Apple has today released new beta firmware for Studio Display, which is available for Studio Display users who have macOS Monterey 12.4 beta installed on their Macs. The updated firmware includes a fix for the webcam, so we thought we’d take a quick look to see the adjustments in action.
Prior to the launch of Studio Display, reviewers noted that the webcam did not work as expected. It was described as washed out, grainy, noisy and generally of poor quality.
After these complaints came out, Apple said they “discovered a problem where the system is not behaving as expected,” and promised a fix in a future software update. That fix is out today, and Apple says it has adjusted the camera, improved noise reduction, contrast and framing.
In practice, if you watch our video above, there are noticeable quality updates, but the difference is subtle. The colors are not so pale, there is improved contrast, and the overall look is a bit more vibrant. Depending on the lighting, there is not much difference in sharpness, but the changes appear to be an overall net improvement.
Six colors‘ Jason Snell shared a set of photos and a video that also demonstrates the differences between the new firmware and the old firmware, and there is a clear change in the framing. There is less zoom, both when using Center Stage and when not using the feature, which means that video recording is generally less cropped.
Overall, Apple’s changes appear to be for the better, though those hoping for something dramatic may be disappointed. The skin tones are improved just like the overall color, and there seems to be an improvement in contrast along with less noise reduction for more clarity, but in the end this is still the same 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera, so Apple is limited to software tweaks .
So far, Studio Display owners need the macOS Monterey 12.4 beta to see the 15.5 firmware update, but it will be more available when the new version of Monterey sees a public release. The beta is currently available to both developers and public beta testers.
What do you think of the firmware update? Tell us in the comments.