iPhone 5 defective camera thread (purple flare)

Page 7 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

midwestfisherman

Diamond Member
Dec 6, 2003
3,564
8
81
You guys do realize that this is a CELL PHONE CAMERA!?!? If you want perfect pictures go buy a DSLR and have at it.
 

mjs31

Junior Member
Sep 26, 2012
7
0
0
The issue I have is the the recent comparison photos seem to mainly be around excessive light. Sometimes it is not that bad, but you still get excessive purple carry over. I know this is lens flare, but to be honest, yes....I would rather have no purple then the purple. Yeah, you can try to aim this way or that way, but sometimes you just have those fun family shots on the go. Sorry...I would much rather have the typical flare than someones purple hair. Neither is a great photo, but the purple will just stick out in a picture. The i5 tends to be excessive with the carry over of this purple. I took picts from a single night light and the purple ran 2 foot down a wall, skipped a space and started up again where there was a slight shadow.
I really don't think this if being over played at all. We all know about lens flare and how you can help control it, but this is still significant. The pure purple saturation alone is just ridiculous.
Am I asking for Apple to eliminate the possibility of flare on this camera? lmao...no way. I just have to ask why such the extreme saturated over flow of purple is happening
 

mjs31

Junior Member
Sep 26, 2012
7
0
0
You guys do realize that this is a CELL PHONE CAMERA!?!? If you want perfect pictures go buy a DSLR and have at it.
lmao. Tell Apple not to make such high claims then. Also, that is a cop out. Fact is something more than a little lens flare is going on during some shots.
 

GoSharks

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 1999
3,057
0
76
I was playing around with this earlier. Turns out that if you can shade the lens without blocking any of the FoV, you can very noticeably increase the contrast in the resulting image.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
The issue I have is the the recent comparison photos seem to mainly be around excessive light. Sometimes it is not that bad, but you still get excessive purple carry over. I know this is lens flare, but to be honest, yes....I would rather have no purple then the purple. Yeah, you can try to aim this way or that way, but sometimes you just have those fun family shots on the go. Sorry...I would much rather have the typical flare than someones purple hair. Neither is a great photo, but the purple will just stick out in a picture. The i5 tends to be excessive with the carry over of this purple. I took picts from a single night light and the purple ran 2 foot down a wall, skipped a space and started up again where there was a slight shadow.
I really don't think this if being over played at all. We all know about lens flare and how you can help control it, but this is still significant. The pure purple saturation alone is just ridiculous.
Am I asking for Apple to eliminate the possibility of flare on this camera? lmao...no way. I just have to ask why such the extreme saturated over flow of purple is happening
Yeah, that's really what it boils down to. It's just excessive. It wasn't a prominent issue on my 4S.

I'm getting the hang of shooting so that I don't get massive purple, but it's really hard to avoid sometimes. It's not like I can shoot where there isn't a fair amount of light...there has to be a lamp or the sun somewhere to light the shot, unless you're using the flash. It was pretty overcast today and I got some really nice shots, although I did get that purple banding in the middle in a couple of shots.

I am on the fence about returning it. To me, the camera seems better in day-to-day shooting. The low-light shots look better and the pictures look sharper in general. Not a huge difference from the 4S, but enough that I may stick it out with the purple flare and just try harder to minimize that effect and do some post work for extra cleanup if I really feel like it. I have been unsuccessful today in completely getting rid of it, however - it always sneaks in as a small halo or curved flare, even when I change the angle of the camera.

For all I know, making the camera slimmer is what is causing this effect through weird reflections. I dunno. And I don't know why this thread is one of the few places on the Internet that is reporting on it. Maybe I just got a worse dud than most. It seems like other people are having it, but it also doesn't seem to be bothering too many people to the point where they are complaining online about it. I should hear back next week on the issue. My buddy at work is supposed to get a callback tomorrow. I have 14 days to return it to Verizon (minus the awesome $35 restocking fee), so I'll wait until next week before making a final decision.
 
