Camera problem: red/blue/purple noise in low light photos

Does your One have red/blue/purple noise in low light photos?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1,588 89.8%
  • No

    Votes: 180 10.2%

  • Total voters
    1,768
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VictorC

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2013
191
247
Bucharest, Romania, EU
Hello everybody!

I am now a proud owner of an HTC One and I absolutely love it.

Its an SH35BW903846 and, build quality wise, its almost perfect - 99% perfect. No gaps, no dents, not dead pixels, no light bleed and not even the pop/crackle. It's running the 1.29.401.16 software.

The only problem I have (I don't know yet if it is a problem), is with the camera in night time and very low light scenes.

My problem is that in night shots and very low light scenes, the camera turns the black into blue (or red in very very dark scenes). For example, I included some photos, on a dark street with only a few light posts it turns black areas into blurry blue. Yes, it lets in more light (and more natural looking light) than my old One X, but the black areas are blue.

Not to mention, some times it has trouble focusing so a few of the shots I attached were taken after 2-3 tries.

Even more, in very very dark scenarios - see the last picture - it turns the blackness into red.

Now, my questions:

  • Is this normal?
  • Has anyone else had this problem (is it a problem)?
  • Can someone post a night time picture taken with their one in similar scenario and without the "blue"?

I am a bit worried because if it is a flaw than i would have to return my almost perfect One... :crying:

If the information below or this thread have helped you in any way, hit the thanks button ;)

UPDATED 13th of November: I took my phone into service again. This time they didn't replace my whole phone, but they did replace the camera module. They put in a camera from SHARP, sensor date 14 october 2013. The first tests I've done indicate that they've finally found a way/a sensor/a manufacturer to make the damned camera perform in low light like it supposed to... See a photo comparison of the new camera here.

UPDATED 14th of October: A comparison test after getting the 4.3 and Sense 5.5 Update: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=46781359&postcount=3099 :mad:

UPDATED (2nd of October) - If you have the same problem, please fill in this Google form made by @gogogaga7 so we can have a centralized data base with information about the units that are flawed. The form is here: http://goo.gl/HmRJqC

UPDATED (5th of July) - I just got a replacement for my faulty unit and I just posted comparison photos in this post: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=43265994&postcount=89

Advice: If your camera gives you similar results with blue/red/purple noise in low-light photos -> take it back to HTC or an operator or repair service for a replacement!

UPDATED with Poll (13th of August) - Seeing how many replies and page views this thread has gathered during these couple of months, how many of you said they experience this problem and how HTC has not publicly recognized it (either as software or hardware fault), I added a Poll to see indeed how many of us are having this problem. Please vote!


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Riyal

Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    @VictorCozmei

    Heya buddy! Yes this is the same as mine! I have been trying to create a discussion of this eversince and also found some users here with the same or worst than ours issue.

    Apparently reducing the ISO solves the issue.

    Anyways do you have access to other HTC One devices? Like demo on stores or relatives owning one? You could try by covering the camera lense with your hand. If it turns bright red then we must assume it's a normal behaviour of the camera. I can't really tell but I think this is happening because of the very aggressive sensitivity of light on our phones. I compared it with my previous phone and an ISO 100 on HTC One is equally similar to the ISO 400 of my previous phone.

    Anyways if we can gather much feedback from users maybe we would know if this is a defect indeed(software/hardware) or just normal.

    Also this should not be Chromatic aberration or at least similar to thos of the iphone 5 purple haze as it's like the opposite. CA and iphone purple haze is due to high contrast whilst ours is happening on low contrast areas.
     
    Last edited:

    VictorC

    Senior Member
    Apr 24, 2013
    191
    247
    Bucharest, Romania, EU
    ^^^ @Riyal

    Thanks for the reply. I thought for surely my post would go unnoticed and I'll be left alone with this potential problem even if there are loads of HTC One owners on the forum who can give a helping hand but just don't bother... :(

    I don't have immediate access to another HTC One, but I will be following your advice and I will surely test them that way... Again, I sure hope this isn't a flaw in my phone. I would hate to take it back because it is so perfect in every other way :crying:

    Just hope somebody else could join in the discussion and share their experience...
     

    Xerro-Five

    Senior Member
    Apr 16, 2013
    244
    91
    Vancouver
    I notice a couple of interesting things when trying stuff out after reading your post:

    If it's very dark (probably darker than what it was when you took the example pictures) the screen could be blue, red, or purple (a mix of blue and red noise upon closer inspection) depending on how much light I allowed back in.

