Wednesday 3 October 2012

Purple fringing and the iPhone 5

Like many, I have been following the launch of the iPhone 5 with great interest.

I must stress I do not have one but it seems like a fine piece of kit, indeed everyone I know who has one is generally very happy.

There does not seem to be a day that goes by with out some new glitch being seized upon by commentators, some very valid-like the iOS6 maps which really do need quite a lot of work to bring them up to scratch( I looked for Whitstable on maps the other day three times and it just would not take me there)

But there are others which, I feel are a little unfair or unrealistic.

Which brings me on to Purple Fringing the latest 'Achilles heel' of the iPhone 5.

Since the dawn if digital photography I have owned many Camera's and lenses which have been susceptible to purple fringing.

In no particular order Canon DCS520, Canon G series (up to G5) and one of my favourite lenses the 'L' Series 85mm F1.2 has its moments when used wide open.

I'm not picking on Canon, it's just what I have owned and used.

Purple fringing or different chromatic aberrations did not make any of these Camera's or lenses 'bad' but merely a fact of life that with a little manipulation one could get over relatively easily

(Capture One has a great 'Remove purple fringing' option which often works very well indeed)

So why bother talking about it?

I find it amusing that as the Camera's in phones improve all the time, people have sky high expectations of them and really need to do a reality check.

It is a camera and is subject to the same photographic laws as any other camera.

There have been chromatic aberrations since the dawn of photography so we might as well all just get on with enjoying this amazing technology at out fingertips.



DEADC0DE said...

Drew, people are making a fuss because before it didn't have them! If you make a new lens, let's say the 85mk2 from canon, and it's identical in all the other characteristics to the 85mk1 but now it fringes way more, would you not complain?

Libby said...

I saw numerous pages of complaint samples. There are differences yes, but they're also complaining about pictures of crap which any normal person would toss to the trash. Sapphire lenses have been used in certain optics and also military, medical and aeronautic applications for years. Maybe Apple just spec'd a crap grade.

Oh well, nothing like being an early adopter ;-)

Hope you're doing well. -Libby

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Drew,
While usually I agree with your opinions, today's is weak sauce! The issue here is that Apple doesn't care enough about it's customers to put a better camera in the phone. They know that they can put a crappier, cheaper one in and all of the brainwashed Mac minions will buy it anyway. Plus, it gives them something even better to put in the iPhone 6. Apple has a long standing policy of withholding superior technology so they can sell customers this version, and then a better one next year. What I can't understand is why so many people continue to apologize for their deliberate dumbing down of features, and keep buying the new version anyway.
The technology absolutely exists to create a mobile phone camera without hideous purple fringing, I know because I just took a photo directly into the sun with my 3 year old Android phone, and there were no purple ghosts!
You always seem to speak your mind honestly when hyped product or camera falls short, or excels. I didn't expect you to take the role of an Apple Apologist!

Unknown said...

Oh blimey!

What have I done?

Not a Mac apologist by any means, I hope not in any case (I did give them a good telling off for my Macbook Pro expanding battery woes in a previous post)

Anyhow I will give my rationale.

The first iPhone had no purple fringing nor did the 3GS or the 4 for that matter.

It DID make an occasional appearance on the 4S though and that had the best camera of the lot, with more megapixels than ever before.

Enter the iPhone 5 and possibly one of its best features, according to users I know is the camera.

Their words not mine.

A couple of had the fringing but it doesn't bother them that much as the improvement in every other area is so greatly improved.

Despite what some camera manufacturers tell you the megapixel race is still on, and the iPhone 5 has a sensor with many pixels in a small area.

With more megapixels the lens and sensor combination goes through all sorts of torture and become susceptible to all sorts of issues.

High megapixel Medium format camera's sometimes exhibit issues which DSLR's users are not aware of, and that is simply because they are recording detail that many DSLR's are not capable of.

Purple fringing can be annoying but all the users of the 5 I know (I do not own one BTW) are super happy with the camera despite the fringing as it is so damn good in 99 percent of situations.

Thanks for all your comments.



Important Note: Drew Gardner reserves the right to bitch and moan about purple fringing on his iPhone 5 (should he ever get one) or any other, smart phone , camera or lens for that matter

Andor said...

Well, I'm not an 'i-fan' or so (never owned any iPhone or iPad, though tried some of course) - but I have to say, even if we consider the built-in mobile-cams will never be on the same level than 'real' cameras, there is a point in all those complaints.

I can see a _strong_ step back in quite some features of the iPhone5 compared to 4S.
One is this cam thing: once it worked so nice in 4S, why cannot it work at least the same fine in the next one? (I have a colleague who owns one and I saw pretty much photos he made with - perfect for an 'always with me' cam).
For a SW change - like the also blamed 'Apple-maps' they changed Google Maps - some could say, OK, this is a '1.0' version, it'll get improved soon. (Which is still a blame not changing it _after_ that.) But this cam-thing looks to me like the so-remembered 'antenna-gate' - which than of course came fixed at the end, but first the reaction was so arrogant 'don't hold like that' - and to tell the truth, that's why I don't have an iPhone finally... (But using Android phone and tablet instead.)

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