Logitech Brio 4K webcam rework instructions

36 Comments

Recently Logitech released it’s newest camera BRIO 4K (8.8 Megapixels, wide dynamic range, great white balance, up to 90fps, USB3.0). Just like previous models it has fixed angle lens, which in some cases it is not enough. This is where custom housing for exchangeable C and CS-mount lenses comes in handy. And there are vast variety of these lenses: fisheye with Field of View (FOV) of 180° and more, telephoto with great magnification, fixed zoom, adjustable zoom, motorized, macro, telecentric and many more. Also you will gain ability to attach it to other optical and scientific instruments like microscopes or telescopes.

Previous attempt to make kits for C920/C922/C930e webcams was highly successful and now reworked cameras are being used in variety of applications like conferencing, self driving cars, insect motion analysis, traffic/free parking space analysis and many more. I don’t have plans to stop making them so there will be a choice between cheaper and high performance cameras.

Logitech Brio was released to offer 4K resolution, more vibrant colors and frame rates up to 90fps. And with replaceable lenses you can achieve amazing results. Even universal zoom lens will provide stunning results! And the best thing is these kits are already available on e-store!

Disassemble camera and salvage necessary parts

Reworking camera is simpler than C920 (less screws, simpler construction). Just some basic electronics skills are required to unsolder few parts. Detailed rework steps are described below.

Remove articulating mount. Just pull it ant mount will separate.

Remove glued plastic front plate. Use small screwdriver, tweezers or other sharp object to pry inside and peel it off.

 

Plastic assembly is held by two Philips screws. Unscrew them.

Disconnect cables (microphones, LED, Flat Flex Cable for IR camera). If you plan to use remove microphones and put them aside. Can be removed by gently pulling them out.

Mount plate is attached to enclosure with double sided adhesive tape. Pry small screwdriver or other flat sharp tool to separate them. Wiggle to remove and be gentle not to damage PCB.

Camera PCB is held by four Philips screws. Undo them to separate board from enclosure.

Modify camera assembly

Camera has nasty white LED facing lens direction. If you don’t remove it LED will shine inside enclosure directly into sensor. Unsolder it.

Lens focusing coil is soldered to PCB. These pins also must be unsoldered.

After detaching these components PCB should look like this. It is the only soldering operation required.

Lens assembly is held together by two screws. This is last teardown operation. Be careful not to leave your fingerprints on the sensor. If you don’t feel comfortable with bare sensor exposed to your workbench, leave it attached for now and remove right before screwing camera PCB into new enclosure.

Tools and kit content

Kit includes all necessary fasteners and hex keys to put your new camera together.

  • Hex keys
    • M2x20x83
    • M1.5x17x75
  • Screws
    • DIN912 M1.6×4 – 6 pcs (camera PCB)
    • DIN912 M2x3 – 2 pcs (microphones)
    • DIN912 M2.5×6 – 4 pcs (enclosure)
    • DIN912 M2.5×10 – 2 pcs (enclosure)

But some other tools are required:

  • Knife, tweezers or small flat screwdriver to separate parts attached with double sided adhesive tape
  • Small Philips screwdriver to disassemble new camera
  • Soldering iron to remove surface mount LED and lens assembly pins

Assemble new camera

Insert microphones into designated cutouts and secure them with screws. Remove lens assembly and connect cables to camera board.

Use included hex key to screw six DIN912 screws. Make sure microphone cables are not pressing against camera board or components. Use tweezers to manipulate them.

Now fasten remaining fasteners and you will have complete camera.

Final notes

Dust

Dust is common thing and by exposing camera to uncontrolled environment expect some can settle on the sensor. If not during rework, dust can appear after some usage. Usually local photo equipment retailers have kits and tools to clean camera sensors.

Light filter

After completing rework, camera will be sensitive to full spectrum. Depending on your application feel free to leave it as is or use IR LOW PASS filter for normal operation or IR HIGH pass filter to see infrared part of available light. Filter can be mounted with few strips of double sided tape.

