Monday, June 5, 2017

Seiko Epson RD1 vs Nikon D70s/D100 in 2017

Why did I pit these two together?? In 2017 ??

Both are CCD sensors, both are 6 megapixel and both came around more or less at the same time. Now read on:

Original Picture by James Bamford: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimbobuk/101871650/
I sometimes wonder if people are inherently crazy or if the collective human intelligence is diminishing due to all the GMO food, chemicals in water and air. Why am I saying that? 

Apparently we cannot ascertain the value of things with an aware mind. I came to this conclusion after reading about the Epson RD-1 series cameras and their exorbitant used prices on eBay. Too much ?


I first heard about this camera from a book written by Zack arias, Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers, which I had ordered from Amazon. Recently going through some website I came across this camera again. I went to ebay to check the prices and was shocked to see the average price of $1000 for the earlier models and $2000 for later models. Seriously?? For a 6 megapixel camera that came in 2004? You might as well get the Leica M8 or M9 for that many dollars. 

Original picture by Oliver Korbl : https://www.flickr.com/photos/okorbl/8728758558/

The RD-1 had quite a few iterations in the coming years like the R-D1s, R-D1x, and R-D1xG. According to Wikipedia the camera uses the same interline-transfer Sony CCD (Sony ICX413AQ) sensor as the Nikon D100 and Pentax *ist D, which was originally developed in 2002.  However the excellent sensor of the D70s contrary popular belief, even though with the same megapixel count, is a different version (Sony ICX453AQ).

Shot with a Nikon D100

Officially Seiko Epson stopped making it after 2007, but unofficially some “collector” cameras were available new until as recently as 2014. This is an age old “going out of business” sales trick. The Indian government owned HMT watches uses the same trick today to sell their watches. The trick involves announcing that a company is winding up and selling off their stock at a discount. People flog to the shops hoping to own something brand new that will cease to exist and at a discount, sometimes there is no discount but people buy it anyway, just for the thrill of owning it.

Original Picture by Michael Khan : https://www.flickr.com/photos/goforlaunch/25988852906/
Shot with a Nikon D100

Buying a camera just because it has fancy meters and dials is probably not a sound photographic practice. It makes you almost a fetishist. It’s not the camera buttons and dials, but the image quality that needs to be the bench mark for any camera purchase. Well that may be subjective, but I am sure you will not disagree if I say 6 megapixels is too less in 2017. Ofcourse if you are buying it for nostalgia, then it’s a different story. This camera does not justify any Leica or ZM lens on it because the sensor and its algorithms are too ancient to deliver anything worthy.

Shot with a Nikon D100

There are far better cheaper cameras which came around the same period as the RD1 like the Nikon D100, Nikon D70s, Minolta Maxxum 5D & 7D etc. Why I am I referencing these cameras here, now ?? They all came more or less at the same time and all of them are 6 megapixel CCD sensors.   I personally own a D70s and this camera doesn’t stop amazing me with its colour depth, rendition and tonal graduations, inspite of its meager 6 megapixel sensor.  If given a choice between a D70s and a D100 I will go with the latter as it has a full magnesium alloy body and can take a beating. This is a fun camera in 2017 for casual fun pictures of family etc, cannot be used professionally because of its meagre 6 megapixel sensor, still that's plenty for a home camera or a testing camera for main shoots for pros.

Shot with a Nikon D70s.

Trust me when I tell you the D70s is atleast 10 times better than the Epson RD1. If you want a strong magnesium body like the RD1 you can choose the D100 as it’s the cheapest pro DSLR available on eBay today. There are also tons and tons of cheap Nikon lenses that will easily resolve 6 megapixels worth of information. Remember the D100 is also a 6 megapixel camera like the Epson RD1 and they are in fact the same sensor.

Listen to me; make better use of your money. Put it in a bank or buy something for your children.

Cheers and happy clicking!



13 comments:

Alwin said...

