Apple iPhone 5 News, , , , , , — October 8, 2012 14:19 — 1 Comment

Apple addresses ‘purple haze’ issue in iPhone 5 camera

apple, iphone 5, camera, purple haze, optical effect

An example of purple haze on the iPhone 5 camera. Photo: weaksauce12 via Twitter

Reports by users over the past two weeks of a ‘purple haze’ in photos taken with the iPhone 5 camera have become serious enough for Apple to release a support document over the weekend, which addresses the issue.

“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,” the post reads.

The Next Web’s Matthew Panzarino described the quirk as “an optical effect sometimes called purple fringing, which can be related to a variety of things including stray infrared light, stray UV light, anti-reflective lens coatings, image processing or bloom from overexposure. These effects are exacerbated in very bright light and with lens flare.”

Apple’s simple solution is to move the camera. “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.”

So far we are unaware of the problem affecting video.

Director Michael Koerbel, who shot the first film on an iPhone 5, All Up To You!, told smartmoviemaking.com:  “As far as the purple haze goes, we didn’t notice it while shooting, but did see it when we started editing on a few shots – mainly those pointed near or directly at the sun. But if this purple haze is the only drawback of having my lens protected with sapphire glass and near unscratchable in my pocket, I’m willing to deal with it. At least so far.”

As Apple correctly states, it is not a problem unique to the iPhone 5, the haze can affect any smartphone camera, or point-and-shoot cameras and SLRs, and was evident in the 4S, it is simply that it is more pronounced on the iPhone 5.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

  • http://www.restoredinc.com/member/221903/ yard lights

    I’ve heard this kind of thing before, but you nailed it!

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