Is the DxO One the perfect camera upgrade for iPhone users? Andy Westlake finds out.
DxO One Review – What is SuperRaw?
High ISO shots are inevitably noisy, simply because the sensor is capturing very little light. One way around this is to use multi-shot noise reduction, whereby the camera takes several shots of the same scene in quick succession and then combines them to make a composite image. The idea is that, because noise is random, it will average out and be reduced in the final image, while real detail should be retained.
Plenty of cameras can do this, but usually only when shooting in JPEG mode. What’s different about the DxO One is that it can shoot four frames in quick succession and record them together as a single SuperRaw file (in effect, four linked DNGs). Compatible software, including DxO Connect and DxO OpticsPro, can then convert the SuperRaw files to JPEGs.
SuperRaw files certainly give reduced noise at high ISOs, although the converted JPEGs can acquire a somewhat unnatural over-smoothed appearance. The bigger problem, though, is the sheer length of time needed to process the 80MB files. On my one-year-old Windows 10 Ultrabook, each took more than four minutes to develop, which isn’t really very practical. It’s possible to use a faster ‘HQ’ conversion that takes a quarter of the time, but this results in visibly higher luminance noise. Overall, given the resources it requires, I’m not convinced that SuperRaw is worth the effort.