Apple publicly addresses iPhone 5 purple halo issue

Following private support e-mail, Apple posts a document that recommends owners tilt their camera lens away from light sources to prevent flares from appearing on images.

The iPhone 5's camera.
The iPhone 5's camera. Apple

After privately telling an iPhone 5 user that the purple halo sometimes produced by the device's camera is due to how users are framing photos, Apple has gone public with suggestions for preventing the flare on images.

Soon after the device went on sale last month, owners began complaining of a purple color showing up on the edges of photos , an issue that typically occurs when a light source is immediately nearby, though it can occur even when the light is off frame. It can also affect both photos and videos.

Earlier this month, an AppleCare support representative responding to an iPhone 5 owner's complaint about the issue said the purple flare was " considered normal behavior " for the device's camera and suggested: "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."

Now the iPhone maker has followed up by posting a public support document that recommends similar action to combat 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. 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.

Below is an example of the purple flare appearing on photos:

Purple flare seen at left edge of image. CNET

About the author

Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.

 

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