iPhone XS Solar Flare


TPF Noob!
Oct 15, 2020
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Hello everyone!

I've been filming a lot of sunset and sunrise videos with my iPhone XS. I've noticed that when the camera is pointed into the sun, this green ball appears on the video...


I've tried polarizing lenses, lens covers / hoods and putting my hand above the lens, but nothing seems to get rid of it.

Does anyone know how to remove this flare?

Thanks so much for any info!

This looks like a reflective artifact off of the lens coating. Not a whole lot can be done unless you wish to remove it in post or choose another filter or shooting angle.

A hood or hand will do nothing if you have the sun in frame as these techniques are to remove light from the side/top/bottom that are not in frame.
Ahhhh, rats! Thanks so much for the info! That's an excellent point about the light from side/top/bottom.

So bizarre that such an expensive phone would have this issue...

Do you happen to know if these flares have been fixed for the iPhone 12 Pro?

Thanks again for the intel! So appreciate it!
Thank you for the feedback! It's strange because my Canon lenses don't do that. They were under $1K. I'll take a look at the iPhone 12 Pro this week and see. Thanks again :)
Nothing much you can do about it except reframe your image not to include the sun. :) Even the most expensive cinematographic film equipment do exhibit flares. BTW have you tried cleaning your lense? It get worst when your lense is dirty. :)
Thanks so much, John! Haha! I did notice that about the lens when it's dirty. It minimizes the glare :) Thank you for the insights!
Thanks so much, John! Haha! I did notice that about the lens when it's dirty. It minimizes the glare :) Thank you for the insights!

You are welcome Tee_Nori. Check out my thread regarding External Flash Photography with a smartphone. There is very little else that can't be achieve by a smartphone in Photography these days. 2 remaining areas where a smartphone would find it difficult will be in Wildlife and Sports Photography, The rest, the smartphone can do the job. :)
Thank you so much, John! I am going to read through your posts!

I am in the middle of trying to decide whether to upgrade my phone to the iPhone 12 Pro or bite the bullet and dig into the world of DSLR's and mirrorless cameras.

I use the iPhone mostly for video work and have been struggling with finding info on how to get better quality for a) low light settings (ex., nightlapses of the night sky) and b) landscapes that are a bit further away (ex., fog rolling through trees at a distance - the iPhone 12 Pro's zoom seems promising for this! Don't need 100x optical zoom!).

The iPhone really blows my mind in terms of what it's able to capture. I would so prefer to stick with it and just learn to get the most out of it, but I don't even know if that's possible for video in low light.

Anyway, I will stop rambling and go check out your thread :)

Thank you so much for the insights, John!
Good luck in your Quest Tee_nori,

I decided to shift to mostly smartphone photography for practical and physical reasons. I find it very heavy to log my gear. So far I am enjoying it so far. And have not regreted my decision. :)
Its the structure of the lens itself.
Almost all cell phone lenses are adjusted for full on focus at any distance. there is no physical movement of distance between the lens and sensor unlike a camera where the lens moves and the artifacts in many instances can be "moved" out of frame.

It also has to do with the physical shape of the lens. Cell phone cameras have a near-fisheye lens whereas most standard focal distance lenses have less ellipsoidal shape (flatter).

thus the artifact you see would fall further away from the center of the lens.
Not all lenses do this and watching any tv show where the camera crosses the sun, you'll see such artifacts.

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