The Latest MacOS Beta Improves Studio Display Camera Quality, but Not by Much

Jason Snell, Six Colors:

Apple has released both developer and public beta versions of macOS 12.4 that include within them a beta version of the firmware for the Apple Studio Display. This is the first update to the Studio Display firmware since it shipped, and Apple says that it “has refinements to the Studio Display camera tuning, including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing.”


In terms of image quality, beyond having access to extra pixels due to framing, it looks like the camera is being a bit less aggressive when it comes to softening the image and in trying to decrease contrast. In some of the lighting conditions I tested, the dynamic range of the image seemed to be a little wider—highlights weren’t as crushed down, though blacks were still a little more of a gray. Compare it to another Apple webcam like the iMac Pro and you can really see how much less contrast this camera provides.

James Thomson’s comparison between different versions of Studio Display firmware and a four year old iMac Pro is something to behold. One of those pictures is clearly better than the other two. Normally, this would not be such a blemish; except Apple is usually great at making cameras perform well and its marketing emphasizes the new camera system in this display. Something is going very wrong here.