iPhone 5 Sapphire Camera Lens Causes Purple Tint and Haze on Photos?

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It’s been widely reported that there’s a flaw with the iPhone 5’s camera. Photos taken under extremely bright lights will cause a purple tint, haze or hue. What’s going on, Apple?

There’s a hot discussion of this issue on Anandtech forum, where a number of iPhone 5 users have reported to have seen purple halo in photos taken with iPhone 5′s camera.

The halo is visible when you take photos with the phone directed towards a bright source, such as some direct light source or the Sun. It’s been speculated that the sapphire crystal lens cover used on the iPhone 5 is causing this problem.

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A reader from Gizmodo sent an official inquiry to Apple tech support and here’s their response:

“Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures. The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behavior for iPhone 5’s camera

This phenomenon is also known as Chromatic Aberration. Some DLRs do exhibit purple fringing but they have dedicated ISPs that are much more powerful that the one in the iPhone doing corrections to reduce/eliminate it.

One of the possible reasons why it’s showing purple is because purple refracts the most when exposed off-axis like this, and the CMOS sensor is more sensitive to that wavelength.

Great, so it’s not really a problem with the phone but really it’s how you hold the iPhone 5.

This really reminds me of what happened to the iPhone 4 when it was first released, the “antenna-gate” issue that is.

Image via Gizmodo

 

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