Apple issues support article to address purple light flare from iPhone 5 camera

Apple has issued a support article to address the mounting concern over the strange purple light being found on numerous photographs taken with the iPhone 5’s camera. The problem shows on the photographs as a purple flare on the edge of a picture or as an actual purple spot in the main frame of the picture. Apple’s support article addresses these issues and claims there is nothing to worry about.

Symptoms A purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot is imaged from out-of-scene bright light sources during still image or video capture.Resolution 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. 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. 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 question is how come we didn't experience this particular problem with other iPhone models? There is a thread in the iMore forums with examples of the problem. If you are experiencing it, make sure to drop by and leave a comment or even a sample picture. Do you think Apple’s resolution is acceptable given that we haven’t experienced this problem with any other iPhone cameras in the past? The idea of shielding your lens with your hand while taking a picture seems a little bit clumsy to me. Thankfully, I can’t seem to be able to reproduce the problem even when taking a photograph with a light source outside of the field of view, what about you?

Source: Apple Support, Photograph: MarilynR


UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.