white iphone 4 lightleak

I may have embellished this image just a little for this post....


File this one under “Rumors”.

Cult of Mac is reporting that the long-delayed white iPhone 4 is being delayed not because of mismatched home buttons, light leaking from the case, or antenna issues, but because of light leaks within the camera. You can read their whole story by clicking here.

The white iPhone 4 can’t take accurate photographs. The handset’s semi-translucent glass case leaks light in, ruining pictures taken with the internal camera, especially when the built-in flash is used.

“You don’t get accurate pictures on the white iPhone because of the color of the glass back. It washes out the pictures,” said a source with connections to Apple who asked to remain anonymous.

While on the surface this sounds pretty cool to every lo-fi iPhonegrapher, If true, it’s really a potentially big problem with the new phone and the camera. The iPhone 4 has already had other camera issues upon launch, including the “yellow cast” problem which plagued many of the original black iPhone 4 devices — I had to return my first 4 because of this. Currently, The Apple Store online isn’t even accepting orders for a white iPhone 4. AT&T’s website lists the device as “coming soon”.

Light leaks are usually associated with analog, low-end, plastic toy cameras, such as the Holga and Diana bodies. This is the first time I’ve heard of a digital camera suffering from light leaks. It sounds like an interesting in-camera lo-fi effect. While some photographers find light leaks desirable, for most users, having random streaks of light painted across images is a big problem.

In a way, it would be kind of a cool novelty iDevice, but a pretty expensive one and not one I’d be likely to use as my everyday shooter. For now, I’ll stick with PictureShow and other apps to manually add light leak effects to my photos.