Google Pixel have Major Camera Problems, Fix Coming

Owners of the Google Pixel, as well as the Google Pixel XL, are reporting regarding the problems they are encountering when they are using their camera applications on their smartphones. The camera on Google’s new Pixel lineup is one of its most highlighted features. An impressive sensor, Pixel and Pixel XL are capable of taking some stunning pictures and videos. However, we have seen a number of problems showing up in the phones’ camera.

Pixel Camera Freezing Followed by Pink And Purple Lines on the Screen.

Google’s Pixel smartphone series has proven to produce stunning photos and videos with their 12.3MP camera applications. However, the cameras may not be perfect to free from flaws. A new issue occurred just this week and it has something to do with how the Pixel cameras cause the camera app to freeze and produce pink and purple lines on the screen.

According to International BusinessTimes, The new issue with the Pixel cameras is being reported by numerous users on Google’s own forum page. For some reason, the camera app would simply just freeze as users start to take a picture. What’s more alarming is that the camera app would then display mysterious pink and purple lines across the screen. In some cases, taking videos are also affected by the same issue.

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Mike Fox, the first person to report the issue back in October, said that Google actually provided him with a replacement Pixel. Unfortunately for him, the replacement model that he got still came with the same issue. Orrin, Pixel Community Manager said addressing the reported issue:

Hey Mike and Christoph,
We’d like to dig into this and investigate further. I am going to follow up over email to request a bug report.
Be on the lookout for my email!

“The Pixel team is aware of the reports and actively working on a solution to the issue. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information,” Google reportedly told MobileSyrup.

On the bright side, it seems that the camera issue is not hardware-related as it was speculated on the forum, which means that a quick software update should resolve the problem.

Until the update rolls out, users could avoid the freezing camera issues by using a different camera app.

Pixel Camera Lens Flare Problem

The problem was first reported on Reddit and in Google’s Pixel User Community forums.

“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,” a Pixel owner named tusing writes. “All store units our group has tested are exhibiting the effect; all RMA and return units are also exhibiting the effect […] 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.”

The flare shows up as a halo spanning a section of the frame, as these example photos on Twitter show:

Some kind of lens flare on the #GooglePixel camera in low light pic.twitter.com/VI1sIks71r

— Grant (@g808) October 22, 2016

Google acknowledges lens flare issues on Pixel, working on a fix to be released ‘in the next few weeks’ https://t.co/x3LWR30afH pic.twitter.com/uQcqqddcRx

— 9to5Google (@9to5Google) October 26, 2016

Others owners report that photographing the exact same scene with other smartphones doesn’t create the same lens flare.

Google’s camera product lead, Isaac Reynolds, quickly responded to the complaints by confirming the problem and promising a fix.

“First, for some background — flare is a property of ALL camera lenses,” Reynolds writes. “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.”

What’s interesting is that even though the flare may be caused by the hardware design, Google is planning to correct the flare using software.

“You can expect a software update in the next few weeks that will improve the effects of this issue,” Reynolds says. “We’re working on some algorithms that recognize the halo/arc flare, characterize it mathematically, and then subtract it from the image.”

The bad news is, because each Google Pixel is manufactured to exact specifications, every Google Pixel will have this flare — getting your phone replaced won’t do anything. Also, the future software fix will require you to shoot in HDR+ mode if you’d like to have the flare removed digitally.

“…by doing things in software, we are able to make Pixel’s camera even better over time,” writes Reynolds. “This is one of those ways.”