We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

The iPhone 5's problem with purple haze

Problems with the iPhone 5 are emerging

Youve probably seen reports from AnandTech, Gizmodo, CNet, and other sites about the iPhone 5s camera and problems with a purple haze in photos. And while the test photos I took for our iPhone 5 review didnt show the purple haze effect, I can now confirm that I have been experienced. Ive even seen the problem (though not quite as pronounced) with an iPhone 4S and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone. See iPhone 5 review.

Some reports and users speculate that the iPhone 5s sapphire lens cover might be to blame. Some sites, such as The Next Web, say it's purple fringing. Other sites, such as Digital Photography Review, say that it absolutely is not. There are lots of theories, and Apple corporate has not made a statement on the cause of the issue.

Without having access to the camera settings, it's difficult to test the theory that the iPhone 5's camera settings could be at fault. The Exif data does show that the iPhone 5 and 4s opt for different settings when shooting the same scene. The iPhone 5 shoots at higher ISO settings, for example. I did try using a different camera app, but found the same purple issue when using Camera+.

Test photos

If you compose a photo with a bright light source just out of frame near a darker background element, that darker element may appear purple. Below are some image samples from the iPhone 5 and a few other devices.

Having the bright light source in the frame seems to be better than having it outside the frame. As you can see in the photos below, having the lamp in the shot solves our purple problem. This may not be the answer you were looking for, and it may not help in all situations, but it sure helped in this scenario.

Gizmodo reports on reponses by Apple tech support, who say that this is expected behavior and suggest framing the photo differently. While most people groan at that type of answer, unfortunately, its realityand not just with the iPhone 5, but with many phone cameras.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Hands-on with Sony's latest smartglasses

IDG UK Sites

The 13 most inspirational Tim Cook quotes