It seems that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL don’t have the “best smartphone camera ever”, because when a light source points toward it from a certain angle, a halo effect appears on photos. Google investigated the problem and it concluded that it’s caused by a misalignment between the positioning of the camera and the 2.5D glass panel, and it promised to fix it with a software update.
Many Google Pixel and Pixel XL owners have complained on Reddit about the halo effect and they posted pictures taken with other phones in the same conditions, to prove that only Google’s handsets are prone to lens flare. A Google employee with user name IsaacOnCamera has informed the Pixel User Community that a software update is on its way and it will fix the problem. The update is expected to roll out in the coming weeks and it will include new algorithms that will subtract the halo from the photo.
IsaacOnCamera has posted on the Pixel User Community board that “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.”
It seems that the flare doesn’t appear on all photos. Guys from Phandroid have taken 100 pictures with the Pixel and the excessive lens flare has popped out in only 3 images. If this issue will be solved soon, users will take high quality pictures without flare characteristics.
The new Pixel phones that were created by HTC use a 12.3 MP camera with Electronic image stabilization, which converts light into electrical pulses that make up a video signal. The transition from one frame to another is smoothed and this results in the reduction of distracting vibrations from videos.