    If it's completely dark (put it down on a table), the screen is always red. This is actually pretty common among many sensors though.

    Taking pictures with it at night in my living room with the tv on, the pictures are usually orange.

    So it seems to me to be a property of the camera even when the camera is otherwise fine as I have noticed no other issues with mine. Thinking back to my old iPhone, I remember the pictures being blue just like your examples when it was dark. Maybe further evidence of it being normal?

    Sent from my HTC One using xda app-developers app
     

    Riyal

    Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    @Xerro-Five

    Do you also experience the same issue as ours? I believe it's a miscalibration. Or probably an issue with image sense chipset of HTC. Did any of you guys already tried directly ask HTC about this issue?

    Anyways could I ask you guys the build number of your phones?

    @VictorCozmei
    Considering that this phone should boast low light capabilities I think this is not a normal behavior. What we should do is ask directly HTC if this is solved through software or hardware. As far as I know not all people here experience this issue else we could seen alot more posts about this.
    I notice a couple of interesting things when trying stuff out after reading your post:

    If it's very dark (probably darker than what it was when you took the example pictures) the screen could be blue, red, or purple (a mix of blue and red noise upon closer inspection) depending on how much light I allowed back in.

    If it's completely dark (put it down on a table), the screen is always red. This is actually pretty common among many sensors though.

    Taking pictures with it at night in my living room with the tv on, the pictures are usually orange.

    So it seems to me to be a property of the camera even when the camera is otherwise fine as I have noticed no other issues with mine. Thinking back to my old iPhone, I remember the pictures being blue just like your examples when it was dark. Maybe further evidence of it being normal?

    Sent from my HTC One using xda app-developers app
     

    Xerro-Five

    Senior Member
    Apr 16, 2013
    244
    91
    Vancouver
    @Xerro-Five

    Do you also experience the same issue as ours? I believe it's a miscalibration. Or probably an issue with image sense chipset of HTC. Did any of you guys already tried directly ask HTC about this issue?

    Anyways could I ask you guys the build number of your phones?


    @VictorCozmei
    Considering that this phone should boast low light capabilities I think this is not a normal behavior. What we should do is ask directly HTC if this is solved through software or hardware. As far as I know not all people here experience this issue else we could seen alot more posts about this.

    Well yeah, that's what I was getting at lol. Even right now for example it's dark and the blacks can turn blue and/or red. Again I don't think this is a problem but rather a normal behavior of image sensors (at least in my experience) so I haven't made any complaints or inquiries.

    HT349W

    Sent from my HTC One using xda app-developers app
     

    Riyal

    Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    Well yeah, that's what I was getting at lol. Even right now for example it's dark and the blacks can turn blue and/or red. Again I don't think this is a problem but rather a normal behavior of image sensors (at least in my experience) so I haven't made any complaints or inquiries.

    HT349W

    Sent from my HTC One using xda app-developers app

    @Xerro-Five

    Check this post I made yesterday...

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=42413954&postcount=6926


    Some users doesn't have that annoying red/blue tint on their devices even when covered.

    Here's mine
    attachment.php


    And here's from another user

    9y7aty5e.jpg
     

    VictorC

    Senior Member
    Apr 24, 2013
    191
    247
    Bucharest, Romania, EU
    @Riyal

    Mine doesn't get red when i cover the camera with my hand and take a picture (or if i put it on the table with the camera down). Its black, but at night time and in extremely very low light it goes to red... If it finds a little more light than the black areas get blue, blueish or purple... And it gets very hard to focus for a proper shot, even if i point it towards a light source like a lamp post.

    I took a photo with my hand fully covering the camera and it turned out black. I compared it to the one posted on the other thread by the other user, the one who uploaded his black photo for you so you could see the exif data.

    Compared, mine was taken with ISO 400, the other user's photo was ISO 2000 ... Mine had thew birghtness -2.163531, his was -4.48546

    What does yours say?
     

    Riyal

    Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    Mine is also saying 2000 ISO and brightness(based on properties detail on windows 7) 4.28472

    This only mean 1 thing... Our phone's sensor is either uncalibrated or is just way too aggressive in collecting light.

    I can only recreate a pitch black result by covering the camera if my I manually set my ISO to 400 or 200. Setting it to 800, 1600 or Auto shows up the reddish tint.

    I already contacted HTC about this and sent a sample screenshot. Now let's see what they can tell.
    @Professional photographers

    What do you think this is? color temperature issue? Gain issue? I can modify these values in the kernel if someone can confirm me what might be the real issue is.

