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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  1. Paul E

    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/

    1. 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.

      1. Aaron Em

        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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?

      3. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        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.

      4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        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

    2. SuccessCase

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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"

        1. auburnman
          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.

          1. tybalt

            Re: except

            @auburnman : LOL

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: except

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

      3. Arctic fox
        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        2. Rob Carriere

          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.

          1. Arctic fox
            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"?

          2. Steen Hive
            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?

          3. Bod

            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.

      4. Lutin

        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)."

      5. Ted Treen
        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"

      6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        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.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      8. John 104

        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...

      9. Anonymous Coward
        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"

        1. solidsoup
          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.

          1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge
            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.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                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.

          2. Psyx
            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.

          3. Piro

            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.

      10. Dick Pountain

        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.

    3. James 100

      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?

      1. Psyx
        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...

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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.

  2. b166er

    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.

    1. Aaron Em

      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.

      1. b166er
        Thumb Up

        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

        ?

        1. Aaron Em
          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.

    2. Colin Miller

      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.

      1. Aaron Em

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

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  4. Ru
    Headmaster

    Horrendously Empurpled?

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

  5. Matthew 3
    Trollface

    Can't wait until...

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

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      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!

  6. Dr Insanity
    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

    1. Chris Miller

      Déjà Moo

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

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Déjà Moo

        What would Yogi Berra have said?

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

        1. Psyx
          Holmes

          Re: Déjà Moo

          "What would Yogi Berra have said?"

          Don't worry; be hipstery?

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Next iPhone accessory?

    specially shaped prosthetic hand to ensure you hold your iThing correctly - mustn't allow too much light in, mustn't press on the antenna etc...I can just see the fanbois queueing up outside the hospital to be the first to have one fitted.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Next iPhone accessory?

      I'm just waiting for the Apple patent application for a unwanted light refraction prevention cover.

      Otherwise known as a lens hood. Which has been in existence since about two days after the lens was invented. Which if course Apple invented.

      1. Marty

        Re: Next iPhone accessory?

        "I'm just waiting for the Apple patent application for a unwanted light refraction prevention cover."

        As it has been in existence for a very long time I think apple will even understand getting a patent on it will be a frivolous task...

        but what I have no doubt is that future iphones will have some sort of light reflection and anti-scattering technology built in, even if it is just smoother glass to reduce inhomogeneities on the lens and give it a stupid name they can trademark so they can advertise apple produces as the only product with iHood(r)(tm)(cu)(nt)

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Next iPhone accessory?

          You mean black paint, ribbed for (her) pleasure?

          That'll be in there already, Apple buy the whole lens assy and sensor from others.

          A built-in lens hood is highly unlikely - the geometry simply won't fit the aesthetic. A stick-on one would be trivial though.

      2. Dick Pountain

        Re: Next iPhone accessory?

        There's no need to wait for Apple, go Blue Peter style. Cut an ordinary bog-roll tube in half and dip it in matte black stove paint. When dry attach to the lovely shiny aluminium back of your iPhone 5 with Locktite superglue. Sorted.

      3. KjetilS

        Re: Next iPhone accessory?

        Seems like it's trivial to get a patent on something that has existed for ages as long as you append "on a mobile device".

        So, "light refraction prevention cover on a mobile device" would most likefly pass right through the USPTO

  8. Pete 2

    Wise advice from my gran

    "Well dear, if it turns purple, you're holding it too tight"

    Though she was talking about babies - since iPhones hadn't been invented then.

    1. Preacher
      Coat

      Re: Wise advice from my gran

      My Gran said the same thing, she wasn't taking about babies though.....

    2. Shagbag

      Re: Wise advice from my gran

      She was talking about your bell-end.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wise advice from my gran

      I'm quite concerned that your gran felt the need to say that (to you?).

  9. dougal83
    Meh

    I'm quite surprised to find that out the best phone in the world isn't so in all respects.

    1. Paul_Murphy
      Joke

      Sorry

      I didn't know that Heineken made a mobile phone...

      ttfn

      1. some vaguely opinionated bloke
        Pint

        Re: Sorry

        They don't, they're only capable of refreshing the phone parts that Carlsberg can't reach. Probably.

      2. Matthew 25
        Headmaster

        Re: Sorry

        Probably the best.. is Carlsberg (according to their ad).