Great article :) I am convinced CCD cameras 2-3 generations back were better in image qaulity than most cameras today. A blog compares fuji s5/s3 image with that of a canon 5d and states that even though parts of the canon pictures are excellent the whole image isn't as pleasing as the fuji ;)
There are a lot of articles on the web that bring out the importance of pixel size vs pixel density... and on an image sensor the pixel size has a much much great influence on picture quality than any other aspect, after all the pixels are the first point if contact of the image to the camera and any flaw is evident in the quality of the image. ;)
Well, on another blog a engineer compares cmos and ccd and states that cmos is inferior to ccd and strongly disagrees professional equipment with cmos sensors. I second whatever he says.
A very good example would be d200 and d300 both of which I simultaneously used. Well, the d300 features a cmos, 51 point focus, 3 inch 9k dots LCD! Better software, and compare to the d200 ccd, 10 point focus, 2.5 inch 2k screen, spartan software etc. And the d300 considering inflation was priced just a bit above the d200. So from where did nikon suddenly get the money for such an upgrade? Or did they compromise on something? Well imo they replaced the lovely ccd in the d200 with a cheap shit garbage cmos sensor in the d300!!!
And they continue doing that! Attract people with all kinds of bells and whistles like wifi, GPS, 1 Million ISO so that u can literally shoot in the dark and get 'good quality' images!
I would love to try the fuji s1 pro after looking at the lovely images, now that it's available for peanuts.
Nuff said!!

Viisshnu said...

Its true, there is no such thing as a bad CCD sensor. All CMOS sensors are inherently bad image makers and its only software and processing inside the cameras, that make the images they make look good. This is a fact, but fan boys of modern CMOS cameras will be out with pitch forks, I dont care. This applies to the "photographer/connoisseur". IF you are a working photographer its a whole different story. If you are one of those working photographers who requires convenience and speed instead of "finesse" and "excellence", there are only a few good CMOS sensors that come close to resembling output from a CCD sensor. Particularly some of the modern 24 megapixel APS-C sensors.

Viisshnu said...

Its a fact that the sensors from the S3, S5, D100, D70s, D200, D80, Maxxum 5D/7D, Leica M8, M9, Pentax K10D, Pentax 645D are all very very special, comparatively modern CMOS sensors have wrong colors, wrong illumination, wrong everything with the output....did you observe ?? the use of photoshop and lightroom increased 100 fold, right after camera makers started introducing CMOS sensor cameras... and still continues to rise as modern CMOS sensors are mostly garbage, particular;ly the ones in Sony and Canon. Look at the images of Sony A7R, they are utter garbage straight out of the camera and so are pictures from Nikon 800 series. Modern camera makers are relying more and more on software and internal processing than the imaging prowess of a particular sensor. This is also the reason why images from cameras like the Leica M8, M9, D200 dont require any post processing at all, if at most only extremely minimal.

Viisshnu said...

Please share the article from that engineer. Thanks in advance. :)

Viisshnu said...

Even though the D300 is better in every way than a D200, the image quality is utter garbage. I had to sell it because of this very reason and still kept the D200. I dont need 51 AF points, the 11 of the D200 are more than enough for me. Also the LCD on the D300 is rubbish, wrong colors. I love the LCD on the D200, even though the size is small. Its brilliant, what I see on the LCD is what I see on the computer monitor.

Viisshnu said...

Film cameras have no bells and whistles and they still make great images than any digital camera. 99.99% of all bells and whistles on cameras are just marketing gimmicks.

Viisshnu said...

The advantage of consumerism and fanboyism is that people like you and me can get things very very cheaply and never have to pay full price :D

Alwin said...

