2021 MacBook M1 Pro Webcam Blurry? (Low Quality Image)
Are you experiencing MacBook M1 Pro webcam issues? Are the images provided by the new 1080P camera low quality? They look blurry or oil painted? You’re not satisfied by the webcam quality of your brand new $3000+ Apple notebook?
2021 MacBook Pro Webcam Blurry
Olivia has reported this issue on our MacBook Pro 2021 review page:
“I expected more from the 1080p webcam. Most of the times I find the image blurry and low quality. Anyone else?”
She doesn’t seem to be the only one bothered by this issue. I’ve found similar reports on the MacRumors forums:
“I have the MacBook Pro 16″ m1 max and I love it but the webcam is so bad even now being 1080p its worse than my old intel model…”
Apparently Apple is using the same smoothening filter that it applies in post-processing to photos shot on new iPhone models. We’ve already reported about the ‘allegedly’ iPhone 13 blurry photos issue.
Many iPhone owners aren’t fans of the automatic beauty filter that’s applied to their photos, because it makes them look oil painted and heavily processed!
How To Fix MacBook Pro Webcam Issues
Unfortunately, there is no option to disable the smoothening filter that macOS Monterey currently applies to images picked up by the M1 Max and M1 Pro webcam.
1. Avoid Low Light
Based on above reports, you can improve the MacBook Pro webcam quality by shedding more light on your face. This will reduce the amount of image processing and your camera feed will look less blurry and more natural.
Fact: Apparently when lighting isn’t good enough, the MacBook Pro 2021 tries to avoid a noisy image by applying noise reduction filters. This causes the image to look oil painted and blurry!
2. Mind The Light Source
It’s not just about low light. You also have to make sure that the light is projected towards you and not from behind. For example, if you’re next to a window that’s caught by the webcam angle and the light shines towards the MacBook from behind you or another inappropriate angle, it will cause more harm than good.
Are you also not happy with the MacBook M1 Pro webcam quality? Do you have a better solution? Use the comments section and share your feedback.
Related: Here are other 2021 MacBook Pro issues covered:
– MacBook M1 Pro not charging when powered off.
– MacBook Pro M1 crashing during YouTube 4K HDR video playback.
The quality of my new MacBook pro camera is embarrassing , blochy low quality worse than the old 720p this is supposed to be a 1080p camera ,I personally think this is the old camera , even though my MacBook is Nov 2021.
I have to use a third party camera now , the one i use on my old MacBook Pro ..shame. On apple
Thanks for the feedback. Your MacBook Pro is the new M1 Pro or M1 Max model, correct?
Yes , MacBook Pro M1pro 2021,
Strange I notice on any other applications such as zoom or Skype the camera does not show as a 720p.. it actually looks alright , it just seems to be FaceTime , there is also this low contrast thing , with heavy foggy like distortion / movement , completely unusable.
I haven’t contacted apple as I usually find it a waste of time,.
Thanks for listening
Just got my Mac Book Pro 14″ M1. 2 days ago. March 8, 2022. The welcome for FaceTime is exactly as Sjro said. Blurry, distorted, heavy fog, even tho i’m facing a window. This is what my $3K got me? Shame on Apple. i’m not happy. Lucky i’m under warranty.
MacBook Pro (M1 Pro) – same effect here. 720p cam on my old MacBook looks way better.
The new MacBook M1 pro
Thanks for confirming. That’s crazy. Have you tried to contact Apple and ask them about this? What did they have to say?
Thanks for the confirmation David. Is the quality low only in certain lighting conditions or all the time?
Quality gets way better with more light. But with standard room light conditions it looks really bad.
Thanks for the followup.
It doesn’t matter how much light you give it, it’s still terrible overly processed and unnatural and especially makes skin and faces look really bad. It’s pretty bad that you can’t turn off the processing.
Same thing here. MacBook Pro 16″ M1 Pro and the quality of the video camera is offensive. I look like I was retouched by the worst makeup artist you can find.
This embarrasing Facetime blurry picture still exists. Just bought a new M1 Macbook Pro and my video/picture is so blurry folks ask me what 1990 webcam am I using?
I have researched this problem and everyone says get more light in your room. If I get more light in my office, I would go blind as I already have natural light coming through 2 sides of my office that is all glass.
Also, what’s this about more light? Apple claims superiority of its camera (FaceTime) because of its low light sensitivity and performance. With this degraded video, I see audio following suit; unfiortunately.
Apple please jump on this fix soon as this is a real problem, at least for the users and owners if Apple doesn’t care of its bottomline. Thanks
Guys I bought my macbook pro M1 in 2021 and the webcam was perfect I use to do lot of presentation with it and meetings with zoom ..etc but since some days the quality decreased and now I’m seeing that distortions and blurs …I really think that it’s made by purpose after we did some updates to push us to go for a new macbook pro since the recents models have better cameras..same they use to do with the batteries and the speed of the iphones..
Thanks for the feedback Mus. I refuse to think that Apple is capable of doing such things. iPhone throttling because of weakened battery, was explainable because it prevented iPhone from unexpectedly shutting down.
But altering the quality of a webcam just to purchase a newer model, would be inexcusable.
Have you tried restarting the computer and of course, cleaning the camera lens?
I have a MacBook Pro, purchased in 2020. I’m on Zoom calls almost daily. The camera was just fine until a couple weeks ago. Now it is like someone placed a piece of tape over the lens, yet it is clean. UGHH how frustrating. I am starting to think it happened during an update. Might try and restore to check.
Thanks for reporting Shelby. macOS 12.5 has been released in the meantime. Might want to upgrade and see if it helps.
This webcam is nothing like ads shown on apple’s website for the M1 macbook pro 16″. I am shocked and dismayed.
My 10 year old external logitec 1080 webcam show the true Hi Res image albeit a slightly grainy.
Apple really dropped the ball on this one, and are lying on the website ad.
Thanks for confirming Amir. Would be interesting if you can check it on a different unit of the same model. Perhaps it’s just a small batch that comes with a manufacturing issue. As there aren’t that many complaints about it, as one would expect.
Let us know if you have any breakthrough.
I have the same issue with my MP Pro 2021 model with the new 1080p cam. The problem seems to be the new amped up image processing which is meant to decrease grain, but instead makes you look like a horribly retouched wax doll. Much prefer the 720p cam which actually had kind of a nice grainy texture, albeit perhaps a little bit low in resolution. I’ve actually bought the cheap Logitech HD Webcam C270 which looks much more like the old mac texture, with slightly better resolution I’d say. The mac is amazing in all other aspects so ultimately it’s not a dealbreaker for me. Very unfortunate though.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, they have to fine tune this image processing technique. A similar issue is occurring with some iPhone 13 low-ligh photos that appear to be water-painted after the heavy processing: https://www.iphonetricks.org/iphone-13-photos-blurry-low-quality-fix/
The webcam in the M1 Pro MacBook Pro may have 1080p resolution, but I can’t find how many megapixels this webcam has anywhere, which leads me to believe that they omitted that information on purpose. It’s probably 1080p with the same old 1.2mp camera. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for hiding that information from the public while pushing that the webcam is now 1080p instead of 720p.
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, marketing strategies…