Let's start with the problem. Even though smartphone cameras have become better, few, if any, have lived up to the image quality of larger DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Of course, most phones don't have the physical space required for the more advanced hardware of larger cameras. Nor would more advanced photo hardware make phones cost effective for the average user. So, that leaves a niche market of people who want the portability and accessibility of a smartphone alongside the image quality of more advanced cameras. DxO Labs, the company known for its rigorous scientific testing of new cameras and lenses, just introduced a product that aims to accomplish just that.

The product is called the DxO ONE, and it's essentially a tiny camera that attaches to an iPhone (via the Lightning port), bypasses the internal sensor, and allows users to capture significantly higher quality photos and videos. Here's what it looks like:

DxO ONE Front

DxO ONE Side

This little guy sports a 1 inch BSI sensor capable of capturing 20.2 megapixel photos (RAW or JPEG), 1080p video at 30fps, and 720p video at 120fps. It also features an f/1.8 lens that is the full frame equivalent of 32mm.

There doesn't seem to be any video captured by the DxO ONE floating around the internet yet. In the mean time, here are a few sample photos that show you what it can accomplish from a photography perspective (and here are a few more):

DxO One Sample Photo

DxO One Sample Photo

DxO One Sample Photo

The most impressive thing about the DxO ONE is how it scores in DxO Mark. Depending on the mode, the camera scores at 70 or 85, both of which which are absurdly high, especially considering that this is a smartphone add-on. The 85 score comes from the DxO ONE's "Super RAW" mode, where the camera captures 4 RAW frames in rapid succession of one another, then merges them together to form a single photograph.

While this little device certainly isn't going to become an essential tool for filmmakers, especially at a price point of $600, it's definitely noteworthy for iPhone users who want top notch image quality in their pockets at all times. If you're interested in learning more about the DxO ONE, head over to their site.

Source: DxO ONE