Lenses

Camera has high resolution, with crappy lens you will get crappy result. Feel free to use tested lenses that can be recommended. Even with cheapest one you will be able to achieve results like tested earlier

Comments ( 36 )

  1. ReplyPacraf
    Great post. Thanks for sharing. Do you have experience with China made cameras(sensors) like popular and relative cheap YI 4k xiaomi, or other. What is advantage of Logitech hardware compared to these (I mean difference from hacking point of view).
    • Replysaulius
      Hi Pacraf, from point of hacking and reverse engineering it should not be hard to upgrade any action camera.
  2. ReplyWitek
    Hi, My question is a little off-topic, but perhaps you can help me out. How do I use the Brio camera with OpenCV and capture at full camera's resolution? Is it possible at all?
    • Replysaulius
      Hi Witek, actually have not used Brio with OpenCV yet. Do you plan to use it with Windows or Linux?
      • ReplyWitek
        I plan to use it with Windows. So far I have read that there are some problems with getting high framerate from this cam, but this is not crucial for me. I was wondering if I can get the full resolution image and use the Brio as a cheaper alternative for professional hi-res cams.
    • Replysaulius
      It is true. If camera is plugged in USB2.0 mode I could use resolution up to 1920x1080, but when camera is plugged into USB3.0 port on OpenCV 3.3 Windows crashed during init. But I don't have Logitech drivers installed and other programs does not work with USB3.0 also (though resolution is reported up to 4096x2160).
      • ReplyWitek
        Is there a chance that you test it with Logitech drivers installed?
        • Replysaulius
          Sorry, you don't see your message once you submit despite already being authorized. Fight against spam is tough. Should try tomorrow and let you know.
        • Replysaulius
          Installed Logitech control application, but results are the same.
  3. ReplyWitek
    Thank you for your effort. It looks like Logitech needs to update their drivers or release some SDK. I wonder if they are willing to do it?
    • Replysaulius
      So far I had no news about major upcoming upcoming updates. Unfortunately.
  4. ReplyKamilione
    Default Brio's lens does not focus to infinity. Hence do you know if I can fix that dismantling the Brio and adjusting the focus manually? Are there any nobs/controls on the lens? Another point: would you advise to try to use other lens, than the Brio's default one (like you did here), for fixed-infinite-focus pictures? Can I get big quality improvement that way?
    • Replysaulius
      Hi Kamilione, Brio lens construction is very similar to C920 and lens of this camera can be adjusted to focus properly. Though I have not tested it. There are no knobs, just grab plastic part with a lens in it firmly and rotate carefully. Set manual focus and slide to infinity to test if it works as expected. It is the purpose of reworking camera to be able to use better or more versatile lenses. Of course good lenses are not cheap, but ability to have optical zoom, aperture and focus manually is very useful.
      • ReplyKamilione
        Hi Saulius, many thanks for the reply. I am still hasititng to try to modify this on my own, as on videos C920 lens look bit different than on Brio. Any chances you can test Brios default lens - if rotating it doesn't break anything? Lens doesn't have to be connected, just to check if it's rotate'able/adjustable.
        • Replysaulius
          Hi Kamilione, lens construction is very similar. From my experience during two years of disassembly I managed to break 1 or 2 lenses when adjusting. Maybe glue was stronger. My advise - don't force and have a good grip with pliers.
  5. Replyanand
    logitech brio 4k ultra hd can be used to stream or record viedeos (4096x2160) using opencv3 and connected to usb3.
    • Replysaulius
      Hi, do you have more details? OS, platform...
  6. ReplyDejay
    Awesome :) Could you tell me the size of the image sensor? I've looked into c-mounts for trinocular microscopes and still somewhat confused. Afaik you can actually use these without any "eyepiece" or ocular lens but you use a c-mount adapter that actually reduces the magnification by 0.5 or 0.7 to match what you see in the eyepiece. Or maybe you do need to use a ocular eyepiece before the camera or even a special planar camera lens. I'm somewhat confused. It would still help if you know the sensor size because that determines what c-mount adapter to get (see https://www.microscopeworld.com/t-microscope_c-mounts.aspx). Cheers :)
    • Replysaulius
      Hi Dejay, don't have precise dimensions by hand at the moment. Sensor size was something in between 1/4" and 1/3". Actually for some time ago I developed adapter for for microscopes. It's kind of crude solution but let's you adjust field of view. https://www.kurokesu.com/shop/lenses/microscope_lens_adapter
      • ReplyDejay
