|RØDE VideoMic on Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200|
Roundup and Mini ReviewsMany digital cameras are capable of good video recording, but typically have poor microphones (and noisy preamps) that produce poor audio. For cameras with audio input jacks, an external microphone can be used to greatly improve audio quality.
Directional microphones (e.g., shotgun) are designed to pick up sounds from in front of microphone and camera (typically across an angle of 70-90°) and reject extraneous sounds and noise from sides and rear. Usually monophonic. (See Why Stereo is Problematic for Camera Mics) Roundup:
- Audio-Technica ATR-6550
Thin sound. Lacks shock mount. Lacks continuous power on light. Not recommended.
- Bronstein BRN-900
Not readily available.
- Opteka VM-100
Re-branded RØDE VideoMic (original version) at much lower price. Includes wind muff. Best buy.
- RØDE VideoMic
Good sound. Good directionality. Output level pad. Switchable noise filter. Good shock mount. Plastic construction. May pick up RF interference (e.g., from GSM cell phones). Original version pictured above; new version has red Rycote Lyre Suspension System.
- RØDE VideoMic Pro
Good sound (about the same as original VideoMic). Good directionality (although not quite as good as original VideoMic). Output level pad. Switchable noise filter. Fragile shock mount. Plastic construction. May pick up RF interference (e.g., from GSM cell phones). Compact. Fairly expensive.
- Sennheiser MKE 400
Thin sound. Good directionality. Fragile shock mount. Metal construction. Switchable noise filter. Lacks continuous power on light. Not recommended.
- Shure VP83 LensHopper
Very good sound. Output level pad. Good directionality. Switchable noise filter. Metal construction. Good shock mount. Resistant to RF interference. Compact. Expensive. Best.
- Shure VP83F LensHopper with Flash Recording
Same as VP83 LensHopper plus high-quality integrated flash memory recorder, great for cameras with automatic level control. Best.
- MegaGear Shotgun
Thin sound. Inexpensive. Widely available. (Not a true shotgun.)
- Panasonic DMW-MS1
Decent, but could and should be better for the money.
- RØDE Stereo VideoMic
Good sound. Output level pad. Switchable noise filter. Fairly expensive.
- RØDE Stereo VideoMic Pro
Very good sound. Output level pad. Switchable noise filter. Expensive.
|2.5mm male to 3.5mm female|
headphone adapter cable
- Use a wind muff ("dead cat") to reduce wind noise when outside.
- Bronstein WM-21 Wind Muff is good, inexpensive, and will fit the RØDE VideoMic (and Opteka VM-100).
- Get as close to your subject as possible. Directional microphones are not like telephoto lenses - they don't amplify sound - they just reduce extraneous pickup from sides and rear.
- Use highest output level without distortion to minimize noise pickup from cable and camera.
- 2.5mm male to 3.5mm female headphone adapter cable will be needed for cameras with 2.5mm sockets.
- Best output pad setting I've found for RØDE VideoMic (and Opteka VM-100) on Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is -10.