        Heineken reaches the parts others cannot reach... sort of like Apple maps in reverse

      3. Paul_Murphy

        Re: Sorry

        dang it - mixed my ads up...

        thanks for the corrections.

  10. Nick 10

    if they made the body of the phone slightly thicker, then they could include some sort of hood around the camera lens to eliminate lens flare.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      They could provide free rubber accessories for this.

      They've done it before...

      1. lauri_hoefs
        Gimp

        Rubber accessories

        "They could provide free rubber accessories for this.

        They've done it before..."

        I was wondering if Apple had really handed out contraceptives to crazed fanbois and girls, but then realized you were probably speaking of different rubber accessories, of lens hoods and such.

        But contraceptives might be a solution long term solution too.

        1. Sorry, "Sorry that handle is already taken" is already taken.
          Coat

          Re: Rubber accessories

          An iSheath for your iBone?

          Mine's the one with the prophylactics in the pocket.

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Stop

    I despair, I really do...

    Remember back in the day, when photographers - even snappers - actually knew something about the subject? Y'know, read the inside of the film box where it said 'stand with the sun behind you'?

    1. Peter Storm

      Re: I despair, I really do...

      Judging by the phone snaps that I've seen from some people, a big splodge of purple would actually improve them no end.

  12. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Joke

    A nice little niche market money-earner perhaps?

    A training course and accompanying book entitled iPhone Holding for Dummies?

  13. g e

    Apple won't need genuises soon

    Just a sign on the counter or a pre-recorded message saying

    "You're holding it wrong"

    Will suffice for all ailments... Lily The Pink would be proud.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure there used to be this thing called photography, and that it used to have an advanced technology called a Lens Hood.

    Unless Jobs was somehow cleverer on the old optics than the likes of Schneider and Zeiss, surely the i-cameras will inhabit the same universe as the rest of us, where pointing your camera at the sun gives natural lens flare.

    Get used to it perhaps? Or call it i-flare?

    or Apple Authentic Analogue Lens Flare? It's real and old-stylee and therefore "ANALOGUE". mmm,. smell the vinyl.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Nikon, who I tend to think know something about photography, or more relevantly lens design, can build devices that do not suffer from lens flare without a lot of effort.

      Optically, lens flare is a result of partial reflections of optical elements (both the internal and external surfaces). It can be minimized by good design and great coatings, and it has nothing to do with whether optical element is part of a lens in front of a digital sensor or a piece of photosensitive material (aka "film") or an organic photoreceptive organ (aka "eye").

      For grins, compare a pair of 1940s expensive binoculars with a contemporary pair. Even the Zeiss and Leica brands from back then don't stand up to the the average product of today.

  15. Shady
    Joke

    It's not a fault...

    ... it's Instagram, implemented in hardware so it can't be switched off

  16. adam payne Silver badge

    Perhaps they should issue diagrams on how to hold the phone and how to take pictures.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They will - in the patent application.

  17. John Lilburne

    Gack

    I get flare with some shots using my panasonic shielding with one's hand don't work unless one has hands about 2 meters wide.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Apple spin:

    Enjoy your new iPhone5 with patented hipster mode, that puts Instagram(tm) style purple spots and dodgy coloring all over your photos. *

    (* feature is not optional, sequence shortened, other better phones are available)

  19. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Siri you bloody idiot!

    I said to make it take pictures with flair.

  20. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Having flares in your photo is typically a bad thing, worse than having flares in your wardrobe.

    Most SLR lenses will come with a lens hood to try to eliminate it, often combined with a polarizing filter.

    That's not to excuse the fact that iPhone is sensitive to flaring, but it is likely to be the result of the camera unit they are using, not the phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You make me laugh - yes a SLR may come with a lens hood. Now if Canon / Nikon suggested you use that it's wholly acceptable yet if Apple suggest using your hands as an improvised lens hood that is completely wrong.

      They should just go and re-invent the laws of physics - lenses that cannot suffer from flare, batteries that never run out etc.

    2. Psyx
      Pint

      "Having flares in your photo is typically a bad thing, worse than having flares in your wardrobe."

