Home Cameras/Lenses The Pixii rangefinder camera is here — what do you want to...

The Pixii rangefinder camera is here — what do you want to know about it?

Product image shows the Pixii rangefinder camera with a Leica 28mm lens attached
A remarkable camera: The Pixii version 3 has a 26 MP sensor and a 64-bit processor. And it looks good, doesn’t it?

I have waited for this opportunity: The French start-up, Pixii, has released the 2023 version of its APS-C rangefinder camera. Finally, I have one for testing — right now! —I and will review it for Macfilos. I am very happy to take up your questions. So, what do you want to know?

The Pixii is a contemporary rangefinder camera with a strong emphasis on connectivity. It features a modern optical rangefinder that displays more information than its Leica counterparts (such as ISO and focal length). Furthermore, the Pixii does not have a rear screen, so you use your smartphone instead. The camera lacks a mechanical shutter (it’s all electronic) and a flash hot shoe (cold shoe only). On the other hand, it does have a state-of-the-art 26MP APS-C sensor, which scored almost unbelievable marks on DXO.

The Pixii rangefinder camera is in its third iteration now

I have with me, of course, the latest version of the Pixii, the 2023 model. It boasts a 64-bit processor and many other improved features. I had been planning a review for a long time. However, it took a lot of patience to get my hands on the camera. To be honest, I almost lost all hope when Pixii founder David Barth contacted me in a very friendly way. By the way, the Pixii costs between €2699 and €3150 plus VAT (€3212 to €3749 here in Germany), depending on the size of the internal memory (it does not accept memory cards).

What I can already say: The Pixii is a substantial and serious camera

I don’t want to spoil any conclusions I might draw in my forthcoming full review. But I can already say that the camera is unique and tremendous fun to use. Despite being cheaper than even most second-hand Leica digital rangefinder cameras, there is nothing cheap or provisional about it. The rangefinder supports (in full frame) lenses with focal lengths of 28, 35, 40 and 50mm. However, with a crop factor of 1.5, this is not a wide-angle camera for sure.

Any questions about the Pixii rangefinder? Very welcome!

But what do you want to know about this very special camera? I want to make the most of my limited testing period before I have to return the camera to Pixii, which has generously and trustfully lent it to me. On my list: usability with different lenses (Leica and others); image quality in both colour and black and white; connectivity and software. I can’t promise to address all your questions and ideas, but I’ll do my best.

This is the first and final call for questions: Feel free to use the comments section to tell me what interests you about the Pixii. So, what would you like me to look at in more detail? Have you heard things about the Pixii that you would like me to verify?  Are there any other points that you would really like to see covered in the review? Write in the comments section, but hurry up; my time with the Pixii is limited…

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  1. Hi Jörg-Peter
    Battery Life seems to be a real problem with the previous version (one person I spoke to couldn’t get more than about 40 shots!)
    Let’s hear!

  2. Dear all,

    thanks for all your questions. I will try to answer as many of them as possible in the upcoming review. So stay tuned! Jörg-Peter

  3. Dear Jörg-Peter,
    I’ve read in a French photo review that the new Pixi could take 21 & 24mm lens. Were they misinformed?
    I had the plasure to deal wirh your local Leicastore in Konstanz and serice was top-notch.

    • I believe it can but it only has frame lines for 28, 35 and 50mm if I recall correctly and unlike Leica no (add-on) EVF and no rear LCD.

  4. Sounds really interesting, but I’d like to hear your response to the last four comments – Des, Hank, Slow and Keith. And where does one order/buy the camera?

    • just google their name they have a shop in their site navigation. Cameras are priced by memory size.

  5. Hi Joerg-Peter, how often will the rangefinder mechanism need to be calibrated? How much will it cost? Will there be any service centers in the US, or would the camera need to be shipped to France? Thanks! Keith

  6. How easy is it to use with glasses? I have read that there is no diopter adjustment. Have they already implemented auto ISO? Supposedly it was coming as a firmware update. Large lenses. Can it be used with large lenses?

  7. I would like to know about its reliability. I follow a few Facebook groups about this camera and many people have issues with the camera crashing. Also, battery life seems on par with an early Sigma Foveon camera – ie, abysmal.
    I think that when they finally sort out the bugs, the camera has a future. I’m curious to hear your experiences.

  8. Dear Joerg-Peter – lucky you! I had the good fortune to borrow one from my good buddy Hamish Gill, generous man that he is. I had been able to set aside some cash from selling my Q2M and in my mind I was set upon buying the Pixii – but I didn’t. I saw it as a real alternative to Leica’s monochrome vision with the ability to take colour seamlessly from the same body. There were various issues that I did not manage to overcome. Worst was that on occasion consecutive shots would show wildly varying white balance – one I remember was a rural scene that was first unpleasantly lime green followed by a reddish version. sometimes it would ‘choke’ and deliver a black image other shots might resolve with quite different exposures from what were nominally the same scenes…
    So, questions: a fresh evaluation of mono shooting please (I thought it a positive experience); colour too; the ease of quickly checking exposures on a phone (then putting the phone away for me); how do you find new processing speeds with the new chip (not by comparison as you haven’t used the previous one); size and feel (I like the size with a small lens but found it a bit ‘slippy”; rangefinder patch, too small? I found it a bit of a struggle but not disastrously so; is the screen big enough to show all the display info if used?; base and high ISO performance .
    It has so many fine (and disruptive ) characteristics but I couldn’t convince myself enough to buy one despite my earlier inclination. Do try the Zeiss 35mm 2.8, it is an almost perfect match. I really look forward to your opinions – it is an itch I would still like to scratch. A monochrome camera you can take colour on – what’s not to like!

    • I, too, dislike the idea of being forced to use a smartphone. I tend to take photographs and return home to process them. Seldom am I motivated to share images while out and about. If I do need a quick pic to share, I prefer to use a smartphone to take the shot.

      On the other hand, this lack of a screen or electronic viewfinder would not put me off the Pixii. I loved the concept of the Leica M-D and, in many respects, the Pixii uses the same principles. As with the M-D, it offers photography without distraction, much like a film camera.

      But, of course, the Pixii will not be for everyone. I am certainly interested to read Jörg-Peter’s conclusions in due course.

      • Yes, I would be fine with waiting to check my images on the computer and I don’t want a rear screen ( especially outdoors in bright light ) for composition so that is a good point of the Pixii. The M-D way of shooting would suit me just fine! I can totally live without a smart phone other than using it to make and receive calls where someone actually talks to me!

  9. From the webpage:
    Shooting monochrome is a real choice:
    the DNG does not contain any color information.
    I like too see some Mono DNG results from this Camera.

    • Yes. I think more on b&w will be good, since it claims do much more better on mono. And the reason I am interested on Pixii because I want to get alternative of mono Leica M-Digital

    • Sorry – you can’t get monochrome benefits in DNG if you have a bayer filter . . . . it just means the black and white conversion is being done in camera rather than in post (and why would you limit yourself like that).
      Monochrom is a definite benefit if you don’t have a colour filter array . . . . if you do it’s just a case of where you do the conversion and I’m willing to bet Lightroom is more flexible!

    • Yep – rolling shutter is really important if it’s electronic only
      Especially how does it work in artificial light on slower shutter speeds (less than 1/50)


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