just curious to know. for those who had used both the film rangefinder and also digital compact. you guys knows the pros and cons, if there is a digital rangefinder, than we can have the best of both world.
As a user of both film and digital RF, I'm embarassed to say it's the Lumix LX1 I take out with me over my other RF bodies most of the time. That's me, others might have a different take on this.
I got the R-D1 after a period of using film RF bodies as I preferred the digital workflow and did not take to scanning negatives. I primarily shot in the B/w mode which rendered film-like quality. A couple of months back, I picked up a LX1 and have not put it down since. I like it for its compactness and many functions which can be directly accessed via direct controls (aspect ratio, MF, macro modes etc). It also has full manual control as well as aperture and shutter priority modes. It shoots RAW too... an amazing little device for $800. Relatively wide lens for a compact (28mm equilvalent) and a decent optical zoom. Noise control can be a bit iffy but is pretty good to iso 200 and acceptable at iso 400... I wouldn't go beyond that unless you like big digital grain.
My RF shooting style has always been very candid, often shooting from the hip. The R-D1, while filfulling that purpose, did not perform the job that well. The shutter release was noisy and sometimes failed to release when arousing the camera from the sleep mode. Cocking the shutter with its fake film advance lever before each shot was getting to me too. The LX1 offered great quality without all those inconveniences and in a compact size. It was an obvious choice for me.
Not all lenses suffer from vignetting and I think the problem is more of the lens than body. The VC 12mm is one of those, even on the smaller sensor of the R-D1.
Btw, the only real difference between the R-D1/R-D1s is firmware. The R-D1 firmware can be upgraded to enjoy the same capabilities as the R-D1s.
The film advance lever does appeal to some purists. It does give the camera a very film like feel to it. If one were to reverse the LCD screen into the body, you can't tell that it's a digital. It even has a fake iso chart on the back of the screen!