We have all enjoyed stop motion films at one point or another. While they are hard to make, they hold a different form of entertainment that other animations cannot beat.
But you do need an exceptionally good camera to be able to pull this off. The best webcams for stop motion are devices that come with top-notch features. This is not a place you can usually skimp out on, but need to splurge for the finest content.
And contrary to popular belief, webcams can be used, they just have to be really good. Really good here stands for high resolution, high frames per second, great autofocus, great zoom, and white balance, and a ton of more stuff.
With these qualities, the webcam becomes just as good as any camcorder. So, without further ado, let us get into details on each of these features.
| ||Razer Kiyo||1080p||Razer mic||5600K daylight-balanced ring light|
| ||AUROARC||1080p||Built-in Stereo |
|Facial Beauty Feature|
| ||COSHIP||1080p||Stereo microphone with noise-canceling technology||Adjustable Brightness, |
Privacy Cover, Auto Focus, H.265 Technology
| ||TedGem||1080p||Built-in microphone 2D noise reduction||Range of view: 90°|
| ||Aobo||1080p||Built-in Stereo |
|Sony 323 CMOS ⅓ image senso|
| ||GESMA||1080p||Stereo||3D Denoising|
| ||NexiGo N940||1080p||Dual Microphone||3X Digital Zoom|
| ||IFROO Webcam A1||1080p||Stereo||82 degrees wide angle view|
| ||Logitech C925-e||1080p||Stereo Audio||78-degree field of view |
Logitech is one of the popular names when it comes to webcams, so surely there will be a few that can be used for stop motion film making.
This one in particular has an impressive resolution of 1080p which runs at 30 frames per second. This can easily be used for small projects where you need a good camera. It creates smooth videos, you will not experience any graininess or blurs, only clean and fine pictures.
It comes with a 5-foot cable too. So attach it to your PC or laptop, and you can still have it located close to the filming area, you get that amount of flexibility here.
The webcam also hosts video compression technology. This becomes important when there are lots of heavy files. Since we are focusing on pictures and videos here, instead of streaming, there will be a lot of saved files. With video compression, you get to store and transfer them fast and easy.
There is also an automatic low light correction to ensure that white does not overtake other colors and everything is shown in their natural colors and hues.
The webcam has automatic noise reduction as well, but you will not be needing this highly if you only use the webcam for stop motion. Nonetheless, having an extra good feature never hurts!
This is a simple, no fuss, plug and play webcam from Logitech. While this is not a professional-grade, it certainly is a good choice for beginners or users who like to create stop motion films as a side hobby.
The resolution is 720p HD and it creates clear and clean images for you to work with. Streaming occurs at 30 frames per second, so when you use this for streaming or other purposes, rest assured that the videos will be clear and you will not experience any graininess whatsoever.
The diagonal field of view on this is 60 degrees. This helps to cover a decent range of space before you need to move the webcam physically.
It has auto light correction that makes it easier to take photos in regular lighting. You may or may not have a separate light set-up, but in either case, this helps to improve upon that, so the videos or pictures are not dull even if the lighting is low.
The webcam does not have autofocus. Now you might not like this when video streaming, but since we are focusing on stop motion, manual focus can be of help. This way you get to choose what to focus on depending on the scene and picture. Yes, you have to adjust it, but it comes with good results!
The Logitech C922x Pro has been optimized for streaming and recording, and it does just as splendid a job with taking photos.
With its 78-degree field of view, it can cover a good amount of area around it. Unless you have a big area, you want to take pictures of, moving the webcam will not, in general, be necessary.
The lens is made completely of glass, which further helps to clarify the images. Premium autofocus is used so that moving objects do not lose their focus and resolution as you go. And the automatic light correction completes this by making sure pictures and videos have natural and true to life colors.
Of course, you can use it for regular streaming on YouTube, or chatting on any of the social media sites as you want when you are not working on stop motion films. It has two omnidirectional microphones for this purpose as well for a clear and clean audio transmission.
The webcam comes with a 5 feet cable as well. With this, you can set it up a good distance from the laptop, and it also gives you the freedom to move it around a little if and when required.
The BRIO Ultra HD Webcam by Logitech is the device to get if you are a professional in this line of work who wants the absolute finest webcam for stop motion films. One of the first things we love about this is the resolution.
It comes with a whopping 4K resolution that creates the most detailed and crisp pictures one can want. The webcam also has 4K streaming, which is a big bonus since it is rare to find these qualities in a webcam. The lens is made of glass, which further helps to enhance the picture and streaming quality too.
Other features that make this model stand out include the automatically adjusting exposure plus contrast.
Both of these qualities mean that pictures you take, or videos you stream will not be lacking in natural colors. Thanks to these, you will not experience any extreme darks or lights, there will be no glare, only true colors.
It can also work as your facial recognition device for when you log into windows. This we consider a bonus since you do not technically need it for stop motion. But it is great to have it nonetheless.