      The entire hipster culture seems to be about embracing the things that the possess that are shit,. and the lack of talent in areas and pretending it's cool and wonderful instead.

      qv: Shitty photos with lens-flare, crap sense in clothes, crap sense in music, inability to do more than pluck intermittently at a guitar, bikes with no brakes, NHS glasses, hair cut by spasming chimpanzees.

  21. Paul E

    Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

    To me this has got very much the same ring to it as why the original holding it wrong reception problem did not come to light until after the phones release.

    The main reason being, I suspect, insufficient 'real world' testing.

    You can put your phone on a stand in a special chamber and be happy with the reception and you can take nice pictures on test patterns till the cows come home. But its only in the hands of real people just using the device that this sort of things come to light.

    Is this down to Apples near paranoia about stopping leaks that they are not able to do as much real world testing with their phones before the release that possibly other manufacturers?

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

      Seriously? Do you weirdos genuinely believe that a device like this gets minimal testing and is cranked out the factory the moment the designer emails the plans to Foxconn?

      1: The "Antennagate" bollocks was bullshit of the highest order: EVERY bloody phone suffers signal attenuation to some degree if you cup it in your hands. If humans were entirely transparent to electromagnetic waves, (f)MRI scans would be of absolutely no bloody use whatsoever. You can replicate the exact same attenuation on any damned phone. As I own an iPhone 4 myself, I have plenty of first-hand evidence that there's absolutely nothing wrong with its reception. If anything, it's better than most phones at getting a signal in poor signal areas. (As I also live in the Italian countryside, poor signal areas aren't that uncommon either. Although networks that support 3G, let alone 4G, are still shockingly rare outside of cities.)

      2: Even amateur photographers know you're not supposed to point cameras at light sources, or even close to them if possible. Lens flare has existed since the invention of the fucking lens. It's normal. Christ knows what they teach kids in schools these days, but ten minutes on Google would have told these ignorant idiots what they were doing wrong.

      The customer is not always right, not matter how much they think they are. There is no such thing as "foolproof" technology; only "fool-resistant".

      1. Paul E

        Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

        "1: The "Antennagate" bollocks was bullshit of the highest order: EVERY bloody phone suffers signal attenuation to some degree if you cup it in your hands"

        But SPECIFICALLY the way the antenna are on the outside of the iphone meant that holding it such that you fingers bridged the gap caused a drastic reduction in reception, hence the free bumpers to get round the issue. Yes all phones attenuate when you cup your hands around it but this was an instance where the design of the phone created a failure method that was found out immediately after the phone was released but which Apple were apparently unaware of from their testing. To me that gives the impression that they did not get enough people to test it before it was released.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

          I'd live to know how many people genuinely suffered from antenna gate and felt the need to return their phones - bet it was much less than 1%. At least Apple offered to take back any phones from anyone 'unhappy' and ALSO offered a free bumper. Basically to get the attenuation you would have to grip the phone like some crazed ape - in the REAL world all phones will get affected like that.

          1. Paul E

            Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

            "Basically to get the attenuation you would have to grip the phone like some crazed ape - in the REAL world all phones will get affected like that."

            Can you clarify how the typical grip of a phone differs between an normal ape and a crazed ape?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

            "I'd live to know how many people genuinely suffered from antenna gate and felt the need to return their phones"

            Me too. I had my iPhone 4 from launch day right up until this Monday when my iPhone 5 arrived. I never had an antenna problem, even trying to replicate the problem I could barely make the signal drop, and I'm out in the sticks and barely getting 2 bars of signal. But when has reality ever bothered iPhone haters? And they say Apple fans are the ones living in a reality distortion field...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

              >I never had an antenna problem, even trying to replicate the problem I could barely make the signal drop

              Easy to say in a forum. I've never handled an iPhone4 which doesn't exhibit this issue - and IMO neither have Apple, that's why they radically changed the antenna design in later models and handed out rubber bands.

              >I could barely make the signal drop, and I'm out in the sticks and barely getting 2 bars of signal

              The number of bars displayed has very little to do with the signal strength or viability as it was nobbled to convince you there wasn't a problem. It worked too.

              >And they say Apple fans are the ones living in a reality distortion field...

              Problem with living in an RDF is you can't see it - at least until now thanks to iPhone5 camera - it's kind of a purple looking aura.