        Thanks getting back to me. I somehow totally missed that adapter! But after looking further into this I now understand this better. For optimal magnification in a compound microscope you don't need a lens between the objective. DIN microscope objective have 160mm focal length so that is where the image is formed. And the smaller the sensor, the higher the magnification. All I need is a C-Mount to 23.2mm tube connector which I ordered on ebay from china. There might actually be a product in this though. You could re-purpose the design of a small 3D printer to make a PC microscope that automatically scans the object, pans and also does focus stacking. Tracking the focus through the object and combing the in focus details to create an image with full depth of field or even a 3D model. Probably too expensive though for amateurs. But. It's kind of amazing what you can do today. You can get a 4k action camera for ~$100 with an M12 lens mount thread and just make a simple tube adapter to plug it into trinocular port and connect the action camera via HDMI to a 4k monitor or TV. You don't even need a computer to power this. So it's literally action cam + 3D printed plastic + cheap microscope objective. Well and lighting. Theoretically you could even hack the action cam linux operating system to do the focus stacking.
        • Replysaulius
          That's the point about adjustable lens in between. In some cases you wish more magnification, in some wider field of view. You can adjust it according to your needs. But it's a niche product I must admit. Actually done scanning and stacking some time ago. Using commercial trial applications it works smoothly, but needs some polishing stacking is done with open source tools.
  7. Replyfeklee
    Which camera did you use to take the shots for this instruction manual?
    • Replysaulius
      Don't quite remember. It was either Canon 6D or 50D.
      • Replyfeklee
        Thanks! I wonder if it’s possible to take such pictures with the Brio kit. With the C920 and the 9-22mm lens, I don't get nice results when shooting stills, although this may be due to high JPEG compression. (don't have it around at the moment, or else I could test it again)
        • Replysaulius
          Hi Felix, don't have reworked Brio at the moment. It will take roughly a week or a bit more to make some pictures. What scene should I capture?
        • Replysaulius
          Found one from older tests Brio sample
  8. Replyfeklee
    Can someone recommend a compact and budget setup for live streaming? Would a Raspberry Pi 3 suffice? Or a BeagleBone (better USB drivers, at least in the past)? For now, we are using my ThinkPad T420s to broadcast to Twitch.tv. The camera is a C920 in the Kurokesu case. As an example, some recordings from our last community session in Berlin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HghH1nDkTzM&list=PLdC2AeaN5AAUvOHhfLq-Wp9odeTrdxmnN Unfortunately, we could only manage 540p, and IIRC the limitations were not bandwidth but CPU (Sandy Bridge).
    • Replysaulius
      My experiments with Raspberry Pi and C920 - stream was 1080p, frame rate was in a range of 10-20 FPS. Was using gstreamer. But there is a great chance that I did not use correct parameters, it looked like Raspberry Pi was re-encoding MJPG to H.264.
  9. Replyselmann
    This is great work! I will definitely buy your kit and try this in my setup. Do you know the dimensions of the sensor or which sensor logitech is using?
    • Replysaulius
      Hi Selmann, Brio sensor size is 1/4", unfortunately other information is absent.
  10. Replycamman34
    I may have missed it, but does the main camera have an IR filter (blocking out IR) as most webcams do. If so how do i remove it. You mention "After completing rework, camera will be sensitive to full spectrum. Depending on your application feel free to leave it as is or use IR LOW PASS filter for normal operation or IR HIGH pass filter to see infrared part of available light." But did you ever remove such a filter in your rework, if not how did you get access to the full spectum. Basically im trying to turn the brio into an IR camera. (The main camera, not the IR sensor)
    • Replysaulius
      Hi, yes Brio has IR block filter integrated with lens. With conversion kit you will have this filter removed (along with hens) so you can add any filter you like.
  11. Replyrasemailcz
    Hi, 1) Is it possible to change the filters? 2) Logitech markets an "IR face recognition feature". How is that possible if IR filter is integrated in the lens? Thanks...
    • Replysaulius
      After rework original filter will be removed. You can use any filter. Logitech has dedicated small resolution auxiliary camera Face recognition feature which is not being used in rework kit.
  12. Replypapercat
    Hi, I'm a music streamer and I'm interested in getting this kit or the C1 camera along with some lenses. I stream in a small dark room with some cozy low lights and my idea is to use a camera to focus on me while performing, blurring the background with the cozy lights and maybe get some bokeh. I've read that the Brio camera is not very good in low ligth environments and get a lot of noise (grain), but I would like to know if that situation improves with the mod, using better lenses or if for my purpose the C1 is better. It could be great to have some indoor sample videos filmed with the C1 under low light circumstances to see how it works and how crisp can look. Thanks in advance!
    • Replysaulius
      Hi, adding lens with bigger aperture lets camera see in darker room. I would not expect drastic increase in light sensitivity though. But you will be able to use wider or narrower view angle. C1 for sure is capable of lower light operation. For example please check video in the dark room with flash light (C1 camera): http://kurokesu.com/uploads/C1_in_the_dark.avi

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