M-Mount PIXII rangefinder with M mount: bold move ...

Leica M-Mount cameras and lenses
Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
I searched the forum for a discussion about this, but it seems to have passed under the radar so far: Discover Pixii

Today, they published a couple more specs, and now it's clear it's an APS-C sized sensor - with global electronic shutter (so, silent - and still nor rolling shutter!) and 12MP big(!) 5.5micron pixels.

It's a true rangefinder - with no screen but the ability to control the camera via a smartphone app. It's small, but is built mostly of metal, and the lack of a screen means one point of failure less ...

I'm a bit torn about this - but first and foremost, I think it's a fascinating project, taking on Leica on their own turf, of all things, and bringing a technology to the market that is pratically unique in the consumer camera market (to date). It's bold, and it's intriguing. I'm just getting out of APS-C, so it's a counter-intuitive camera to feel interested in, but on the other hand, I do have the glass to use it with ... I'll keep watching this, that's for sure.

What's your take on it?

EDIT: btw. The framelines mentioned (28/35mm, 40/50mm) have me baffled; if they're true, it's kind of unhelpful for an APS-C model; if they're equivalent, it'd really be helpful to know ...

M.
 
Hmmmm. Don't like the design of the casing. No place for thumb to fall, and it will need a grip of some kind on the front. Also, a bit of a PITA to have to pull your phone out if you want to check a shot quickly. I know we all managed perfectly well without a screen before digital... but why go down that path now when we don't have to... If I want an analog experience, I'll use a film camera. Sorry, Matt, it leaves me a bit cold.
 
12-Bit sampling is a drawback.

Connecting to a smartphone for control saves space, I hope the RF Link can be switched off while taking pictures. I would rather have a dedicated Touchscreen that connects when required, I have something like this on a Minox Digital.
 
Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
I agree with all the criticism voiced so far; however, we've never seen a global shutter in any production camera - yes, the 12bit pipeline doesn't bode too well, and yes, it's a bit on the daring side resolution-wise, but this is a far more modern camera than a M8 or even a M9, and I really don't care if there's no screen - I hardly use it on the G1X III when out and about (it's folded away by default). I use it surprisingly often on the M10 when shooting new lenses or trying to assess stuff, but while travelling, I really didn't bother a whole lot. I can't say I'll ever get this thing, but pending performance, I won't say I never will, either. At the moment, I'd much prefer to lay my hands on a mildly used M-D 262, to be honest - but that's just GAS, and a rather mild case, given how much I love shooting with the M10.

I find the choices and decisions quite impressive, anyway. I'll give the whole project the benefit of the doubt because I welcome competition and innovation within this peculiar niche.

M.
 
After 7.5 years, my M9 showed the beginnings of the "dreaded S8612 cover glass corrosion" issue. Packed it up and sent to Leica for a new sensor. The cost of the service includes a full CLA and 1 year warranty for the camera. I know what OnSemi charges for a KAF-18500 CCD, the owner is bearing a fraction of the repair cost. I think it is worth it. I plan on using the M9 and M Monochrom pair until they can no longer be repaired.
 

agentlossing

Hall of Famer
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Name
Andrew L
Well, I was initially kind of excited. I read the initial reveal and perused the website before they had added the most recent info. And later on I found myself really wishing I had a camera like that - barebones, good viewfinder, manual focus M lenses, etc. Leica is well outside of my hobby price range.

Now I'm irritated! APS-C is a stupid decision, all but ruins the promise of the M mount lens library, and the proposed price is ridiculous! A couple grand cheaper than a Leica new, but not even priced that competitively with used Leica models of a few years ago. In my opinion they took the promise of the concept they announced and made some cost-cutting (and price inflating) decisions that shot the whole project in the foot. Damn.
 
Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
I think the fact that they showed the body with the Voigtländer 21mm f/4 gave away that it would be APS-C early on. I find myself in a slightly odd position because I don't have any reason to defend the product - I just think it should be judged by what they try to achieve. The global shutter sensor can - in theory - be a considerable step forward in terms of speed and accuracy. The whole concept tries to mate today's shooting habits and the classic rangefinder experience. But *if* you go APS-C in today's market, you can do it way cheaper - so the innnovative sensor actually drives the price up, and then some (the known sensors of that type are around $2000 each!). So that alone forces you to make a "premium" product. But in this day and age, a 12MP APS-C sensor will appear counter-intuitive to most - especially to the smartphone crowd that, according to the website, should be excited by the camera itself. And the APS-C format alienates M mount afficionados, as we've already seen in this thread. I think that while it's, once more, a bold decision, it's probably not a wise one.

