Epson is developing technology for use in digital cameras and has not ruled out the future launch of another interchangeable lens model.
‘Whether we come out with another version of the R-D1 is a possibility,’ said Rob Clark, executive director of Epson’s European Marketing Division.
Clark claimed Epson is ‘expert at commoditising a niche [market]’ and said the firm would re-enter the digital camera arena if it felt such a product was ‘commercially viable’.
In an interview with Amateur Photographer, Clark said that Epson marketed the R-D1 digital rangefinder camera as a ‘technology statement’.
Epson launched the now-discontinued camera in 2004, in a partnership with Cosina.
‘Since then we have been developing elements that would be used in digital cameras,’ he said, adding that Epson announced development of electronic viewfinder panels in 2009.
‘There are other elements in development,’ he told us.
He refused to reveal further details but said Epson is planning to launch 100 new products over the next 12 months.
Clark indicated that Epson is now playing a waiting game – keeping a close eye on the growing market for compact system cameras.
He was speaking to AP at the Old Trafford football ground where yesterday Epson announced a sponsorship deal with Manchester United.
Last year Epson announced mass production of ‘high-resolution’ LCD electronic viewfinder panels for ‘mid to high-end’ DSLRs.
Borrowing technology from its projector line-up, the 1.44-million-pixel electronic viewfinder screen – the first in Epson’s Ultimicron range – was designed to replace traditional optical viewfinders.
Epson predicted that its use by DSLR manufacturers will lead to ‘smaller, thinner digital cameras’.
Picture: Epson president Mr Minoru Usui with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the ‘multi-year’ sponsorship deal announcement on Friday