With all the hype over the Leica/Sigma/Panasonic L mount alliance, it’s easy to forget about the Leica M mount. But not everybody’s forgotten about it. French startup PIXII SAS has announced their new Pixii camera. It’s a new digital rangefinder camera, based around the Leica M mount, and the specs have been released.
PIXII founder, David Barth, says that “the digital camera hasn’t changed much since the 90s” and that the Pixii will take advantage of the proliferation of smartphones. I’m not quite sure I agree with that assessment, but I do like the direction the Pixii seems to be taking. Essentially they’re offloading a chunk of the work that normally resides in your camera to your smartphone.
It has no LCD on the back and no SD card slot. It communicates with an app on your mobile device which “develops” and shows the images on your smartphone screen. Taking some of the functionality away from the camera and into your phone is a smart move. It allows them to regularly update and easily disseminate one of the biggest things that holds cameras back. The software.
But let’s look at those specs…
- 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 with 5.5um pixels
- 12-bits sampling rate, and high dynamic range (60-90dB)
- Global electronic shutter
- Native gain: ISO 200, programmable from 100 to 6400 ISO
- RGB colour matrix, optimized with micro-lenses
- IR filter, no low-pass < 1.0mm
- 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, grey, matte black lacquer, carbon titanium (special order)
- ISO accessory shoe, tripod socket A ¼, 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 an 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)
- 8GB or 32GB internal storage
- Li-ion 7.4V battery, 1000mAh capacity, model NP-FW50
- Integrated USB charger
- Programmable suspend and power off timer
The front lens mount is Leica M, although the camera is obviously not made by Leica. It will also take M39 and LTM lenses by use of an adapter. Focusing and aperture control are fully manual and the shutter speed can be either automatic or manually controlled.
There is a shoe mount on top, but no mention of flash capability or compatibility. Hopefully, it would at least offer basic single pin firing. There’s also no mention of video, which leads me to believe that it’s incapable of shooting it, which is hardly surprising in a manual focus rangefinder. Especially one that doesn’t even have a built-in LCD.
PIXII SAS hasn’t released a price or an actual availability date on the camera yet. They’ve just said that information will arrive in the coming weeks. Find out more on the Pixii website.