/pixelphone/community?hl=en
/pixelphone/community?hl=en
10/25/16
Original Poster
tusing

The "Halo" effect: A hardware issue with the Pixel's camera?

Hey,

We are a group of a few thousand Android/Pixel enthusiasts and power-users over on Reddit. Most of us have been noticing an issue with the camera - rather extreme lens flaring happening when a light source is glancing off the side of the camera.

All store units our group has tested are exhibiting the effect; all RMA and return units are also exhibiting the effect. I designed a thread specifically to counteract confirmation bias of the problem being widespread, but the overwhelming majority is able to reproduce the effect.

Troubleshooting steps, such as factory resets, Camera app rollbacks, and safe mode do not have any effect on this effect. This is clearly an issue with the camera itself.


Here are some technical threads trying to figure out why and what is happening to cause the halo effect:

https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/59bc3r/reason_for_the_halo_effect/


www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/59bm37/every_pixel_has_the_halo_lens_flare_effect_a

Here are reports of the issue:

https://youtu.be/pfz8YmHmeJ4

www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/599q2z/does_your_pixel_camera_make_the_halo_effect

www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/599ega/anyones_black_pixel_xl_not_exhibiting_the_halo

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All Replies (305)
Tickmc
10/25/16
Tickmc
Hi Tusing,

Thanks for sharing this - although other reports of this have appeared in this forum already. I shall ensure your additional data points are passed onto the team.

- Mike
10/25/16
Original Poster
tusing
Hey, Mike,
 
Once the Pixel team manages to fix the issues, could you post an update in this thread? A lot of us got RMAs which are exhibiting the same issue.
 
Also, as an engineer myself, I am curious to see what the Pixel team might think the problem is!
Tickmc
10/25/16
Tickmc
Hi Tusing,

Of course - the way this forum is panning out, it might even be a Googler that answers directly :-)

- Mike
IsaacOnCamera
10/26/16
IsaacOnCamera
Hi, all!

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.

Isaac
10/25/16
Original Poster
tusing
Sounds interesting! Thanks for the quick response. It's great to know you're on it!
299 MORE
Samantha Rodriguez
5/21/17
Samantha Rodriguez
I thought I did a good amount of research but I guess I missed this forum which makes me very sad. I just ordered a pixel today and will be receiving it in June. I bought it for a number of reasons but the camera was the main reason. I am a PR student so I take a lot of journalism and mass communication courses which obliges me to take a tremendous amount of pictures. I really hope the phone I receive doesn't have the lens flare or at the very least has a minimal effect. One I receive it I'll update this forum. I wanted to mention that on a separate forum google finally gave a reply for some of the issues. Here is the link --> /pixelphone/forum/AAAAb4-OgUsh9qq56zHiuU
 
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