Is the DxO One the perfect camera upgrade for iPhone users? Andy Westlake finds out.
DxO One Review – Build and handling
With its robust shell, there’s little to fault about the DxO One in terms of build quality. It certainly doesn’t feel delicate, and I was quite happy dropping it into a bag or pocket when taking it out and about.
The lens is protected by a sliding cover when it’s not in use. Pulling this downwards turns the camera on and releases the sprung Lightning connector from its folded-in position. DxO says that the connector is quite unlike those used for other devices, such as charging docks, and has been tested to survive 38,000 connection/disconnection cycles. While it’s designed to connect firmly into the iPhone, it will also release when placed under stress, and is ‘fused’ so that it will fold into the body when pushed hard.
In practical use the One works rather well. This is due substantially to the rotating Lighting connector, as you end up with, in effect, a small camera module attached to a large rotating touchscreen for viewing and control. This isn’t unlike Nikon’s classic split-body Coolpix 900-series designs from the early days of digital, and the advantage is that you can hold the camera comfortably at waist level, rather than in front of you. It does, however, mean that you’re liable to shoot everything in landscape format.
I tried the One on the iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. To me, it seemed better suited for use with the smaller-screened models, as the 6 Plus feels a little too large and awkward. In all cases, operation is very much a two-handed affair – one to hold the phone and the other to hold the camera. I wouldn’t trust the safety of either expensive device to the friction-based connection between them, no matter how well engineered it is. It’s worth pointing out that some phone cases can interfere with the connection too. The One can also be used on iPads with a Lightning connector.