Last edited:

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
I was playing around with this earlier. Turns out that if you can shade the lens without blocking any of the FoV, you can very noticeably increase the contrast in the resulting image.
Yah, I noticed the same thing after the earlier suggestion of using your finger to block light glare and thus kill off most of the purple. I made a little paper shield around the camera, but it only worked when the light source was at a controllable angle, so in rooms where the lamps were further away or there were multiple lamps, I couldn't really do much. Fortunately it's not an issue in every single shot, so it's not the end of the world, just an annoyance.
 

SilthDraeth

Platinum Member
Oct 28, 2003
2,635
0
71
My brother and I have been experimenting with his iphone 5, and it does get the purple haze. However, using camera+ and locking the exposure on the source of light, you can get rid of the purple haze/flare.

Of course, as shown in the pictures below, it sort of defeats the purpose of taking pictures in dark areas. But it should help possible with out door shots.

Can others test, and confirm?


 
Last edited:

SFTom

Junior Member
Sep 28, 2012
1
0
0
I did a test using my iphone 3 and my new iphone 5. I was particularly interested because my first response to the camera was: "it was worth the price of the phone just to have that feature." I said that to my son. However, your comments did concern me, so I did the test. There was no glare on either the iPhone 3 or the iPhone 5. However, there was a major difference in the quality of the photo. The iPhone 5 is far superior. I should do another test with my Nikon to see how that camera compares. I'll check again with sun light later on. I only checked this time with my screen at full bright.

Thanks for posting. These posts are valuable and it's an important way to keep manufacturers honest. I think there needs to be an investigation into the phones that do have this problem. Perhaps the problem was limited to a batch of phones and not all of them. I expect Apple to investigate. SFTom
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
I did a test using my iphone 3 and my new iphone 5. I was particularly interested because my first response to the camera was: "it was worth the price of the phone just to have that feature." I said that to my son. However, your comments did concern me, so I did the test. There was no glare on either the iPhone 3 or the iPhone 5. However, there was a major difference in the quality of the photo. The iPhone 5 is far superior. I should do another test with my Nikon to see how that camera compares. I'll check again with sun light later on. I only checked this time with my screen at full bright.

Thanks for posting. These posts are valuable and it's an important way to keep manufacturers honest. I think there needs to be an investigation into the phones that do have this problem. Perhaps the problem was limited to a batch of phones and not all of them. I expect Apple to investigate. SFTom
Cool, so you have zero purple flare near a bright light source? If so, you are the first person to contact me about it. Congrats! :) I'm glad to hear someone out there isn't having issues!
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
My brother and I have been experimenting with his iphone 5, and it does get the purple haze. However, using camera+ and locking the exposure on the source of light, you can get rid of the purple haze/flare.

Of course, as shown in the pictures below, it sort of defeats the purpose of taking pictures in dark areas. But it should help possible with out door shots.

Can others test, and confirm?


I actually spent about 45 minutes last night testing the same thing with the new Camera+ update for iOS6. I still got purple even in locked-off shots :(
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
Update:

Apple called back my buddy at work - the official response from Engineering is:

1. This is normal (purple flare)
2. Do not point it at bright light sources if you want to avoid the purple flare

...

Garbage. They're obviously not going to recall 5 million iPhones, but still...here's a quick pic I took tonight, in the rain, on an overcast day:

http://i.imgur.com/MEVqF.jpg

Notice the light purple haze on the right, even without a super-bright, direct lightsource. C'mon. My 4S's photos don't do that. I hate to say it, but I think I'm going to have to downgrade. I'll either wait for a silent revision of the 5, or I'll just hold out for the 5S.

