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Epson shows off prototype Epson R-D1 series successor that was never released

Last November, we wrote about 30 in-box Epson R-D1s digital rangefinders that were uncovered in a warehouse. When Epson discovered the old cameras, they announced a contest for dedicated Epson fans to win a chance to purchase one of the found cameras for the cost of refurbishing (around $18). Epson has now unveiled another exciting tidbit for fans of the defunct camera division at Epson, a look at the Epson R-D1s successor that never made it to market.

The camera was unveiled as part of an online fan fest called the ‘Epson R-D1 Last Appreciation Event.’ The event was held as one of many events Epson has announced or held since finding the 30 old R-D1s cameras. The recent event was live-streamed, and unfortunately, a replay won’t be uploaded until March. However, lucky for us, many screenshots from the presentation have made their way online.

It’s interesting to learn that the Epson R-D1x wasn’t intended to be the final Epson interchangeable lens camera. The rangefinder was officially discontinued in 2014. Then again, I suppose it’s rare for a company to know when its final camera has been released at the time. You always hope for success, even if there are reasons not to expect it. The successor to the R-D1s looks surprisingly different. Epson’s engineers were certainly ambitious.

Development work on the R-D1 series successor began in earnest in 2010. However, despite getting to the prototype stage, the project was canceled due to a shrinking digital camera market and declining R-D1x sales.

The successor was going to feature an electronic viewfinder, which is quite surprising for the time. Despite being over a decade old, the design wouldn’t look out of place today. It features a large rear display and a timeless design. It looks good.

It’s neat to see a behind-the-scenes look at camera design and get a glimpse at a camera that never was. It’s a shame that the Epson rangefinder series came to an end. Still, it’s nice that in 2022, the Epson R-D1 series is getting another moment in the sun and its fans another chance to come together and celebrate an important part of photographic history.

This article comes from DP Review and can be read on the original site.

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