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Is Your iPhone 5 Camera Seeing Purple?

Illustration for article titled Is Your iPhone 5 Camera Seeing Purple?

The latest iPhone 5 defect claim to emerge from the mists is the issue of purple flares appearing in camera images where lighting is particularly bright. The issue was first pointed out in the AnandTech forums, and apparently Apple has acknowledged the issue. Plus looking at testing done by Mashable, the issue seems like anything but an isolated incident.


Some believe it's the sapphire glass covering the camera lens that's causing the problem, but if you look at the comparison images put together by Mashable's Charlie White, things become a bit murky. Indeed in one image, the iPhone 5s camera is much more affected by the purple halo than the iPhone 4S. In comparison image, the iPhone 4S actually suffers more of a purple effect than an iPhone 5. And then in a third comparison shot, in which both images are exposed to direct sunlight, the effect doesnt pop up at all. So who knows.

Illustration for article titled Is Your iPhone 5 Camera Seeing Purple?

That said, our editor-in-chief Joe Brown noticed this exact problem happening on his phone, which is evident in the top image. Have you noticed anything strange with your iPhone 5 camera? [Ubergizmo]

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Adam Panzica

It's just Chromatic Aberration. It's not a 'flaw' in the sense that someone broke something. It's just a limit of physics for a lens that shallow with a sensor the size of the iPhone's. Even DLRs exhibit purple fringing, they just have dedicated ISPs that are much more powerful that the one in the iPhone doing corrections to reduce/eliminate it. And since they have a better glass, their problem is less bad to begin with.

I really wish the whole sapphire thing would die. It's ridiculous, optical sapphire is completely clear, not purple at all. The reason it's purple is because purple refracts the most when exposed off-axis like this, and the sensor is more sensitive to that wavelength. There is a reason that a high quality DSLR lens costs over $1,000, and it's because it has a lot of engineering and expensive materials that go into making stuff like this not happen.