Bummer. I am just really really disappointed. I've had the 1, the 3G, the 3GS, the 4S, and now the 5. Never had any major issues like this. To be clear, I am not jumping ship on Apple and I'm not mad at the universe - it's one specific defect that apparently doesn't happen to all phones and obviously doesn't bother all people, but it bugs me enough that I'm going to go back to my old iPhone 4S. Still...man :(
 
Last edited:

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
Someone over on the Apple forums reported that Apple is going to swap their phone out:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4368097?tstart=0

My only concern with that is whether or not the new phone will exhibit the same problem...if it's just the first batch that is bad, that's better than ALL of them being bad.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
28,316
5,399
126
Update:

Apple called back my buddy at work - the official response from Engineering is:

1. This is normal (purple flare)
2. Do not point it at bright light sources if you want to avoid the purple flare

...

Garbage. They're obviously not going to recall 5 million iPhones, but still...here's a quick pic I took tonight, in the rain, on an overcast day:

http://i.imgur.com/MEVqF.jpg

Notice the light purple haze on the right, even without a super-bright, direct lightsource. C'mon. My 4S's photos don't do that. I hate to say it, but I think I'm going to have to downgrade. I'll either wait for a silent revision of the 5, or I'll just hold out for the 5S.

Bummer. I am just really really disappointed. I've had the 1, the 3G, the 3GS, the 4S, and now the 5. Never had any major issues like this. To be clear, I am not jumping ship on Apple and I'm not mad at the universe - it's one specific defect that apparently doesn't happen to all phones and obviously doesn't bother all people, but it bugs me enough that I'm going to go back to my old iPhone 4S. Still...man :(
You should check out that nokia 920 when it comes out. That's supposedly got a fantastic camera.

Of course you'll have to put up with WP8 but you might manage depending on how you normally use your phone. :p
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
You should check out that nokia 920 when it comes out. That's supposedly got a fantastic camera.

Of course you'll have to put up with WP8 but you might manage depending on how you normally use your phone. :p
I played with a Windows 7 phone awhile ago - the interface was actually pretty cool! The animation was nice and it seemed to work fairly quickly. The 920 (and 808!) also looks like a beast. But, I'm going to stick with my 4S...the camera on the 5 isn't that much better (just the 4S's camera with software enhancements), so I don't think I'll miss too much. Hopefully the 5S or whatever will have like a 12-megapixel camera and no excessive purple haze.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
Hey, does anyone have one of the new iPod Touch models? I'm curious to see if that has the purple flare issue too...
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
30,220
771
126
Hey, does anyone have one of the new iPod Touch models? I'm curious to see if that has the purple flare issue too...
I don't have one, but I could probably just go to the Apple Store tomorrow and try it out. It's pretty much on the way home anyway.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
I don't have one, but I could probably just go to the Apple Store tomorrow and try it out. It's pretty much on the way home anyway.
Cool, thanks. It's an hour out of the way for me :'( I would like a B-cam for my video projects (strapping my iPhone to motorcycles and stuff makes me a little nervous lol) and the new iPod looks pretty nice, provided it doesn't have the bad purple flare.

I'm back on the 4S now. The screen feels so much smaller :p But I'm doing side-by-side shots and not getting purple in any of them yet. Also the purple shots from my photo stream on the 5 don't look nearly as purple on the 4S's screen. Plus I get a 1:1 view-to-shot image, unlike the 5, which adds extra pixels to the top and bottom because you're shooting on nearly a 16:9 and then going a 4:3 aspect ratio or whatever it is.

I still have another activation left on my account that I can transfer to my phone number, so if they end up doing a silent update down the road that fixes the problem, I may use that. That's my only real issue. I don't mind the crop problem, the oversaturated screen, the anodizing flaking off on the back, etc. Just the purple flare. I'd say mine is worse than most and that I got a bad model, but everybody's 5 I've tested in-person has exactly the same levels of purple haze that mine does. Ah well. I violated my own rule of never buying first-generation hardware, so there ya go :p
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
I don't have one, but I could probably just go to the Apple Store tomorrow and try it out. It's pretty much on the way home anyway.
Ah cancel that, they're not out until October. So wait & see I guess :)
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
Starting to hit some bigger news outlets:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adriankingsleyhughes/2012/10/01/does-your-iphone-5-have-this-crazy-camera-fault/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410239,00.asp

