Apple’s $1,599 Studio Display arrived last month with big promises about its webcam, which features a 12-megapixel sensor, an f2.4 ultra-wide lens, and the same A13 chip found in the iPhone 11. Unfortunately, it shipped with buggy software that made everything look bad. Apple told us it was “not behaving as expected” and promised us a software update.
That update is here now, eg. You’ll need to update your Mac to the public beta of macOS Monterey 12.4, which comes with another update for Studio Display. (Once the Studio Display is updated, improvements are available when connected to any other Mac.)
I updated my review unit last night, and, basically, the changes are what Apple said we’d see: noise reduction has improved, contrast is better, and the framing is a bit wider. Here’s one side:
It’s not going to blow anyone’s senses, but it certainly isn’t going to look as instantly broken as before. There’s a little more detail in my face, less background noise, and colors are definitely more accurate. (Looks like I’ve really seen the sun over the past year.) It looks like Apple’s decision to put a wide-angle lens on this camera for center stage support is working against image quality here — no Never mind, it is going down that sensor, gives less data for the whole system to work.
The update is still in beta, so we’ll see if Apple changes anything else when macOS 12.4 actually ships, which should happen relatively soon. When that happens, we’ll take a closer look at it and update our review appropriately.