I'm trying to make a start in photography so I decided to buy a compact camera, the Canon IXUS 220HS. It makes pretty nice photos for a compact camera, but the only problem I have is the lens flares. Red dots or ovals appear when shooting right in front of the sun.

Take a look at these pictures: enter image description here

This one clearly shows whats going on, but when shooting normally, you get something like this: enter image description here Here it is less a problem, but still it would look better if the red dots/ovals weren't there.

Could anyone tell me what is going on here and how to resolve it, if possible.

  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of How can you avoid/minimize lens flare when shooting into the sun? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 3, 2013 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is an earlier question along these lines (marked as a duplicate above), but the top answer to that suggests getting a better lens, which is not really an option with a compact camera like the one you have. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 3, 2013 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe a polarizer but you will probably just end up with more reflections. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2016 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


So.... there's this joke:

Guy goes to the doctor. Says "Doc, it hurts when I do this."

Doctor gives him a long look back, says: "Don't do that."

This is kind of the same. Lens flare is intrinsic to the optics, and while some handle it better than others, shooting directly into the sun is a very hard situation for any lens. Since you can't change the lens on your camera, your best bet is to avoid this kind of situation with this camera.

If you really a drawn to this as an artistic device, and aren't really able to experiment with lenses which might render flare/ghosting more attractively, you can make the best of it by watching the screen closely and adjusting the camera angle, or possibly block some of the light a little differently, or — more easily done in your second example — edit it out digitally.

The other option is to embrace what you get. Flare and ghosting are accepted parts of the language of photography. Use it to help say what you want to say rather than fighting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might also try to put an ND filter in front of it to cut down the intensity some. It might help, but it might not. Most likely with that much aberration, no amount of ND is going to get you the look you want. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Nov 4, 2013 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't do that is exactly what I thought when I read the question. Well played. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Aug 17, 2016 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ It can also help to have a friend cast a shadow on the front of your lens. Depending on how wide an angle you are shooting it may be as simple as holding up a hand or you may need a sheet of cardboard, or a hat, or a jacket... The closer to the sun you are shooting, the harder it is. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 28, 2022 at 0:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ross -- True. Inside the orbit of Mercury is nearly impossible! \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 28, 2022 at 15:59

This is the camera sensor reflected on the back element of your lens, like seeing yourself in the window, it only occurs when pointing directly towards a lightsource


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