October 2, 2012 / IST / Science & Technology.

The iPhone 5′s Camera is faulty, shows purple haze when light source is just out of frame

While most people seem very happy with their new iPhone 5, some feel that the camera isn’t quite up to scratch (pun intended, as the aluminum back also seems to scratch easier than a slice of cheese).iphone 5

Reports are surfacing of a problem with the camera — both stills and video — when it is pointed close to — or at — bright light sources such as incandescent bulbs or the sun, which causes a purple haze to be shown in the fringes.

A video posted over to Telly.com rather dramatically demonstrates the problem.

iPhone 5

Makes the video look crazy, right?

At present it is unclear what is to blame for this. Several suggestions have been put forth, ranging from a manufacturing flaw with the sapphire lens of the iPhone 5, to a problem with the IR filter, or a bug in the iOS 6 software.

I decided to take my aging iPhone 4 and point that at a few bright light sources to see what happened. What’s interesting is that a slight purple hazing was present on a few photos, but nowhere near as bad as that shown in the video above. This tends to suggest to me that the problem with the iOS 6 software because I don’t remember there being a similar issue with the iPhone 4 prior to this update.

According to Apple, three changes were made to the camera in the iPhone 5 compared to the iPhone 4S:

  • The camera was made thinner
  • The lens was changed from sapphire to glass
  • The new processor took over several functions that were previously handled by software

Either one of these could changes could be the culprit

If you want to test your iPhone for this problem, do the following:

  • Switch the camera on
  • Point your iPhone at a bright light source (such as an incandescent bulb or the sun, not LED lights or fluorescents, which seem far less prone to the problem)
  • Move the camera so the light source is just off-screen

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