Last summer, DxO — a company best known for rating the quality of image sensors — announced it was getting into hardware with a camera that attaches to iPhones using the Lightning port. Since then, DxO has pushed out quarterly software updates that have added smaller features to the camera, which is called the DxO One, making it a bit more capable each time. Now, a little more than a year later, DxO is announcing a suite of accessories alongside another software update to further support the company’s first camera.
The biggest change to the DxO One on the software side is that the company added two different Wi-Fi modes, both of which will allow users to control the camera and see what it’s seeing without being physically connected. One mode turns the camera into a hotspot that your iPhone can latch onto, and the other allows the camera to connect to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is connected to. DxO says that the connection between the One and your iPhone will hold up even if the two are 30 meters apart, and the live view’s lag was negligible during a short demo given by the company in The Verge’s office. Setup is simple for both modes, too — you can just plug the DxO One into your phone and the app can securely pass the Wi-Fi credentials across the connection so that you don’t have to bother tapping out a password.
DxO is also trying to extend the capabilities of the One by building out a line of accessories, and the company announced a few of these products today. The first is a simple stand for setting the camera up on one end — a timely addition considering the new Wi-Fi modes. DxO is also now selling an underwater housing for the One. The case costs $59 and comes with two different backs — one (rated IP67) which is thin enough that you can still swipe around the menus on the camera’s OLED screen, and one that can protect the camera up to 45 meters. Separate from the waterproof case, DxO will also sell an "optical adapter" ring for $25, which will allow for attachments like ND or other filters, as well as lens attachments (like macro or super wide).
We’ve been really impressed by the DxO One, regardless of how niche a device it is. The f1.8 lens allows for really beautiful shallow depth of field photography, and the combination of that with the camera’s 1-inch sensor helps the whole package perform really well in low light.
The f1.8 lens and the 1-inch sensor help make the camera worth its price tag
The DxO One’s biggest limit was always its price, but DxO recently took $100 off, making it $499. The new hardware ecosystem and software updates only help sweeten the deal. It’s a level of support you wouldn’t normally expect from a company that’s on its first device — something even DxO recognizes.
"Most companies don’t hit their stride until their third-gen product, right?" Kirk Paulsen, DxO’s consulting CMO, said during our meeting. "If you look at something like GoPro it wasn’t until the third iteration where all of a sudden, bam." He adds that DxO’s return rates have been very low, which has kept the company in the good graces of retailers like Amazon or Best Buy.
As for Android compatibility, Paulsen wouldn’t say whether anything’s on the way, but there’s a glimmer of hope thanks to the increased adoption of USB Type-C. "We’re tracking that really closely," he said. "It’d be nice to have a common connector at one point to support both platforms."