Photography

Pixii digital rangefinder gets bigger sensor, interactive viewfinder

Pixii digital rangefinder gets...
The Pixii digital rangefinder offers a hands-on photography experience while also leveraging a smartphone for editing and sharing
The Pixii digital rangefinder offers a hands-on photography experience while also leveraging a smartphone for editing and sharing
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The Pixii digital rangefinder offers a hands-on photography experience while also leveraging a smartphone for editing and sharing
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The Pixii digital rangefinder offers a hands-on photography experience while also leveraging a smartphone for editing and sharing
The new Pixii camera upgrades the image sensor from 12 megapixels to 26, with 6,244 x 4,168 active pixels and each sized at 3.76 µm
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The new Pixii camera upgrades the image sensor from 12 megapixels to 26, with 6,244 x 4,168 active pixels and each sized at 3.76 µm
The new Pixii digital rangefinder has been upgraded to USB-C for faster charging
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The new Pixii digital rangefinder has been upgraded to USB-C for faster charging
The optical viewfinder is now augmented with settings info around the periphery of the frame
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The optical viewfinder is now augmented with settings info around the periphery of the frame
The Pixii camera is available in gray or black, and now comes with a 128-GB storage option
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The Pixii camera is available in gray or black, and now comes with a 128-GB storage option
The Pixii digital rangefinder is compatible with Leice M-mount lenses
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The Pixii digital rangefinder is compatible with Leice M-mount lenses
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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.

The Pixii camera is available in gray or black, and now comes with a 128-GB storage option
The Pixii camera is available in gray or black, and now comes with a 128-GB storage option

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.

The optical viewfinder is now augmented with settings info around the periphery of the frame
The optical viewfinder is now augmented with settings info around the periphery of the frame

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

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1 comment
1 comment
nick101
Not a bad idea, but many cameras, including mine, work more-or-less seamlessly with smartphone apps, and cost WAY LESS than $3000!