DxO One review

DxO puts its optics design and image correction knowhow into a 20Mp camera for your iPhone

DxO One

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The DXO One is a very small camera that can be carried in the pocket of your jeans, yet has a 1-inch type sensor like the ones found in some of the best compact cameras. It also has a large maximum aperture and an equivalent focal length that's close to the classic street photographers' favourite (35mm). In addition, it's easy to connect it to an iPhone and can be used with any iOS device that has a Lightning Connector, so it effectively has a very high quality touch-screen. It's also easy to use and gives photographers full control over exposure.

DxO One connection

This step-through from DxO shows how the Lightning connector flips out from the camera body and plugs into the iPhone.

However, in practice it can be a pain to use as a replacement for a regular camera and you find yourself fiddling about unlocking your iPhone, ducking out of email or trying insert the connector quickly when you really want to be just flicking a power switch and pressing the shutter release. It can be used without the phone but it operates in automatic mode and the lack of a built-in screen means that composition is guesswork.

We liked

The beauty of DXO's approach to connecting the One to an iPhone physically is that there's no waiting about for a Wi-Fi connection and it won't lose the connection. The camera also fits almost seamlessly into the operating system and images can be stored on your phone – plus there are raw files on the card if you want them for post-processing. It also means that you can use any of your favourite apps to apply effects and it's very easy to share images to your preferred social media sites or by email.

We disliked

While the One's connectivity is its strength it's also a weakness. You have to remember to unlock your phone or go to the home page before you connect the One in order for the app to open correctly and then there's a second or two delay before you can start shooting. A dedicated camera would be ready in less time.

There are also a few bugs in the system and we had several occasions where the camera or app crashed or it wouldn't return to shoot mode after being asleep for a short period. These are issues that DXO is likely improve with firmware upgrades – as well as add new features like a digital level – but for now they can be an issue.


At the outset of this test I was pretty excited about using the One, but by the end I was less enthusiastic. It may be small, easy to connect and offer lots of control, but I'd rather use a traditional camera that is ready for use within a second of it being pulled from my pocket, is easier to use when on the move and has better battery life.

However, the One produces great quality images for a compact camera and it makes a fun, if expensive iPhone accessory. If you're looking for a very compact device to enable you to take better images with your iPhone (with a Lightning Connector) then it's a good option. However, if you're looking for a compact camera you are better off with something like the Sony RX100 II or Canon G7 X.