The webcam does have a zoom feature that goes up to 5x. This HD zoom is better than the regular zoom features you commonly see. You can choose to use it or avoid it, depending on the requirements of your set up and the distance. But for video streaming, this works well.
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 is not a webcam per se, but it is a very good camera, and it will be a fantastic partner to have when working with stop motion films.
Let us take Legos as an example. They are fun to play with, everybody loves them, and almost every home has some. And this is a very common medium for stop motion films too.
You can go ahead and make a Lego stop motion film right at home, and this camera will act as your biggest supply besides the Lego itself.
It has a 4K video capture and photo action. This tells us how well the resolution is going to be when working with this, regardless of whether you are taking photos for your film, or shooting something else.
Other than that, the camera also has an 18.1 MP MOS sensor and 60X zoom. So zoom in on those details all you want, they will show up naturally and in a non-blurry and distorted form.
Of course, you could move the camera closer too. But it depends on how far you are set practically, so some trial and error would be a better decision.
With the super-long 20-1200mm (60X) LUMIX DC VARIO lens, you can get a good look into the details of the Legos, or any other object that you are shooting with. Precision and clarity play a big part in these films, and with this feature, you will achieve just that.
And if you are unsure of the focus and result while clicking pictures, know that you can use the Post Focus and Focus Stacking feature to change the depth of field and the focus points after clicking the picture as well.
We always look at the resolution primarily with these devices since it plays such a big role in how the webcam performs. But when you want the best stop motion camera, it becomes more important, and you have to go with the finest resolution there is - at least a 1080p Full HD.
Any lower than this, you will lack the adequate number of pixels, and the result will not be satisfactory. A higher number of pixels ensure that the images are crisp and clean so that they can be used simultaneously to create a video. Rougher images will result in rougher videos and a not-so-smooth transition.
The lens can also affect the picture quality here besides the resolution only. So we recommend that you look for a glass lens which creates clearer images.
While we normally look for an autofocus feature, that is only needed for video conferencing and classes where you just need the camera to be able to focus on you.
But with stop motion videos, you need to have a manual focus instead. You will constantly need to change the focus to create dimension and change viewpoints, and all of that requires this function to be manual. A digital focus function or one on the rim of the lens is what you should be looking out for.
No, this is not the application, which has become the most talked-about Zoom. But the verb, where you can zoom in and out continuously.
Now, while zoom serves an important function, we suggest you use it as less as possible unless you have a very high resolution.
Zooming in digitally will cause the resolution to drop. So, when you use image panels to create a video, the scene zoomed in will lose its quality, ruining the whole animation. Instead, physically move it closer if you need to zoom.
The things you need to be able to control manually are the white balance. The white balance has to be controlled, so it can alter the ambient light and show the true color of the animation.
It also helps to improve the background colors, and the white objects on the screen look like a natural white instead of a brightened version. You can control this while shooting, or do it after the shoot as you edit. In either case, then the result would be the same.
Besides the white balance, you also should tweak around with the color intensity and try out edits manually to bring in more depth to the animation. Check to see if your webcam allows for these edits and if they are manual. Auto ones should be avoided at all costs in this particular case.
Fix your camera securely on a tripod and do not cause any changes to its position. Make sure that the background of your project isn't interrupted by any movement or wind, and your subjects and stay balanced on their own.
The lighting should be kept consistent. You can go for around 12 frames per second for an optimum animation output. Feel free to go higher for better output.
Once all these basics are done, all you need is a computer and a good stop motion camera to make magic! Edit in your desired audio that best fits your project and you should be good to go!
The Adobe Premiere Pro, Dragon Frame, etc. are some of the best stop motion software worth checking out to bring your projects to like a boss!
There are endless ways to enhance the quality of your stop motions. Let's discuss a few basic ways to do so.
Practice is key, hence, do so as much as you can. Take the help of tutorials as much as you can. Don't be a miser when it comes to investing in all the necessary hardware. Ensure proper lighting and keep your projects simple.
You also need the best possible software to breathe life into your projects. Ensure that your camera/webcam doesn't move-fix it securely.
When thinking stop motion, webcams are not the first device to pop into our minds. But that is because we tend to think of most webcams similar to the ones installed on our computers - slow, lagging and blurry. But when you have all the right features, you can get a webcam to do the job for you.
In this article, we have discussed how you can buy the best webcam for stop motion and all the features that you need to look for.
When you have the right exposure, focus, white balance and frame rate, and a good resolution on top of all that, the webcam becomes a handy device that can help you make stop motion films.
About Dror Wettenstein
Dror Wettenstein is a software engineer and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He is the founder of TechTreeRepeat, a company that enables technical writers to publish their work faster and share it with readers across the globe. Dror has a master’s degree in computer science from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in physics from UC Irvine.
When he’s not working on software projects, Dror enjoys writing articles and essays on various topics. He also likes playing guitar and spending time with his wife and two young children.