Apple responds to ‘purple haze’ iPhone 5 camera complaints

By , Oct 7, 2012

In addition to the back panel scratching and light leak complaints, early iPhone 5 purchasers have spotted another flaw in Apple’s latest handset: a purple haze or halo is appearing in some photos taken with its rear camera.

Over the past few weeks, users have been reporting that when the iPhone 5′s iSight camera is pointed at or near a bright light source, a purple flare appears in the photo. And this weekend, Apple responded to the issue…

In response to the ‘purple haze’ complaints, Apple posted this support document yesterday (via MacRumors):

Symptoms

A purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot is imaged from out-of-scene bright light sources during still image or video capture.

Resolution

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.”

Sure enough, when the smart folks over at dpreview, a highly-regarded photography site, gave their in-depth review of the iPhone 5′s camera, they touched on the purple haze problem. And they said that while the issue might be a bit more prominent in the 5′s photos, all lenses are susceptible to it to some degree.

I myself haven’t noticed any kind of predominant purple flare in my iPhone 5 photos, even when taking pictures in lowlight settings or in other so-called problematic situations like outdoors in direct sunlight.

Still, it seems to be an issue for at least some iPhone 5 users. And perhaps it would have served Apple better to come up with something different than a response that’s reminiscent of “you’re holding it wrong.”

What’s your take on the purple haze/flare problem?

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  • notewar

    Never happen to me

  • macboy74

    I can replicate this same flare with my Canon ELPH 510 HS point and shoot, iPhone 4,4S, 5, SGSIII and my $3,300 Canon EOS 5D. So why is this such a big deal? Every time Apple comes out with a phone people have to find some kind of “flaw” in it. When in most cases it’s a flaw across the board on all similar devices. smh

    • Gerard Hampton

      Youre doing it wrong. Youll only get that effect on a dslr when you use a cheap lens and no polarizing filter. Get the filter and youll be good to go.

      • macboy74

        That’s without any filters on the lens man. I have been a photographer for 15 years I know what’s what thanks.

      • fantard

        booo noob!

      • Gerard Hampton

        Sorry just repeating what my girlfriend told me. i was only referring to the slr. she hasnt been a photog for 15 years but she does photo shoots for magazines and has gallery shows etc of course you CAN get this effect on a dslr. but you have the means to reduce it.

      • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

        You’ll get this effect with any lens, to prevent the flare, you use a lens hood, not a polarizing filter – what if I can’t use the polarizing filter because the scene requires the reflections?

    • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

      By playing words such as “revolutionary, innovative, the best, amazing”, people expect a lot, while in reality, Apple’s products, in most cases, suffer from the same issues as other products. Apple likes bragging about themselves, and they want people to have high expectations. That is the reason why such minor things often cause a stir.

      • MagicDrumSticks

        Dude you’re seriously one of the few intelligent people remaining on this blog.

        And I agree 100%. Apple needs to stop with the superlatives.

      • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

        I’m only being realistic here. :) I’d really like to hear from those who downvoted my comment, tho. Are there really people who think how Apple is incapable of making mistakes or how their products are absolute flawless perfection? :/

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        very true,,,, their greatness died with steve

      • FandroiDsSuck

        This is called marketing

    • a smit

      i call BS having all of those devices….

      • macboy74

        Not bs I have a career that let’s me live very comfortable. If it make you feel any better I drive a 2013 Buick Verano not a Rolls haha

      • jose castro

        niiiice

      • Falk M.

        How so? Being a tech enthusiast quite gets you lots of stuff.

      • jose castro

        why because you cant own them lol

    • Kok Hean

      Gosh you’re rich :D

  • Abi Manyu

    this is a week old news, your blog is so slow…

    • Gerard Hampton

      yep. not sure how the line “Moving the camera slightly to change the position” isnt you’re holding it wrong also

    • Melvco

      You are correct, the purple haze iPhone 5 problem is actually week(s) old. But Apple’s public response, which the post is mainly about, just happened this weekend.

      Thanks for reading!

    • http://twitter.com/e420kush e420Kush

      Go Away then. Must not have been too slow since you posted on it. And @Melvco is correct about Apples response, get a grip dude.

  • f1ght3r

    Never happened to me. My only grip with the iPhone 5 is how easily it scratches :|

    • Gerard Hampton

      sand paper the whole phone. No scratches and youll have a unique iphone

      • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

        OMG FUCK YOU I JUST DID THAT AND RUINED MY IPHONE 5!!!!! :( i thought it would work…
        lmfao jk. i wish i had an iPhone 5, even if it was all sandpapered and scratched up.. Still loven my 4s tho! :D

      • Kurt

        wasn’t remotely funny. glad you laughed though

    • Kurt

      only? you don’t mind having a device that is outdated? 2007 style and all? an OS that looks nearly identical to the one from 2007 except a wallpaper, and more icons? i want a better phone so when my 4S’s contract is up im not buying another iphone. i need to “think different” but i might stick with ipads, but if win 8 takes off as expect im jumping ship completely.

