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DxO One for iPhone – Quality and powerful external camera


If you want to take pictures for social networks – the built-in iPhone camera is enough. With each new model, smartphone cameras get better, but a large lens can not fit in a compact package. For those who want to get a higher quality than even the best Apple smartphones can provide, there is DxO One.

Should I spend $ 500 on an external camera for the iPhone? Let’s find out.

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The characteristics and design of the DxO One lens

The company DxO is known for its utilities for working with photos and testing smartphone cameras – by the way, the new iPhone 8 received the highest rating of their rating. DxO One is the first device released by the company.

DxO One for iPhone differs from other additional lenses, which have nothing but the other field of view – this gadget has its own lens and even a touchscreen. iPhone is used only for management, framing and sharing. Pictures can be saved to the phone and to the MicroSD card installed in DxO One.

Although the DxO camera connects directly to the Lightning port on an iPhone or iPad, it does have its own built-in battery. The DxO One gadget does not work with Android-based devices, although in addition to Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector, Wi-Fi connectivity is supported.

The compact case accommodates an impressive hardware – a 1-inch 20.2-megapixel lens provides much more detailed shooting than a built-in iPhone camera. A sensor of the same format is installed on advanced compact cameras, for example, Sony RX100. However, One from DxO shoots video only with a resolution of 1080p and a frequency of 30 frames per second, and the latest Sony RX100 V model will pull and 4K.

At the front is a 32 mm sensor with full-frame equivalent and aperture f / 1.8. The combination of the sensor and the lens allows you to capture light much better than the standard iPhone camera, which improves the quality and is especially useful in low light conditions.

External camera control

In the DxO One application, you can simply take great pictures in automatic mode or manually adjust the exposure for each photo. The camera supports shooting in RAW – for saving and editing this format on the iPhone there is Adobe Lightroom Mobile application.

USB-connector and a slot for memory cards are under the cover – they allow you to charge the device and transfer images to your computer.

On the outermost DxO camera are two physical controls. The shutter button on the top is convenient when you need to quickly take a picture – using the iPhone screen only as a viewfinder. To turn On and open the Lightning connector, lower the lens cap down.

A small monochrome LCD display DxO One is used to display camera settings or preview images, although the need to connect to the smartphone remains.

The connection is very reliable, the camera can be turned from side to side and are not afraid of breaking communication. The connector is designed to withstand a lot of pressure without damaging the connector on the smartphone.

DxO One Kit

In addition to the external DxO One camera, you will find a USB cable, a power adapter, a tissue cleaner to clean the lens, and an illustrated 12-page manual.

The DxO application is downloaded from the App Store. When you purchase a more expensive version for $ 600 , you get brand-name utilities from the manufacturer – DxO Connect, Film Pack and Optics Pro.

Performance and Interface

DxO One for iPhone has an excellent application and interface – better than other external cameras. The exposure is adjusted by a simple scrolling on the touch screen. The only iOS-device with which it is inconvenient to use this gadget is the iPad Air tablet.

The camera can be easily carried in your pocket and connected to the smartphone only when you need to make a 20.2-MP snapshot. The application is launched very quickly, previewing starts almost instantly – One here does not lag behind the iPhone built-in camera and its interface.

The maximum speed of operation of the electronic shutter is 1/20 000, the maximum ISO level is 51 200. These are decent characteristics for an amateur camera, and even more so for a telephone accessory of this size.

DxO One is well suited for shooting static scenes, such as landscapes and portraits. However, the maximum continuous shooting speed is only 1 fps – because of this it is very difficult to catch a moment that lasts a fraction of a second.

When using Wi-Fi, instead of wired connection, the performance is not greatly reduced, but sometimes the device lags. The transfer of the finished image from this camera to the smartphone via Wi-Fi takes longer than from the compact cameras. But, DxO One could not be called the best external camera for the iPhone, if not a connection through the Lightning port.

Image Quality DxO One

Pictures are obtained the same quality as the Sony RX100 or other cameras with a 1-inch sensor. The colors are bright, the images are detailed, the dynamic range is significantly improved compared to the base camera of the iPhone – although it does not reach the DSLR level.

For high ISO images, DxO recommends using its own SuperRAW format, in which 4 pictures are combined into one to reduce digital noise.

If you set ISO 51 200 (the maximum value), the raw photos will look mediocre, but after processing in the software from DxO, the quality will increase noticeably.

During video recording, only electronic image stabilization is available. There is no separate flash on One, but the f / 1.8 lens in combination with the SuperRAW format allows you to take photos in very low light conditions – if this external camera is mounted on a tripod or other stable surface, of course.

The result

The design, software, convenience and performance of DxO One for iPhone are impressive, however, for this you will have to pay too much. It also disappoints the fact that only iOS devices are supported.

For the same price, you can buy a compact RX100 camera with a Zeiss lens and a variety of management tools or Canon PowerShot G9 X with a 1-inch sensor and built-in Wi-Fi.

I recommend One from DxO only to those who are willing to overpay for the convenience, quality and ability to simply transfer pictures to the iPhone. Owners of SLRs and mirrorless cameras will appreciate the compactness of this device. Fresh versions of the DxO application are released regularly, thanks to which the gadget released in 2015 remains relevant today – especially the addition of Wi-Fi. Producer promises soon to also launch the service Facebook Live for online broadcasts.

Previously, attempts were made to create an ideal camera for a smartphone. For example, Sony QX100 for $ 500 and Olympus Air 01 for $ 400 – both connect only through Wi-Fi, suffer from poor performance and can not boast of convenient software. Their only advantage is the support of devices based on Android.

Advantages of DxO One

  • 1-inch 20-MP sensor
  • 32 mm equivalent, lens f / 1.8
  • Connecting via Lightning or Wi-Fi
  • Support for SuperRAW and RAW formats
  • Excellent software

Disadvantages of One from DxO

  • Overcharge
  • Too slow work
  • Does not support Android devices

Portable and compact external camera DxO One for IOS – review