Consumer Reports: 'Purple haze' pics not unique to iPhone 5

Maybe this iPhone 5 "purple haze" issue isn't such a big deal after all.

In the few weeks that the phone has been on the market, a number of users have grumbled about a purplish glow appearing in their photos when the lens is angled toward the sun. Because no detail about Apple is too trivial to go unreported by the tech press, their complaints were magnified throughout the blogosphere.

But Consumer Reports said Wednesday that this effect is not unusual. The respected product-review publication tested the iPhone 5 and found that it is "no more prone to purple hazing on photos shot into a bright light source than its predecessor or than several Android phones with fine cameras."

The iPhone 5's purple-haze effect was no more pronounced than with the iPhone 4S or two Android-based smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, when tested those under the same conditions, Consumer Reports said.

"All camera lenses, even those made for expensive SLRs, can yield lens flare, which is produced by scattered reflections inside the lens from a bright light source," Consumer Reports added. "How much flare appears in an image depends on how you orient the lens."

Apple said basically the same thing in a recent post on its website and suggested that iPhone users angle the camera or shield the lens with their hand to keep bright light from shining into photos taken with the phone.

"Some expensive advanced cameras, and even many point-and-shoots, have special lens coatings that can limit or eliminate such flare, and possibly associated colored haze. So can attaching a shading hood around the lens's edge," Consumer Reports said. "But smartphones' cameras are designed differently, so it's typically more difficult for manufacturers to minimize flare in them."

Perhaps this will put an end to the purple-haze saga, and iPhone 5 users can go back to griping about the new Apple maps.

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