This is what the updated Apple Studio Display webcam looks like

Apple’s $ 1,599 Studio Display arrived last month with big promises of its webcam, which has a 12-megapixel sensor, an f2.4 ultra-wide lens and the same A13 chip that runs it all, which is found in the iPhone 11. Unfortunately is it comes with buggy software that made everything look bad. Apple told us that it did not “behave as expected” and promised us a software update.

That update is here, so to speak. You need to update your Mac to the public beta of macOS Monterey 12.4, which comes with an additional update to Studio Display. (Once the Studio screen is updated, however, the enhancements are available when connected to another Mac).

I updated my review unit last night, and basically the changes are what Apple said we would see: the noise reduction is improved, the contrast is better, and the frame is a bit wider. Here is a side by side:

The old Studio Display webcam software on the left, updated software on the right

It’s not going to blow anyone’s mind, but it’s definitely not as ruined as before. There is a little more detail in my face, less noise in the background, and the colors are definitely more accurate. (I look like I’ve actually seen the sun in the last year.) It seems that Apple’s decision to put a wide-angle lens on this camera for Center Stage support counteracts the image quality here – no matter what, to cut down this sensor, giving the whole system less data to work with.

The update is still in beta, so we’ll see if Apple changes anything else when macOS 12.4 is actually released, which should be relatively soon. When that happens, we take a closer look and update our review correctly.