    @Riyal

    Mine doesn't get red when i cover the camera with my hand and take a picture (or if i put it on the table with the camera down). Its black, but at night time and in extremely very low light it goes to red... If it finds a little more light than the black areas get blue, blueish or purple... And it gets very hard to focus for a proper shot, even if i point it towards a light source like a lamp post.

    I took a photo with my hand fully covering the camera and it turned out black. I compared it to the one posted on the other thread by the other user, the one who uploaded his black photo for you so you could see the exif data.

    Compared, mine was taken with ISO 400, the other user's photo was ISO 2000 ... Mine had thew birghtness -2.163531, his was -4.48546

    What does yours say?
     
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    Riyal

    Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    @Riyal

    I tried again to take some shots with my hand closely covering the camera.... One picture was purple, the other one was red... In both ISO was 2000...
    -4.4 in brightness

    Well I guess all I could say is.... Welcome to the club! lol! Now with so many users having this issue I don't know if it's indeed an issue or not. Is this the downside of having 300% more light in a low pixel resolution camera?

    ---------- Post added at 04:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:26 PM ----------

    By the way I'm gonna go to our local telecom provider later since they have display units of HTC One here. I'll take a look and see if it also has the issue. Last time I checked it was a May build so it's a new batch.

    *Hope it gets the same result to ease my mind*

    I'm really gonna fret out if it's a hardware issue as I have to ship the device back to europe from asia just to get it fixed/replaced >.<
     

    VictorC

    Senior Member
    Apr 24, 2013
    191
    247
    Bucharest, Romania, EU
    Well I guess all I could say is.... Welcome to the club! lol! Now with so many users having this issue I don't know if it's indeed an issue or not. Is this the downside of having 300% more light in a low pixel resolution camera?

    I'm looking at the anandtech review and I don't see this problem in their night shots... For example, this picture ( http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/HTC/HTCOne/cameracomp/bench-HTC One.jpg ) was taken on full auto and it returned an ISO of 531 1/15s and all that was supposed to be black was black...

    If I try something like that... I'll most certainly get an 1/7s and an ISO-2000... :(
     

    Riyal

    Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    I'm looking at the anandtech review and I don't see this problem in their night shots... For example, this picture ( http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/HTC/HTCOne/cameracomp/bench-HTC One.jpg ) was taken on full auto and it returned an ISO of 531 1/15s and all that was supposed to be black was black...

    If I try something like that... I'll most certainly get an 1/7s and an ISO-2000... :(

    I don't think so... Look at the light in the area it's way to evenly spread out for yours to become reddish believe me I have tried it. For the photo to become reddish you basically need to have a very limited light source(candle in a completely dark room) for the sides to become reddish.
     

    Floris2310

    Senior Member
    Nov 8, 2010
    76
    5
    +1 on the above stated issues. When I cover the lens, the image turns red because iso shoots up. However when I manually set the iso lower (say 100), then the image is just plain black.

    I honestly do not think this is a defect of some kind but rather normal behaviour with high iso settings. But when someone can take a pitch black picture with the lens covered on iso 2000 than we will have a problem ;)
     

    VictorC

    Senior Member
    Apr 24, 2013
    191
    247
    Bucharest, Romania, EU
    I don't think so... Look at the light in the area it's way to evenly spread out for yours to become reddish believe me I have tried it. For the photo to become reddish you basically need to have a very limited light source(candle in a completely dark room) for the sides to become reddish.

    I've tried taking photos in similar scenarios like the one on the anadtech site and my result was a photo with blue and purple-ish noise instead of the black that appears in their photos. All on auto on my device -> ISO 2000, 1/7s, blue instead of black areas
     

    Riyal

    Senior Member
  • Dec 16, 2011
    3,035
    1,768
    Iloilo City
    I was thinking the same as you before someone gave me this pitch black result.

    +1 on the above stated issues. When I cover the lens, the image turns red because iso shoots up. However when I manually set the iso lower (say 100), then the image is just plain black.

    I honestly do not think this is a defect of some kind but rather normal behaviour with high iso settings. But when someone can take a pitch black picture with the lens covered on iso 2000 than we will have a problem ;)

    I've tried taking photos in similar scenarios like the one on the anadtech site and my result was a photo with blue and purple-ish noise instead of the black that appears in their photos. All on auto on my device -> ISO 2000, 1/7s, blue instead of black areas

    I'm pretty sure I could get exactly the same results with my phone. Even just a single street light is enough to remove the reddish tint on the camera. However what I find odd is flourescent lights can't remove it.
     

