Stop motion is a technique in cinematography. It involves taking a series of single images at a specific time interval where you incrementally adjust the object being shot at that time interval. Although this concept is quite old, there are not many cameras in the market that provide this functionality inherently but beginners can achieve a similar result using a quality camera and some software. In this article, we will discuss the best 10 stop motion cameras for beginners and for professionals.
- Part 1. 5 Best Stop Motion Cameras for Kids or Beginner
- Part 2. 5 Best Stop Motion Cameras for Professionals or Studios
- Part 3. [Tips] How to Make Your Mobile Phone as the Best Camera for Stop Motion
Part 1. 5 Best Stop Motion Cameras for Kids or Beginner
Many people think that to do stop motion animation, you must have an expensive professional camera. This is a myth, at least for kids and beginners, you don't have to own a camera worth hundreds of dollars to do stop motion animation. Here are a few stop motion cameras that can help you create stop motion videos.
1. Logitech HD pro c920
Logitech HD Pro C920 camera is probably the best USB webcam there is. It supports multiple operating systems including windows up to window 7, Mac OS 10.10 or later, Chrome OS and Android. In all of these operating systems, you have to have access to a USB port and an internet connection. The camera features a max resolution of 1080/30fps-720/30fps with autofocus functionality.
• Cheap as compared to professional cameras.
• Supports all major operating systems including Windows, Mac OS, Android and Chrome OS.
• Need to have a USB port to use it.
• Need to have an internet connection to use it.
2. Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000
Just like the Logitech HD pro, this is also one of the best cameras for stop motion that enables you to create high-quality stop motion videos. It features a 2MP camera with a maximum frame rate of 30fps @800x600 and 15fps @HD 920 x 720. Like its counterpart, this camera also works on all major operating systems including Linux, and Windows all the way to Vista
• Cheap to acquire compared to the professional cameras.
• Good operating system support with windows support going up to Windows Vista.
• Doesn't seem to support Mac OS.
$89.96 – $99.99
3. Logitech c270 Widescreen HD
This is another webcam from Logitech that can be used as a stop motion camera. It comes with a 3MP camera for HD video and camera shots.
• Cheaper than professional stop motion cameras.
• Has more pixels than other USB cameras at a cheaper price.
• Supports Mac OS windows, Android and Chrome OS.
• Works with Skype, Google Hangouts and Facetime.
• Require an internet connection.
• Require USB access to use.
4. Canon EOS Rebel T7i
As we alluded in the professional section, this camera is the best camera a novice should handle. It has great features while still being a little bit cheaper compared to its counterparts. It features a 24.2MP camera with a 45-point AF and a 3-inch touchscreen. The camera can handle a 6fps maximum continuous shooting speed.
• Easy to use interface.
• Provides the use of touchscreen controls for convenience.
• High-quality images due to the high-quality lens.
• Lightweight and easy to carry around.
• Expensive as compared to other stop motion cameras for beginners.
5. Logitech QuickCam Deluxe
This camera is among Logitech’s new line of web cameras for notebooks. It comes with the cool design having silver and blue colors. It features a VGA sensor with Right light technology, 1.3MP camera, and 20mm adjustable clip.
• Cheap and easy to acquire even for beginners.
• 2-year warranty.
• Good quality images.
• Has a 20mm adjustable clip.
• Some images may not be clear.
• Don't do well in sunlight.
To create stop motion video using these cameras that do not inherently support the feature, you have to employ some software. Popular software to help you create a stop motion video include MonkeyJam, iStopMotion for Mac and Dragon flame.
- Basic video editing features like trimming and cropping are easily done on the timeline.
- It allows you to add overlays and texts to your video as subtitles or captions.
- With this software you can also add background music to match the theme and mood of your video.
- It allows you to import almost any media format and also download them media online.
Part 2. 5 Best Stop Motion Cameras for Professionals or Studios
1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
This is the stop motion camera and the dream Canon Camera. It is the most used camera model in professional photography. It features 30.4 megapixels, a continuous shooting speed of 7ps and a 3.2-inch touchscreen. The camera is quite an investment too, going for around $3500.
• Good picture quality with 30.4megapixels.
• Wide 3.2-inch touchscreen.
• Very expensive to acquire.
2. Nikon D3300
The Nikon D3300 is probably the cheapest camera on this list. But don't compare its features to the price as it comes with 24.2Megapixels and a 3-inch screen. Its price is $400 which actually seems like a joke.
