Why Are They Making the PIXII Rangefinder Camera?
The Pixii Rangefinder Camera is a new kind of camera. And it’s being introduced by a French company! Just when you thought the Japanese and Germans had the market cornered. Different? Yeah. You press the shutter and the picture is revealed on your smart phone. They felt that the simplicity of their design is the result of a natural evolution. Could be. Although the LCD’s on the camera backs are improving, they certainly cannot compare in size or quality to the newer Retina screens.
The Natural Evolution of Cameras
Pixii is designed for the new generation of photographers. Everyone has a smartphone now. The smartphone has become, by and large, the number 1 camera in the world. At the same time, the traditional camera market has collapsed. Was it killed by the smartphone? Probably not, but photographers clearly chose not to buy uninteresting cameras anymore. (and uninteresting they are)
They feel this is the end of the line for the digital camera designed in the 80s: a sensor, a CPU and a screen. (80’s is a bit of a stretch, but Kodak did have some 1.75 MP behemoths at $20,000+) All of these components were necessary back then. Because computers were rare and hard to use. Except it’s 2018 now. Who seriously needs a fixed function computer and a bad LCD at the back of a camera?
Pixii is the fusion of 2 essential elements: the physical camera body and the software, virtualized into an app. Virtualizing software to accelerate innovation: does that sound familiar? Connecting objects to a smartphone. To resist the rise of the smartphone some manufacturers have been trying all sorts of things : adding more software and functions inside the camera, putting a phone inside a camera, a touch screen, etc. With the results we all know.
Of course, photographers know that lenses are generally safe values. But the software and screen of a camera can quickly get outdated, sometimes even before getting out of the factory. By moving software and screen off the camera they can make both parts better with a simple download. The camera software now evolves at the speed of an app. The camera body is updated directly from the Cloud. And when you upgrade your phone, you get a better screen and a better processor for your photos. Keeping safe those hard earned lenses,… and now your camera too.
At the Heart of Pixii
Pixii is designed with a smartphone in mind. But the mind that matters is the mind of the photographer. They put the screen and the software in your pocket, not in your way. A clear camera design was necessary to make it a good tool. One that lets you understand the basics and go beyond. Direct manual control, no side-wheels and no screen between you and the scene you want to capture. You press the shutter and the picture is revealed on your phone.
A True Rangefinder
A bright optical viewfinder lets you frame images naturally. With the optical rangefinder you precisely select the focus in the scene. Once you try it, there is no turning back. Lenses? M-mount lenses compatible. So, just tap into an amazing collection of renderings, with lenses from Leica, Zeiss, or Voigtlander.
Optical viewfinder with coinciding rangefinder (magnification 0,67X)
LED backlit framelines with exposure indicators
Automatic parallax correction
Automatic led intensity adjustment
Framelines for standard prime lenses: 40/50mm, 28/35mm
CMOS sensor, 5.5µm pixel pitch
12-bits sampling rate, and high dynamic range (60-90dB)
Global electronic shutter
Native gain: ISO 200, programmable from 100 to 6400 ISO
RGB color matrix, optimized with micro-lenses
IR filter, no low-pass < 1.0mm
(Megapixel and sensor size has not been released yet)
Interchangeable lens system
Manual focus and aperture control
M compatible lens mount, also compatible with M39/LTM lenses (with adapter)
Dark chamber designed to fit collapsible lenses
Machined aluminium body
Finish: silver anodized, gray, matte black lacquer, carbon titanium (special order)
ISO accessory shoe, standard tripod socket and lugs for carrying strap
Dimensions : 138x79x33mm
Weight: approx. 460g (incl. battery)
Manual shutter speed selector
Automatic speed mode
2 stage shutter button: exposure metering/lock, shutter release
Quick ISO selection, white-balance and supplementary settings via integrated menu
OLED control screen
ARM processors (2) with integrated FPGA accelerator
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, Bluetooth LE 4.2 (upgradeable to 5.0)
8Go or 32Go internal storage
Li-ion 7.4V battery, 1000mAh capacity, model NP-FW50
Integrated USB charger
Programmable suspend and power off timer
Looking forward to seeing a great camera,….in the meantime,….Vive la France!
Photo credits: Victor Bellaïch, William Gonnet, Matthew Henry, Chloé Marguerie, Nicolas Waltefaugle.