Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dissection: Logitech 2-MP Webcam C600

They discontinued the other fixed focus webcams I liked so it is time for more destruction. I just uploaded a Logitech 2-MP Webcam C600 dissection to iFixit.


Fozzillo said...

Quite impressive!

I was searching for detailed specifications of this C600 webcam.

The only mention I found about the sensor size is in your article on ifixit.

You write "ccd sensor", is it right?
Do you know if it really is a CCD, or is it a CMOS?

I was thinking about buying the smaller C500 for astrophotography and time lapse videos, but I could not find any details about the sensor size, witch is crucial in astrophotogrphy, so I maybe switch to c600 thanks to your article.

Please help me in not wasting money, I need to know as much as possible about this webcam.

- longest exposure time by software?
- CCD or CMOS?
- lens screw diameter?

- do you know the sensor size of the C500 model?

I will really appreciate ANY answer (even "I don't know).

Thanks for your very good article and pictures of the dissection.

You can answer here or at the email in my blogger profile

I Heart Robotics said...

I'm not sure how you would measure the exposure time on a webcam. I think it ends up being something like 1/30th of a second. You can probably just save it as video and stack the frames later.

I thought it was a CCD but it could be CMOS.

The lens screw size I can find tomorrow.

Unless size or cost are the primary concern, I think you would probably be better off with <a href=">CHDK</a> and a Canon. I have the SX120IS and like it even though it is not yet supported by CHDK.

I'll probably disassemble the SX120 at some point after I build my "clean room" later this week.

Fozzillo said...

Thank you very much.

I know what you mean for the canon, I have a CASIO EX-FH20, it's a funny toy, I can make high speed videos up to 1000 frames per second, or long exposure photos up to 30 seconds.

A high speed video I made

The goal with the webcam is to have fun modifying it, putting on new optics, adapting it to my small telescope.

Here's a timelapse with a very cheap webcam I made.

There are other vids in my Youtube page

I will never take the astronomy picture of the year, it takes far too many thousands of dollars to have the best equipment.

HD resolution is not needed too, but today SD webcams have such a small sensor, maybe 1/8 of an inch or even smaller, that no optics will ever be appropriate.
HD ones have bigger sensors, but it wont be long they will make them smaller.

For the size of the lens screw, measure it only if it's a simple task, but if you need to dismantle it all over again just to do it, you can let go.

The longest exposure time for logitech webcams is normally 1/5 of a second, by activating the "rightlight" feature or by setting the video format to 5fps.
Whit my logitech E3500 i have a little trick to let it go up to 1 second.

Fozzillo said...

I read about CHDK.
In my experience, time lapse made by scripting such those I've seen on the CHDK site have a problem, they work like:

- set parameter
- take picture
- wait t
- repeat

not always the first two steps take the same time to execute so, especially for short t, the resulting video is not perfectly fluid.

But anyway you didn't help me save money, now I want to buy a Canon too! :)

I Heart Robotics said...

The lens is threaded M10x0.5

As far as I can tell the main difference between CCD and CMOS is having a global shutter vs rolling shutter. I took a few test images and it looks like the camera has a global shutter which would mean that it is a CCD instead of CMOS.


It supports "rightlight" but I don't really know anything about the software that comes with it since I mostly use it under Linux.

If you wanted to spend some more money, you could always use an Arduino to control the camera running CHDK.
Also, if you are doing astrophotography, the IR fliter seems pretty easy to remove.

Fozzillo said...

CCD should be more sensitive to low light, and I hate rolling shutter so, very good news thanks!

I wonder why logitech do not specify the kind of sensor, maybe for "experts" CCD is more attractive but for the general user it sounds just "old".

There are some kind of CMOS with global shutter but I think they are more expensive than CCDs (for now).

For the IR filter, I already noticed from your dissection pictures that it is a kind if easy removable mount like it was on my old glorious quickcam 3000 pro, that gave me so many satisfactions but now is dead. :(

Arduino seems a little complicated for my skills, but I am interested, bookmarked.

I am definitely going for the C600, with the knowledge you gave me, it seems perfect for me, I will not take the risk of buying the cheaper C500 just to find out that I needed the 600.

Thank you very much!

Fozzillo said...

I'm not completely sure but M10x0.5 is the most common kind for webcams, I probably have many optics from older webcams I have (destroyed) that I can use to "adjust" the focal length.

Thanks again for your precious informations!

I Heart Robotics said...

I think M12x0.5 is actually slightly more popular. this vendor seems to carry a ton of OEM lenses.

Good luck with your project.

Fozzillo said...

Yes, I measured my lenses and the screw is 12mm in diameter for the most common ones, I got just one smaller than this that is mounted on the logitech E3500 I think it's 10mm.
(I can't find my caliber, damn, I measured with two boxes and a ruler!)

The M should be the diameter.

I Heart Robotics said...

I was wrong, the C600 has a rolling shutter.