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Apple claims Studio Display webcam issues will be fixed via software update

Apple's new 5K display is getting very mixed early reviews thanks to an issue that the company has promised to correct via a software patch.
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer

Now that the first reviews for Apple's new Studio Display are beginning to pour in, a worrisome issue with the unit has appeared, causing enough of an uproar that Apple has already promised a software fix.

The problems focus on the device's built-in webcam. As one of the headline features of the device that Apple highlighted during its Peek Performance event, the camera's performance was under intense scrutiny.

Unfortunately for Apple, the webcam is being heavily panned in almost every review. It's been called out for noisy imagery, outdated visuals, poor focus control, terrible low-light performance, and a surprising range of other deficits. It's worth noting that all of these issues occurred while using the display with a Mac, meaning they can't be blamed on its known lack of full Windows support

The issues were so severe that Nilay Patel, who reviewed the unit for The Verge, contacted Apple with an array of photographic evidence showing just how badly the webcam was performing.

In response, Apple spokesperson Jennie Orphanopoulos told Patel that the company's team had "looked into the images [he] shared, and discovered an issue where the system is not behaving as expected." She went on to promise that they would be "making improvements in a software update."

While this rather vague reply does indeed seem to indicate the webcam was never supposed to look this bad, it doesn't provide a timeframe for when users might be able to expect improvements, nor does it explain why the device is performing poorly on just about every level, or how it was allowed to be released in such a state.

It's an unfortunate black mark on a unit that seemingly would have made an excellent, all-in-one video chat solution, judging by the widespread praise its speakers and microphone have received in early reviews.

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That said, the display as a whole has earned less-than-perfect marks from multiple outlets, with several reviewers also pointing out issues with the Studio Display that can't be fixed via software updates, including its lack of support for more modern display technologies such as HDR and local dimming, as well as its starting price and $400 upcharge for height adjustability.  

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