Pixii digital rangefinder gets bigger sensor, interactive viewfinder
Last year, France's Pixii SAS released a digital rangefinder camera that shared its workload with a paired smartphone. Now an update has launched, packing a higher-resolution image sensor, and a viewfinder that's now overlaid with shot info.
Today's smartphones can come with impressive camera arrays of their own, but despite often huge megapixel counts, the image sensors are relatively small compared to a standalone digital camera. And though add-on lenses are available for smartphones, camera glass they are not. The Pixii camera originally announced in 2018 offered a best-of-both-worlds approach to mobile photography.
Though the overall look and size haven't changed, the new Pixii rangefinder ups the original 12-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor to a 26-MP back-illuminated flavor with extended dynamic range (up to 14 stops), ultra-low noise floor and light sensitivity running from ISO160 to ISO12,800. The company says that the sensor should also work with "wider focal lengths and modern optical designs."
Users still look through the optical viewfinder to line up shots, but the new model overlays additional information such as exposure speed, compensation and white balance. All such shooting aids are displayed at the periphery of the frame, and it's now possible to adjust camera settings without taking your eye away from the viewfinder.
As before, the Pixii camera is designed to work with a smartphone. Photos are saved to the unit's internal memory – the standard model comes with 8 GB of built-in storage, but now the 32-GB option is joined by a 128-GB version – and a preview simultaneously wings its way to a paired phone for editing and onward sharing through a companion mobile app.
Elsewhere, the camera is compatible with Leica M-mount lenses, has an OLED settings panel up top, features an electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000 available, and boasts native iOS and Android support. USB-C is now your cabled option for faster charging of the 1,000-mAh battery, Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi are onboard, LUT-based color profiles offer natural or film-like images, and there's a monochrome mode for "true, 16-bit single-plane, monochrome DNG files for a color sensor."
Prices start from US$2,999, with the pre-order window opening on September 30 ahead of shipping from October 11. For those who jumped in for the first model, Pixii founder David Barth revealed that the company "also engineered the upgrade path to let A1112 model owners upgrade their camera to the new sensor."
Product page: Pixii A1571