Now here’s something a bit different. Pixii, a French start-up company, has announced a rangefinder camera for Leica M mount lenses that, rather than employing a rear LCD, uses your smartphone to display photographs. Its argument being, your phone screen is likely to be a better way to view shots, especially if you have a newer handset. Many photographers now edit images on their phone too, or quickly upload them to social media.
Inside the sleek aluminium unit is a 12Mp APS-C sensor, an electronic shutter, and a 0.67x magnification optical viewfinder. Although there is a small OLED screen on top which shows the settings you used to take the shot, the actual image is displayed on your smartphone – the Pixii has only 8Gb of internal storage (4Gb in the launch model), and transfers the images over to a connected device via Bluetooth or WiFi. There is also a Li-ion battery, which you charge via the built-in USB port, and as mentioned it supports M-mount lenses or M39/LTM glass via an adaptor.
As it’s a rangefinder device, the Pixii is manual focus. JPEG and Raw (DNG) capture is supported, but there is no card slot. Other features include a manual shutter speed selector, automatic speed mode, quick ISO selection, and white balance and supplementary settings adjustment via the integrated menu.
The Pixii sounds very ingenious, and it looks great in a choice of Space Gray or Black Matte, but here’s the kicker: prices start at €2,700 (£2430) for the model with 4Gb of storage and €2,900 (£2610) for the 8Gb model. That is still cheaper than a pukka Leica digital rangefinder, however. Full details on the website, along with ordering.