Apple Studio Display’s mediocre webcam is a hardware issue – it’s an ultra-wide lens and, hence, has some limitations — not a software bug.
While most Apple devices have a regular wide front camera, Studio Display has an ultra-wide lens. This is because it has Center Stage, a feature that uses machine learning to always center the image on a person during a video call or video recording. Since this camera has no optical zoom, Center Stage digitally crops the image to center the people in the frame.
So while an iPhone is capable of taking a real 12-megapixel selfie, Center Stage cameras capture images at 12 megapixels using the ultra-wide lens and then digitally crop them to look like a regular photo or video. This process results in less-sharp images.
Comparing the 15.5 (1st pic) and 15.4 (2nd pic) firmware for the Studio Display camera. There's a _lot_ less noise, and a touch more contrast, but it's still quite washed out compared to the iMac Pro camera (3rd pic, taken last month). pic.twitter.com/xvaYNgnB4q
— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) April 26, 2022
That’s why the webcam on the iMac or MacBook Pro will always look better than the one on the Studio Display, because they‘re not ultra-wide.
Unfortunately, no matter what Apple does in terms of software updates, there’s nothing that will dramatically improve the Studio Display webcam… Owners of the first generation Studio Display will have to deal with the webcam the way it is.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s unfortunate that the Apple Studio Display webcam has these limitations, but it’s a trade off for Center Stage. Luckily, for those who need a higher quality webcam, there are tons of affordable third-party 4K webcams available.
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