When Apple announced the Studio Display alongside the Mac Studio last month, creatives were thrilled with the idea of an official Apple display that would cost no more than $5,000. But the excitement quickly waned when the thing started shipping, thanks to some pretty ugly webcam issues.
Reviewers and users have denounced the terrible quality of the webcam, on a device that Apple had touted a week earlier as the “best combination of camera and audio ever seen on a desktop display”. Apple was quick to promise to straighten things out with a software update – but now it’s there, are things really any better? Let’s just say you might still want to take a look at the rest of our best 4K monitors.
Available with today’s beta of macOS Monterey 12.4, the firmware update for the Studio Display delivers “enhancements to Studio Display camera tuning, including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing” .
Early adopters have claimed that the webcam is actually, well, disastrous – with one reviewer even comparing it to that of an “old Blackberry”. “It looks awful in good light, and frankly wretched in low light,” says The edge (opens in a new tab)while The Wall Street Journal (opens in a new tab) Joanna Stern claimed it made her look “like the star of a 90s home video”. Ouch. In our own Apple Studio Display review, we called the webcam quality disappointing.
But while they offer an improvement, it seems Apple’s modifications still don’t do much to justify the Studio Display’s $1,599 price tag. MacRumors says “there are some noticeable quality updates, but the difference is subtle. Colors aren’t as pale, contrast is improved, and the overall look is a bit more vibrant. Depending on the lighting, there’s There isn’t a huge difference in sharpness, but the changes seem like a big improvement overall.”
Comparison of firmware 15.5 (1st photo) and 15.4 (2nd photo) for the Studio Display camera. There’s a lot less noise and a bit more contrast, but it’s still quite washed out compared to the iMac Pro’s camera (3rd photo, taken last month). pic.twitter.com/xvaYNgnB4qApril 26, 2022
Meanwhile, Twitter users aren’t too impressed with the update. “I don’t understand why it’s so bad. It’s worse than the $329 iPad,” tweeted one user, while another added, “I don’t understand how Apple’s Studio Display webcam is so bad, even with a “software patch.” Apple markets this webcam as a “smashing camera,” but it’s smashing [poo emoji].”
Indeed, since the software update is always disappointing for the users, many are starting to wonder if it is a fundamental hardware problem rather than something that can be easily fixed via a software update. And if that’s the case, then yes, this will still be a tough kit to recommend. Still, at least the Mac Studio itself wows users.