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Apple acknowledge iPhone 5 lens flare issue

Apple have acknowledged that the iPhone 5 can experience imaging issues of a ‘purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot’. They add that the problems can occur in ‘[m]ost small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone.’

Some publications reported on this issue over the last couple of weeks and there are unfortunately no quick fixes. The Apple answer to the problem is hold the phone differently.

The resolution response says “Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources. This can happen when a light source is positioned at an angle (usually just outside the field of view) so that it causes a reflection off the surfaces inside the camera module and onto the camera sensor. Moving the camera slightly to change the position at which the bright light is entering the lens, or shielding the lens with your hand, should minimize or eliminate the effect.”

Users and publications have reported the issue with the iPhone 5 camera, highlighting a purple flare/haze which appears in a photo near a bright light source.

A forum member on Anandtech called ‘Kaido’ reported the problem, saying that he had repeated the problem on no less than five different iPhone 5 smartphones. He said “I take a lot of photos and video with my iPhone and this is a really annoying problem for me. I’ve confirmed the issue on multiple phones, so I know it’s not just me.”

The issue happens when the iPhone 5 is aimed towards a bright light, then moved so the light source is just off the side of the screen. It happens near bright lights and the sun, however it has also happened close to computer monitors and LED lights.

Sources claim that the new scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal lens covering could be the fault.

PCMag’s Jim Fischer wrote a big article on the problem and said “The most likely cause is a combination of the lens design and, more importantly, the coatings used in its construction. Modern coatings are designed to minimize reflections and have all but eliminated severe flare in SLR lenses. Nikon says that its latest coatings will let you shoot into the sun without a significant loss of contrast. On paper the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 have a lens that’s identical, save for one crucial factor—the new scratch-resistant sapphire covering that protects it from scuffs and scratches. Whether Apple used a different coating on this cover, or if the coating is unchanged and it’s simply not behaving well with the sapphire material is anyone’s guess.”

Kitguru says: Are you experiencing problems with your iPhone pictures?

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