D1 carries a 6.1-million-pixel model APS-C size CCD imaging sensor.
Production of the R-D1 was limited to 10,000 units.
Based on the Voigtländer Bessa–R chassis, it was the first such camera in the world to be built as a 35mm-style rangefinder model.
The R-D1 was capable of accepting Leica M-mount or L-39 screw-mount optics - the latter with the aid of an adapter.
The UK spokeswoman added: ‘Due to recent launches in the very niche segment of rangefinder digital cameras, the interest and total demand increased unexpectedly. As Europe is one of the biggest markets our limited production has sold out earlier than planned.’
The R-D1s was launched in the UK last year, just months after Epson said that the upgraded model would not be available over here (see AP 29 July 2006).