Everyone knows that digital cameras have a big problem. It’s called the smartphone, and thanks everyone’s favorite mobile devices, there’s no reason to carry around a digital camera in your pocket anymore. DxO has come up with a solution for this problem for those who still want to sell digital camera equipment.

Seeing with the declining sales of digital cameras in pretty much all sectors but professional photography, DxO decided to ally with the enemy. Specifically, it created the DxO One, a camera lens that attaches directly to your smartphone.

This isn’t the first photo-happy component that comes in add-on and app form, but it does have a lot of appeal to the average consumer who wants to take above-average photos. The little one-inch long dongle plugs easily into a smartphone and includes a tiny screen to browse between different presets. When used, it can take photos with a 20.2-megapixel sensor that provides the equivalent of a 32mm focal length and a range between f1.8 and f11. Other specs include an ISO range between 100 and 51,200 and up to a 15-second exposure.


The DxO One also has a collection of other useful digital camera features, including the ability to shoot in a couple different formats, including RAW, and the ability to take 1080p video. This is all reviewed and managed through a photo app that gives you many other tools, including a great preview screen.

So far, so good, but there are a couple flags on the play. First the price is set at a steep $599, about what you might pay for a digital camera back in their heyday, but quite pricey for a smartphone add-on. Second, for now the DxO One only works with the iPhone or iPad – no functionality with other operating systems yet.

Third, with an eye to the future, is the problem of competing against smartphones’ on-board cameras. They are only going to get better over time, and how long will it be before the One’s specs seem pretty trivial because the smartphone can take sharp images just as well?

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