Raspberry Pi 2 Crippled By Xenon Camera Flash 'Death Ray'

As we discovered at the start of the month, the Raspberry Pi 2 brings a lot of good stuff to the table. We're talking double the RAM, a quad-core processor, Windows 10 support - it's all great stuff. But one thing we didn't realize it also introduced was a bizarre flaw that's been dubbed "XENON DEATH FLASH".

You see, if your camera happens to have a Xenon flash, taking a picture of the RPi 2 while it's operational might cause it to lock up, or power off. It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. After user PeterO asked on the official RPi forums about why the latest model is so "camera-shy", others eventually jumped in with their confirmations.

RaspberryPi 2

As you might expect, it took very little time before YouTube videos showcasing the issue popped-up.

Considering the fact that others were able to confirm this issue so quickly, it doesn't seem like this issue would affect just a small number of second-gen RPi units. Some chip - likely the SoC - seems to be lacking shielding, and in some cases, even covering it up with light reflective material doesn't help. In one case, the issue would go away if the unit was turned upside-down.

It's hard to gauge at this time just how much of a problem this issue is. If the only gotcha is that you can't take a photo using a Xenon-based flash, that's not so bad. But I do wonder if what causes this to be an issue could cause further issues down the road. That wouldn't be a great thing for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to have to deal with, especially as these units are sold so cheaply to begin with.