Green halo when taking photos

HomerSpHomerSp Level 1
edited September 26 in ZenFone 9

Hi, just wanted to ask here in case anyone has run into similar issues using the cameras. Basically, when I take photos close to (but not directly at) bright lights like my PC monitor or a window a green half circle/halo appears at the bottom in both the viewfinder and photos. It's like the light is reflected somewhere inside the sensor, and that's picked up in the image. It happens when using both the standard sensor and the ultrawide, but it's less pronounced using the latter. The circle intensity changes as I angle it, which seems to confirm that it's light being reflected. It disappears if I use something to cover the top half of the sensor as can be seen in one of the videos below.

It seems to have something to do with the focus, because if I either change the focus manually, or move something in front of it to change it automatically, the circle moves.

Here are a few pictures/videos to showcase the issue: (just beneath my PC monitor) (different angle beneath my PC monitor) (beneath a window, less pronounced) (video beneath PC monitor) (video also beneath PC monitor that show how focus makes it move around)

Anyone else run into this issue? I've never experienced this with any other phone I've owned - including the Zenfone 8, so it seems like it has something to do with the particular sensors of this phone.


  • @HomerSp

    Hey homer, first off all thanks for making those pictures, it showcases my main problem with the new lenses perfecly.

    ASUS really didnt have much time to make sure the images are processed properly hence you see the quality isnt exacly great, note how in your first image you notice excessive noise, despite shooting at 300iso.

    While on the next image youll see blurryness despite having a shutterspeed of 1/40.

    The thing you're referring to is called a "Lens flare", all phones suffer from this without exception. Since you worked on a gcam previously, yes I was one of the very few that had razer phone and used your gcam, thanks for that btw :), you might have seen that camera applications, that includes gcam, actually have an algorythm to remove the lens flare on the phone, this is also true for ASUS, however it's implemented very poorly or flatout doesn't work on the new Zf9 and rog6.

    Overall the only solution is to wait for ASUS to fix or to write your own gcam version.

  • HomerSpHomerSp Level 1

    @Danishblunt Thanks, I did consider it might be lens flare, but I hesitated since I've never seen it from my PC monitor before with any of my previous phones. I mean, I have seen it before, but only when I take photos of particularly bright objects (like outside in the sun, or at night), and mostly when I've directed the camera straight on the object. The actual circles have moved around too on my previous phones, but here the only thing that seems to be making it move around is if the focus changes. I'm guessing because the sensors on the zf9 are quite large and deep it causes them to be particularly sensitive to light from the sides - I mean, my PC monitor isn't even that bright, nor is the light coming through the window in the photo above, and yet they both caused the lens flare.

    I actually contacted ASUS support and they said they have no plans in trying to work around this issue in software, since it's caused by the lenses.

    Shame really, because I was enjoying the phone, but if it's this sensitive to lens flare and I have to be this careful when taking photos to ensure there are no lights around I don't know if I can keep it.

  • To be fair ASUS support is quite disconnected from what the devs are doing. I'm quite sure the devs will work on it, I can't see why the devs shouldnt fix lens flare correction.

  • @HomerSp

    Looking at your photos, this Lens flare seems strange to me, it seems appropriate to cover the chrome strapping of the cameras in order to make it matt and to redo a test.

    If not to eliminate this doubt which seems to me more of a reflection, take pictures day and night outdoors with lights in front.

  • HomerSp

    Would your ZF9 be white in color?

  • HomerSpHomerSp Level 1
    edited August 14

    @FunBike31 Thanks, I do have the white one, yes - I thought that might be the issue myself so I tried covering both the chrome frame and the phone itself with black tape, but unfortunately that hasn't really helped.

    As a test I used my old Pixel 6 as a flashlight and slowly moved the zf9 over it, using both the main sensor and ultrawide, and the difference is staggering - they both do show the usual lens flare effects, and they both have the green halo, but on the ultrawide it's barely noticable, while on the main it's very bright, and shimmering from green to yellow to blue. To clarify I'm not talking about the lens flare that moves around (these are to be expected), but the green halo/lens flare that appears when shooting either above or below the light source, and that remains static unless the focus changes.

    Here's a video of the main sensor:

    and here's the ultrawide:

    I actually used a magnifying glass and a flashlight to look inside the main sensor, and it seems that there's a gold ring inside it that, if angled properly, is very reflective. If that is the cause it feels like a very poorly designed sensor.

  • It's important Flare lens, not sure it can be corrected enough

    Try in manual mode to force the maximum aperture (1.9) by adjusting the ISO if the camera does not have an aperture function.

    For my part, if I had to take my Canon 90D less often, the only Smartphones that I find acceptable would be the Vivo X60 pro and X80 pro, but I can't imagine taking photos without an SD card, so there aren't any none.

  • Pixel 4A takes better pictures than both the x60 and x80. The dual exposure feature is literally game changing.

  • the advanced menu offers 19 functions on X80 pro, 2 double exposures, (overlay and double exposure), I doubt that the testers have made the rounds of the options because the photos published already good are well below what can be obtained .

    My colleague has an X60 Pro and double exposure is also on the menu, there is also a braketing mode.

    I don't doubt the image quality of the Pixels, Google is top on this point but the Pixel 4a is too disparate in quality, starting with the audio.

  • @FunBike31

    uhhhh, the pixel 4a is extremely loud and even has decent mids. It sounds full and doesnt distort at all.

    As for the x60 pro I tried to find anything that would mention double exposure, from what I can tell it doesnt exist. (maybe added very recently?) Also the processing is extremely bad, way to contrasty and way to saturated, seems to be in line up to early 2022. Even pro mode seems to add some unwanted processing according to multiple reviews.

    As for X80 pro, I found it to be extremely dissapointing as well. The processing is just bad as well.

    This was taken with the x80 pro main lens, it's extremely oversharpened and has some serious noise, this is an iso 50 image by the way.

    I don't know why but everytime I see a phone with a huge lens released they somehow fk the quality over with processing. Samsung being the main contender here.

    The only large sensor phone I'm aware of that takes excellent pictures is the Huawei phones, images are naturally full with detail and don't need some crappy sharpening.

    I havent seen anything impressive from any of the vivo phones. I see that the vivo X80 has dual exposure, but the examples I've seen are nothing short of horridying, for whatever reason once you use dual exposure the detail goes byebye and the noise gets insane, I assume this is due to processing not being very good.

    Maybe they have improved drastlicly with some software updates, you could maybe share some pictures taken by the x60?

  • My colleague returns on 5/09 from vacation, I ask him

    It's true that the Pixel 4 processes images better than many others.

    I do not understand that Samsung's initiative on the S9 with a non-fixed diaphragm has not been taken up and improved by other manufacturers, it remains the basis of photography and software processing at these limits

  • I mean samsung peaked at note 10. Thats when their photography was the best, then they decided to mess everything up with S20 and onward. The lack of detail is embarresing, the S22 Ultra takes less detailed images than a Samsung Galaxy S5 from 2014.

    s22, oversaturated to hell, image smudged, if you try to read the text under the owl in front of the switch it's just a smeary mess, no matter how much you zoom in, you cannot read it.

    While the S5 struggles a bit with the low light condition, there is far more detail, you can now easily read the same text.

    Its also funny how the Pixel 4A literally surpasses the pixel 6 in terms of image quality.

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