Home M-Mount Pixii Plus with improved rangefinder to aid focus with fast lenses

Pixii Plus with improved rangefinder to aid focus with fast lenses

The unusual M-Mount but APS-C equipped Pixii gets a major upgrade, with a much-improved rangefinder. The French company has developed a devoted group of users and appears to be dedicated to development…

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The new Pixii Plus camera features an improved rangefinder with a base length increased by 13.5mm. The extension of the triangulation helps increase focus precision for use with ultra-fast lenses such as those with f/1 aperture. The larger base measurement also provides extra clearance, up to 72mm, to accommodate the larger barrels of the fastest lenses.

Focusing comfort

Pixii’s engineers have combined these optical enhancements with a new mechanical design. The rangefinder optic is now controlled by a micro ball bearing sliding along the translation shaft. This both increases the focusing comfort and improves the overall accuracy to a large degree.

The optical viewfinder with a magnification of 0.67x offers independent LED backlit frame lines for standard prime lenses of 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm (full-frame equivalent). The viewfinder incorporates exposure indicators, a dynamic information display and automatic parallax correction. The intensity of the LED elements can be adjusted.

Full Macfilos review of the previous Pixii model

M-Mount

Using the Leica M-Mount, the Pixii is capable of working with almost all modern and vintage lenses from Leica and third-part manufacturers. The APS-C sensor results in a crop factor of 1.5 which increases the focal length of lenses made for the full-frame Leica sensor. A 50mm lens, therefore, becomes in effect a 75mm when mounted on the Pixii.

The 26MP backlit CMOS sensor, no changes here, uses the 3:2 format and features a standard Bayer colour filter but no low-pass filer. The all-electronic shutter operates at speeds ranging from 2s to 1/32000s. There is a native monochrome mode as standard.

The camera body, is machined from aluminium and offers an accessory shoe, tripod socket, and strap lugs. The body dimensions are 138 × 79 × 33 mm and the weight is 460g. Controls include a manual shutter-speed selector with automatic speed mode, a two-stage shutter, a top-panel OLED display screen and in-finder control screen for settings and menu selection. Internal storage ranges from 16GB to 128GB, depending on specification at purchase. Since there is no SD slot, the choice of internal storage size (below) is an important consideration.

New software, magnetic eyepieces

The Pixii Plus is accompanied by a new software release which adds auto ISO, focus peaking and zoom, geotagging, improved out-of-camera jpegs and EXIF support for lenses using an external viewfinder. All the new software features are also available to owners of the A2572 version of the Pixii.

In a new development, Pixii is introducing a range of magnetic eyepieces which simply snap into place in front of the viewfinder. They provide for -3 to +3 diopter adjustments. The company claims that the magnifying power of 1.5x helps users to focus more precisely when using long focal lengths. The 1.5x correction lens is suitable for focal lengths of 50mm and above.

All Pixii cameras feature an APS-C sensor with a 1.5 crop factor in relation to full-frame lenses. So, for instance, a 50mm M lens is transformed into an effective 75mm focal length.

The Pixii Plus, as with all previous versions, is available directly from the manufacturer in France. The starting price for the 16GB model is €2,699, pre-tax. The model with 128 GB storage costs €3,150.

Read our full test report on the Pixii (preious version)

More on the Pixii camera

Now you have seen these improvements, have you changed your mind about the Pixii? Have you pressed the WANT button, or are you still on the fence? Please let us know in the discussion below.


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9 COMMENTS

  1. I got my camera back from Pixii’s upgrade service last week and I am really happy with the “Plus” finder enhancements. The rangefinder spot is clearer and more uniform throughout, and the change in window position opens up the camera to a much wider range of lenses. Just for yocks I tried my M-adapted Canon 50mm f/0.95… and while it cuts off about half the rangefinder patch, there’s still enough left that I can focus the beast! Most of the more common lenses that would make sense to use on a Pixii should be no problem (although you still have to watch out for lenses that are too “fat” around the base obstructing access to the lens release catch.)

    One note: the article text describes the 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm lines as “full frame equivalents,” but they are NOT. They are the view fields for lenses of those marked focal lengths when used on the Pixii. I know you know this, but for noobs: focal length (e.g. 28mm) is a simple physical property of the lens that doesn’t change no matter what camera the lens is on; the only thing that changes is the angle of view. The Pixii finder shows what its sensor will see at each marked focal length: if you mount a lens marked “28mm” (for example) and set the finder for that focal length, the frame lines will correspond to the angle of view that 28mm shows on the Pixii (roughly 46 degrees along the width of the frame.) No “equivalents” or other mumbo-jumbo required!

  2. I sold my Minolta CLE because all my ZM lenses hoods obscured the secondary rangefinder window so I think this was a necessary step, still painful it’s half frame format and still too pricey I think.
    I would also worry they might go out of business and the app would stop working….
    All the best, Mark

  3. Good to see that Pixii keeps on improving. I really hope they succeed! Eventually they will IMHO have to bit the bullet though, either go full frame, or develop a dedicated set of APS-C lenses.

  4. “The choice of internal storage card is an important consideration.” Yes, it certainly is. Who would choose 16GB? It only makes sense if you have the larger storage option. Most people wouldn’t choose 16GB for a smart phone let alone a camera.They should simply make a 128GB storage model only as standard and be done with it.

    • I agree that 16GB is there for one reason only — to make the “come on” price look more attractive. I cannot imagine anyone opting for such minimal storage, even with a 24MP sensor. 128GB is the realistic minimum in my view.

    • Especially since Pixii also promises the ability to upgrade sensors and processors and therefore has the potential of an greater longevity.

  5. Thanks Mike,
    It’s good to see them investing in what can’t be cheap improvements and should mean they’re in it for the long haul.

    I wonder whether this camera is aimed principally at people who want to move into rangefinder photography, or as a backup to photographers who already have a Leica for example or who want something more portable?

    • Pixii has said in various statements that they designed their camera for people who are looking to feel more involved in their photography, who want a camera that is interesting to use, and who want a camera that’s modern and updatable. All that makes sense to me in the context of how the camera is designed. I also suspect that, being a small company in a niche market, they wanted to minimize the use of proprietary components and custom application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that would have resulted in multi-million-dollar startup costs. The fact that it’s a “software-defined camera” makes it easier for them to adopt different components and adapt to supply-chain disruptions. It seems like a smart way to be an independent, low-volume camera company in the 21st century…

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