Checked in with some people at work, as more people are getting their 5's in...everyone has the purple flare, but not everyone cares. Most people I talked to either called Apple or their wireless provider about the issue, but it looks like it's going to be awhile (like a month) to get a replacement in due to the shortage. Also not everyone really cares about the purple...it bothers some people, but not others. I've only seen a couple in person that look "reasonable" - they still have purple, but not really bad purple - but still worse than the 4S. So the quality defect isn't 100% consistent among the first batch to come in, apparently.
 

vshin

Member
Sep 24, 2009
74
0
0
After comparing my Iphone 5 and 4 together, I can detect purple flares with both cameras but the hue on the 5 is a bit more "purplish." After shooting hundreds of shots in real-life settings, I didn't encounter any purple at all (or lens flare for that matter).

So while Kaido had me worried initially, I'm just not sure how worked up I should be for something that only happens when I force it to; and to be brutally honest, the purple is not exactly displeasing to the eye for me. I guess opinions will differ but I can't really see this as a recall-level defect. I showed this to a photographer and he basically said it was just lens flare and the purple hue may be due to the way the software was handling exposure compensation.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
After comparing my Iphone 5 and 4 together, I can detect purple flares with both cameras but the hue on the 5 is a bit more "purplish." After shooting hundreds of shots in real-life settings, I didn't encounter any purple at all (or lens flare for that matter).

So while Kaido had me worried initially, I'm just not sure how worked up I should be for something that only happens when I force it to; and to be brutally honest, the purple is not exactly displeasing to the eye for me. I guess opinions will differ but I can't really see this as a recall-level defect. I showed this to a photographer and he basically said it was just lens flare and the purple hue may be due to the way the software was handling exposure compensation.
Glad to hear it's not too bad on your phone! I've seen a couple in person that aren't horrible and just have more of a bad tinge than anything, but the majority are pretty purplish. Maybe we just got a bad first batch on the east coast, I dunno.

I'm wondering if maybe it's a quality-control issue in the build process...the lens not being stamped down into the camera right or something, and now that things are cooling down on production after the initial sell-out run, we'll start to see improved models. I'd be willing to get a 5 again in the future if they fix this issue. That was my only real complain about the new model.
 

Binhex

Junior Member
Oct 1, 2012
7
0
0
I know it is important not to blow this out of proportion. However, since the iPhone 4 the camera has been the most important part of the device for me. I have had every iPhone from the 3GS to now, the 5.

Over the weekend I was at a sporting event and there is purple all over the place due to the lights. A friend of mine, with an iPhone 4 got similar shots with virtually no purple at all. There is some, here and there but very, very faint or not at all.

I really hope that this is something which can be tweaked in software. It is a big deal to me that this is happening but I understand that to many people it is a non issue.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
I know it is important not to blow this out of proportion. However, since the iPhone 4 the camera has been the most important part of the device for me. I have had every iPhone from the 3GS to now, the 5.

Over the weekend I was at a sporting event and there is purple all over the place due to the lights. A friend of mine, with an iPhone 4 got similar shots with virtually no purple at all. There is some, here and there but very, very faint or not at all.

I really hope that this is something which can be tweaked in software. It is a big deal to me that this is happening but I understand that to many people it is a non issue.
Yeah, that's the thing. Even though this thread is getting huge & has a lot of news coverage, it's not like it's an end-of-the-world issue. I'd hate to blow it out of proportion, but for me, it's a big issue because the camera is pretty much the primary function of my iPhone as well. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here to be honest :D

I too am hoping for some kind of fix. Otherwise I'll just wait for a silent update on the 5, or the next revision (the 5S?) or whatever.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,582
3,602
126
They talk about it in the new Anandtech podcast...



I haven't got to that point yet in the podcast though.
Ah nice, didn't snag it for my commute home. FX Guide again :D
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
gupchupraj Apple 2
N Apple 0

ASK THE COMMUNITY