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

        "Even amateur photographers know you're not supposed to point cameras at light sources, or even close to them if possible."

        Only an idiot would suggest that pointing cameras at light sources is wrong.

        In fact it's a standard technique for special effects - silhouettes, halos, translucent backlighting, and others.

        Pros do it deliberately all the time.

        *Some* lens flare is normal and expected. *Too much* lens flare is a very bad thing.

        Oh, and you're talking bollocks about antennagate too. Do other phones lose their cellco connection completely if you hold them normally while making calls?

        No, they don't.

        1. Toothpick
          Stop

          Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

          Oh, and you're talking bollocks about antennagate too. Do other phones lose their cellco connection completely if you hold them normally while making calls?

          No, they don't.

          O yes they do. My HTC desire did it regularly. That's why I got rid.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

            Mine doesn''t. Reliable, which is why I still have it. Programmer friend bought a second-hand one, it doesn''t either.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

              HTC Desire (s) , I mean.

              Plus they have a non-metallic back cover, under which I presume the antenna lives somewhere, although the rest of the chassis seems to be sturdy cast metal.

              There were some bad system boards (temp sensor - rebooting) but they replaced those boards for free.

              Under EU regs you had up to 2 years from new to get that done. Maybe still possible anyway, I am sure they had big stocks of spare boards, which would be no use for anything else.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

        In the real world

        foolproof == idiot-detecting

        ... but keep it under your hat.

        BTW: resistance is futile.

        Re: post icons

        In the pursuit of ever-more-meaningful icons, how long will it be before c'tards are provided the means to compose, using two or more icons from the meagre collection currently available, an animated GIF of a few seconds duration to go along with their posts? Xmas is coming, and we've been good!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lack of 'Real World Testing'?

      I suspect Apple do extensive testing - but in any design there are trade-offs you have to make - technically it's probably the best camera in a phone of it's size / weight - yes the Nokia 808 has more pixels but it's basically a huge lens (making it almost twice as thick)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wonder if reduction in photo quality (or ease of getting good photo quality) is an unintended consequence of the mad rush to have "the thinnesy phone ever" etc. Seems obvious that if you reduce the thickness of the phone and assume that the basic lens/ccd assembly can't be made much smaller then the result is that there is less scope to recess the lens to protect it from flare from extraneous light sources.

    So its quite possible that the camera is inherently one of the best quality phone cameras (which I think is what a DP Review style test determines from series of stand photos in studio conditions to measure resolution etc) but at the same time is also much more difficult to use in practice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's by no means 'difficult to use' or even 'more difficult to use' - but still some people just cannot take good pictures - thinks like lens flare are basically unavoidable on such a device and technologies like HDR allow people to rescue what would have been a dreadful picture into something decent.

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      The thinness

      is only there because Cook doesn't seem like a very imaginative type, and in the absence of any other uber-coolness thought he could sell the 5 on the basis of More Less[tm] - being a production kind of a manager.

      The reality is that most users wouldn't have minded an extra mm or two of thickness if it helped the camera work properly.

  23. Tringle

    Ban cameras on 'phones

    Personally I despise Apple and all their works, but they are not to blame for the fact that most pictures taken with most camera 'phones are complete dross.

    I'm amazed that the complaints are only about lens flare, and not blurred images, thumbs in the way and digital noise, to name but a few of the ubiquitous faults with camera 'phone images in general.

    This is because the possessors of this technology haven't, by and large, the faintest idea about photography; not one jot. They are of the same mindset as the drivers of the cars we see in the roadside ditches hereabouts on an almost daily basis - their cars have ESP and so they think they can drive them around any bend on any surface in any weather as fast as they like and the technology will just do everything for them. Well it won't, and 'phone cameras, even the iPhone's which is amongst the best, are still total crap compared to almost anything properly described as a camera.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ban cameras on 'phones

      Perhaps Apple should invent anti-thumb technology and a way yo make your ugly friends more photogenic?

      1. Steve I
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ban cameras on 'phones

        Apple users don't have ugly friends. I had to offload loads of mine AND buy a Saab when I switched.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ban cameras on 'phones

          You bought a car from a dead company? Not tempted by an honest-to-goodness Opel? ;)

    2. kyza

      Re: Ban cameras on 'phones

      'This is because the possessors of this technology haven't, by and large, the faintest idea about photography; not one jot.'

