DxO ONE camera
While compact camera sales are experiencing a downturn that’s in part due to smartphones, DxO, a brand previously associated with image processing technology, has entered the camera market. Its first-ever release, the One, is a companion device for iPhone and iPad that claims to capture professional quality images. It’s not the first camera to be aimed at smartphone users looking for better image quality, but it does ofer a unique set of features designed to turn heads.
Despite being only matchbox sized, at the One’s core is theworld’s smallest 1in BSI (Backside Illuminated) CMOS sensor. This sensor is physically much larger than that found in an iPhone, helping to improve both dynamic range and noise control in shots, while simultaneously boosting detail capture with its 20.2MP resolution. Native ISO range stretches from 100-12,800, while a burst of RAW files can be captured at 8fps, or Full HD video recorded at 30fps. Its 32 mm equivalent lens is perfect formost day-to-day subjects and benefits from a large f/1.8 aperture.
Connecting via a Lightning port that flips out from its side, the One ismostly controlled via an iOS app that enables full, Manual shooting. This efectively turns the attached device’s display into a LiveView monitor, with touch focus and a fullmenu for shooting options including various metering and white balance modes. Once the shutter is triggered via either the on-screen icon or the One’s single top button, a JPEG, DNG, or DxO’s own Super RAW format file is saved to a micro SD. A small OLED screen on the One’s rear displays the available memory and remaining battery life (approx. 200 shots when fully charged), but can’t be used for Live View.
When not attached to an iPhone or iPad, the camera’s functions are limited to the fully automatic capture of video or stills.
In terms of image quality the One is on a par with similarly priced compacts that carry a 1in sensor. This is to be applauded given its truly diminutive size. Howeverwith a relatively short battery life, restricted independent functionality, and a price tag of £4 0, it’s not going to appeal to everyone.
While not to a ‘professional’ level, the One does fulfil its aim of giving iPhone users improved image quality and greater control. At its current price though, it is expensive.