    Floris2310

    Senior Member
    Nov 8, 2010
    76
    5
    damn, bad news then. Probably a stupid question but did you check the ISO settings on the device?

    There are two possible scenarios here:
    1) We have a sensor which is acting weird/broken
    2) There is something wrong with the ISO selection and it typically takes an ISO to high which causes the red image

    I think (read: hope) the second option is more likely and the good news is that this would probably be a software rather than hardware issue.

    Anyway, thanks @Riyal for checking this!
     

    VictorC

    Senior Member
    Apr 24, 2013
    191
    247
    Bucharest, Romania, EU
    @Riyal

    This is horrible :crying: @#$%!

    If this is truly confirmed and there are a number of One's out there with broken sensors, than I think this thread should be renamed so that all users know about this problem. Maybe some of them, looking to buy the One, can do the camera test before purchasing a faulty unit!

    I just got my One and I'm falling in love with it and now I have to take it back and be without it... :rolleyes: More over, the great HTC-partner service we have here doesn't not know the meaning of the word "replacement" and they will most surely try to open and fix it (oh the horror!!) ...
     

    Floris2310

    Senior Member
    Nov 8, 2010
    76
    5
    @Riyal

    This is horrible :crying: @#$%!

    If this is truly confirmed and there are a number of One's out there with broken sensors, than I think this thread should be renamed so that all users know about this problem. Maybe some of them, looking to buy the One, can do the camera test before purchasing a faulty unit!

    I just got my One and I'm falling in love with it and now I have to take it back and be without it... :rolleyes: More over, the great HTC-partner service we have here doesn't not know the meaning of the word "replacement" and they will most surely try to open and fix it (oh the horror!!) ...

    I would wait a little longer before returning the device. The 4.2.2 update is just around the corner and I have read somewhere that there are some camera improvements. Perhaps the issue is fixed with the update. If it's a software problem that is.
     

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    • 32
      Ok so I've done some tests after the 4.3 and Sense 5.5 update

      I have good news and bad news...

      The good news
      is: Apparently HTC did put some software in it to try and solve the blue/red/purple camera problem and it sort of works...

      The bad news: It sort of works only in 5% of moments (at best)... :mad:

      In some moments I felt that the images I got were better than the ones I could've got before... And I can definitely see when the software thingy kicks in: After 2-3 seconds when the noise builds up, it jumps right in and the image becomes darker, but with less noise...

      The problem is it doesn't eliminate the noise and in a lot of moments I got the same results - the image would gather more and more purple/red/blue noise as the seconds went by.

      Worse still, at some point the phone goes crazy and, i guess it's due to the software patch, the screen goes like a Christmas tree light: white noise - blue noise - purple - red noise - black - no noise....

      So... The pictures below are a comparison between my first unit (the one that took the pictures in the original postin the thread) and my current (new/replacement) unit in the first days, after a while (when it started presenting the same problem) and now, after the 4.3 and Sense 5.5 Update.

      Note: I selected the best shot sample from the 4.3 update batch

      G6PtzDK.jpg


      FsylKmw.jpg


      l8BNmsw.jpg


      WW5g70u.jpg


      This, i guess, is the only example where the update is better then the others...

      Md6aLo2.jpg


      The picture below shows a series of shots taken after the 4.3/Sense 5.5 update in chronological order. Notice how the noise starts building up -> So I see no difference there to how it was before the update... Awful...

      RUaReWp.jpg


      And the picture below shows how the software kicks in, but it starts gathering noise again (slower, but still...)

      IE1m7TV.jpg


      If you think this post helped, hit the thanks button ;)
      24
      Hello everybody!

      I am now a proud owner of an HTC One and I absolutely love it.

      Its an SH35BW903846 and, build quality wise, its almost perfect - 99% perfect. No gaps, no dents, not dead pixels, no light bleed and not even the pop/crackle. It's running the 1.29.401.16 software.

      The only problem I have (I don't know yet if it is a problem), is with the camera in night time and very low light scenes.

      My problem is that in night shots and very low light scenes, the camera turns the black into blue (or red in very very dark scenes). For example, I included some photos, on a dark street with only a few light posts it turns black areas into blurry blue. Yes, it lets in more light (and more natural looking light) than my old One X, but the black areas are blue.

      Not to mention, some times it has trouble focusing so a few of the shots I attached were taken after 2-3 tries.

      Even more, in very very dark scenarios - see the last picture - it turns the blackness into red.

      Now, my questions:

      • Is this normal?
      • Has anyone else had this problem (is it a problem)?
      • Can someone post a night time picture taken with their one in similar scenario and without the "blue"?

