Apple promised a “smart” webcam quality when it unveiled the Studio Display. Consumers, on the other hand, notice that pictures taken by a built-in camera are not good once they get their hands on the product. Apple is currently distributing beta software updates that promise to solve some of these problems – but the display of low-resolution webcam cameras is not a software flaw after all. Almost every Display Studio user says that webcam photos are small when compared to front-facing cameras on other Apple devices. The photos are confusing, erased, and very noisy in most cases.
In her review for The Verge, Nilay Patel writes that the Studio Display Camera looks “awful in good light, and completely sad in low light.” Joanna Stern in Wall Street Journal compares camera work to that of the “old Blaberberry.” Gizmodo had similar complaints, saying that the Studio Studio webcam camera was “noisy” and “not great.”
Shortly after the first Studio Display reviews criticized the 12-megapixel webcam that was published on the web, Apple announced the release that it was working on a software update to improve the image quality captured by the built-in camera. Nearly two months after the release of Studio Studio, Apple today launched a beta firmware to developers that brought improvements to the built-in webcam image capture.
Currently, the update is available for those running the latest beta of macOS Monterey, and it does not matter when the update will be released to the public. However, some Display Studio users have already installed the firmware update to see what changes. And it turns out, the update hasn’t changed much.
As noted by Jason Snell, Apple has made some adjustments to make the Industry Level crop less aggressive. At the same time, James Thomson also noted that there was a significant reduction in noise in webcam images after the update, as well as a slight variation, but the quality was still “very high” compared to other webcams. The update does not seem to improve the quality of the Showroom Webcam camera, and there is a reason for that. Apple proudly claims that the Display Studio has a 12-megapixel camera, which should be enough for sharp images. After all, the iPhone and other Apple devices also have 12-megapixel front-facing cameras. But why is the Display Studio webcam different in terms of image quality?
While most Apple devices have a wide-angle front camera, the Studio Display has a wide-red lens. This is because it has the Center Stage, a feature that uses machine learning to constantly center the image on the person during a video call or video recording. As long as this camera does not zoom in, the Center Stage has a number that transmits the image to the people in the frame. So while an iPhone can take a real 12-megapixel selfie, the Center Stage cameras take pictures at 12 megapixels using a wide-angle lens and then cut them digital to look like a normal photo or video. This process results in smaller images.