I don't want to be accused of self-promotion here, but I've had a number of people recently asking what camera they can use with their stop frame animation software on the Mac, now that DV camcorders are all but gone, and existing ones in school are beginning to fail. First of all, don't forget that a DV camera doesn't have to work fully in order to work as a firewire camera for a computer. Make sure your art and media teachers are given a chance to keep camcorders even if the tape mechanism fails so they won't record any more. As long as they power up and still output a live picture they are useful. Worth asking your teachers before you scrap any.

If you need a new camera, remember that camcorders with no Firewire or iLink connector (ie USB only, card or disk based jobbies) won't stream video live. Webcams work but most are pretty dire. We've been selling the aGent hi def webcam for a while now aGent V5 HD Webcam - Jigsaw Systems Ltd and I wanted to tell you that it works fine with iStopmotion and Icananimate. It gives a crystal clear picture with none of the banding and mottling you can see on a normal webcam. If anyone wants to have a go at hi resolution animation with digital SLRs, I've been doing that too.