Hi guys, 

sorry if there's already this kind of a topic somewhere on the site, I just couldn't find it. I'm planning on buying a camera Canon Powershot sx230 HS, it's a compact camera but with manual settings which is kind of a key option for a stop motion camera. I would like you to share your opinions about it and give some of your suggestions about good and relatively cheap compact cameras suitable for stop motion animation.

Here are some specs for this Canon: http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/canon_powershot_sx230_hs_rev...

Thanks everyone!

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Every kind of camera seems to be improving by leaps and bounds recently - do compacts have live view now? I can't tell - it does say under connectivity USB 2.0, HDMI and AV. Most likely the USB and HDMI are only for transferring pictures and video respectively to the computer (not sure), but I wonder if that AV might carry a live signal? Actually if it did they'd most likely mention that fact on DPreviews, and they didn't. But if it does, then you could get a cheap analog/digital converter and use it the same way I use my Lumix - each time you snap off a frame in your framegrabber you also take a full-size picture on the camera. Though I seem to recall seeing that there's no remote available for that camera on one of the pages I looked at - that would compromise stability because you'd need to actually push the shutter button on the camera itself each time you take a frame, and if it isn't absolutely rock steady that can result in earthquake city. 

I checked on another photography site, it said live view-yes..it depends what they meant by that..

There is no remote control for this one, as i found out basically only slr and dslr cameras have remote control, compact don't. Is it possible to connect this compact to your PC via USB and use a framegrabber in that way? Maybe use some kind of converter?

If it has live view then yes. If the live view is via USB then you don't need a converter, but if it's via the AV then you'll need to get something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-VC500-Touch-Capture-Device/dp/B000VM6...

Check some of the other models shown as suggestions too - the Geniatech and EZ Cap, the Elgato, the Mygica Easygrabber2 etc - these all should work. But you only need one if the live view is through AV out - if it's through the USB then it's already a digital signal and you're ready to roll. 

Be sure to look at user comments on those converters before buying one - some of them work well and others dont. 

Success!! I finally have confirmation that this camera does indeed supply live view out via the A/V port! 

I was getting disgusted after checking countless articles that all failed to mention it - so I finally decided to look at the actual manual for the camera - you can download a PDF manual for just about any camera in the world these days. Here's the link if you want to confirm it for yourself or check anything else: http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/7/0300004757/01/PSSX230HS_SX220HS_CUG_E...

Scroll down to page 101 - Shooting Using a TV as the Display. It uses the A/V out port, so it will be an analog signal and you'll need one of the converters I posted above. 

In searching I ran across a lot of reviews of various compact cameras - some of the images shot with some of them were amazing - many of them look like they were shot with a DSLR. If cameras like this really do allow a good range of manual control and don't have any unforseen problems, they might now be suitable for high quality stopmotion work. 

Joza, if you do get the camera I hope you keep us updated on it. 

I just love the way you answer everyone's posts including this one..with so much patience and details, it's just awesomeee!! Many many many thanks, it's very helpfull reply :)

One guy I know that uses DSLR for his photography said for this camera that's really good, with wonderful images, especially for a compact camera. I'll probably get it, along with this converter so I can use my framegrabber software on it.

So any future work I post here will be done with this compact camera, it will take some time for me  to figure out all the manual functions since I'm a photo amateur but I have a strong will to learn how to use all these manual functions.

Thanks again Strider for all the info :)

No problem - I'm glad to do it - especially when I'm bored, and especially when it's something that can increase my knowledge about cameras (or anything important to stopmo) - or even more so our collective understanding of these subjects. I'm sure there are people on the board who know a lot about using compact cameras for stopmo, but they aint talking for whatever reason, so those of us who do take part in sharing and spreading information need to constantly re-invent the wheel. 

I feel like we've made a breakthrough here - partly in learning that some compact cameras do have manual settings and live view out via A/V, and also that you can learn what you need to know about a camera by looking at an online manual for it - we've been using DPreviews and similar resources for info up till now. 

I was looking especially for a compact with manual settings and this sales guy says this one is a best buy..all others are too expensive or DSLR..

One question about this connecting via A/V and converter especially for this camera..as I saw, it has HDMI and a little USB port..so I don't get is it possible to have a live view from a camera on your PC, since this converter is for connecting the camera on a TV? Or isn't? :D

Ok - the camera comes with an RCA cable - the kind used to conect a VCR to a TV. That has a yellow RCA plug at the end like this: 

Obviously you can't plug this directly into your computer - computers don't have RCA ports (or any kind of analog ports). So you need a converter which accepts the yellow RCA plug and also has a USB plug at the other end that goes into the computer. The converter changes the analog signal into a digital one that can be used with a framegrabber. 

I know the camera also has a USB port, but I believe that's just for downloading your pictures to the computer, it doesn't carry the live view signal. They use the A/V port for the live view signal so you can see it through a TV if you want to (or get a converter and use it in a computer). 

It might have live view through HDMI - does your computer have an HDMI port on it? But I'm pretty sure the HDMI is just for downloading video to the computer after shooting it or for watching it on a digital TV.

I didn't see anything in the manual about live view via HDMI - but after I found the thing about the A/V live view I stopped looking. Feel free to read through some more and see. Or hold off on getting the converter and when you get the camera see if you can get live view through either the USB or HDMI. I'm sure the USB won't have live view - like most cameras that's going to be for downloading your pictures to the computer. 

But it seems to me if one of the other ports also carried a live view they would have mentioned that alongside the item about the A/V port. 

I get it, thanks :)

It's important that camera has a live view on a computer so I can use a framegrabber software..along with manual settings and a really good price I guess this becomes a pretty cool camera for stop motion animation, both amateur and semi-professional or even professional.

When I get it I will try to get a live view through USB or HDMI, but as you said it's probably used for downloading data only.

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