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back to article That horrendous iPhone empurplement - you're holding it wrong

ALL iPhones put a purple flare on photos they take, Apple has admitted, but only if they are held incorrectly. The tech giant has responded to complaints that snaps are marred by a thistle-tinted haze - but blamed incompetent fanbois rather than coughing to a hardware fault. Punters experiencing purple flares, hazes and spots …

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except

tests have been done to show its a lot worse on the iphone 5 than the 4S

http://www.itproportal.com/2012/10/01/purple-flare-test-iphone-5-vs-samsung-galaxy-s-iii-vs-htc-one-s/

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Re: except

I've got an iPhone 5. I'm such a cool guy. Look, see how my Maps don't work and my Photos are crap.

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Re: except

Well there is a simple answer to this. Go to DP Review and check out their review of the iPhone 5 camera. DP Review is the most authoritative, anal, detailed, scientific and expert camera review site on the web bar none and has zero skin in the phone OS fanboy bunfight. Their conclusion, it's excellent and the second best camera phone, only bested by that Nokia one, the model name of which I forget, that has been developed specifically to be a camera-phone with a f**k off excellent camera (and a damned innovative and useful product for a specialist market it is). And they comment on the "purple" flare, giving their expert opinion that it's expected of a camera that by its nature has to have such a miniaturised lens assembly and a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone. So really this is just the perfect example of Leach doing her usual Apple bashing. Really its best to stick with things that really are bad like maps, or it reflects badly on the quality of the site.

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Re: except

The iPhone 5 has a thinner camera housing than the 4/4S, which probably makes matters worse as well: even an extra fraction of a millimetre could be enough to make the difference between stray light getting absorbed in the housing or hitting the sensor edge.

I'm sometimes glad of having a camera on my phone, but it's not a major feature for me: if I'm taking pictures where I actually care about the quality, I'll use my DSLR. If I found myself needing to take a shot like that, I wouldn't be too surprised to get lousy results from a phone camera - though I am surprised how obvious it is in the 5's case. I wonder if the black plastic surround from my iPhone case would make a difference?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: except

@SuccessCase

Your words are lost here on the moronic hoards of fanatic phone rage nerds who know little more than "I like my shinnies" and "Your shinnies are bad because its not my shinnies"

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Re: except

I don't know enough about taking pictures to realize how badly I suck at it, so I'm going to blame my equipment for my own shortcomings.

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Trollface

Re: except

@AC 11:24

I DO like my shinnies. They hold my kneesies up. Nothing against your shinnies though, I very much doubt I've ever seen them.

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Re: except

So their best guess is that it is the synthetic sapphire lens cover that is causing this issue, the iPhone 4S used traditional glass... I don't know anything about applying the usual anti-reflective lens coatings to sapphire, but I would assume that applying lens coatings to glass is a more mature technology.

So, you have a trade off: traditional glass lens with coatings to minimise less flare, or a sapphire lens that doesn't get scratched unless you really go out of your way (a diamond ring would do it, but you really would have to be 'holding it wrong')

In the mean time, don't point your phone at a bright light- you can only get away with it anyway because digital cameras can fudge the contrast.

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Re: except

And I would imagine that the staff at DPreview are not in the habit of of pointing their cameras at bright lights.

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Headmaster

@SuccessCase Re: "a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.."

Like you I have respect for DP Review and would not myself (since I do not IMO have the necessary expertise) dispute with their comments. The question then remains however, why did not Cupertino say something along those lines? In the aftermath of Job's famous comment during the so-called "Antenna-gate" affair anything that remotely resembled responding with "you're holding it wrong" was just begging for it. It would surely have been better if Apple had treated its customers as grown-ups and discussed the issue in the sort of terms DP Rev. used rather than giving the impression that their opinion is that their punters wouldn't have the problem if they were not "misusing" (so to speak) the camera.

