The Google Pixel smartphone has been released to some pretty excellent reviews, and one of the selling points of the device is widely considered to be its camera. The camera isn’t perfect, however, and there have been complaints about a camera flare issue.
Google seems well aware of the problem, and has both acknowledged it and said that it will develop a fix. No, you won’t have to take your device in and replace it with a new camera — Google will instead release a software patch that will apply some magical mathematics to solve the problem.
It’s important to note that camera lens flare is normal, but it seems as though the Pixel’s camera is a little more susceptible to it than most. If you take a photo in bright light, you’ll probably notice the lens flare, which will appear like a halo of light in the corners of the image.
Lens flares are caused by the light reflecting inside the lens’ multiple pieces, creating circular spots on the image and also often reducing the image’s overall contrast. All camera lenses are prone to lens flare, as a Google representative pointed out. DSLR lens designers use multiple coatings to help prevent that reflection. On DLSR and mirrorless lenses, a hood or plastic “shade” can also help prevent light coming in from the most extreme angles that cause most flares.
An employee of Google has posted in the Google Products Forum, saying that the issue is not, in fact, related to a defective device, and that all Pixel smartphones will likely experience the issue. The company thinks a fix is possible by tweaking the camera’s algorithms, which will detect the lens flare and subtract it from photos. According to the company, the update should be available in a few weeks, so hold tight until then if you’re a Pixel owner.
Apart from the lens flare, the Google Pixel has overall been very well received, especially when it comes to the camera — in fact, some even go as far as to suggest that the Pixel can take on the iPhone in photo quality.
Updated on 10-27-2016 by Hillary Grigonis: Added information on what causes lens flares.