Hi! I don't want to shell out $800-$1000 for a top-of-the-line camera, but I think that a camera of good quality can be found for less.

Previously, I was borrowing my friend's Canon Powershot SX40, which has live-view and is decent, but I'm not sure it's the best for making stop motions, which is what it will be used for most of the time. 

Does anyone have any suggestions on a good camera whose price doesn't exceed $400? Thanks

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Until now I used an HD videocamera Canon (1080i), now I waiting for a Nikon d5100 (used).  There are many good offers on Ebay, for that price. If you chose used, pay attention on shots number. 

There are many topic here about cameras.  Moreover you have to ensure if your camera have the "live view", for frame grabber software:  http://www.dragonframe.com/camera.php

I recently made my first stop motion camera purchase.  I was able to get a Canon T3 from BestBuy for $429 (normally $500) and it came with a $40 camera bag, so it was a great deal.  The only other thing I needed to purchase was a power cord, $20 on amazon.  The Canon power cord is $100, way over priced.

I checked local camera stores for used equipment, and a used Canon T3 was going for $400.  That was the cheapest.  There were used Canon 60D bodies for $599, way out of my budget.

So far I really like the camera, much better than the $100 webcam I was using...hahaha.

You might consider a used Canon 40D. You can get one off Ebay for around $350. This is usually the body only. But, the body is all you will want because you will need to purchase one or two Nikon lenses for the camera. A nice lens is a 55mm micro Nikkor manual lens. A used one on Ebay is around $80 to $100. And, you will need an adapter for the lens in order to attach it to the camera. The adapter is cheap, around $12. You might want to get a 35 mm lens too. The price can be as low as $60. You will find some as expensive as $500, but these are usually lenses with an f-stop around 1.4. You don't need that kind of expensive lens for stop motion. You can get an F2.8 or F3.5 and it will be fine. If the camera does not come with a power cord, then you will need to purchase one.

I've used an older Sony camcorder through my desktop using a frame grabber and a program called Monkey Jam.

The computer was about $1200.00 when I put it together in 2003 (Still works.)

Monkey Jam was free... but I sent the guy $20.00

The Camcorder was about $800.00 back in 1996

The frame grabber was a used componant found at a used computer store for about $10.00

So, I spent about $2030.00 (or 47+100+2.5+2.5=$152.00 per year)

You can get the same camcorder I have from estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores for about $10.00 nowadays.

"Haste makes waste." If you have the time to look around for deals in your area or Craigslist, you can find great cameras that will work within your budget.

Canon point and shoot cameras have an online hack program specifically geared toward unlocking the DSLR features. (Google CHDK for the Wiki site.) I bought an older Canon S2 for about $60.00 and installed the CHDK and I can chnge my ISO's to insane settings so I can capture lightning during storms with  motion detector.

To me a camera's most expensive feature should be the lens.

Food for thought.

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