iPhone 4S - Front facing camera flickering?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sir Ruben, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Sir Ruben macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #1
    Hi All,

    Noticed a strange issue with my front facing camera. I dont really use it much but I have noticed during facetime calls it can sometimes have a black flicker which sometimes stops during the call.

    Also switching from brightly lit to dark environments while the front facing camera is open causes it to flicker a lot and sometimes freeze and crash the camer app (the shutter animation closes over the picture and the app closes itself).

    Im trying to figure out if this is a software issue or an intermittent problem with the camera itself.

    Anyone had any similar issues?
     
  2. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #2
    Mine does that too. Not often, but you've described it to a T

    I upgraded from the 4, which didn't have this behavior, so I don't know what to make of it. It's almost as if it's reacting to lighting changes, but instead of slowly adjusting over the space of a second or two, it's nanoseconds.

    I gave my 4 to my son, who also has iOS5 now, and his doesn't do this so it's probably the 4S super-fast hardware that's causing it. Maybe in time, Apple might be able to slow it down a tad with firmware.

    If I'm well-lit from the front, and there's no changing light behind me, the front camera seems solid.
     
  3. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #3
    I agree it feels like its reacting super fast to light and dark changes and in turn crashes the camera app or causes flickering during a facetime call. I asked the person on the other end if they could see the flickering and they coulld see it too.

    I also came from an iPhone 4 and didnt encounter this problem.

    Im really hoping that its a common thing and not a hardware fault as my 4S has been perfect so far.
     
  4. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #4
    Me too. The lady of the house also has a 4S so I'll see if hers does it too when she gets home this evening, and report back. :)
     
  5. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #5
    Strangely it doesn't seem to happen with the Camera+ app which makes me feel it's a more a software issue.
     
  6. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #6
    BUMP!

    Anyone else getting this?

    Im really confused as to why the front facing camera doesnt display this behaviour using the Camera+ app, only the default camera app.

    Again the symptoms are:

    * Jarring flickering when moving from bright to dark areas
    * Flickering during facetime calls
    * Sometimes it struggles with contrast changes so badly it either:
    A) crashes the camera app
    B) causes it to go almost completely black and only slight details can be faintly seen such as strong lights, reboot of the app resolves.

    because it doesnt happen in Camera+ Im reluctant to take the phone back as it doesnt feel like a hardware issue.

    There must be others with this problem??
     
  7. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #7
    Well, my wife's 4S, bought at the same time as mine from the same stock, does not do this. I'm really reluctant to exchange my phone because it's excellent in every other way. With the nightmare stories of loose buttons, weak proximity sensors, yellow screens and battery issues, I'm terrified that I'd get a new phone with much bigger problems.

    I'm with you - I suspect software, but since both my phone and my wife's are from the same batch, and both have iOS5, I'm really not sure what the difference is. They're both 16GB black 4S models. I held both phones side by side, turned on the front camera in a room with a bright window on one wall, then spun around so the lighting went from really bright to dark and back.

    Her phone handled it like a champ. My screen would flicker, freeze, close and reopen by itself etc. But only for about 1 minute. After that, my phone was smooth - until I closed the camera app, hit the sleep button, woke it up, and tried it again. Then I had a another minute or so of bad behavior before it settled down. Seems that it has a real issue ajusting to changing light conditions during that first minute or two though.

    To me, that again suggests software. I may try a format/restore on my phone today since I'm working from home. Again, I'll post back with results.
     
  8. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #8
    Let me know how that gets on, Im putting in some long hours at work but if it works for you i'll be sure to give it a try too.
     
  9. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #9
    No change. Because I have another 4S to do a side-by-side, and a full reset didn't resolve it, I'm going to risk a return. I called Apple and they're sending me a replacement. I can examine it first, and if it's got other problems, I can always ship the replacement back instead and hang on to mine.

    So I'm going that route. If you're near an Apple store, the Apple rep I spoke to on the phone said if you can demonstrate the issue (which is easy to do in this case) they will swap it out for you. I'm not near an Apple store - the nearest Apple store for me is 2.5 hours drive each way. So I went with the UPS option. Good luck!
     
  10. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #10
    Ah that's a shame. I'm gonna hold out on sending mine back and see what happens. I'm in no real rush to cure it now that I know it's happening with other people too.
     
  11. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    My iPhone 4S does this during FaceTime calls. Feels like an aperture issue of some sort, but not entirely sure if it's software or hardware...
     
  12. Sir Ruben, Oct 27, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011

    Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #12
    I have just spoken with Apple support and they too agree it doesnt sound like a hardware issue based on the fact that the front facing camera works perfectly in the Camera + app.

    If any of you have that app I suggest you try it for yourself and you will see that the camera operates perfectly. As in 100% perfectly, as opposed to the terrible behaviour via the standard camera app.

    Apple suggested I first try 'reset all settings', now having worked as an IT technician for 11 years I was sceptical but appreciate that you have to run through diagnostics from start to finish in a certain order. I have done this and chose to restore from my latest iCloud backup and first impressions suggest that it might now be working fine in the camera app as well.

    I'll update if it goes back to being a flickering mess, but for now at least it seems to be okay.

    Good news! Its fixed! Hasnt done any of the above since the resetting the settings no matter how hard I try, phew!
     
  13. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #13
    Sadly, nothing I tried fixed my flicker issue. It's almost as if the camera sensor is crashing the software. It doesn't crash Camera+, but it does flicker. Like you, I don't use Facetime much but in a year I plan to hand the phone down to my son, so I want everything to function properly.

