More iPhone 4 woes; 5-megapixel camera takes yellow photos

Adding to the whirlwind of issues surrounding the latest mega-hit from Apple is an apparent inconsistency with the automatic white balance selecting incorporated in iPhone 4's camera.

Joe Aimonetti MacFixIt Editor
Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.
Joe Aimonetti
2 min read


Adding to the whirlwind of issues surrounding the latest mega-hit from Apple is an apparent inconsistency with the automatic white balance selection incorporated in iPhone 4's camera.

iPhone 4's 5-megapixel still camera may be the next feature to get hit with unsatisfied Apple customer complaints, joining the antenna issues, signal bar issues, and Exchange Server ActiveSync issues in iOS 4. The question on the yellowing camera issue is whether or not the problem is software or hardware related.

The photo comparison provided by Heather Kelly over at MacWorld illustrates the white balance discrepancy between various camera models. According to the article, the issues are present with, or without, the newly added LED flash.

Heather Kelly, MacWorld

I was not able to replicate the issue on my iPhone 4 (nor the signal bar/antenna issues, for that matter), but all signs point to this being a software-related bug. iPhone 4's capability to determine which white balance settings to use are software-based, analyzing the light environment detected by the camera and judging which white balance profile would be best suited to create the truest color.

If you are experiencing this issue, there may be some things you can do to help. First, as with any software issue on iOS devices, try resetting your iPhone 4. Hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears. Should the issue still exist, plug your iPhone 4 into your computer, let it create a current backup, then click to Restore in iTunes. When iPhone 4 comes back, first choose to restore from your last backup. If the problem persists, restore iPhone 4 again and choose to set it up as a new phone, keeping in mind you will lose some data, such as text messages, in the process.

Should the idea of restoring your iPhone 4 as a new phone not suit you, or if doing so fails to solve the issue, a workaround is to edit the photos in a photo-editing program on your computer. For Mac users, iPhoto provides a great and easy to use tool for simple editing, including white balancing. On a PC, try an application like Google's Picasa (using the Tuning tab). This should fix the look of your photos until Apple releases a software update for iOS 4.

Have you experienced any issues with your iPhone 4 camera? Let us know in the comments!