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Re: except

@SuccessCase

The review on DP review that you refer to does not say that it is the second best camera phone. What it says (verbatim) is:

"The iPhone 5 is a fine mobile device, with an excellent camera. In qualititative terms it's not the best camera out there, and nor is it the best camera on a smartphone (the Nokia 808 has that honor, for now) but it offers satisfying image quality, some neat functions like auto panorama and HDR mode, and - crucially - it is supremely easy to use. It isn't much better than the iPhone 4S, as far as its photographic performance is concerned, but it isn't any worse (notwithstanding a somewhat more noticeable propensity towards lens flare)."

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Joke

Re: except

"The iPhone 5 has a thinner camera housing than the 4/4S, which probably makes matters worse as well..."

These minor photo quality issues don't really matter in the long run: The photo is going to end up looking like a discoloured pile of shit the second it's inevitably uploaded to Instagram anyway...

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Boffin

@SuccessCase 11:04

"...the perfect example of Leach doing her usual Apple bashing..."

Quite.

I would have described it as sophistry - but that's possibly beyond Leach & her acolytes, so I'll just describe it as "the usual bollocks"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: except

Yeah look at me - I've got a S2/S3 I'm such an individual. Oh and my photos suck even more.

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Re: except

But it has a cooooooooool aluminium back. Well worth five hundred quid and a complete new set of docking accessories. Of course you'll have to buy another one in six months when the white (help me, I'm fainting) comes out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: except

Yep, iPhone, S3 or whatever. As though owning one or other brand of consumer kit says anything at all except that we are consumers.

Oh look - I've rooted my phone. Well, big deal.

If your mobile phone is (say) a Korean War-era valve radio plugged into a lead-acid battery lugged around in a tartan shopping-trolley, I'll let you call yourself an individual.

For the rest of us mugs, our phones come out of one or other doors of the same Chinese factory. Is that something to brag about?

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Devil

@Shagbag .. Re: except

"I've got an iPhone 5. I'm such a cool guy. Look, see how my Maps don't work and my Photos are crap."

There's a solution for that... its called ... wait for it...

wait for it ...

NOKIA! :-)

Yes, that's correct. They have both the best and most accurate maps and the best camera on a phone in the industry.

Nokia bought Navteq which actually produced the most accurate map data. (They used to supply Google until Google went out and bought a fleet of cars that not only captured map data, but also snooped on unsecured wi-fi signals... but that's a different story.)

And if you want to read a review of the Nokia camera phone... its somewhere on El Reg.

Note: I haven't played with one, nor do I own one.

Just saying.. . :-P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @SuccessCase "a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.."

Funny how the individuals that are upset about this are the very same individuals that don't own the device in the first place. Perhaps you could try being a little less sensitive.

Leach could try and, y'know, actually try and write instead of trolling, still I guess she get eyeballs on ads.

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Re: @SuccessCase "a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.."

@Artic fox: Because unlike the antenna gate mess, this time "you're holding it wrong" is actually the correct answer. You're not supposed to do that; not with a phone, nor with a professional camera. You need to either shield the lens (the pro camera has gadgets for this, but your hand will do) or not have a light source in that position.

No matter how fancy the tool, if you use it wrong, you're going to get best results. And the poor tool gets the blame.

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Meh

@Rob Carriere "You're not supposed to do that; not with a phone, nor with a professional camera"

Indeed, of course, if that is in fact the sole reason for the problems that some Apple customers have had then no more needs to be said in that respect. However, my point stands with regard to what I posted. In terms of communicating with their enthusiastic user base Cupertino screwed up this time. I repeat, in the context anything that even sounded like "it's your fault" or "you're holding it wrong" was not exactly the smartest move they could have made. They are after all supposed to be (if I may be permitted the expression) marketing "geniuses"?

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FAIL

So...

And they comment on the "purple" flare, giving their expert opinion that it's expected of a camera that by its nature has to have such a miniaturised lens assembly and a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.

So basically it's become too good to perform well when used by an average user.

