iPhone 5 Specs, Release Date: Apple Offers Fix for ‘Purple Halo Effect’ Camera Problem on Website
While Apple's new Maps app has taken much of the heat since the release of the iPhone 5 on Sept. 21, more and more users are reporting problems with the smartphone's camera. Apple, in a rare moment of transparency, has chosen to acknowledge the issue on its site. In a statement the company put out today, Apple is offering suggestions on how to correct what's being called the "purple halo effect" on its new camera.
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Not long after Apple's new iPhone 5 went on sale, consumers started reporting a hazy purple color appearing on the edges of pictures, and videos, an issue that typically occurs when a light source is immediately nearby, though it can occur even when the light is off frame.
An AppleCare support representative responding to an iPhone 5 owner's complaint about the issue said the purple halo effect was "considered normal behavior" for the smartphone's camera and suggested, "Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures," according to CNET.
"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," said Apple in statement on its website.
"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 company added.
Sounds like a fairly common smartphone camera issue to us.
Apple's admission of the "purple halo effect" on photos comes two weeks after CEO Tim Cook formally apologized for the company's failure on its new Maps app, which replaced user-favorite Google Maps.
Last week, Consumer Reports, whose opinions on products are taken quite seriously by many, released a review of the iPhone 5 that calls the device "a winner."
In its review, Consumer Reports awarded the iPhone 5 with its coveted "recommended" designation. The report praised the smartphone's thinner, lighter frame and extra screen space. Reviewers noted that the improved specs do in fact put it well above much, if not all, of the competition. "The Apple iPhone 5 is among the best smart phones in our Ratings and the best iPhone yet, our completed tests confirm," says Consumer Reports' review.
Consumer Reports continued, saying that the camera was "the best we've seen on a smartphone" apart from the Nokia 808 Pureview. "Excluding the phenomenal 41-megapixel camera we tested on the Nokia 808, the iPhone 5's 8-megapixel camera is the best we've seen on a smart phone. In the full battery of tests we give to smart-phone cameras, the iPhone 5's camera proved capable of capturing beautifully sharp and vibrant photos."
However, CR noted that the phone did not noticeably improve low-light quality over the iPhone 4S. "Our tests also found low-light performance and shutter speed to be on a par with the better smart-phone cameras," says CR. "However, contrary to Apple's claims, our tests did not find the iPhone 5's low-light and flash shots to be notably better than those from the iPhone 4S."
Apparently, Apple's claims about the iPhone 5's noise-canceling multiple microphones were similarly overstated. CR didn't think they affected call quality on either end.
"Apple's latest operating system, iOS 6 gave iPhone users a free feature long enjoyed by Android-phone users: GPS navigation with spoken turn-by-turn directions and automatic re-routing. The new Apple Maps app has drawn much criticism, and our initial impressions concluded that it fell short of the best third-party navigation apps."
CR concluded that despite the widespread criticism it has received, Apple's new Maps app, available on the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, is competent enough, even if it falls short of what's available for free on many other phones.
"Now that our auto experts have completed their tests, including some carried out some days after the launch, they describe the app as relatively streamlined, and concluded that it generally provides clear guidance, including voice and on-screen directions. However, they did find that it lacks the details, traffic data, and customization options offered by the free Google navigation app found on Android phones," said CR in the report.
Apple iPhone 5 Specs
Height: 4.87 inches, Width: 2.31 inches, Depth: 0.30 inch, Weight: 3.95 ounces.
4-inch (diagonal) Retina display, 1136-by-640 resolution, 326 ppi, GSM model: GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS, 1GB RAM, SoC: A6 Chip, Nano-SIM, three-axis gyro, dual-mic noise suppression, assisted GPS and GLONASS.
Front and back facing cameras:
Front: 1.2MP photos, 720p HD video, Backside illumination sensor;
Back: 8 megapixel Autofocus Tap to focus, LED flash, Backside illumination sensor, Five-element lens, Face detection, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture, Panorama,
Video: 1080p HD video recording, 30 fps, Tap to focus while recording, LED light, Improved video stabilization, Take still photos while recording video, Face detection.