Apple promises to fix low camera quality on Studio Display
Apple announced its new high-end monitor during the company’s ‘Peek Performance’ event earlier this month, known as the Studio Display. It’s a 27-inch 5K display with a built-in Apple A13 Bionic chipset, but following the first wave of reviews, at least one problem has become apparent: the built-in camera is not that great.
One of the more unique aspects of the Studio Display is the built-in webcam, which supports Apple’s Center Stage feature, allowing it to track movements and keep the subject in the camera frame. The specifications page for the Studio Display didn’t mention the camera’s resolution when recording video, only that it’s a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with a 122-degree field of view and an f/2.4 aperture.
The first wave of reviews for the Studio Display were published on Thursday, and many of them mentioned the camera’s low quality — an especially unusual drawback given Apple’s recent focus (and the rest of the computer industry, to a lesser extent) on high-quality webcams. TechCrunch said the camera “produces grainy, low-contrast and generally poor images both locally and remotely,” with a lower quality than the 24-inch iMac with M1. Gizmodo wrote that “skin looked too smooth and the image was noisy,” and Joanna Stern for The Wall Street Journal posted comparison photos with other cameras on Twitter (embedded below).
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) March 17, 2022
Apple has now confirmed to The Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo, and other outlets that the low quality is a bug — at least, partially. The company said, “We discovered an issue where the system isn’t behaving as expected. We’ll be making improvements in a future software update.”
The Studio Display has the same Apple A13 Bionic chipset found in the iPhone 11 series and second-generation iPhone SE, so the camera performing more poorly than the built-in webcams on laptops is a bit strange. The Studio Display officially goes on sale Friday, March 18, starting at $1,599.