  • http://twitter.com/DJYouso Youso

    Why is this even a problem? Don’t shoot at the sun, simple as that.
    If you know a little bit about photography, you should also know that you can’t point the camera at the sun.
    So ignorant…

    • fantard

      another noob fanboy

      • http://twitter.com/DJYouso Youso

        another ignorant fool

  • http://twitter.com/FadiJabbour1 Fadi Jabbour

    So, we hold it wrong one more time

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    Happens on older devices? Huh, strange, I’ve had my i4 since it’s realease date and never seen this.

  • ic0dex

    I got it a few times and it was the light peaking through the window. But to tell you the truth it looks kind of nice, it gives this JJ Abraham move effect kind of thing.

  • JerseyD

    I’ve had it happened.

    http://db.tt/RPugbzV8

    Never saw this issue on my 4 or 4S.

    • IKnowMoreThanYou

      Stop taking such crappy photos

  • MattXD162

    Jimi Hendrix, anyone?

    • Hyr3m

      I was humming the song as I was reading the comments ^^

  • charlie

    iphone 5…too many trouble…hmmm go galaxy, you can do it…

  • http://twitter.com/geekinit geekinit

    Purple haze sounds like a good name for an iOS 6 jailbreak. My gripe is that sometimes my iPhone 5 doesn’t flash the LED at the right time. I reboot and its fine. I guess camera problems can be annoying. Sometimes you only get one try to take that pic!

    • Kurt

      the kiddies on this site and doing the jailbreaks wouldn’t get youre referring to

  • iDevizes

    Thought Apple will bring out lenses to improve the performance of the camera but it’s all about the way you keep your iPhone 5 :P
    I could remember this solution was mentioned too by the iPhone 4 with the bad connection… just keep your iPhone 4 different… nowadays nobody’s got a problem with it….

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    I hate how everyone is freaking out over thinks like this. Even the scratching .. My iPhone 5 has not been scratching… People just like to overreact when apple does something slightly different. And in most cases its just a few defected iphone’s anyways.

    • Kurt

      you have a case on it don’t you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

        Nope no case yet…

  • http://twitter.com/unbeliever008 Jae. Just J. ©

    Now if we could just get Tim Cook to hold a press conference and show how to properly hold it and shield the light.

  • http://twitter.com/TarekMMD Tarek

    This is a complaint??? I love playing with lens flare. All lens do that to a degree. The color depends on the lens and coating. And if you smear Vaseline on it to get a cool effect.

    Superlatives aside, this is lens technology. It is not the eye that the Creator gave you coupled with the wonderful brain that interprets the image. Comparatively, that is flawless, unless you wear glasses. Lo and behold, you get reflections and lens flare there too. OK, you can get rid of the reflections with special coating. But lens flare is still possible at certain angles depending on the thickness or type of prescription.

    Hmm….nothing’s prefect!!!

    Oh one last thing I forgot. It is a very good phone and it takes a great set of pictures to boot….and….and…it has a lot of great applications. Oh, forgot too, you can make money selling applications….

    Still…nothing is perfect.

    Thankfully, we have hearts that can appreciate our blessings.

  • AndyDontCare

    Just take a picture of something else. Not that big of a deal. — Steve Jobs

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dejan-Ljepava/1153451343 Dejan Ljepava

    you are “pointing” it wrong

  • http://www.facebook.com/MULLY5150 Jim Mullins

    I have the 4S and I had a 5 on order. Hearing all the nightmare stories, and seeing so bad pics with that purple flare, I started having doubts. I was convinced NOT to buy the 5 when I got to the store to pick it up. They allowed me to play around with the display camera and one that belongs to one of the girls that works there. I can tell you first hand that both of those phones had serious purple flaring around the edges. It wasn’t something artistic either. It was bad enough that it just ruined the photos. Now, I took the exact same shots with my 4S and didn’t have any of that, I take that back, there was one shot that had a hint of purple on the edge, but I’m not sure if it was really purple or if I was seeing it because I was looking for it. This flaring is a problem, guys. It ruins photos. Granted, if I’m going to take real photos then I’ll use my Canon DSLR, but these aren’t even good enough for Instagram. We passed on these and will wait for the iPhone6.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SmoothJazzBeachRadio Louis Halcyon Simmons

    I am sure it comes from the coating they chose to put on the lens. Glad I bought the Galaxy S III.