Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Studio Display Reviews Are In

Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal:

Yet Apple’s camera consistently produced grainy and washed-out images. There was so much missing detail in some of the shots that it reminded me of the camera on my old BlackBerry. On the plus side: No one could see my frizzy hair.

For confirmation, I again brought in extra eyes. I recorded footage from webcams on the Studio Display (12 megapixel), an iPhone 11 Pro (12 megapixel), a 14-inch MacBook Pro (2 megapixel) and the 5K LG monitor (2 megapixel). I shared frames with a group of colleagues, without saying which came from which. The group was unanimous, ranking the Apple Studio Display’s webcam dead last. Naturally, the iPhone came in first.

After contacting Apple about my results, another spokeswoman wrote, “We discovered an issue where the system isn’t behaving as expected. We’ll be making improvements in a future software update.” I plan to monitor the situation.

Stern was more critical of the Studio Display than most others were: while it is a fine 5K display, there seems to be exactly one panel at this size and resolution, and you have seen it before in the iMac and LG’s equivalent monitor. It is up to you to decide how one ought to feel about spending $1,600 on a display nearly identical to the one fitted to the iMac that started at $1,800 and came with an entire computer.1

But the above quote is not uniquely reflective of Stern’s criticisms; similar paragraphs are in every review I have read. It seems everyone with access to a Studio Display right now agrees the camera sucks. That is disappointing. I am surprised this product made it through testing and onto the desks of reviewers with what seems like an obvious and noteworthy fault.


  1. Between you and me, if I owned a supported laptop and wanted to go back to the single Mac lifestyle, I would probably buy one. It is just so nice, except for the camera right now. ↩︎