Buying a new HD webcam

I just recently got iStopMotion and I realized that my webcam is fine for doing video chats but the video quality is not good enough for animation. So I’m in the market for an hd webcam, and I’m wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a specific brand or for certain features I should be looking for. I’ve been looking on amazon.com and I’m wondering about features that they have listed like focus type and auto light correction. I’ve noticed that the more high end webcams have something called premium autofocus, but I was thinking that it might actually be better for me to get a camera that is listed as “always focused,” since the distance between the camera and my subject is never going to change significantly.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I am about to also try to buy some webcams for my school for IStop Motion. The problem with the autofocus is that sometimes you want manual focus for animation, right? or wrong? Also they have very varying megapixel still images from 2-8- what is good for iStopMotion?

I’m in the same boat. From past experience, in stop motion, i prefer using a manual focus as then when i’m moving a subject with my hands or intorducing other subjects in the foregound/background the camera doens’t adjust to those and it stays focused on what i want it to. However with line tests i’ve found auto focus is fine. It depends on the complexity of your animaiton but it’d be super to have the option of manual or auto focus. Can you get that option with a webcam? I’m unsure as to what premium autofocus is.

My main worry is the colour/white balance. My hue hd webcam has auto colour/white balance so you get a very flickery film. Though i’m considering moving away from webcams entirely and onto HD or DV cameras.
I’m currently running on Mac 10.4.11.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

So far we haven’t found a USB Webcam that doesn’t do auto white balance. In that case a manual HDV or DV camcorder would be the only solution I know of.
If you know otherwise, please let us know.