#1021. Pixii : it’s not all doom and gloom (in the photo gear market)

By philberphoto | News

Jul 09

My last post reported that Olympus had decided to exit the photography market. Sad!


Coincidentally, nary a week later, a new company is launched that has a product that -to say the least- dares to be different. Innovative and bold!

This company is Pixii. It first announced its plans in 2018, and got itself a design award in 2019. But now, it seems, it is ready. Really!

Their product does certain things that DearSusan’s Pascal J has been advocating for quite a while. Like making use of your smartphone as the camera LCD, and good integration between the two devices. Like reducing what is on the camera to the simplest. Like taking advantage of existing lenses on a pre-existing mount (it is mounts, actually, with the help of an adapter). Cool!

It also does things in a way that DS certainly didn’t anticipate. Like embody the world’s most expensive APS/C camera. Yes, that includes Leica, and the ill-fated wood-bedecked Hasselblad-by-Sony. Pricy!

Like incorporate a rangefinder, which is running against the trend towards better/cheaper EVFs. But a rangefinder does offer a very different shooting experience. Like having a base ISO 320. And their presentation does allude to “fighting a monopoly”, which suggests that they had trouble with Sony’s sensor division. They also do not disclose sensor resolution, but the pixel pitch leads me to believe it is around 14 Mp. Which should please big-pixel-lover Pascal J no end. High-resolution lovers less so, including yours truly. Original!

My purpose here is not to pass judgement on a camera we haven’t tested (hear that, MM Pixii?). But to show that not all is doom and gloom. The Pixii alone won’t reverse the tremendous fall that camera sales are taking. But it does show that the power of photography to attract talent and capital is still alive, and that innovation is the only way out. Welcome to Pixii, the world’s first post-COVID camera! Welcome, welcome!


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    There’s always a market for someone who “dares to be different”.

    I’ve been sitting around waiting for SIGMA’s “next”, something there have been whispers about for several years – a full frame with their Foveon sensor, capable of an “effective pixel rating” of way over 100MP, with all of the stunningly different performance of their Foveon sensors.

    Some people say “pot-eight-o”, some say “pot-art-o”. Some say “tom-eight-o”, some say “tom-art-o”!

    BTW – as I said earlier, Olympus camera division has been through this before, around 20 years back, and is still there. It is just under new ownership – and the new owners are not the kind of “asset stripping money mad Wall Street jerks” who normally buy up other people’s unwanted businesses – it’s a firm which has a commitment to seeing what it can make of Olympus, with new management. So let’s just wait and see what happens. They are a good product with a large fan club.

    Talking them down could crush the business.

    Talking them up could be much kinder, and perhaps extremely helpful, during this difficult time. The market is in a “difficult time” now for all sorts of reasons, including COVID-19.

    Getting back to Pixii – 14MP isn’t “bad”, it’s just “different” – but so is 24MP, 36MP, 45MP, and 100MP. Plenty of pros will tell you they prefer shooting with 22-24MP. Others – like PJ – love 100MP. And there are other cameras out there with only 12MP. And cellphones threatening to “best” all of them.

    It isn’t “what you buy” – it’s what you do with it.

    Maybe Pixii will be the “ultimate street camera”? With other hordes of people swinging from the rafters, trying to get hold of one, that they can slip in their pocket and whip into action without warning, without even being noticed? The cam that’s not a cellphone, but one that you can “take anywhere” so you’re never caught without a camera?

    I do like the rangefinder idea – and hey, that ain’t unusual – I used rangefinder cameras most of my life, and plenty of Leica lovers still do! Off topic – I’m swinging away from built-in meters to external ones, because in many situations that I shoot in, they give a much more reliable/accurate/appropriate reading. The “herd” is swinging away from SLRs/DSLRs, towards mirrorless. Everyone wants change – something new, something different. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”. Bring on the angry soldiers!

    • philberphoto says:

      I beg to differ with your statement that “there is always a market for someone who dares to be different, Pete. The Ford Edsel was different, as were the Tucket before it, and the DeLorean after it. And how about the Beechcraft Starship? In our own industry, the Light and Lytro cameras. Being different is not enough, it also needs to fill or create a market segment. Otherwise, it is called a solution looking for a problem…

  • Dallas says:

    Interesting expensive concept but APC what were they thunking! You last shot is a gem

    • philberphoto says:

      Many thanks, Dallas! There are reasons why they could have gone APS/C. Probably easier, lighter and less expensive (I can’t bring myself to write “cheaper”), and also different from the Leica M10 and other FF cameras… It also made sourcing a sensor easier, and reduced the need for powerful data processing…

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