French startup Pixii has an interesting idea to advance modern photography: its upcoming rangefinder camera looks like a sleek shooter on its own, and pairs with your phone to store and display pictures you’ve shot.
The company hasn’t yet revealed much about what the Pixii camera will have under the hood, but we do know that it’s a rangefinder with an optical viewfinder and a digital CMOS sensor with support for ISO 100 – 6400.
To recap, a rangefinder camera offers a larger frame through the viewfinder than what a traditional through-the-lens camera would, making it easier to anticipate and compose shots, especially in event or street photography. This video from CamCrunch explains how it’s different from regular cameras.
It’ll support M-mount lenses from Leica, Zeiss, and Voigtlander, show backlit frame lines for 40/50mm and 28/35mm lens fields of view, and offer automatic parallax correction. Since it doesn’t have SD card slots, you can opt for 8GB or 32GB of storage, and connect to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The idea, it seems, is to offer users a powerful, flexible and extensible tool for photography, while also taking advantage of your phone’s capabilities for reviewing, editing, and sharing your pictures. I can’t say that the lack of a screen is advantageous, but perhaps it’s just freeing up the Pixii team to focus on making a great camera rather than having to build a killer interface and extraneous features that your phone can offer.
We also don’t know what the Pixii will cost, but it’s clear that this isn’t aimed at people who are already satisfied with their phone cameras. You’ll have to take into the account the fact that you’ll need to spend on lenses as well, so this system will likely set you back by a fair bit.
According to Leica Rumors, it’ll go for about half the price of a digital Leica M, which comes to $3,500. So yeah, this sounds like it’s made for semi-professional and professional photographers.
I love having a decent camera on my phone, but sometimes, it’s just not good enough if you’re hungry for detailed images and flexibility. That’s why I’ve begun lugging my bulky DSLR around lately. Naturally, wireless connectivity and the option to use high-quality lenses will sweeten the deal for folks like me. Now if only Pixii can make this reasonably affordable by the time it’s ready to ship around December.