Skip to main content

Here’s what the updated Apple Studio Display webcam looks like

Here’s what the updated Apple Studio Display webcam looks like


It’s better but still not going to blow you away

Share this story

A closeup of the Apple Studio Display webcam
The ultrawide lens on the Studio Display might be the limiting factor in the end.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Apple’s $1,599 Studio Display arrived last month with big promises about its webcam, which features a 12-megapixel sensor, an f2.4 ultra-wide lens, and the same A13 chip running the whole thing as found in the iPhone 11. Unfortunately, it shipped with buggy software that made everything look bad. Apple told us that it wasn’t “behaving as expected” and promised us a software update.

That update is now here, sort of. You have to update your Mac to the public beta of macOS Monterey 12.4, which comes with a further update to the Studio Display. (Once the Studio Display is updated, the improvements are available when connected to any other Mac, though.)

I updated my review unit last night, and, basically, the changes are what Apple said we’d see: the noise reduction is improved, contrast is better, and the framing is slightly wider. Here’s a side by side:

The Studio Display webcam with the older software
The Studio Display camera with the new updated software
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 immediately broken-looking as before. There’s a little more detail in my face, less noise in the background, and the colors are definitely more accurate. (I look like I have actually seen the sun in the past year.) It does seem like Apple’s decision to put a wide-angle lens on this camera for Center Stage support is working against image quality here — no matter what, it’s cropping down that 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 actually ships, which should be relatively soon. When that happens, we’ll take a closer look and update our review appropriately.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed An hour ago Not just you

Thomas RickerAn hour ago
The Simpsons pays tribute to Chrome’s dino game.

Season 34 of The Simpsons kicked off on Sunday night with an opening credits “couch gag” based on the offline dino game from Google’s Chrome browser. Cactus, cactus, couch, d’oh! Perfect.

Thomas Ricker7:29 AM UTC
Table breaks before Apple Watch Ultra’s sapphire glass.

”It’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Apple at the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra (read The Verge review here). YouTuber TechRax put that claim to the test with a series of drop, scratch, and hammer tests. Takeaways: the titanium case will scratch with enough abuse, and that flat sapphire front crystal is tough — tougher than the table which cracks before the Ultra fails — but not indestructible.

Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.

Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.

Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.

External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.