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Apple gives official response to purple haze on iPhone 5

updated 05:12 pm EDT, Sun October 7, 2012

'Most small cameras' can experience flare according to Apple

Apple has acknowledged and responded to some user complaints that the camera on the iPhone 5 can display a purple flare on captured images in some situations. The iPhone maker responded in a post on Apple's support page today, largely dismissing the problem, but giving users some advice on how to avoid the issue. The problem, according to Apple, is not particular to the iPhone 5, as Apple contends that "most small cameras" experience the issue under some conditions.

Apple's post addresses "a purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot" that appears "from out-of-scene bright light sources during still images or video capture." The company says that the problem is typical to most small cameras, "including those in every generation of iPhone," and that it occurs when a light source is positioned at an angle causing a reflection off surfaces inside the camera.

The company recommends that users move the camera slightly to change the angle at which the light source causing the discoloration hits the camera sensor. Alternately, users can shield the lens with their hands in order to lessen or eliminate the effect.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-04-04

    Most small cameras exhibit this behavior at some time? I have NEVER had a phone do this do, nor have I had a camera product this "effect". TOTAL BS Apple, total BS.

    Just turn the phone away from the light source? So, AGAIN, we are holding it wrong. Why can't Apple just admit when there is a problem and be honest about it???

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Agree, lamewing. I've never had such a discoloration occur when I've used a compact camera or my iPhone 4S. Although I will state that the blogs showing a comparison of an iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S are not shot at the same depth and angle, so Apple's contention may be correct in that case. (http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-5-purple-haze-issue-2012-10)

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Originally Posted by lamewingView Post

    Most small cameras exhibit this behavior at some time? I have NEVER had a phone do this do, nor have I had a camera product this "effect". TOTAL BS Apple, total BS.
    Just turn the phone away from the light source? So, AGAIN, we are holding it wrong. Why can't Apple just admit when there is a problem and be honest about it???



    If you've never experienced this, then you've never shot with a bright light source shining into your lens. Lens flare is real, and even happens with pro-level cameras. Have you ever noticed professional photographers using lens hoods? It's to block the light to prevent this problem. It isn't purple on every lens, but it does happen.

    If you think this is total BS, then you have a lot to learn about photography, or optical physics.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-11-99

    Originally Posted by hayeskView Post


    If you've never experienced this, then you've never shot with a bright light source shining into your lens. Lens flare is real, and even happens with pro-level cameras. Have you ever noticed professional photographers using lens hoods? It's to block the light to prevent this problem. It isn't purple on every lens, but it does happen.
    If you think this is total BS, then you have a lot to learn about photography, or optical physics.



    Exactly. Almost ANY lens will produce varying amounts of flare if you shoot directly into a light source or if bright light hits the lens.

    Shielding the lens with your hand would be a very simple solution to a very common problem.

    I've only shot a couple of photos with my iPhone 5, but will keep the flare issue in ind when I do.

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    Deleting songs by Jimmy Hendrix should remove the presence of "Purple Haze" on your iPhone!

  1. panjandrum

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-01-04

    I think the problem that people are having with this is that it's an especially ugly form lens flare. Anyone who's done much photography soon learns about lens-flare and either lives with it, treating it as a normal part of photography, or learns to avoid it or prevent it. In some cases a well-placed (or just lucky) lens-flare can turn a ho-hum photo into something interesting. But I do have to admit, the lens-flare out of the iPhone 5 is just plain ugly, and where a normal lens-flare usually doesn't ruin a photo, this certainly can. It's a shame. Possibly Apple can write a firmware update to automatically sense that particular color range and correct for it, making it somewhat more like a normal lens-flare automatically. If not, then they should certainly add a post-process option into an iPhoto import to enable an automatic correction, because that "purple haze" lens-flare really is unacceptable.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by FireWireView Post

    Deleting songs by Jimmy Hendrix should remove the presence of "Purple Haze" on your iPhone!

    I don't get it. I am only 12.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    So, according to Apple (and several posters above), this is 'normal', happens with all phones, and stop the whining?

    So, either its just a bunch of people who've never used a camera before, never owned an iPhone and used the camera, or, I guess, just the usual troublemakers who like to stand in line or pre-order an iPhone just to find anything wrong with it so they can complain on apple's discussion forums.

    For it can't be an actual flaw with the device. Nah! It can't be people with previous iPhones who're comparing it to those and noticing it is working differently in similar/same scenarios. Nope. Just trouble makers, that's all.

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Agreed.

    I mean, oh this is ridiculous. Why is Apple apologizing for this? Duh, it's a tiny little camera phone. You're not supposed to expect quality from them!

    You want a camera? Go use a 35 mm and not crappy phone CMOSs. (Most people can't afford 35 mm but you get the idea)


    Apple shouldn't have to say anything.

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