Hello,

I'm pretty new to stop motion, I made a couple films about a year or 2 ago and would like to get back into it but with proper equipment.

I'm not sure what camera I would need though. I would like to control it with my laptop, so I can take pictures using my laptop (and not press the camera) but I usually make films with small toys - army men, lego etc - so it needs to have macro to capture the minute detail clearly. I guess I'm looking for a webcam but a good quality one?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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I don't know much about webcams, but I've used a "microsoft livecam" which was no good because it was autofocus and you need to make sure you get a manual focus. I've done some teaching with a "Hue" which was better, but don't know about really close up stuff. 

This might work though - a  "kinobo"  pretty cheap and the picture shows decent close up, could be a good place to start.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kinobo-Webcam-Megapixels-Windows-lights/dp/...

I never used it though and like I say I'm no expert on this.

Good luck

Thanks for the help. I was actually looking at the Microsoft Livecam and it's interesting you say that. I was looking at some sample pictures taken with it and it wasn't great quality. That link you sent looks far more suitable and will do some reading up on it.

Thanks again for the help. If anyone else knows any cameras it will be much appreciated.

Why a webcam rather than using Dragonframe and a suitable DSLR with a macro-capable lens? 

If you're set on using a webcam, this one looks interesting:

http://www.ipevo.com/prods/IPEVO_Ziggi_USB_Document_Camera

I'm pretty sure that focus and exposure can be locked. You'd have to be sure not to bump it while filming. I haven't used it myself though.

Strider - I would like to use the quality of a DSLR but I think it's pretty specialist to find one which can be controlled by my mac. Also they are pretty expensive. I'm not a photographer so it would only be used for stop motion videos.

Roger Beck - Thanks for pointing me towards that camera, I'll look into it and do some research. My mind is pretty open towards cameras but a webcam will probably be a cheaper option and the pictures will go strait to my laptop saving time on transferring files. But of course quality comes first (to an extent) so if the perfect camera isn't a web cam I'll happily look into it.

Thanks for all your help so far, it's much appreciated.

Lol well, no aguing about the price, but Dragonframe or StopMotion Pro can definitely control certain DSLRs. If you check their websites they have compatibility lists. 

But yeah, there's no arguing about the price for sure! 

I was looking on ebay for cheap XLRs, I think I need to look out for remote capture enabled cameras. If adding a few extra pounds to my budget means getting an XLR I'm quite happy to do that. But is it as simple as just being remote capture enabled or are there other things I need to look out for?

Cheers

what capture software are you planning on using?  From what your saying I'm a bit confused if your planning on using any at all.  You kind of need to sort that first, that's what's going control the camera.  Strider mentioned the top end ones but there is cheaper available.

I'm not sure what software yet. Maybe I have misunderstood something but I would imagine if a camera can be remote enabled then most software could use it. I've been recommended Dragon, but have no idea how much it costs.

I made my first animation on Apple's Imovie or whatever it's called, but I think something with onion skinning would be very useful.



Josh Charig said:

Maybe I have misunderstood something but I would imagine if a camera can be remote enabled then most software could use it.

As far as I know most framegrabbers can't - you need to move up from the low end before you start finding the ones that do.

I made my first animation on Apple's Imovie

Really, you've just been working blind with no framegrabber? Oh man, that's harsh!

I think something with onion skinning would be very useful.

Many people do seem to think that at first, but really onionskinning is made for 2d animation and works well for that, not so much for stopmotion. You might want to take a look at this thread: http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/forum/topics/the-secret-using-st...

Dragonframes great, it'll set you back about £220, all the cameras it works with are listed here

http://www.dragonframe.com/camera.php

the cheapest of these is the canon 450d which you can get on ebay for about £150, next is 500d, etc. 

All these cameras will also work with stopmotion pro, you can get the "action HD" version for about £130.

If that's still to much then there's "i can animate2" and "I-stopmotion", and "framethief" all coming in around £30-£50.  These are more basic and they work with webcams but I don't know about DSLR cameras.

If that's still too much there's also a free bit of capture software called "helium frog" but I don't know how good it is.

They all have "onion skinning", but Dragonframe and stopmo pro have "step to live" which allows you to "walk" through your frames and get a better flow of your work.

Strider - Yeah it was difficult without a framegrabber. I would spend 6 hours on a scene and when I would put the photos together in the video editor I'd notice something like the camera moves too much, or the props moved etc. Very annoying but I learned from those mistakes and the importance of remote capture!

Thanks for the link. I'll read through it now.

Steve - Thanks, that's really helpful! I think it's a matter of looking around and seeing if I can find a hidden gem! It happens every so often on Ebay.

Thanks for all your help.

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