The Apple iPhone’s camera is impressive by smartphone standards but, when compared to a DSLR or high-end compact, its capabilities start to feel a bit lacking. DxO wants to change all that, using one of the most bizarre iPhone accessories around.
The DxO One is a camera module that connects to your iPhone or iPad’s Lightning port, turning your device into a viewfinder and controller. The One has its own lens (32mm equivalent with an f/1.8 aperture) and sensor (1in 20MP CMOS) which its makers claim deliver DSLR-quality images, great low light performance and a shallow depth-of-field otherwise impossible to achieve on a smartphone camera.
There’s a full bevy of manual controls too, allowing users to tweak shutter speed, aperture and ISO (from 100 to 51200). Oh, and video can be recorded at 1080p/30fps or silky slow motion 720p/120fps.
Images are stored on a microSD card (in RAW if you want maximum post-shot editing capabilities) as well as in your iOS device’s camera roll, which means you can share photos and videos to social media straight away if you’re that way inclined. Imagine: people will wonder how your Instagram pics suddenly became five times better, and you’ll still be able to tell them you took them using your phone.
In terms of its physical build, the One is pocket-friendly and, at least on paper, sturdy: it’s 108g in weight, 69mm in height and constructed from “high-grade” aluminium. Its connection allows it to swivel when hooked up to an iPhone or iPad, which should help when you’re composing shots at odd angles.
If you’re intrigued, you’ll have a little longer to wait until you can try the DxO One out for yourself: it’s not due for release until the fourth quarter of the year. We’re on the list for a review sample, so look out for our considered thoughts some time in the next couple of months.