This year, the Pixel 2 XL and Galaxy Note 8 stretched the limits of smartphone photography, smashing DxOMark records and introducing features like dual optical image stabilization and AI-assisted depth of field. One thing they didn’t improve on much, though, was glare, the unwanted artifacts that occur when bright light enters a camera’s sensor directly. But Samsung might have the solution.
A newly filed Samsung patent in South Korea describes a camera system that eliminates lens flare. It has two special lens coatings known as Broad Band Anti Reflection Layer (BBAR), both with surface reflections as low as -.2 percent to 1 percent. They have the added benefit of reducing ghosting, a phenomenon that phones such as the Pixel and the Pixel XL tend to exhibit in direct sunlight.
It’s a technology that’s already in use. The BBAR coating in question is being developed by lens manufacturer Tamron, which manufactures lenses for DSLR cameras.
Lens coatings aren’t the only innovation. The patent also describes a lens cylinder between the module’s lens element and spacers that allows light to pass through uninhibited, further reducing the impact of bright outdoor and indoor lighting sources.
People tend to have a love/hate relationship with lens flare. There are times when a lens flare adds a nice aesthetic to photos or a video, which is the reason that many editing apps have post-production lens flare effects. To be enjoyable, though, lens flares have to be achieved intentionally. When they happen unintentionally, they can completely ruin the moment.