      Yeah, they should be going to hell for wanting to just take simple snapshots of their family & friends doing people-type stuff and be forced to buy a DSLR prior to taking a picture of lunch to upload to Instagram.

      There was me thinking this kind of po-faced arsery was limited to the Guardian forum!

  24. Mondo the Magnificent
    Unhappy

    Fuck...

    ..and I was blaming the acid flashbacks for the purple haze on my photos...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think people need a dose of common sense - the problem is the camera is so good people do use it - but it does not mean they know how to use it. I'm sure I could get plenty of impressive flare with my £1000+ SLR if I tried to take pictures in the same situations.

    Basically it's a very good camera on a phone - probably as good as some mid-range compacts but you can't expect it to be the same quality as a dedicated SLR.

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      Dude, no-one cares how much you paid for the SLR. What counts is how much you paid for that glass tubular thing on the front. Oddly enough, an £100 lens behaves differently from a £1000 lens in exactly the same lighting conditions. This oddity goes a long way to explaining the difference.

      Meanwhile, the iPhone 4s is less prone to this issue than the iPhone 5. Which rather implies that, using _just_ this criteria, that although the camera may be "so good", the lens isn't.

  26. james 68

    Macturbate / mac-tur-bayt (verb)

    v. to pleasure oneself through the use of an Apple product.

    Once Mike gets the new iPhone he's going to macturbate for a week straight.

    If whilst macturbating to your new iDevice you do not get irrationally excited and pompous, you are holding it wrong.

    (should be added to the register lexicon imho)

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Macturbate / mac-tur-bayt (verb)

      3/10. Must try harder.

      There is a crucial difference between a "Mac" and an "iPhone": the former is Apple's branding for their traditional computers. The latter is a phone. Apple don't let their "Mac" branding anywhere near their iDevices, so your "joke" falls flat there, hence the mark above. It helps to do some research first, otherwise the joke simply doesn't work.

      I own some Apple kit myself, so here's what I came up with:

      It's surprisingly difficult to masturbate with an 27" iMac: You really don't want to be holding it the wrong way, or you'll be in for some seriously painful Apple-bashing!

      See? Anti-Apple gags aren't so, er, hard. You just have to think different.

      Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here all evening! Do try the fish.

      1. james 68

        Re: Macturbate / mac-tur-bayt (verb)

        and i thank you sir

        for proving my point so well ;-)

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Macturbate / mac-tur-bayt (verb)

        "Apple don't let their "Mac" branding anywhere near their iDevices"

        iMac?

  27. Esskay
    Happy

    The best thing about this story?

    The author :)

    That byline seems to be instant rage-candy for any fanboi. Like pouring water on a Mogwai.

    Particuarly amusing given Apple's response to the issue....

  28. Forget It
    FAIL

    If you are going to get lost going there - how are you going to take a photo of it anyhow?

  29. Chika
    Facepalm

    I knew it!

    An iPhone release wouldn't be the same without a "you're holding it wrong" excuse being wheeled out somewhere!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I knew it!

      Considering it's a phone and 'holding it' is pretty much all you can do - what do you expect?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I knew it!

      Didn't they rush-hire some antenna engineers just after that, there were job adverts ... you would have thought it would be better to do the essential bits properly before releasing the phone though. Unfortunate that their competitors are phone manuffacturers who have some experience in that specific area.

  30. b166er

    @Tringle IDK what phone you have my friend, but my SGS2 takes fantastic pictures for what it is. The phone I owned prior to that, the HTC Desire, also took a credible picture.

    In low light situations, obviously they struggle, but I have excellent indoor and outdoor shots taken with my SGS2. Some of the landscape snaps of Loch Awe bathed in glorious sunlight are particularly good.

    This being Scotland, you have to take your chances with sunny weather, and I wouldn't have those cherished pictures if I didn't have my phone with me, as I certainly wouldn't have had my compact with me at that time.

    Perhaps you are a long-in-the-tooth photographer who is tired of people settling for less than perfect photography, but you must remember, that the reason people capture photos is to remind themselves of good times, rather than chasing mythical 'perfect' photos.

    There will always be a place for professional photography, of course, but for most folk, being able to pull out the phone on a day out and capture a special moment, is more than enough.