It's like giving drivers a car with sensitive handling and finding that most will simply crash it at the first turn. You could say it's the vehicle's fault or blame the driver, but more truthfully it's a mismatch of implementation and target audience.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: except

"Well there is a simple answer to this. Go to DP Review and check out their review of the iPhone 5 camera. DP Review is the most authoritative, anal, detailed, scientific and expert camera review site on the web bar none...."

I just did, and it finishes off by mentioning lens flaring...

"..but it isn't any worse (notwithstanding a somewhat more noticeable propensity towards lens flare)"

Which all in all makes you a bit of a twit.

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Re: except

@SuccessCase

Really? it's funny that one site says it is the most awesomeness evar, yet tons of users are bitching about it. Also funny that my HTC has no problem taking clear pictures with no artifact colors...

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Anonymous Coward

Am I reading it wrong?

>Go to DP Review and check out their review of the iPhone 5 camera

When I read it, it says stuff like:

"It isn't much better than the iPhone 4S"

"it gives you greater flexibility in poor light (i.e., you might actually get a picture now, where you just wouldn't with the iPhone 4S)"

"the iPhone 5's video capability remains largely unchanged from the 4S"

"The iPhone 5's sensor isn't magically more sensitive than its predecessor after all. "

"Looking at the crops of our subject's eye it is easy to see the affect of the iPhone 5's more aggressive noise reduction. The eyebrows and lashes are ever so slightly less well defined"

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Trollface

Let's try this again

Accurate color representation is notoriously difficult to get in a camera that small. EU has been phasing out incandescent light bulbs since 2009 and US has just started to do so as well. The color temperature of fluorescent bulbs is a few thousand degrees cooler and it's entirely possible they aren't compatible with iPhone image processing algorithms, as those were written before the phase out. So this article is typical Apple bashing by el Reg. I bet if Apple introduced a feature that would only allow to take photos at angles that made for accurate color representation, people would still complain about it. Either make sure your light sources are compatible, use Instagram (where purple halo is considered artsy) or find yourself another phone. This isn't Apple's problem.

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Re: Am I reading it wrong?

> "The eyebrows and lashes are ever so slightly less well defined"

Wel, shit. When I'm grabbing a quick snapshot with the camera in my phone thing, it is sooooo important to get the subject's eyebrows well defined.

Pretentious twats. I'll bet they rave about $1000 gold-plated SD cards for that extra image quality as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I reading it wrong?

They're using fine, high contrast areas to demonstrate what the (apparently more aggressive) noise reduction has on areas of fine detail. Nothing to do with pretentiousness...

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Trollface

Re: @SuccessCase "a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.."

"And the poor tool gets the blame".

As it's iPhone we're talking about is it the tool in the hand, or the tool holding it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I reading it wrong?

> Nothing to do with pretentiousness...

On a DSLR that's fine. On a phone camera, it's pretentious.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I reading it wrong?

>On a DSLR that's fine. On a phone camera, it's pretentious.

I'd agree if they weren't just comparing the cameras of previous iPhones with the iPhone 5. On any other product line, people would expect the camera in a newer model to produce more detailed images, not blurry ones - or for that matter purple tinted ones.

Most of the people complaining in official forums have upgraded from 4's to find the imaging much poorer. They're holding the camera the same way, they're taking the same kind of images. Apple's 'you're holding it wrong' and 'all smartphones cameras do this' statements don't even stand up against their own products.

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FAIL

Re: Let's try this again

@solidsoup,

Unfortunately, you don't know what you're talking about. Color balance entirely unrelated to lens flare, and the notion that a camera might not "be compatible" with a light bulb is just extraordinarily dumb. Granted that it takes skill to achieve a good auto-white-balance, but it's not a terribly exotic skill because fluorescent bulbs have been around since the 1930s. But the symptom of an incorrect color balance is never bands of a new color (in this case, the purple) but rendering _all_ colors wrong.

So, yeah, this Apple's problem, particularly since their last iPhones didn't have the problem to the same extent.

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Re: except

@auburnman : LOL

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Bod
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Re: @SuccessCase "a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.."

