Do you really need a screen in the back of your digital camera? According to the French startup Pixii the answer is no, because your screen is already in your pocket — it’s your smartphone. That’s the entire premise behind the Pixii camera, a retro-looking rangefinder whose development started more than two years ago and is now ready to order.
The Pixii is, in short, a digital rangefinder camera with an aluminum body, with a 12MP APS-C sensor, an electronic global shutter, and a lens mount compatible with Leica M lenses. The only screen available on the camera is a small OLED on top, near the controls, which only shows the current image settings. There’s also no SD card slot, eschewed in favor of internal storage (4GB or 8GB). The pictures taken by the Pixii are saved locally and then beamed to your smartphone, where you can watch them, sort them and instantly share them, way better that what would be possibile on a traditional camera display.
The proposition is certainly enticing. After all this is more or less what you get with a Leica M-D, which also lacks a rear display, or a Fuji X-Pro 3, where you can shot with the display closed against the camera body most of the time. The problems lie somewhere else, though, namely in the quality of the pictures shot by the Pixii (not the best, to put it mildly, according to some first test shots shared by the company) and especially the prices, which aren’t justified given the lack of so many elements of a modern camera: €2900 for the base 4GB model and 2900€ for the 8GB model. While lacking AF, a display, external storage, plus being reliant on a smartphone basically all the time, The Pixii is marketed in the same price range of professional mirrorless cameras such the Sony a7R IV, Canon EOS R6 or Nikon Z7. As much as we’d like to like the Pixii for its bold concept, there absolutely no reason to buy it at this price over alternatives in the same tier.