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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:28 PM   #1
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Best Mic For Safari

I posted this question a while ago, and I didn't get any specific answers. I need it real soon and would be willing to pay up to $300. Any suggestions for the best mic for a safari?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:48 PM   #2
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Yes, but you HAVE to take me along to advise you . . . you lucky PEOPLE! . .. . My dream holiday . . Me, My XMer and the Bush! . .. .

Grazie

.. couldn't resist . . .
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #3
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What will you be recording on? Stereo or mono? Do you have phantom power? Is this strictly nature type shooting or will you also be visiting any native locales with people/music etc?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:46 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jay Massengill : What will you be recording on? Stereo or mono? Do you have phantom power? Is this strictly nature type shooting or will you also be visiting any native locales with people/music etc? -->>>

I will be recording on a Canon GL2 using mini DV. Most likely Stereo (thats better right?). What is phantom power. It will mostly be animal shooting, but some visiting with locals.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #5
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Hmm, you're $300 just vanished before our eyes. Phantom power is the 48v (typical) power required to run any professional mic. There are a VERY few semi-professional mics that offer a choice of internal battery or external phantom power... but they still use an XLR (NOT mini-plug) connection.

$300 is an odd price-point. You're just leaving the consumer mic range... but without already owning a Beachtek you're a long way from the pro mic range.

A Beachtek that supplies phantom is $250.

Not to mention a shockmount or windprotection. You're probably going to be looking at a Sennheiser 300 or similar mic.

If ALL you needed was a mic then I'd suggest an AT897 or 835b... but that still leaves you needing phantom and the xlr connection... i.e. Beachtek... i.e. another $250... and a good mount even if you could get by with the standard foam screen.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:59 PM   #6
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Is there a specific kind that would give me better results then the built in GL2 mic, but still works with the GL2 hotshoe?

I don't need super proffesional results, I just want the best I can do for the money I have.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:06 PM   #7
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The AT 835B doesn't require phantom power; it uses an AA battery. You will still need an XLR adapter box (Beachtek is one manufacturer, Studio 1 is another), but don't need one that supplies phantom power, so you may be able to spend less on a box.
You might want to reconsider the idea of buying a mic, since you may not get the value for money in terms of recording better sound on your trip, in your price range. It sounds like you will keep your mic camera-mounted, so even with an expensive mic you won't be able to get it any closer to the wildlife than your camera.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:26 PM   #8
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I agree with everything that's been said so far, but I'd definitely recommend the 897 over the 835b if you actually do get a shotgun mic. The 897 can also run on battery power and make do with the proper adapter cable instead of a box. It could also use a cheap shoemount to mic clip adapter, it comes with a minimal windscreen and it's shorter. That would be about the minimum you could get by with for a directional mono mic. You'd have a tough time with still picking up camera handling noise and wind noise if it was higher than a light breeze but it would sound better on safari in my opinion than the built in mics. However, some people are so used to the highly sensitive (although noisy) wide stereo mics that come on cameras that they find a quieter more directional mic lacking.
You may want to search B&H for the various furry covers for the GL-2's built-in mics. That would certainly be more convenient and in the end that might make all the difference with getting the shot when you need it rather than working with a bigger shotgun on a small camera.
The 897 would be a good investment for the future in more static situations, and you could sell it easily if you bought it then decided the benefit wasn't worth the hassle for your safari once you tested it.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #9
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OK I'll be serious for a bit . . . When I was in the Kruger Park. .some 30 years ago .. I made a Parabolic mic setup from a 10" plastic mixing bowl. I took a simple mic and pointed it backwards into the bowl with its receptor at the virtual centre of the bowl. Slammed on some headphones .. put it through a small Blaster machine and listened into the depths of the sounds coming out from the Bush . . truly amazing!


Grazie
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:43 PM   #10
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Would it be pointless to buy the Canon DM-50?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=201377&is=REG

Do you think it would make a difference at all?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #11
 
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No. Wouldn't do you much good at all.
It's an exceptionally low end mic.
You can find any number of used mics on Ebay, and if they're newer, you'll do OK. I'd recommend a short shotgun, obviously. The 897 is the best shorter profile shotgun I've ever heard, it can mount easily on a cam, is tough as nails, and is relatively inexpensive. Plus, as Jay said, it's easy enough to sell when you come back if you find it's not everything you wanted it to be, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 11:02 AM   #12
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Forget the beach tek just buy an XLR to 1/8" adapter cable for $10. Tou still need the windscreen and shock mount though.
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