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Consumer Reports: 'Purple haze' issue not limited to iPhone

updated 03:29 pm EDT, Wed October 10, 2012

iPhone 4S, major Android phones also affected

The "purple haze" problem with the iPhone 5's camera is actually prevalent along several major smartphones, according to Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested several devices, and found that the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Motorola Droid Razr Maxx all displayed degrees of the issue. In some cases the haze took on a different color or a rainbow effect, but all displayed similar trouble when bright lights were in the frame.

Consumer Reports points out that the issue simply boils down to lens flare, an issue that even professional-grade lenses are subject to. "How much flare appears in an image depends on how you orient the lens," the publication remarks. It adds that flare shouldn't show up in most photos, and that it can be minimized by using a hand to shield a lens from direct sunlight. The hoods on SLR lenses serve the same function.

by MacNN Staff



  1. keithhat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-12-08

    Now that non-photographers are thinking more about and attempting photography this was reported everywhere like it's a "new" issue. Anyone who has seriously taken photos and planned shots is concerned about lens flare with any camera they use, DSLR, Video, Smartphone, GoPro, etc. They can all have flare problems if you point it towards a strong light source like the sun, use a flash or point it at a shiny object reflecting a strong light source. My Nikon D700 with expensive nano coated ED glass will flare if I point it the wrong way. Clearly it controls flare much better than my iPhone 5, but it can still flare if I am not paying attention. However the D700 won't fit in my pocket and is not with me all the time :)

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    I had a professional portrait studio for 16+ years and have been doing photography in various forms since 1966. Lens flare is nothing new, and it happens with cheap and expensive equipment. Even my Hasselblads did it. But, being a highly trained professional, I knew it and often used flare to my advantage.

  1. agno3

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-24-09

    the only problem being that the SAME exact picture taken with a 4s and a 4 don't produce this purple result. Again apple blames the users. Just like with the antenna. I'm just a meezly little commercial photographer with a degree from RIT. (the premier photography school in the US) Its a load of crap. The camera is either designed wrong or the material around the barel is just crappy.

  1. UmarOMC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-09-01

    agno3, if you're a professional photographer you're not using an iPhone for production-level photography.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by UmarOMCView Post

    agno3, if you're a professional photographer you're not using an iPhone for production-level photography.

    Um, he didn't say he was using it for production level photography, did he? Um, no. He said it doesn't take a guy like him (a professional photographer) to know Apple is spinning the story.

    Again, no problem with the 4 or 4s, problem with the 5. Seems like a problem with the 5, rather than Apple's "Oh, but everyone has the issue!" (well, everyone except those with an older iphone!).

  1. Wiskedjak

    Posting Junkie

    Joined: 06-04-02

    Lens flare is always an issue for photography.
    Better equipment always handles flare better.
    The iPhone5 is supposed to be better equipment.
    Unfortunately, the older equipment of the iPhone4 and 4S handles flare better than the iPhone5.

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