Apple announces Studio Display webcam improvements coming in software update after several bad reviews

Early reviews surfaced for Apple’s new Studio Display, and a common thread among reviewers was that the built-in webcam’s image quality ranged from “old BlackBerry” to downright “awful” in their hands-on tests. .

The Studio Display has an ultra-wide 12-megapixel front camera that can be used for FaceTime and Zoom calls. Although the camera is a welcome addition over the webcam-less Pro Display XDR, reviewers criticized the image quality.

The Wall Street Journalby Joanna Stern:

You can see why I planned the Studio Display’s webcam to be the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). With a 12-megapixel camera and the A13 Bionic chip, it should be on par with the front camera of an iPhone 11 Pro.

Yet Apple’s camera consistently produced grainy, washed-out images. There were so many missing details in some shots that it reminded me of the camera on my old BlackBerry. On the positive side: no one could see my frizzy hair.

The edgeby Nilay Patel:

The bad part is that I have no idea what’s going on with this webcam. Apple has a long history of producing amazing images with 12-megapixel sensors and A-series chips, and for some reason this thing looks horrible.

In fact, it looks awful in good light and downright miserable in low light. I tried it connected to the Mac Studio and on my MacBook Pro running macOS 12.3, and on both machines it produced a grainy, noisy image with hardly any detail. I’ve tried it in FaceTime, in Zoom, in Photo Booth, in QuickTime – you name it, it’s the same sad picture quality. Turning off the Center Stage feature that follows you around the room doesn’t help. Turning portrait mode on and off doesn’t help.

In response to inquiries about webcam quality, an Apple spokesperson told both Stern and Patel that Apple “has discovered an issue where the system is not behaving as expected” and ” will provide improvements in a software update”. Apple hasn’t specified what “improvements” will be made, and no timeline was provided for the update.

We’ve rounded up reviews of the Studio Display and the Mac Studio for those interested in a hands-on look at the two new products.

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