• Cheaper compared to other stop motion cameras.
• Good image quality with 24.2 Megapixel camera.
• Not user-friendly especially for beginners.
• May create really huge 4K videos.
3. Canon EOS Rebel T7i
This is arguably the best camera for novices. It comes with a 24.2MP camera with 45-point AF, 3-inch touchscreen, and a 6fps maximum continuous shooting speed. The camera can be referred to cheap as compared to its counterparts such as Canon EOS 5D. It goes for $800 and can be found here on Amazon.
• Touchscreen controls.
• High-quality images.
• As compared to counterparts such as Canon EOS 5D, it has slightly fewer pixels.
4. Nikon D7200
Nikon D7200 is an amazing stop motion camera going for $1300 and comes with features such as 24.2MP, 3.2-inch screen, and 51-point AF. The camera also shoots images with good quality and resolution.
• Easy to handle and operate.
• Automatic white balance system to adjust lighting.
• Does not support touch controls.
• Slightly lower pixels as compared to other high range cameras.
5. Nikon D500
If you are a dynamic photographer the best camera for you is the Nikon D500. This camera comes with a 20.9MP, 3.2-inch tilt angle touchscreen and a maximum shooting speed of 10fps. Although it may seem like this camera has a relatively lower pixel count, this is compensated with good lighting and sensitivity performance. It goes for a price of $1900 and can be found on Amazon or their official website.
• Good sensitivity performance.
• 3.2-inch touch screen for ease of use.
• Lower pixel quality as compared to other stop motion cameras.
Part 3. [Tips] How to Make Your Mobile Phone as the Best Camera for Stop Motion
Stop motion videos always look impressive when complete but the process of making them is expensive and hard. This is because they could traditionally only be captured using high-end cameras. But recently, there have been apps that can turn your phone into a remote camera and use it to capture stop-motion video. We are going to review a few of these apps.
Method 1. Using WIFI Cam App (Android)
WIFI cam is an android app that enables you to have access to the camera whenever you are and get to check your friends and family.
• Easy and straightforward to use.
• Free to use.
• Supports until android version 4.2.
• Small download size of only 6.2MB.
• Horrible connection sound. This can probably be easily solved in the future.
Android version 4.2 and up.
Method 2. Using WIFI Camera App (iOS)
WIFI Camera App is another app that can turn your mobile phone into a Wireless Camera for stop motion. Unfortunately, this is only available for IOS users and is free to use. If you don't speak English then no need to worry, this app also comes with support for Russian and simplified Chinese.
• Compatible with both iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
• Supports English, Russian and simplified Chinese.
• Free to use.
• Large download size of approximately 54.6MB.
iOS 7 Compatible with OS 7 and above.
Method 3. Using WIFI Camera HD (Android)
WIFI camera HD is another camera app that allows you to capture video and stream video to the phone by H.264 protocol. The App also supports 3D glasses hence you can view its 3D effects images by putting on 3D glasses.
• Free to use.
• Offers support until android version 4.2.
• Allows you to save camera photos and video to SD card.
• Has a few bugs and might stop working but restarting usually solves the issue.
Android 4.0 and up..
How to Turn Your Phone into A Remote Stop Motion Camera
With the advent of smartphones and the widespread use of apps, smartphones can do just about anything. And yes, we can take advantage of our phones to create stop-motion videos. Here are simple steps to achieve that
1. Install Remote Camera
There are several apps that allow you to turn your phone into a remote camera. The apps allow you allow you to stream video from your camera feed either through a browser by connecting to an IP address or by installing the app in multiple phones. Whichever the app, they will usually display instructions on connecting to the camera feed.
2. Capture Photos
To create a stop motion video, capturing serial photos at interval times while adjusting the object a little bit every time. To some extent, how far to adjust the object is, to some extent a form of skill and you would need to experiment to see what fits you best and whether to adjust them faster or slower.
3. Create Stop Motion Video
After you have captured your stop motion photos, you will need a way to join them in a video. There are several tools that can do these, however, the best editor to use is Filmora Video Editor. The editor comes with several features, sn easy to use and allows you to export to different formats.
Traditionally, stop-motion videos could only be captured using high-end stop motion cameras, but now you can use affordable quality cameras combined with software like Filmora Video Editor to create stop-motion videos. Among other features, Filmora Video Editor has the ability to combine still images in an easy and professional way and best of all, you can do this all for free.