As most know, there is a huge price difference between professional and consumer cameras. Most of this difference is attributable to the quality of the lens. The quality of an image is directly related to the quality of the lens. With this in mind, go for the highest quality lens you can afford.
Before going into too much detail, a discussion about lenses may not matter to some Brickfilm makers. However, if not only for the sake of learning, it is important to learn about them as they will be what you use in the future if you decide to make a career in stop motion animation.
Basic digital cameras and point-and-shoot still cameras have their own zoom lens already built in. This works automatically and has no manual control. Also important to check is whether the camera you have is optical zoom or digital zoom. A digital zoom only enlarges the picture which reduces the quality. It is still possible to use these cameras, but important that you try not to zoom in too much as you will have lower picture quality. If the picture quality is less in some frames, the animation will look choppy in your final movie.
When talking about specific lenses, there are two types that offer different benefits. A zoom lens will allow you to get any shot you will need, but the overall image quality will be less. Also, a zoom lens will not work as well in darker conditions, though this shouldn’t be a problem if you are properly lighting your scene. A prime lens will have better quality and will also work better in low light conditions. Prime lenses also work better for stop motion because of their quality in shallower depths of field.
As camera technology changes, there have been many additions made so that lenses can adapt to the new cameras. However, there have been changes in lenses that do not work well with stop motion. It is important to make sure that your lens has a manual iris. Newer DSLR come with lenses that have automatic irises. An automatic iris will cause changes while you are capturing your footage.