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I've seen this answer which has the same title but i'm not sure if its the same problem.

A friend sent me this photo from their point and shoot camera:

example rainbowing

This is the original uncropped image its just been scaled down to fit.

What's causing this huge rainbow?

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The "rainbow effect" is lens flare.

Point and shoot cameras as especially susceptible to lens flare as they often are made out of low quality materials. They also typically do not have any type of coatings on the lens to help with lens flare.

Additional information:

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    Yep... Spotted this on Flickr too, it sometimes works out nice: flickr.com/photos/chelsealroberson/3869189812 – John Cavan Jun 24 '13 at 1:40
  • @JohnCavan i've seen smaller amounts of lens flare from lenses before (like in your example) but never enough to cover the entire photo :O – NULLZ Jun 24 '13 at 5:05

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