Reviewers have panned Apple’s Studio Display webcam, but a software fix is ​​coming

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Enlarge / Apple’s studio display.

Andrew Cunningham

Several reviews of Apple’s new $1,599 Studio Display, including ours, were unimpressed with the quality of the built-in webcam. We found the camera’s image quality to be passable for video calls, but it produced grainier images with poorer detail than images from iPhone front-facing cameras or even decades-old 1080p webcams like Logitech’s C920.

Apple has confirmed to multiple outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, that the Studio Display webcam’s image quality is being affected by a software bug and that the company is working on a fix.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber shares a bit more detail attributed to “little birds” (usually a thinly veiled reference in DF lingo to Apple employees being able to know). They say the studio display’s webcam quality issues are due to “a last-minute bug” and that the software update should make the webcam’s image quality look as good as it does on iPads with the same wide-angle center -Stage Compatibility Camera.

The Studio Display uses an Apple A13 SoC to power Center Stage, Siri and a handful of other smart functions, and the SoC runs a version of iOS (except for the exact same version and software build number). Updates for this embedded version of iOS, like other macOS updates, can be downloaded to a connected Mac via Software Update. We’ve contacted Apple to inquire about the content and timing of this update and will be in touch when we receive a response.

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