A smartphone camera’s flash seems almost deceptively simple: it needs to illuminate a scene while a picture’s being taken. With a xenon flash, timing can be a little tricky, but the LEDs so common on phones make the process a snap. As a result, we can begin to take a properly working flash a little bit for granted; it’s only when problems arise that we really take notice. Unfortunately for new owners of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, things have taken such an unwanted turn, and it seems that a design flaw may be interfering with the phone’s flash.
The issue is manifesting as light from the phone’s flash appearing to travel directly through the handset’s casing to the camera sensor itself. As a result of this “light bleed,” images taken with the flash active can seem washed-out, especially along one edge (above).
Owners noticing this problem have been posting their findings to various online messageboards, and one interesting aspect to the reports has been how the phone’s color appears to affect the severity of this condition. Specifically, the colored versions of the phone (as opposed to the black or white neutral tones) may be worse off when it comes to the internal bleed-through.
For the moment, we haven’t heard of any response from Sony.