A trip around the world shooting fashion with DXO ONE
I discovered the DXO ONE camera by accident. I needed to do a comparison between a few camera models and the www.dxomark.com website is usually where I go for this. While I was looking at comparisons, I came across the ad for the DXOONE. It was not exactly what I was looking for but it may work, that was my thought.
I normally shoot with a Canon 1Dx and 5D II body and I needed something small to replace the 5D II body. I could not decide between a small point and shoot camera and a mirrorless MFT body. I needed something I could use in small tight locations and light to carry. I was opting for a MFT body with a wide angle zoom to replace the 5D II body with a 16-35mm f/2.8 II lens. I have been using the 2 body combo for close to 3 years and by now and I knew the wide angle setup was only being used on minor occasions. the 5D II was never my primary body, I mainly used it during backstage on a few occasions when I needed that wide angle shot.
So, that is how I found myself at DXOmark, with nothing specific in mind. After seeing the ad for the DXOONE, I looked across the web for reviews on the camera and I could not find any. What I did find was a few press releases on dpreview.com and if I went by the comments on those press release this was not the I would be buying. I would say 99% of the comments on the about the DXOONE were negative. I have never been an early adopter of new products, I have always waited for the product to be widely available, with multiple reviews and videos available before making a decision on the product. Here , I find myself with a choice to make. Buy the camera and hope it goes well or settle for something else and wishing I had made the decision to by the camera when reviews start pouring out.
I made the decision and pulled the trigger, the camera would arrive with 2 weeks left before my trip and I could test it see how good it works. If it did not work, I could return it and go about my business with a different camera. Now the release day came and the camera got here just in time, popped it out of the box and I was very impressed with the packaging. It was very minimal with nice protection for the camera. Went to the Apple App store and I downloaded the App and the corresponding software for the camera from DXOONE. Everything went great, got the software loaded, took a few shots and I was happy with the results. Then I popped the camera back in the box.
With 2 days left before my trip, I wanted to make sure the camera was charged. This was when I discovered the LCD on the back of the body was not fully functional. It was not that bright and I went over to the DXOONE website and opened a support ticket. The support team responded within 30mins after opening the ticket and the DXO tech worked me through resetting the camera. This was when I found out I had a faulty LCD. The tech opened an RMA for the body replaced but It would not get to me before I left on my trip. So, I opted to use the camera with the faulty LCD, it still functioned and it was only a backup. Now that I look back at the decision to continue with the camera, I was either crazy enough to keep a faulty camera that took good images or go with my trusty old 5D II as my second body. I chose the DXOONE for the size and weight even though it had a faulty LCD. I was impressed with the images generated by the small ONE inch sensor one the camera. And I was already stuck with it.
So, what about the camera. The functionally of the camera with the iPhone is great, it is very easy to use with the DXO one App. The App functions like any regular DSLR or MFT camera. It has the advance modes any pro camera body has P (ProfessionalProgrammable), A (aperture priority), S (shutter priority) and M (manual mode). It also functions like the iPhone does in a way, the screen can be used to select the focus points and it gives you a readout like any mirrorless SLR body. As you can see in the image below. There is a preview of the last image in the library, the shutter setting, aperture and selected ISO are listed on the left of the viewer. The image capture type RAW, JPG or Super RAW are the available choices. Timer mode, flash selection and shooting mode on the right hand side of the viewer. When using the advanced mode of M,S or A there is a metering bar available that shows if the image you are about to capture is either under or over exposed.
After capturing, the images can be downloaded directly into any cataloging photo software on a personal computer like any other camera if you shoot in either RAW or JPG mode. If you opt for the Super RAW mode, you will need to use DXO-OPTICS software to process those images. I opted not to shoot with the Super RAW mode. Mainly because the images tend to be very large in this mode (about 40MB or more), even though the camera only saves the JPG images to the iPhone. The JPG images are relatively manageable at around 5MB when you choose the option to save images to the iPhone.
You can also shoot video with DXOONE, the quality is also good and I like the slow motion option provided. This mode is not as good as the iPhone, this is purely a still image capturing device with video option in my opinion. I found out how hot the DXOONE gets when I used the video option and the camera shuts off when it gets too hot.
Overall, the images are stunning when you think about the size of the camera. It is very ideal for capturing professional quality images that you would used a DSLR camera for and upload to social media. That is if you are not satisfied with the regular images coming from the iPhone camera and you don’t want to be bothered with downloading images to a pc then re-uploading the images to the phone. This camera eliminates the personal computer from the equation of getting images to social media fast. It is small, practical and gets the job done.
On the downside, the camera is very small and it is something you can easily forget or leave behind as I experienced. On my final leg home from the hotel to the Incheon airport in Seoul, I forgot the DXOONE in the back seat of the taxi. It had been a long trip already, I had been in Paris, a layover in Doha, Japan and now Seoul. Sadly the DXO would not accompany on this final leg of the trip back to Austin.
I was lucky enough to have the contact information for the driver and I contacted him after I got back to Austin. I few days later I was re-united with the camera and initiated the RMA return for the replacement. I now have a fully functional camera. That was my adventure with this DXOONE.
-Text and Pictures by Akin Abayomi