Indeed. I ve never heard of a bad ccd camera! For instance look at the pictures from the mavica 1 mp camera and you'll be stunned at the picture quality... The colour fidelity and integrity of the image is being preserved despite it being 1.3 mp and 'old tech'!
I ve read numerous articles on this subject and this particular article I read some time last year... but I do remember he first introduced himself as an engineer and went on to describe the cmos and ccd whereby he stated that the architecture of the cmos is not as refined and is flawed to start with. ... maybe if you look around in Google u should find or when I do I ll post the link ;)
Again, d300 is a garbage shit ass excuse for a camera and the screen on mine had a pink tint!! I was so fucking pissed I almost threw it in the dustbin, literally!! ... maybe it was made keeping journalists and sports in mind but for art it's definitely not !!! Cheap shit point n shoot quality images and expect us to tweak shit spending hours on computer screens!! Nikon should be sued!! Cmos sensors defeat the whole idea of shooting digital !! Digital camera imo should give u the freedom of shooting pics and having them ready in a snap and not go crazy editing on computer screens!!! I agree there's a whole lot of freaking processing in cmos cameras to make them look 'good' and on top of that editing on software in computers!! Yes, true since the advent of cmos, more and more time is spent I'm front of the screen trying to get good results... and if u notice customer reviews prior to 2005-2006, most talk about image quality out of the camera as the most important factor !! Compare now and u see ISO and 4k fanboys all the time! ! Fuck if u want video then get a video camera with good bit rates!! Imho VideƓ and still photography are completely different art and if u need exceptional video get a dedicated video camera for that .. A DSLR is just not made for video, I mean how the fuck do u compose video through the viewfinder?? A dslr in true sense has the mirror and vf for still photography!!! Fucking cmos fan boys don't understand ever! Maybe they have too much fluoride and gmo that their brains have gone rotten !! ;)

Viisshnu said...

Yes its true, even low megapixel CCD cameras of yesteryears have beautiful rendering than modern high megapixel cameras. You are 1000% right about the colour fidelity and color integrity. This is also the reason why this Leica shooter Ashwin Rao from steve guff photo sold off his Leica M 240 to buy back the Leica M9. CCD pictures have some kind of soul. I saw the video of this guy on youtube about this guy from Hollywood who shoots with the Leica M Monochrom which only shoots black and white says that its as close you can get to film with a digital camera. As you know already, its the CCD sensor in the M Monochrom, same as a M9 but without all the color processing... thats as pure as you can get to film with a digital camera. Its the same with the D200, converted black and white pictures from a CCD camera are amazing and my in camera monochrome mode on my sony a200 are divine, to say the least. Some of them are in my flickr page, have a look when you have time.

Alwin said...

I did read about this somewhere and I don't remember. .hehe. like me he felt going taking a step ahead in photography meant looking backwards ;) I am sure he ll keep it till his last breath!!
I had a sony a350 for sometime last year but gave it up as I couldn't stand the plastic build. I put it in the category of the worst built dslr I ve come across, and I have tried quite many ;)
That being said I have a very strong feeling that fuji in not so distant future will release a rangefinder/mirror less with their Super CCD sensor inside. Maybe it's gonna be full frame or not and whether it'll be limited edition I don't know. But what I know is it ll surely kick leica in the ass with its killer image quality which is out of the world!! Let's c fingers crossed double crossed!!!
I did check your flickr account but I don't recall seeing many bw images.. I will have a look later sometime. Cheers

Viisshnu said...

The D300 I had also had this weird brownish, pale green tint to pictures that was impossible to correct in photoshop. Images were shit. You are about the fact that it was made for these photo journalists and news paper shooters who dont need excellence or finesse in pictures.

Viisshnu said...

Its a video about a guy who grew up in hollywood, he has a nice hair cut. I saw it just yesterday, not able to find it. Hes wearing a black t shirt. He praises the Leicqa M Monochrom and describes it perfectly, it was gifted to him by his dad.

Alwin said...

Video..hmmm.. but I did remember reading it sometime back. It's hard to remember each n every article as I really read a lot ;) I think it's a good idea to bookmark whatever interesting I find, that way I can share when needed. Let the d300 rest in peace.. It just wasn't the right camera I guess.. I sold it earlier last month for 150$ (bought for 275$ in mid feb) with MBD10 and 2 batteries.. about 50000 shots and only about 1500-1800 from me.. u can imagine my frustration ;)
I would like to start a blog as soon as I compile all my work and make some order! Right now everything in my laptop is a mess. I hope I can sort it out soon and then me too- power to the people ;)

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