Apple built a fix for the webcam quality issues on its new Studio Display into macOS 12.4, which is in beta testing. This will fulfill Apple’s promise to improve the look of video conferencing done with the camera.
Early tests with the pre-release software show definite improvements.
Apple Studio Display webcam getting a welcome firmware update
The Apple Studio Display’s rather disappointing camera performance is one of the biggest frustrations among reviewers. One likened it to an “old BlackBerry,” while another said it is “awful in good light and downright miserable in low light.”
But not for much longer. “An update to the Studio Display firmware is now available with today’s beta release of macOS Monterey 12.4,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge. “This beta update has refinements to the Studio Display camera tuning, including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing.”
A tweet from Jason Snell of Six Colors shows the quality difference side-by-side:
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
And, as the Apple spokesperson noted, the update changes the way the Studio Display webcam frames the user in Center Stage. This AI trick keeps the user centered in the front-facing camera during video calls.
Apple Studio Display users are likely to be pleased with the webcam improvements coming in macOS 12.4, but they’ll have to wait for it. The beta version released Tuesday has a build number that ends in “e” in a weekly countdown to “a,” so the full release isn’t expected until sometime in May, or perhaps even later.
Along with macOS 12.4 beta 3, Apple also seeded the third betas of iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, watchOS 8.6 and tvOS 15.5 to developers on Tuesday.