DxO Labs, the French software company known for photo software and gear tests, made a huge announcement today by unveiling a camera of its own. Called the DxO ONE, it’s a pocket-sized 20.2 megapixel camera that aims to combine DSLR-quality with the convenience of smartphone photography.
Inside the camera is a 1-inch CMOS BSI sensor — the same size used by Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras — and on the front of the camera is a 32mm-equivalent f/1.8 lens with a 6-blade iris. Those specs are crammed into a 2.65-inch (6.9cm) tall camera that weighs just 3.8oz (108g) and fits comfortably in your palm and pocket.
One of the reasons it can be so compact is that it’s essentially a modular camera that lacks a main LCD screen for composing and reviewing shots — it’s designed to pair with an iPhone or iPad to form a complete camera via a Lightning connector. Once connected, the camera can swivel in each direction 60 degrees.
Using the free companion iOS app, photographers can control the settings of the DxO camera, including aperture (f/1.8 to f/11), shutter speed (15s to 1/8000s), ISO (100 to 51200), and capture modes (Scene, Speed, Aperture Priority, or Full Manual).
DxOMark did its standard test on the DxO ONE sensor, and the camera achieved a score of 70, which is “on par with full frame DSLRs and dramatically higher than any smartphone,” the company says. It scores up to 85 when a ‘SuperRAW’ feature is activated — this feature captures 4 RAW frames in rapid succession and then merges them together for a better-quality image.
Other features of the camera include 1080p/30fps and 720p/120fps video recording, dual RAW+JPEG capture, a built-in microSD card, and file storage on the iOS camera roll.
Here are some sample photographs captured with the DxO ONE (you can find more in this album):
The DxO ONE should begin shipping in September 2015, and pre-orders can be placed on the DxO website for $599.