iPhone 5 purple haze happens to all iPhones, Apple claims

Apple has owned up to the purple haze in the iPhone 5 camera -- but advises you to point your phone in a different direction.

Apple has owned up to the purple haze problem with the iPhone 5 -- but says that the problem is normal, advising you to just point your phone in a different direction.

"Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame," Apple says in a new note in the support section of the Apple website, acknowledging complaints that a purple glow appears in some pictures taken with the new iPhone.

The purple haze problem is described by Apple as "a purplish or other coloured flare, haze or spot is imaged from out-of-scene bright light sources during still image or video capture".

"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 minimise or eliminate the effect," Apple advises.

Purple fringing is indeed, as Apple notes, a common problem in digital cameras. The technical term is chromatic aberration, which refers to different colours of light coming into the camera lens and focusing in different places. The result being a ghostly purplish colour where dark and light edges meet, like a tree against the sky or a person standing in front of a light.

In this case, the issue only appears to be affecting some iPhone 5 handsets, making it difficult to judge whether Apple is right, and this is a case of normal purple fringing, or something else -- perhaps a flaw with the new sapphire cover for the iPhone 5's camera.

Apple has also previously described the iPhone 5's propensity for scratches and scuffs at the edges as normal. The US company has, however, admitted that the failings of the new Apple Maps app are far from normal, apologising to customers in an unprecedented open letter from boss Tim Cook.

We haven't managed to recreate the problem with the iPhones in our office. Have you noticed the purple problem, and have you found a way to avoid it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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