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How to update the Studio Display to make your webcam better

If you were hoping the update would dramatically improve the quality, we have bad news.

Mac studio and studio display
Image: Apple

Studio Display users can now update their monitor to improve the webcam’s performance. That’s a big deal, as the reviews for the Studio Display all mentioned how bad the webcam’s picture was.

That’s good news, as it improves the image processing of the webcam. The thing to know is that it won’t make a dramatic difference, because of how the hardware works.

Check out these example images, from James Thomson. Yes, the image is better between the two Studio Display images, but neither is anywhere near as good as the image from the iMac Pro.

The reason? It’s all down to the 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera that Apple used. It’s capable of a 1080p image, but it doesn’t use the whole pixel count at any one time.

READ MORE: Continuity Camera turns your iPhone into a webcam

Center Stage is to blame, Apple’s technology that keeps you in the frame as you move around. It’s the same AI-powered framing used on the Nexvoo conference cam we reviewed last summer.

Both systems use digital zoom to keep you centered in the video feed, resulting in a softer image than if it used the whole 1080p feed.

Apple has made some improvements to how that lower-resolution image is handled, so here’s how to update.

How to update your Studio Display

You need to be on macOS Monterey beta or install macOS 12.4 beta 3 before the option appears. Once you have that, follow along below:

  1. On your Mac head to System Preferences > Software Update

  2. You should see Apple Studio Display Firmware Update 15.5 in the list. Click on Install NowScreenshot of macos software update page

For those who aren’t already running the beta version of macOS, you have two options. Either you wait until Apple releases the public build of the update, or you sign up for the beta software.

We should warn you that beta software could have issues and isn’t really suited for use on your daily device. At least you’ll have a minor fix for the terrible camera on Studio Display.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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