The iPhone 5 camera is, according to Apple, a considerable upgrade over the predecessor in the iPhone 4S, however a poster over at the Anandtech Forums (via Cult of Mac) has complained a purple halo entering photographs when photographing high light which is out of the shot. And it turns out he isn’t the only one with a problem.
There are dozens more pictures like the above posted on the forum, and even a video which show the weird effect. It seems widespread, and the most logical reason for it is the new Sapphire lens, with the light refracting through it in a strange way.
There’s an easy way to test it out though:
1. Aim your iPhone 5 camera towards a bright light source (CFL, incandescent, sun)
2. Move the camera so the light source is off-screen (especially on the shorter sides of the screen)
3. See if you experience a purple halo – either flare or haze (see sample pictures)
Some users haven’t reported any problems, so whether it is a few defective batches or something more serious remains to be seen. It is intriguing though, and we’ll see if Apple makes an official comment soon.
**Editor’s Note: While it’s easy to see how some may view this as a fault of the iPhone 5 camera, it’s important to note that this is common for most if not all cameras, and has a lot more to do with how camera lenses function than the camera sensor itself, or the new sapphire lens cover Apple is using. As Matthew Panzarino of TheNextWeb rightly expresses:
So, what we’ve got here is lens flare causing chromatic aberration (or a combination of that and diffraction from the CCD lens covers). Is this a flaw? Sure, but it’s a flaw that’s shared by a lot of cameras and lenses, including the iPhone 4S. So feel free to be unhappy that it exists, it would be nice if Apple could figure out a way to do away with it forever.
But don’t call it a flaw in the iPhone 5 specifically, and cause a bunch of panic over nothing please.