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Old January 1st, 2008, 06:44 PM   #1
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Audio Technica AT875R question

After having discovered you get what you pay for regarding mics, I'm looking at trying to find a solution to finding a quality mic for on camera and short boom applications for the Solo Video Journalism work I shoot.

I'm looking at the Audio Technica AT875R since it is a short shotgun mic that will fit perfectly on top of my SONY HC7's but I'm confused about the specs.

I don't understand what phantom power is and whether my HC7's provide this since the mic works on phantom power only. I really don't want to deal with a beachtek box since it will add bulk to my camera. I'm trying to find the best solution for a shotgun mic that is 7-8" long, has 1/8" mini jack (preferably with a right angle plug) and isn't going to cost me an arm and leg. The AT875R uses an XLRM plug - I have found adapters that go from XLR to 1/8" mini jack, but am not sure if the mic has the male portion or if the plug needs to be the male portion.

Could someone please explain what this means and whether I can use this mic without a beachtek adapter on my HC7's?

TIA,
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Old January 1st, 2008, 07:13 PM   #2
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Hello Cliff. Phantom power means the mic will receive its power from the device you plug it into; the camera or mixer. Most modern phantom power is 48v, I believe, although there's another version called T power. Unless you have an XLR plug on your camera or some special arrangement, I don't think it's supplying the juice you need. {For example I can plug a shotgun into my canon's hotshoe and it gets power along with a mic connection. But strictly speaking I don't think that's phantom power.} With phantom power, you should be able to plug Any mic that will run off of phantom power.

I just looked at the HC 7 online and doubt it has phantom power.

As for the plug issue, I think there are camera mountable shotguns that have the plug you need. About 7 threads lower there's a good compliation of links pertaining to mics.

The mic you get for the "on camera" work may not be suitable for "short boom" work particularly if indoors. Shotguns are rather miserable indoors (you'll see that all over this forum but it's true). I have a camera-mounted shotgun and it picks up all sorts of reflections when used indoors.

Having attended a VJ boot camp myself, I can say they downplay the value of audio gear. My group was told "go and get a camera mounted shotgun and you'll be set." That's fine when outdoors but really shows it's weakness indoors. You may want to consider a wired or wireless lav in addition to the shotgun.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 11:06 PM   #3
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Hi Bob - Thanks for clarifying the phantom power question.

One of the things I did was get an Audio Technica wired lav and the sound coming from it is really nice compared to the shotgun mic.

Having said that about the shotgun mic - I'm wondering how crucial it is for getting a more expensive shotgun mic for on camera work if the sound quality will suffer especially indoors. Although I have read negative things about Azden Mics, I did pick up an Azden SMX-10 and for the price, it compares favorably to the Rode VideoMic I use to work with. I got rid of the VideoMic as it was too big for my HC7's and wanted something more compact. I still have a 10' shielded cable for using the mic off camera on a boom when doing sit down interviews - is going with a more expensive mic really going to make that big a difference? I have no experience with the audio end of things for video and really want to find a compact high quality mic that still works with 1/8 mic jack - so far the only one I have found run $400.00 (Ambient Recordings Tinymike)

Which VJ Bootcamp did you attend?
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 05:54 PM   #4
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I'm just learning about audio for video myself and am not the best person to comment about the specific mics, since my experience is limited to the Canon shotgun and Senn wireless.

Hopefully someone can chime in about the specific mic question you have.
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