If you are thinking about buying a camcorder and want to use it for stop motion animation such as claymation etc. then I have compiled a list of some of the DV camcorders that have “pass through” capabilities. While this is not a full listing, it will give you some idea of what is available. What I found is that DV pass-thru is available on most DV cameras with the exception of the lowest priced models and those with DCD writeable media. There are other models out there and new models coming on to the market all the time so just make sure you check the manuals to see if the camera has pass through capabilities. But note unfortunately “Pass-through” is not always obvious as a feature in the manual or specificiations and you may need to route through the user manual at the manufacturers site. Canon ZR60 ZR100 ZR200 ZR300 ZR400 Elura 80 Elura 85 Elura 90 Optura S1 Optura 50 Optura 60 Optura 400 Optura 500 Optura 600 No pass through on the DC10 or DC20 Sony DCR-HC42 DCR-HC32 DCR-PC55 DCR-HC90 DCR-PC1000 (3cc) DCR-HC21-NO analog DCR-TRV480 DCR-TRV460 JVC GRD72US GR-D73 and GR-D93 GR-DF430US GR-DF450US GR-DF550US GR-D860 Mini DV Camcorder (also can WebCam Function) GR-DZ7US has analog input but not sure about pass-thru GR-X5US has analog input but not sure about pass-thru Panasonic PV-GS120 PV-GS150 PV-GS250 PV-GS400 PV-DV852
Up to recently DV and USB on Webcams and in some cases Analog capture have been the main stay of stop motion animators for capturing frames. But now there is a new kid on the block..”USB Streaming”. It is primarily being pushed by Sony at present but a number of other manufacturers are moving in that direction also. The concept behind it is to promote or allow the use of USB rather than DV / Firewire to import video from your camcorder to your PC / Mac rather than to facilitate live capture. Its the live capture element of the setup that is of interest to us however. In the case of the Sony camcorders it is the hard disk based cameras that it is more evident for obvious reasons. However if you are considering purchasing such a camera for your stop motion then be sure to check the model has what Sony describe as “Webcam Function” rather than just relying on it having USB streaming. JVC also have a good range of camcorders with the WebCam function over Firewire (DV) at a good price. While this is not USB streaming per se the result for stop motion animators is the same.