A good Stop Motion software helps a ton but it's not necessary by any means. I topped at 20fps without one but since I've been using DragonFrame I'm able to work at 24fps.
The biggest help it provides is a direct feedback on your work, you can play your sequence at any moment, delete or duplicate any frames you want. The other big plus is the Onion Skin feature, it overlays the last frame you took (or more than the last frame it's up to you) on the live feed. It's tremendously easier to make a stop motion with a program like Dragonframe.
tl;dr it's a big big help but it's far from impossible without it.
If you have a webcam or any camera that can be converted into a webcam by simply connect it with a USB cable to your PC >AnimatorDV Simple+
If you've got 200 bucks (or the means to illegaly download it) and a compatible camera (the list of compatible cameras are on their website)>Dragonframe
There's more than these two but one's free and the other one is used by Laika.
I'm thinking of writing a document that clarifies that and other things if these Stop Motion generals stick around.>>5884179
I use a Canon 650D, entry level DSLR with the kit lens (and I also own a vintage Helios 50mm) hooked up to my PC through Dragonframe.