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iPhone 5 Camera Problem Addressed By Apple In Support Document

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IPHONE 5 CAMERA
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Apple has posted an explanation and a quick fix for an aberration reported by iPhone 5 users.

Over the past couple weeks, Apple customers have been complaining of a "purple haze" in photos taken with the iPhone 5. It's a similar problem that, according to TechCrunch, can also be seen in iPhone 4S photos but that is "far more pronounced on the iPhone 5." What users are reportedly seeing is a bright ring of light when they point their devices in the direction of a strong light source; when the camera is repositioned so that the light appears offscreen, a purple halo can still be seen.

On Sunday, Apple Support posted an acknowledgement of the issue and offered a simple tip for users who are experiencing the "purple haze."

"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," the post explains. "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."

Apple's solution to the problem is pretty simple: Move your camera.

"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," the post reads.

The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino addressed this perceived "issue" last week, writing that the "purple haze" isn't really an iPhone 5 flaw. Posting an explanation for the "halo," Panzarino said that he observed a similar problem with the iPhone 4S but noted also that it's not something that's unique to iPhones only.

Wrote Panzarino:

[T]his kind of purple halo that can be seen when pointing at bright light sources (especially if the light is coming in at an angle from the edge of an image) is nothing new. It exists to a degree in almost all lenses — including those used for point-and-shoot cameras and SLRs — with the more expensive kinds minimizing the effect through careful coating and alignment.

This is an optical effect sometimes called purple fringing, which can be related to a variety of things including stray infrared light, stray UV light, anti-reflective lens coatings, image processing or bloom from overexposure. These effects are exacerbated in very bright light and with lens flare.

His explanation for the problem is similar to the one Apple posted on Sunday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently published a public apology for the company's half-baked Maps app, which was developed to replace Google Maps in iOS 6 but which has frustrated users with its tendency for glitches and inaccurate mapping info.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller has also reportedly responded to users' complaints that the new iPhone scratches too easily. Schiller apparently said that it's "normal" for an aluminum-backed device to scratch or scuff, per 9to5Mac.

Take a look at the slideshow (below) to see some of the biggest complaints users have logged about the iPhone 5. Have you noticed a "purple haze" appearing in your iPhone 5 photos? Have you noticed any other problems with the new handset? Let us know in the comments.

[hat tip, CNET]

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