      I am a bit worried because if it is a flaw than i would have to return my almost perfect One... :crying:

      If the information below or this thread have helped you in any way, hit the thanks button ;)

      UPDATED 13th of November: I took my phone into service again. This time they didn't replace my whole phone, but they did replace the camera module. They put in a camera from SHARP, sensor date 14 october 2013. The first tests I've done indicate that they've finally found a way/a sensor/a manufacturer to make the damned camera perform in low light like it supposed to... See a photo comparison of the new camera here.

      UPDATED 14th of October: A comparison test after getting the 4.3 and Sense 5.5 Update: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=46781359&postcount=3099 :mad:

      UPDATED (2nd of October) - If you have the same problem, please fill in this Google form made by @gogogaga7 so we can have a centralized data base with information about the units that are flawed. The form is here: http://goo.gl/HmRJqC

      UPDATED (5th of July) - I just got a replacement for my faulty unit and I just posted comparison photos in this post: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=43265994&postcount=89

      Advice: If your camera gives you similar results with blue/red/purple noise in low-light photos -> take it back to HTC or an operator or repair service for a replacement!

      UPDATED with Poll (13th of August) - Seeing how many replies and page views this thread has gathered during these couple of months, how many of you said they experience this problem and how HTC has not publicly recognized it (either as software or hardware fault), I added a Poll to see indeed how many of us are having this problem. Please vote!


      OO0M4fO.jpg

      TXIXRbV.jpg

      7UvUmzT.jpg

      O4X7EKT.jpg

      JWJvqSq.jpg

      0iTKzDh.jpg

      vQ0b0np.jpg
      23
      So, seeing as how I started this thread with some really (really!) awful low-light shots taken with my HTC One, I feel I should come back with some news after my second replacement.

      My first unit (the one which took those awful blue photos in the OP) was exchanged with a new unit ( a new phone), but unfortunately, after a few days (maybe a week), the camera started going bad again... In a matter of months I was back in the purple tint club. I waited for the famous 4.3 update to see if it really changes anything. My conclusions after that, you can see in the photo comparison I posted here.

      So, I took back my unit into service (Regenersis), they shipped it to Poland where they have their laboratories and in just a week they sent it back with a new camera module instaled (from SHARP, sensor date 14 october 2013) and now it really seems they have finally found a way/ a sensor/ a manufacturer to make the damned camera perform in low light like it supposed to...

      Actually, I was really (extremely in some cases) impressed with the low light performance... Especially when I put the photos against the ones that I took before.

      So... Down below you will find a photo comparison between my new HTC One camera and the old faulty camera on the same HTC One just after the 4.3 update.

      As a note, the images were taken under very similar circumstances and lighting conditions:

      aFGpaAG.jpg


      NUUzsXp.jpg


      qxCuIuH.jpg


      zBP4Wfc.jpg


      v8Mz13k.jpg


      tuXZXi4.jpg


      In this photo, in the picture take with the old camera, there was more light because of a light turned on just above and on one of the first floor window in the building bhind me:

      lx6dAp2.jpg


      gPB2Dx9.jpg


      Here is the details of the new camera they put on my phone:

      OGqBuuv.jpg



      >>>Hit the thanks button if you thing this post helped at all ;)
      19
      We have a conclusion ( @Riyal and me): the camera issue it's a software issue.
      It's caused from some libs and a bit of code in the kernel.
      So, we're at working to how to solve it, but this require time.
      We hoping that we can do a solution soon.

      Cheers,
      Guich :)
      16
      Hello everybody!

      I took my unit into service last week and today I was called that my replacement unit arrived and I can pick it up (although i didn't expect them to replace my phone, but try to repair it and maybe break it even more. They agreed to except a replacement and told me that, indeed, there is a problem with the camera sensor and sent the faulty unit back to HTC ).

      Ok, so I just got my new phone (the replacement unit) and, after testing it a bit, I can say that the problem is gone (or so I hope).

      Below, I took some photos in the same places I took the photos posted in the first post of this thread and I compared them. So, up top you can see the photos taken with my old One unit, and below - the photos take with my new unit.

      All photos are taken on Full Auto mode, with just a touch to focus before pressing the shutter button:

      FSsoORO.jpg


      tB0HcHK.jpg


      3qanpD0.jpg


      jY84sOC.jpg


      oNSdYdn.jpg


      rQ9iS7y.jpg


      zONb6kI.jpg

      @Riyal I thought you might be interested :)
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