It’s pretty safe to say I’m a fan of the DxO One camera – as I’ve pretty much got it on me all the time. Cigarette-packed sized, it’s much smaller and lighter than any other camera in its class – because instead of a (proper) screen or controls, you plug in your iPhone using its Lightning connector and use an app instead. And the quality of the photos it captures is surprisingly high: not on a par with a full SLR of course, but more than good enough to use on the web or in print. It’s the camera I use most for interviews, dingy club nights and over-brightly lit private views – which are great for the artworks but awful for photography.
The DxO was released a year ago – so you’d expect an upgrade about now. But instead of new hardware there’s the latest in a succession of firmware and app updates for the current model – plus (finally) a series of accessories including an underwater/ruggedised case, a lens adapter and a stand.
The V2.0 app update includes the Mobile Smart Lighting feature that can create 'auto-toned' JPEGs from the RAW files that the DxO One captures – applying a greater or less amount of toning (how much is up to you) to quickly create better-looking shots that can be instantly shared on social media. The RAW files are, of course, unaffected.
An underwater-white-balance mode removes most of the blue cast of underwater shots (though leaving enough blue that you know it was shot underwater).
There also an 'on-demand' autofocus feature to save battety life – so the camera only focusses when you semi-press the shutter. Battery life is more accurately represented.
March 2016 saw the v1.3 update, which let you shoot photos without your iPhone attached for quick snaps – roughly framing using an pixelated black-and-white ‘live view’ touchscreen on the back of the DxO One. The new v2.0 update allows more considered untethered shooting, as you can connect your DxO One to your iPhone over wi-fi. You plug them together, select a setting in the DxO One app, unplug and off you go – controlling the camera’s setting using the app as you did before (we’ll have to wait until the update has been released in late September to discover if there’s any lag to this).
If your iPhone is currently on a wi-fi network, the DxO One connects to it too (taking your login credentials from your phone). If you’re in the middle of a forest, for example, it creates its own.
This works with the current DxO One hardware as it’s always had a Wi-Fi adapter built into it – it’s just not been activated until this software update.
To make using the DxO in this way easier, DxO has manufactured a £19.99 stand.
DxO One stand
The stand clamps to the bottom of the DxO, allow it to be attached to a tripod or free-stand – it can’t stand alone as it has a curved bottom to fit comfortably between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand when shooting in the usual way.
DxO One underwater/rugged case
The £49.99 Outdoor Shell is for use in ‘action cam’ environments, whether you want to use it underwater or just protected from the environment during your next extreme sports adventure (or particularly awful outdoor shoot).
The case is completely sealed – with a choice of two ‘back doors’. The first is splash proof, and has a rubber membrane on the back to allow you to manipulate the DxO One’s touchscreen. The other is waterproof down to 150ft/45m, but has more limited camera controls (though you can turn it on and off using a magnetised toggle on the front).
The case has a 30mm thread on the front for lenses and filters, a 1/4”-20 thread on the base for tripods – and is available in seven colours: Yellow, Coral, Lime, Olive, Black, White and Lagoon.
DxO One lens adapter
If you want to use different filters and lenses without the Outdoor Shell, there’s a £19.99 Optical Adapter.
The Optical Adapter has a 30mm thread for a wide-range of filters and lenses.
DxO One pouch
Lastly there’s a £15.99 Zipped Pouch to stop your DxO One getting as scratched as mine.