Is the DxO One the perfect camera upgrade for iPhone users? Andy Westlake finds out.
DxO One review – Performance
The whole point of the DxO One is to provide better image quality than mobile-phone cameras, and with its 1in sensor and fixed-focal-length lens it does just that. DxO has considerable experience in image processing, and it shows when looking at the One’s images. Colour rendition is pleasant, even in dull weather, with accurate yet saturated tones aided by well-judged auto white balance.
The lens is excellent. It is a little soft in the extreme corners at large apertures if you examine the images closely, but it gives sharp results across the frame when it’s stopped down to f/5.6. There’s no visible distortion or chromatic aberrations, so images look clean even when viewed close-up.
At low ISO sensitivities images are sharp, clean and highly detailed, and noise only starts to have an impact at ISO 800. At higher sensitivities there’s an inevitable deterioration of fine detail, but I’d still be reasonably happy shooting at ISO 1,600 and 3,200. Beyond this things go awry, and while ISO 6,400 and 12,800 are usable when necessary, the two Hi settings (equivalent to ISO 25,600 and 51,200) are a step too far.
The DxO One’s Achilles’ heel, though, is battery life. DxO claims it can shoot up to 200 frames per charge, but in my experience this is wildly optimistic. I found the battery meter dropped alarmingly quickly during normal use, and I rarely got more than 60 or 70 shots per charge, even when I got into the habit of turning it off immediately after every shot. This might be OK for casual users who take just a few pictures every couple of hours, and are used to recharging their phones at the end of every day, but in my opinion it seriously dents the DxO One’s credentials as a camera for serious photographers, who would probably be better served by an enthusiast zoom compact such as the Canon PowerShot G7 X or one of the Sony RX100 series. It is possible to recharge the camera from a power bank as you go along, and even shoot at the same time, but this isn’t very practical.