Photography News issue 24

Interview 19

Photography News Issue 24 absolutephoto.com

Profile Kirk Paulsen Known for its digital imaging solutions, DxO is unleashing the ONE this autumn – a 20-megapixel camera for your iPhone. Senior VP for marketing, Kirk Paulsen tells us all about it

Biography

Can you introduce the DxO ONE and its concept to everyone? The DxO ONE is a new high-quality sub-compact camera with a large 20-megapixel sensor and fast f/1.8 lens that connects directly your iPhone or iPad via a Lightning connector. The direct connection allows the DxO ONE to transfer high-quality, high-resolution images to your iPhone photo library, seamlessly and silently so your favorite photos are always with you and ready to share. Who is the DxO ONE aimed at? The DxO ONE is designed for pros and photo enthusiasts who want to capture high-quality photos, even in extremely low light, with a device that’s small enough to keep with them at all times. It also allows you to instantly share those images. Because so much of photography is aspirational, the DxO ONE will appeal to image lovers who aspire to take photos with pro-level quality and creativity. Why did you develop the ONE? First and foremost for our own use, as we are passionate about the art of photography. We were confident in our ability to bring our experience in image science we’ve been perfecting for the past decade to a new category of camera. We wanted a camera that was small enough to keep with us and produced images with DSLR-quality images that could be shared immediately. What response have you had after the product announcement? We are thrilled with the initial response to the DxO ONE. From the positive reaction received from virtually every corner of the world, it’s clear the ONE is perfect for photographers who love their iPhones but want DSLR-quality images available at all times. What were the main design challenges? Our image science made the DxO ONE possible, with a large sensor positioned directly adjacent to the optical assembly. This enables us to achieve a high level of image quality from a remarkably small device. A tremendous amount of engineering expertise went into the remarkable, patent- pending Lightning connector, which swivels +/- 60° to allow for very creative compositions. It was challenging to design the companion app, which packs incredible power and control into a small display.

The ONE is cheaper than current premium compacts so do you think it will affect that market? The DxO ONE is a premium compact camera, and as such is definitely positioned to compete with others. That we could price it at £449 is testament to the expertise and efficiency of our operations and manufacturing teams. Our readers are mostly Canon and Nikon users so how does the ONE’s image quality compare? Your readers are welcome to review the DxOMark’s objective scientific measurements as they relate to image quality, where scores for the DxO ONE can be viewed alongside those of other camera bodies. The real proof is in the photos, and we’ve been very pleased by what we’ve seen from early prototypes. Do you think a dedicated DSLR user would benefit from having a DxO ONE? If you carry your DSLR with you at all times, then you’ll probably have no need for the DxO ONE. If you ever find yourself out without a DSLR, then you could definitely find enjoyment capturing special moments with your DxO ONE. If there is one feature of the ONE you want to shout about, what would it be and why? The DxO ONE can capture remarkable photos in extremely low-light situations. We are able to retain important details and bring the noise level to an minimum, thanks to the SuperRAW™ format which uses both spatial and temporal NR when processing Raw images. The process is automatic via any of DxO’s companion desktop apps (Connect, FilmPack and OpticsPro), which are included for free when you buy a DxO ONE.

How are you marketing the ONE? Initially, the DxO ONE will be available via our own online DxO store at dxo.com. We’ve had a number of very encouraging conversations with both online and traditional retailers, and we look forward to extending the DxO ONE’s routes to market. Was the ONE developed with Apple to ensure full compatibility and ongoing support? Apple has been very supportive of the DxO ONE, since we first discussed the concept with them. The Lightning connector is fully approved by Apple’s MFi (Made for iDevices) group, and the companion iOS app has been approved for download via the iTunes App Store. Does the ONE have its own power source or does it take power from the iPhone? If the latter what is the impact on the battery? The DxO ONE camera has both its own internal microSD card slot, as well as an integrated lithium ion battery, so it won’t impact your iPhone storage space or talk time. The lens is a fixed 32mm f/1.8 equivalent. Do you think a zoom lens is a viable option? Many serious photographers prefer prime lenses even on their compact cameras, because they work exceptionally well in natural low light, and provide elegant bokeh, especially with portraits. We think our choice of fixed focal length and maximum aperture is perfect for these users. Is it a DxO sensor? The DxO ONE uses the same high- quality one-inch 20.2-megapixel backside illuminated Sony sensor as a number of other popular one- inch format cameras.

Who do you think will be buying it? Are you after the phone, the premium compact or the more- serious photographer market?

The DxO ONE isn’t intended to compete with the iPhone’s

exceptional camera. Nor is it meant to replace a DSLR body or lenses. It’s designed to fit that spot where a photographer has only their iPhone with them, but wishes their DSLR was handy because they’ve spied something that would make a great photo. The ONE is especially useful in very-low light environments, which we encounter daily. DxO is famed for its DxOMark- sensor testing system. When you developed the sensor did you have a target score in mind? We knew the expertise of our image science team to produce images of exceptional quality, with virtually every optical flaw considered and corrected. We were surprised by the remarkable DxOMark sensor score they achieved using our new SuperRAW image format and the associated post-processing of our companion desktop applications DxO Connect, DxO FilmPack and DxO OpticsPro. Have you compared the ONE’s ISO 51,200 setting with DSLRs and CSCs offering similar sensitivity? Can you give us an idea how quality compares? The DxO ONE provides ISOs of 12,800, Hi 1 (at 25,600) and Hi 2 (at 51,200). At these very high ISO levels, it’s best to capture in the new SuperRAW format that can be enabled with a tap. When the camera is tethered to a Mac or PC, DxO Connect software can apply spatial and temporal noise reduction to your high-ISO images. DxO Connect offers a split-screen comparison of the before and after.

Years in the photo industry? Over three decades. I was an assistant to a National Geographic contributing photographer when I was 21, a long, long time ago Current location Dividing my time between our teams in Paris and San Francisco Last picture taken One hour ago (over lunch) When youwere younger, what did youwant to bewhen you grewup? Cinematographer Dogs or cats? Not at the moment Toast or cereal? Toast Email or phone call? Text

We wanted a camera that was small enough to keep with us and produced DSLR-quality images that could be shared immediately

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