"You're not supposed to do that; not with a phone, nor with a professional camera. You need to either shield the lens (the pro camera has gadgets for this, but your hand will do) or not have a light source in that position"

You can if you want the light source in the frame, perhaps even with a lens flare. There are millions of such photos - professional.

What is going on with the iPhone 5 is not lens flare, is sensor blooming. Flare would be okay and is sometimes artistic. Bright purple blooming is the sensor being over saturated and overloaded, resulting in a blooming effect on surrounding sensor cells. Common to all sensors but most cameras these days, even small ones, have some compensation for it, usually including coating on the lens that filters out unwanted light frequencies that can cause these effects on sensors. Some cheap cameras have a similar effect that the iPhone 5 shows but they are the £20 kind.

Frankly, "to be expected" is a lame excuse from Apple as they are supposed to be striving for perfection and this is not perfection. Like Maps I wouldn't have though Steve would accept this. He'd rather stick with the previous generation of camera until they get it right. In the case of Maps and the war on Google, he'd even go as far as remove Maps entirely than have a crap Maps or Google's Maps.

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Stop

Re: Am I reading it wrong?

"Wel, shit. When I'm grabbing a quick snapshot with the camera in my phone thing, it is sooooo important to get the subject's eyebrows well defined.

Pretentious twats. I'll bet they rave about $1000 gold-plated SD cards for that extra image quality as well."

So a CAMERA website should give a less detail review if the camera in question is a bit crappy?

I can understand phone review sites being a bit slap-dash when it comes to camera reviews, but DP are comparing it against other cameras.

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Re: Am I reading it wrong?

Are you kidding me? DP Review isn't that kind of site.

I bought a camera through studying reviews there, one that was reasonably priced at the low-medium end of things, a few years back.

They have absolutely no lust for overpriced garbage.

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Re: except

If you like DP Review then you ought to love The Imagining Resource (http://www.imaging-resource.com/) which has the greatest innovation in camera reviewing, the Comparator. This interactive app lets you view test pix from any two or more of the cameras they've reviewed, side-by-side. A pixel peeper's wet dream.

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Purple haze (it's) all in my brain

Lately pictures just don't seem the same

Actin' funny, but I don't know why

Apple says I'm not holding it right.

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Learn to scansion!

I would've let 'lately pictures just...' slide, it can be crammed into the scheme well enough to be getting on with, but that last line arrives like a dropped sack of bricks.

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Re: Learn to scansion!

OK, agreed, improve it!

When I posted, I hadn't really awoken properly. It was a nice excuse to get Jimi in my head.

Thanks for the new word scansion (to me), of which I was unaware.

Perhaps with your tutelage I can become a master!

How about:

Purple haze all around

Don't know if I'm holdin' it upside down

Am I happy or in misery?

Whatever it is, Apple put a spell on me

?

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Purple haze (it's) all in my brain

Lately pictures just don't seem the same

Photos lookin' funny, is my gripe

Apple says I'm not holding it right.

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Facepalm

Re: Learn to scansion!

I don't have enough palms. And even if I did, I wouldn't have enough face to fit them.

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Well done that Colin. Must've had your coffee already, unlike me...

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Anonymous Coward

It's no worse than what people do to their images on instagram.

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Ru
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Headmaster

Horrendously Empurpled?

The correct phrase is of course "Hideously Empurpled", as any fule kno.

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Trollface

Can't wait until...

...they use the 'It's your fault' line for the maps app too.

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Happy

Re: Can't wait until...

Ah, but as we all suspected, Apple and their acolytes don't live on the same planet as the rest of us.

Now we have the proof!

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Terminator

"You're holding it wrong"...

Something's just changed in the Matrix, either that or I'm getting a huge sense of Deja Vu

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Déjà Moo

The strange feeling that you've heard this bull before.

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Happy

Re: Déjà Moo

What would Yogi Berra have said?

Deja-vu all over again, I think fits the bill for this.

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Holmes

Re: Déjà Moo

"What would Yogi Berra have said?"

Don't worry; be hipstery?

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