Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

english.ununpentium

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2016
3
0
Hi,

I recently dropped my iPhone 7 from 3 feet with a full-body case and the rear camera started to take partially blurry images. I know it's my fault this is happening, but this never happened with previous iPhones for me (as I dropped them many, many times), so I thought this might help some people for future reference. For full details please see https://discussions.apple.com/message/31080476#31080476

EDIT: Attached the full thread on Apple discussions, just in case it gets deleted.

[doublepost=1481311855][/doublepost]
My iPhone 7 on iOS 10 suddenly started taking pictures which are partially blurred.




No matter where I focus the rear camera lens there would always be a blurry part, which didn't happen before. It virtually from one day to the other, and this behavior is consistent.



When I gently tap on the camera lens of my iPhone I can hear vibration sound as if the camera were loose or something else inside. Is that normal?

I've tried restarting my phone, and it wouldn't help.

Upgrading iOS also didn't help.

Also, I don't notice any irregularities on the rear camera lens. It's not cracked, bent or otherwise damaged.

Has anyone experienced this before? IS this covered by warranty?

My solution

For anyone having the same problem here what solved the problem:

First of all I wanted to point out that I love my iPhone. I don't want to drag into the dirt, only tell you about a disappointing story. It turned out to be a hardware issue. Let me explain.

So, I had this issue after dropping my phone from about 1 feet with a full- case. (Hey, tell me you never dropped your phone) I know you will all tell me it's my own fault, but read on.

I've dropped my iPhone 6 many times in the past and that never happened to me.

I figured I would try installing a new iPhone 7 camera, so I ordered a new from China via etradesupply.com for about 70$ + shipping (crazy, right?). I live in a country with no Apple Store, and "official" tech stores would charge me about 300$ for a replacement. So, it didn't make sense to go the official way. I know I voided my warranty like that, but f y Apple.



(this one is the old one actually, only for illustration purposes)

I got the replacement camera module from China, and went to a local tech shop to have them replace it for me for about 25$ and they also sealed the display so it's still waterproof, and guess what: it works again.

Proof: This is a picture taken from my iPhone 7 with the new camera module. No more blurry images. WOHOO.



Why did that happen?

I took a closer look at the defect camera module, and noticed that the camera module was loose inside the metal housing, which leads me to the theory that it became loose when I dropped it from low height.

I made a video so you can see yourself: https://sendvid.com/89ipyc0p

I don't know if it's normal that the camera module moves around like that. It would be nice if someone could confirm that.

Maybe it could be soldered but the point is that it came loose after a standard drop, and if you are experiencing similar issue maybe it's your camera module, and this shouldn't be happening.

(If you live in the US, or some other 1st world country, well then you're in luck because you have an Apple Store nearby probably, and this is probably covered by the phone's warranty. Less luck for people like who live in a developing country.)
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,948
16,842
Just so you're aware, the camera IS supposed to move around in the housing. The Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) has the camera floating inside the housing on small wires/actuators (whatever they call them) so that the camera itself can counteract any trembling of the hands.

My suspicion is the drop broke one of those components and the camera couldn't focus properly because it isn't self aware that it wasn't steadying itself right.

Either way, glad it's fixed.

OIS in action:
 
  • Like
Reactions: english.ununpentium

english.ununpentium

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2016
3
0
Just so you're aware, the camera IS supposed to move around in the housing. The Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) has the camera floating inside the housing on small wires/actuators (whatever they call them) so that the camera itself can counteract any trembling of the hands.

My suspicion is the drop broke one of those components and the camera couldn't focus properly because it isn't self aware that it wasn't steadying itself right.

Either way, glad it's fixed.

OIS in action:

Thanks for the information. Makes total sense. I like your analysis about the problem better than mine. Do you think that's something covered by the warranty?
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,948
16,842
Thanks for the information. Makes total sense. I like your analysis about the problem better than mine. Do you think that's something covered by the warranty?
From a drop? Definitely not, unfortunately. IF you have AppleCare+ it might have been, but 3rd party repairs void warranties anyway.

But If the new part is working you should be all set, that said I don't believe for a second that the device has been resealed to factory condition from a 3rd party.
 
  • Like
Reactions: english.ununpentium

english.ununpentium

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2016
3
0
But If the new part is working you should be all set, that said I don't believe for a second that the device has been resealed to factory condition from a 3rd party.

Ah... sorry about the misunderstanding... it hasn't been resealed to factory condition, rather the display glue was replaced with a new one so it should still have some of the waterproofing, but probably not as a good as from factory.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,948
16,842
Ah... sorry about the misunderstanding... it hasn't been resealed to factory condition, rather the display glue was replaced with a new one so it should still have some of the waterproofing, but probably not as a good as from factory.
Yes that's what I mean though, if it's not an official Apple produced gasket/glue compound I doubt it's going to be exact enough to provide the same level of sealing.

Either way, hopefully it never needs to test the effectiveness of it. Unfortunately your warranty is shot though.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.