PIXII rangefinder with M mount: bold move ...

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
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.
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
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.
 

Christop82

Regular
May 2, 2017
34
Maybe Epson will release an RD2. I’ve never used an RD1, but it still captures my interest every time I see one for sale.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
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.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
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.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
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

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Andrew Lossing
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.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
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

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Andrew Lossing
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.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
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.
 

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