Not many people are interested in video capabilities past those of their smartphone and fewer have really interesting subject matter - but if you answer yes to both questions the GoPro Hero is inexpensive and has a good reputation. The demo real for their latest cam has some great bits- the lion part is remarkable. Go full screen.
Disney's Paperman took the "Best Animated Short" at the Academy Awards. A lovely little piece, the making of it turns out to be a lot deeper than simple hand animation. Disney Animation used a tool called Meander that links a 2D top layer with a 3D modeled world underneath giving the animators the ability to create object movement that is nearly seamless without having to draw each frame.