    On a side note, Apple doesn't mess around. FedEx just called - my replacement will be here less than 2 hours from now. That's only about 18 hours since I called Apple support. Holy cow!
     
  14. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #14
    Pleased to hear it! If it flakes out on you again, exchange the phone. I got my replacement, restored from the backup of my original 4S, fired them both up and held them side-by-side - same OS, same apps, same everything. My old 4S would still stutter and have fits when exposed to contrast changes. The replacement is smooth as glass. So for me, a hardware swap fixed the issue (My front cam on the old phone had this problem from day 1).

    Relieved to discover that the new one has no other issues, so I'm delighted.
     
  15. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #15
    Well guess what? It must have just been coincidence, because now its back and its also doing it (to a lesser extent) in Camera+ too!

    So that pretty much settles it. I will make an appointment with a genius at my local Apple store and get it replaced.

    I cant see any way this problem can be resolved by the user which is a shame. maybe its a faulty sensor.

    Does anyone know if the replacement 4S will be brand new or a refurb?
     
  16. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #16
    I thought the problem might return. Our symptoms were so alike, and after seeing a replacement phone with the same exact config behave correcly, I concluded my problem could only be bad hardware and yours probably was too. Although there are not a lot of reports of this issue on the forums here, I'm sure Apple overall is seeing some returns trickling in with this problem.

    I'd say chances of you getting a refurb are slim, but grow with each passing day.

    Honestly, they might have sent me a refurb but it's impossible to tell. The replacement was absolutely immaculate - no fingerprints, smudges or anything. If it was a refurb, it sure doesn't look like it was "used"

    At this point, refurb or new, they're the same age anyway. My replacement is, so far, flawless both in appearance and functionality. I tested everything - screen color, speakers, jack, vibrate, WiFi, 3G, bluetooth, Siri & battery before sending my old one back. I guess that's one of the great things about this forum. It teaches you what to look out for. lol

    Hope things work(ed) out for you at the Apple store!
     
  17. c14nhl macrumors 6502

    c14nhl

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    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #17
    This happened to me while on FaceTime last night.

    I flipped it to the back camera and again to the front and it was fine after that.
     
  18. TM WAZZA macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    #18
  19. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #19
    Yeah that looks like the same problem except it didn't crash on him as well. He doesn't realise it's faulty lol

    I have spoken to apple and they are sending me a replacement which should arrive today or tomorrow.
     
  20. TM WAZZA macrumors 68000

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    #20
    Great to hear
     
  21. SoIsays macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    #21
    if your front camera is flickering, you should get it replaced. my 4S flickered for a few hours until eventually it flickered an image like an old school tv with no signal in either all purple, all green, or all black. the apple store people told me it was the first they'd seen of it but i know it's not because people complained the same with the iphone 4. anyway, they replaced it and the replacement phone is working good so far.
     
  22. GDMcG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #22
    My iPhone 4S Front Camera Flickers Also

    I it's noticed over the past few days that my iPhone 4S Front Camera flickers and sometimes displays multicolored lines and goes completely dark, finally crashing the Camera App and causing it to reopen. But the problem is not consistent. The failure starts and stops at random times. I will certainly keep an eye on it and since I bought AppleCare+ I should have plenty of time to address it.
     
  23. joyce883 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #23
    This happened to me too. I just came back from apple store in Pleasanton today and they didnt get to help with the issue. I got this 32g white iphone 4s December 1 at AT&T. I still have the 30days but when I tried to exchange it they said apple would deal with the defects.

    So I went to apple, showed them the white/black screen, even the app camera froze type of screenshot pics but none of them seemed to get the Genius' attention. He told me upfront that nothing was wrong on my front lens camera when he tried to TEST the back screen of my camera to take pic (which he shouldn't have done coz that wasn't my problem).

    My problem isn't the quality of the picture but just the ABOUT to take pictures on my front lens being sensitive to light. It would BLINK or get static black screen or all white then would freeze when it detects lightness in the background. But what the Genius told me was maybe because i was using HDR. Like wow that wasn't even the case. I didnt go there for the quality of the pics but for the front lens acting up when is detects light. This is not consistent too though. He's pertaining to the back lens not the front which is my issue.

    Nothing was solved and I'm not happy with my phone.
     
  24. joyce883 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #24


    Same as you. My phone would blink/flicker when i try to take a pic on my front lens. But this seems to happen more on either bright or dark areas. It would give me multicolored screen/static on a black screen, all white screen or it would freeze.

    I did reset everything, even to set it up as a new phone but none seemed to work. Got my phone only Dec 1, still under the 30 day warranty on AT&T but they said that apple would deal with the defect. But they didnt help with my front lens camera issue. I'm so disappointed.

    ----------

    That happens to me both on video and front lens camera when there is light too. But it's not consistent though, so it's luck if the genius guy from apple would see it as a faulty cam, only when it flickers in front of him is what they consider it to be having problems. How should I get mine's replaced? I'm not satisfied with this fon, I even took screenshots but the apple guy tried to test my fon using the BACK camera saying there's no problem with it. wow! my problem was the FRONT not the back. Case wasn't solved from apple today.
     
  25. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #25
    To be honest it sounds like you didnt stand your ground. When he was talking about the rear camera you should have immediately corrected him. It sounds like you let him do all the talking and then just left with your tail between your legs. You are the customer!
     

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