by MFA student Karineh Gurjian.
I have to say I love technology and gadget that are so “techi” going to CES for me is like being a kid in a candy store. Yes I love my traditional photography training and shooting a 8x10 transparency is a totally different experience. My body does go into a shock when I hear someone tell me well I can shoot the same thing you are shooting with my iPhone. But I know any camera from a pinhole to an iPhone, when the camera is in the hands of a trained eye and a trained professional the image will be something very different than someone just snapping away.
With that being said here is the latest in the line of attachments for your phone. The DxO One is a small camera that plugs into an iPhone to radically improve the quality of photos you can take while on the go. It has a lens and sensor, similar to what you might find in an advanced compact camera like the Sony RX100 IV, but borrows your phone's screen so the camera itself can stay absolutely tiny.
It's neat, fun to use and delivers photos comparable to other cameras with similar specs. But it also has some quirks and a relatively high price tag. It costs $600 in the US.
Design and features
The design is clever, but has some annoyances. The system consists of a palm-size rectangular camera and an iPhone or iPad app. The front cover slides over the lens. When you slide it down, it turns the camera on; pushing it down again pops an Apple-standard Lightning connector out of the side of the body. I don't like that you have to push it down to get the connector back in, though, because it usually means turning the camera back on in order to do so.
The camera has a real two-stage shutter button (for half-press prefocusing), though the camera uses an electronic shutter.
Saying the One's photo quality is significantly better than the iPhone 6 Plus' is true, but it's also an unfair comparison: the One's a full-featured camera with a bigger sensor and faster f1.8 lens with a physical aperture that you can vary for real control over sharpness zones. The company says that in good light the photos are about the same, but that's only if you only plan on viewing them on theiPhone screen.
Even on an iPad I think they're much better, if only because the higher resolution -- 20 megapixels vs. the iSight camera's 8MP -- provides more detail and the One's color and exposure are tons better.Relative to cameras like the Sony RX100 series or Canon G7 X the One produces somewhat better in-camera JPEGs.
The low-light results from SuperRaw processing look somewhat better than out-of-camera JPEGs from other cameras, but the default JPEGs look a little worse, as if the One doesn't have enough power to do as good a job as a standalone camera.
At the end if I had extra $500.00 I would buy it and play around with it but for now I can wait and see what the second generation of the camera is going to be like.