The Google Pixel seems to be facing a strange camera issue, but Google is already on it. People have been noticing a big lens flare in some of their images. These flares are normal for all cameras, but the ones on photos taken with the Pixel can be pretty large.
Google has admitted that this is a problem with all Pixel devices, so a warranty exchange won’t fix it. However, the fix won’t be hardware-related; Google plans to change the HDR+ feature to compensate for this flare as a fix. Here’s Google’s statement on the issue:
“First, for some background — flare is a property of ALL camera lenses. It comes in a ton of different shapes and sizes and can even be used for creative effect — good and bad :-). The shape, color, amount, etc. of flare is related to dozens of different parameters of the lens structure and inclement light.
However, we have seen reports about this “halo/arc flare”. This is the specific kind of flare that appears as a bright/low-contrast arc in the corners of the frame.
You can expect a software update in the next few weeks that will improve the effects of this issue. We’re working on some algorithms that recognize the halo/arc flare, characterize it mathematically, and then subtract it from the image. :-) You will need to use HDR+ to see the benefits of this software.
Also, there is no point getting your device replaced thanks to this issue. The Pixel camera’s lens structure is very highly controlled — this means that all Pixels take high-quality images, but it also means all Pixels have the same flare characteristics.
I wrote a post a while ago about how by doing things in software, we are able to make Pixel’s camera even better over time. This is one of those ways.”
It’s hard to believe that Google will be fixing a camera issue with software, but if it works, we’re sure people will be happy. It’s not like the issue is all that significant anyway, as it’s not Apple’s purple flare level of bad. Unfortunately, you’ll only get the fix when using HDR+ mode.
The update should come in the next few weeks and mitigate this issue. How many of you who already have your Pixels have noticed it? Leave a comment!