I'll leave it at that. I'm interested in finding out how the camera will actually perform, but at that price and with that feature set, I'm no longer considering getting one. Should it turn out to be a speed demon or low light monster, this assessment might change again - but I have my doubts on both counts (the latter is practically impossible - 12bit pipeline ...).

M.
 

agentlossing

Hall of Famer
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Name
Andrew L
I wish the price was less than half what it's supposed to be... The global shutter seems like an unnecessary branch into less affordable components that isn't really strictly called for by the concept. Why not just throw a 24mp full frame sensor and standard shutter in and call it a day? All the ostensibly revolutionary smartphone integration, simplified hardware and simplicity of use would remain intact. I think this project is suffering from a strange feature bloat combined with some unfortunate cost cutting. We shall see what comes of it all. Maybe they'll put out a different model.
 
The 1.5x crop factor, coupled with 12-bit sampling- it needs to be priced under $2000. An M9 with a replaced sensor is in that range, is full-frame and 14-bit sampling. I've "pushed" the M9 to ISO5000 with decent results. But given the cost of an F1.1 lens these days, the ISO2500 is plenty of speed for low-light.
 

agentlossing

Hall of Famer
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Name
Andrew L
If it succeeds enough to get the ball rolling on some competitors, I'm all for it. I think this camera tries to do too many different things, such as the global shutter and APS-C sensor. A more conventional shutter on an off the shelf full frame sensor would be a better match, and probably cheaper.

I'd take a modern Cosina digital m-mount camera in a second!
 

serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
It looks like new 26MP version is coming out, maybe using the Fuji-Sony apsc sensor:


"Pixii now integrates a new miniature display that projects key information directly into its optical viewfinder. For the first time in a rangefinder camera, Pixii lets you interact with all camera settings, without leaving the viewfinder, for a more immersive experience."

"Sensor:

26MP BSI-CMOS sensor
6244x4168 active pixels, 3.76µm pixel pitch
3:2 APS-C optical format (1.5 ratio to 35mm)
Electronic shutter, speeds from 2s to 1/32000
12-14-16-bits programmable AD converter
Programmable gain from 0 to +36dB
Native gain: ISO 160 up to ISO 12800
Output: RAW (DNG), GPR (compressed) or JPEG format
Bayer color filter
Optical stack with micro-lenses, no low-pass filter, IR filter < 1.0mm
Output: RAW (DNG), GPR (compressed) or JPEG format"

"Price and availability:

The new Pixii Camera now starts at just 2999 euros (incl. 20% VAT in Europe, $2999 before tax in
the US). The 32GB version will be available for 3240 euros, 64GB for 3380 euros and 128GB for
3540 euros.

Pre-orders start on 30.09. The first orders will ship on 11.10."
 
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The Full-Well Capacity is better than 2.5 that of the original camera, means scenes will not saturate and blow out as easily.

These specs look good. Price is about the same as the Epson R-D1 when it came out.
 

agentlossing

Hall of Famer
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Name
Andrew L
I got the email today. It is getting better, more compelling now than it was for sure. I wonder why it's still electronic shutter only. I would want to see some testing and evidence of whether rolling shutter will be a big problem.

Even so, it's kind of tempting to think of getting one, sticking my silver (LTM era) Voigtländer 35mm Color Skopar on it and having a modernized, compact 50mm rangefinder setup. $3K is, well, probably the value of all my camera gear, though. So no.
 
I am smelling the cheese on this one. And I am old and do not want to leave a lot of money to my heirs.

You may all know that I carp about Leica. They could be so much more than they are but seem so introspective that all they can do is minimal improvements on an electronic M3. They seem to primp and prance like they make the best but stumbled badly on the M8/M8.2 and M9, both of which I have and like a lot despite their failings. But that is the problem with a Leica, it requires a degree of masochism. And now those crafty French have come out with what Leica M series should have been, could have been. I may well be ordering the PIXII tomorrow.

It has fine image quality and I fear for the M9 giving up the ghost, updated sensor, board and all. 30K+ actuations. And I would like to really see someone kicking Leica in the shins for their sins of lackluster engineering. And I like to see smart start-ups succeed and I really have a soft spot in my heart for the French that has come from living with them. On est obligé.
 
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