    How I wish that, as a lad, me and my mates had had cameras with us at all times. It's one thing to remember some of the laughs we had, but I often wish there were more photos of what went on back then to complement the memories. It's the one thing Facebook is any good for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Basically a £500 iPhone with camera is not going to replace a £500 SLR for quality / flexibility but then you can't browse the web or make calls on your Canon EOS can you...?

      It's very handy to always have a camera with you - of course I would take my EOS if I wanted 'better' pictures but in reality the camera on the iPhone is that good there is less and less need to. There are also many shots that I would have lost if I did not have a camera phone and as cameras go the ones on the iPhone 4S / 5 are among the best you can get.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Canon EOS isn't exactly known for the groundbreaking image quality...

        Speedy autofocus and stuff that matters for sports journalists, sure, but image quality? no.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Have a look here, Canon 1D shots from 2007.

          http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/mada-iiis.shtml

          Check the baobabs... !

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS

  31. Paul Renault

    Idea for a new iPhone accessory:

    A tripod for when you want to be in the group shot, but with a little 'cupping flag' to shield the delicate iPhone mechanisms from the harmful effects of light.

    Really. Crappy. Products. Really!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idea for a new iPhone accessory:

      Guess they should have included a pop-out gorilla pod so you could attach it to things as well...? This is an excuse for people taking crap photos that other cameras would suffer just the same.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So let's see - the maps issue is something anyone can fix in 10 seconds by shortcutting maps.google.co.uk, the camera issue is not really an issue at all, the back scratches - what do you expect it's anodised aluminium oh and lo-and-behold the glass will break if you smash it against something.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So let's see - the maps issue is something anyone can fix in 10 seconds by shortcutting maps.google.co.uk"

      Except of course that just about every program on the iphone that tried to bring up a map will still bring up the apple app so its not a complete fix is it?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're holding it wrong!

    Now where have I heard that before....

  34. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    I'm with apple on this one

    I'm with apple on this one... they admitted that there are shortcomings in short lens camera lens and sensor assemblies due to side light hitting the sensors and gave relatively simple work arounds to help users avoid it. Yes, it's probably worse in the iPhone 5 because the sensor is better and the package is shorter, allowing more incidental side light in and picking it up better.

    The most viable fix is probably to lengthen the overall lens and sensor assembly but the result of this will make the camera thicker and there's no way that they'll be keen to do that as there are currently relatively few marketing-droid fluff points that can be flung around about the latest iPhones as it is. As a result they need to stick with the points they do have and not lose them... i.e. light, and thin - something the iPhone 5 does very well.

    This is quite different to the cock up of having poor (laminate) insulation over the external antenna which allowed sweaty palmed people (or just those who don't have dry hands) to ground the antenna to the case. Blocking radio signals with body parts (such as the water in hands) is common to all mobiles, but does depend on where the actual antenna is. Mobile phone antenna tech has come on a long way since the earlier phones that sprouted 6" external antennas, but there's only so much they can do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm with apple on this one

      Careful there are people here who would probably still prefer pull up 'whip' antennas or fixed stubby ones.

      Get the candles dear and don't forget to feed the horses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm with apple on this one

      "The most viable fix is probably to lengthen the overall lens and sensor assembly but the result of this"

      The 4S is 9,3mm thick and the 5 is 7,6 mm thick. The 4S hasn't got this problem (so severe). Do you really think that people would mind if the iPhone 5 was 1,7mm thicker? In fact they could have used that extra space to cram in a 2100mAh battery instead of this 1440mAm model... or, heaven forbid, a microSD card slot.

      Hmmm, perhaps getting a Nokia 808 Pureview isn't such a bad idea at all...

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: I'm with apple on this one

        No, I don't think most people would care, let alone mind. However it would be one less thing for Apple's marketing droids to shout about, and that is much more important.

  35. Toothpick
    Paris Hilton

    Will Adobe....

    Or a third party be offering a Photoshop plug-in to replicate the effect?

    Paris - as she likes plug-ins

  36. Doug Glass
    Go

    You're not holding it wrong, ...

    ... you're just a lousy photographer. Actually a lousy "PhonePicMaker" since those who use a phone in an attempt to make quality shots are in no way a photographer of any sort. But it seems to work for the unwashed masses.

