Apple has a beta firmware to fix the Studio Display’s bad webcam
Apple revealed its new high-end monitor during the company’s ‘Peek Performance’ event back in March, dubbed the Studio Display. The screen a 27-inch 5K display with a built-in Apple A13 Bionic chipset and webcam, but many initial reviews from buyers and the tech community criticized the low webcam quality. Apple promised to fix the issue, and now a fix is available as an optional beta firmware.
The Studio Display has a built-in camera for video calls, which supports the same Center Stage feature as many iPad and Mac models (where the camera changes its crop/zoom automatically to fit everyone in the picture). 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. However, the camera often produces low-contrast and grainy images, unlike most of Apple’s other recent Mac cameras.
Following complaints about camera quality, Apple told The Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo, and other outlets that a software update would (at least partially) fix the problem. Apple has now told The Verge that “an update to the Studio Display firmware is now available with today’s beta release of macOS Monterey 12.4. This beta update has refinements to the Studio Display camera tuning, including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing.”
new Studio Display camera firmware (top right) seems to be less aggressive at cropping than old firmware (top left) and much less than iPad Center Stage (bottom) pic.twitter.com/lk3NaIduHE
— Jason Snell (@jsnell) April 26, 2022
Comparing the 15.5 (1st pic) and 15.4 (2nd pic) firmware for the Studio Display camera. There’s a _lot_ less noise, and a touch more contrast, but it’s still quite washed out compared to the iMac Pro camera (3rd pic, taken last month). pic.twitter.com/xvaYNgnB4q
— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) April 26, 2022
Early impressions seem to indicate the Studio Display’s camera now produces less noisy photos, the contrast is improved, and the Center Stage feature has been slightly tweaked. However, photo quality still seems to fall behind Apple’s 24-inch iMac lineup.
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 worse than the built-in webcams on laptops was a bit strange. Pricing for the Studio Display starts at $1,599.
Source: The Verge