Live View in Input Device List

The input device list was very helpful. I purchased a Nikon s3100 because it said “capture images,” thinking that I’d be able to use it to view images. After a lot of rigamarole with Nikon and monkeying around with the device and my system and having istopmotion tell me YES and YES in bright green to how the camera is working, I find in the forum that “capture images” doesn’t mean “view images.” If you’d simply said: if you want to view images, buy a video camera OR replace “capture images” with “view images.” I could have taken a sequence of pix and loaded them into istopmotion with my ancient Canon Powershot or I could have spent the money on a video camera.

So after all that whining…

Please make it possible to view images using a still camera (or some subset). And please add “view images” to the device list.

Do you mean “live preview” by “view images”?

I have exactly the same problem: i just bought Nikon Coolpix S3100 but i does not work at all. The test says ‘yes’ twice, but when i try to take a preview pic i get this message: ‘Capturing an image failed because the operation timed out.’ - anyhow: without a preview or without being able to control my camera it is in my opinion useless to use iStopMotion… I can import a series of pics into Final Cut Express as well…

Can you please check if the camera is set to as manual as possible. If some automatic thinks that an objet is too close or something it might not capture.
Furthermore, please also open “Image Capture” (from the Applications folder) and check if the “Capture Image” function in there works.

Hi Bastian,

There is nothing to be set on manual on a coolpix s3100… Image Capture does work halfway (as iStopMotion, i guess). Hitting the spacebar makes the camera take a picture, but it stays ‘on the cam’ - not visible on the computer. I think that is what is happening in ISM too. Since the camera’s LCD is turned of while connected to the computer there is no preview at all, so the cam is useless. Too bad the list on your website says different. (I think your software checks the possibility to let the cam take a pic via spacebar, but it does not check actual import - so the entire list of ‘test’-results is very questionable…

sorry for typing too fast

Thinking about this a bit more : I think you should throw away the test results list for still cams. I think you should only post a list of still cams you actually tested yourselves. Why would anyone want to use iStopMotion with a still cam anyway? Since live preview doesn’t work - why should i not just use the Capture Image - iMovie (or Final Cut Express) combination with a cam that does connect to my Mac?

And it would be nice to get some answers.


  • still camera list: In that list you probably notices the “Comment” column, where we stated which camera is tested by Boinx Software. We put up the list because people are asking us, “does my camera XYZ work with iStopMotion?” We don’t recommend buying any of these cameras because we don’t know their technical specs. Technically we are asking the MacOS-X system “can you trigger the device to capture an image?” and “can you download an image from the device?” and the list are the answers by the MacOS-X. When you capture an image with iStopMotion, we are going to MacOS-X and asking it to capture an image with the device and then we are waiting for the result. We never talk to the device directly. The application “Image Capture” is using the same mechanism and therefore fails on the same way. Either your camera isn’t setup correctly (sorry, we don’t know how to set up the Nikon Coolpix S3100 correctly) or your Mac has an image capture driver problem.

  • Why use iStopMotion: The great benefit from iStopMotion with still cameras is: You can overlay your current image with the already captured one while in the process of capturing. This is very important for curious stop motion work. Also you can overlay multiple images (onion skinning) which gives you a perfect control on the movements of your objects. You won’t get this with iMovie or FCE because they are “post production” tools.

Hi Achim,

  • Thank you for your answer. But I’m afraid the two questions you ask in that self test don’t do the trick… so the entire list is rather useless. My iStopMotion-copy says YES twice when i do the test with my brand new Nikon Coolpix. But it does not work. And I am not the only one with these difficulties (see the start of this discussion and other posts on this forum)… Your Support Team just mailed me : “… Nikon S3100 has some issues with mac os lion. For some reasons it won’t work with any other app. Even default Image Capture doesn’t work with this camera. If you have another mac with older OS you can try to use iStopmotion on it. Otherwise you need another camera…”. (no older Mac here - i used my iBook G4 for ages, but now it’s dead)

At least admit that cam should not be mentioned on that list. Bye Bye 139 euro. Please remove that cam from the list, or mention trouble with os x lion. And please check your testing software: importing images is not the same as a live connection. Apple does the same trick with their lists of cams working with iMovie11 : being able to import video-files via usb of via flash is not the same as live capture…

  • How come you get all these questions about working cam’s? Is it possible that your info is not accurate, or lacks detail? I went trough this entire forum. One big question rises all the time… That is why i suggested that you should post a clear list of cams you actually tested yourselves… Then we will see that the working still cams are expensive models, and the camcorders are old models (dv/firewire) or very expensive. So your software might be affordable, using it with a working camera (manual focus, image control, aspect ratio… ) is not. That is why i am disappointed… To do the films I want to do, I now need to go out and spend another 500 euro ???

  • On the ‘Why use it’ question: off course i wanted these functions, that is why I purchased a copy (Express). But if live preview doesn’t work, how do overlay and onion skinning work? The cams I tested turn off their LCD when connected to the computer, so i cannot tell the cam what to do (flash or not, focus, etc…) and then I get a black screen in iStopMotion. So, without live preview, how do these other functions work?

  • I checked the camcorder list on your website: almost all of them are ‘old’ ones (dv en iLink are thrown out on most models these days). The only two I can buy today are the Canon HV40 (at about 500 euro) and the Sony HDR-FX7E (at about 2400 euro). Both are way to expensive for me. I have already spend 79,00 euro (for the software) + 69,00 for the crappy logitech cam + 139,00 euro for the non working Nikon. I could’ve almost bought me a Canon HV40…

  • Is it really that difficult to find a cam that is a) not expensive, b) can connect live, c) with manual focus and image control, and d) has enough image quality for todays needs??? So i can finally start shooting the clips i need so urgent… And that is NOT the IPVEO - it might have autofocus, but it records at 160x120 px : Maybe Boinx should start shipping their now cams :wink:

With best regards,