  37. b166er

    To those arguing against phone cameras, the problem here, is not the fact that photos taken with phone cameras are of lower quality, it's that ones taken with the iPhone are of lower quality than other phone-based cameras.

    You are using non sequiturs as misdirection to detract from the above fact.

    I suspect you bought an iPhone 5 and are disappointed with it's apparent inability to take a decent photograph, so are therefore trying your best to delude yourself that all smartphone cameras take shitty pictures and that your purchase of an iPhone 5 was not a mistake.

  38. We're all in it together
    Linux

    Can someone help me

    I haven't got an iphone 5 but if I do decide to buy one and then take a picture of something purple in close proximity to a light source whilst holding it between my thumb and forefinger, breathe, what colour flare will I experience?

  39. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    I didn't find an Apple patent on this unique camera technique?

    Apple patents the most inane things around, much of it prior art.

    Yet in searching AppPat there is not one thing about eliminating the purple rage by cupping their mobe in their hands or just holding it the wrong way.

    Another undocumented feature, perhaps?

  40. rvt

    I wonder how some of the guys make the 'flares'

    First, I like Apple, but my only iPhone is a 3gs that I revived with chines parts after my bro dropped it in the water.

    I did do a quick search on google (you can do it to!) and did found some nice pictures, even taken straight into the sun like here : http://www.knowyourcell.com/features/1621140/iphone_5_camera_image_samples.html

    Not saying the 'flare' doesn't exists though. But I don't think that people should throw away there iphone 5 just because they cannot take pictures towards a bright object.

    I believe even Nasa has to take special counter measurements to take pictures of the sun!

    1. Toothpick

      "I believe even Nasa has to take special counter measurements to take pictures of the sun!"

      No special countermeasures - they just shoot at night

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you're holding it wrong

    I had one (iPhone 5) in my hand today. It sure is lightweight. It feels like a plastic toy compared to the 4S. The 4S looked and felt expensive but this one...

    So the new 2013 trend is that expensive phones look and feel like cheap crap. Wrong or right, I think I'm not gonna hold one at all!

  42. Mikel
    Meh

    Sensor saturation

    The purple hue is a dead giveaway. It may be possible to fix it or at least improve the situation in software by adjusting the light meter to exposure time calculation for bright light - assuming they aren't already at the minimum exposure time limit of the sensor. Or as others have said, use a lens hood.

    This is probably a byproduct of being so secretive you don't test the product outdoors in broad daylight. The new campus will have a delightful open air central park where such things can be done without fear some fool will forget the prototype in a pub.

  43. DaeDaLuS_015
    FAIL

    Trolling?

    I think it can hardly be called that.

    Apple has shipped a device that doesn't function as intended, they have then handled the PR around it "somewhat" badly and now it is being reported on.

    Which bit do you exactly take offense too? I mean it must cause you offense to be considered trolling?

    Is it the reporting you take offense with? Presumably it wouldn't be the device itself and i doubt anyone is really that bothered about Apple's usual attempt at making the best of a bad situation (blame the users).

    No, i think it is more your various cries of "Trolling" only do more to highlight your obvious bias in this matter which is then reinforced by your need to shout down the author with cries of "Troll!".

    I'm sure you would all like it if every article on reg was about how great the iPhone is but that's not going to be the case and i for one would prefer it to stay that way.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop taking photos of the sun and learn how to hold it properly.

  45. Arachnoid
    Facepalm

    So images have a purple haze.........it still doesnt explain the missing heads

  46. James O'Shea

    You _are_ holding it wrong

    I'm gonna get downvoted mightily for this, but <http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/10/our-tests-find-purple-haze-problem-isnt-limited-just-to-the-iphone-5.html>, which is NOT an Apple-friendly site, says that just about all phones in that class have a haze of some kind. Some are apparently worse than iPhone 5s. And, yes, they point out that the iPhone 4S was one of those phones which had a worse haze. One wonders how no-one noticed this until someone actually tested it...

    And, yes, fandroids, among the phones tested and shown to be as bad as iPhone 5s were the Samsung Galaxy III and the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx.

    Ah, well...

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone is shite! It's become nothing more that a limited feature phone!

    Ditch the shit and switch!

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