Apple Releases Studio Display Firmware 15.5 With Webcam Update

Apple today released a new 15.5 firmware for the Studio Display, with the update coming after a few weeks of beta testing. The Studio Display Firmware improves the performance of the webcam.

studio display camera
The Studio Display firmware can be updated by connecting it to a Mac running macOS Monterey 12.4, which was also released today. After installing the new Mac software, Studio Display owners can go to System Preferences > Software Update to install the firmware.

Apple has been working on a firmware update for the Studio Display since March, to address complaints about the quality of the webcam.

The Studio Display is equipped with a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera that supports Center Stage, but Studio Display reviewers and owners discovered that the camera consistently produces grainy, washed-out images, which Apple has said is the result of the system not behaving as expected.

According to Apple's release notes, the firmware refines camera tuning, offering improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing. We tested out the firmware update when it was in beta, and there is a clear difference in camera quality, mostly as it pertains to the way the framing works.


In addition to better framing, colors are not quite as pale, the contrast has been improved, and the overall look is more vibrant. Skin tones are also better than before, and there is less de-noising for more clarity, but ultimately Studio Display owners should not expect dramatic changes.

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Top Rated Comments

dugbug Avatar
26 months ago

When do we start to worry that this is a more fundamental problem with the hardware, and Apple are scrambling to work around them? I had always assumed it was a last minute bug and it would be a fairly quick fix to enable the better image quality - but it seems not? :(
So center stage is a wide angle camera system that pans in sw. By definition then the framed image you see on a zoom call is a subset of the pixels available from the camera, thats some of our resolution problem there. One person sitting close to the webcam in a dimly lit room is not what this technology was intended for so overall its a bad fit for most of us. No sw update is going to turn it into the right camera lens.

That being said, the webcam is decent enough for zoom calls and the like. I have not tested this new firmware but have seen the noise get bad if there is light behind me like through a window.

The monitor though is really amazing otherwise. I feel like the webcam gets way too much press compared to the overall build quality and display sharpness.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
connormw Avatar
26 months ago

When do we start to worry that this is a more fundamental problem with the hardware, and Apple are scrambling to work around them? I had always assumed it was a last minute bug and it would be a fairly quick fix to enable the better image quality - but it seems not? :(
Should have started worrying when the reviews came out.

Software can only do so much. I think Apple thought they could get away with a middling webcam and call it a day. However, when you put it into context that this is a $1500 display, "middling" doesn't do it.

Frankly this is just turning into another overpriced Apple display that doesn't offer much more than competing panels at this price point (or lower).
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmonster Avatar
26 months ago

I just find that hard to believe. The webcam in my M1 iMac is better than the Studio Display right now, and that doesn't seem like a hardware skimping thing, that seems like something else. I can't figure they intentionally shipped a worse camera in the Studio Display than the consumer-targeted M1 iMac.
The fact is the iMac does have a much better camera (I also have both) because it's using the entire sensor instead of cropping it down to 1/4-1/6 of its area.

They chose the gimmicky center stage feature. The Touch Bar of 2022.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ececlv Avatar
26 months ago

Should have started worrying when the reviews came out.

Software can only do so much. I think Apple thought they could get away with a middling webcam and call it a day. However, when you put it into context that this is a $1500 display, "middling" doesn't do it.

Frankly this is just turning into another overpriced Apple display that doesn't offer much more than competing panels at this price point (or lower).
What competing 5k monitor do you recommend?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pauldunlop Avatar
26 months ago

Should have started worrying when the reviews came out.

Software can only do so much. I think Apple thought they could get away with a middling webcam and call it a day. However, when you put it into context that this is a $1500 display, "middling" doesn't do it.

Frankly this is just turning into another overpriced Apple display that doesn't offer much more than competing panels at this price point (or lower).
I just find that hard to believe. The webcam in my M1 iMac is better than the Studio Display right now, and that doesn't seem like a hardware skimping thing, that seems like something else. I can't figure they intentionally shipped a worse camera in the Studio Display than the consumer-targeted M1 iMac.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
petvas Avatar
26 months ago
After the update the web cam quality has noticeable improved. Of course nobody should be expecting miracles here. I cannot say that the camera now is worse than what we have on the MacBook Pro or the iPad Pro. Please also consider that we are viewing images on a much higher res display, so of course everything will be much more noticeable..The web cam is good for me now. Others might still want/need something better, but I am happy now with the camera as it is.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)