Apple Addresses iPhone 5 Purple Picture Issue

The company says most phones can get purple flares, and it's not a flaw in the iPhone.


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Shortly after the release of the iPhone 5, customers began complaining about a purple haze in some photos taken with the smartphone's camera. Apple has now acknowledged the issue and posted a response.

According to the Apple website, "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."

Cnet's Steven Musil noted, "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."

PCMag's Jim Fisher observed that some smartphones are more prone to the purple flare problem than others and theorized, "the most likely cause is a combination of the lens design and, more importantly, the coatings used in its construction."

TechCrunch's Chris Velazco concluded, "the quick software fix that some users were hoping for is probably out of the question for the time being."

Tags: Apple, photos, iPhone 5

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