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Old March 14th, 2010, 07:26 AM   #16
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Jim That explanation made my day. Thanks
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #17
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It seems to me that your question really misses the point. Unfortunately any mic, whether stereo or mono, placed on a camera is inherently rubbish.

1. It will only pick-up sound in the general direction that the camera is pointing so you will miss a lot of dialogue if there is more than one person speaking.
2. Even if you do have a potentially decent mic on the front of the camera you still have only two choices when it comes to recording its output. Auto - a very crude method which in the wrong conditions leads to badly compressed audio. Manual - again just as crude when you are self shooting as you can't manipulate the levels easily whilst you are shooting therefore leaving yourself open to over modulated (distorted) sound or something so quiet that it is near useless.
3. Because the mic is fixed to the camera it will only decently pick-up a sound source that is close to it. The further away from the camera that source is placed the worse the sound quality will become, this will be particularly obvious if you have two people in shot one some way behind the other. Combined with the effects mentioned in point 2 this has the potential to produce some very poor audio indeed. The auto setting whilst potentially being able to bring up the voice level sufficiently will also increase the level of background noise so you will hear a strange pumping sound in the audio when playing back in the edit suite.
4. The positioning of the mic on the front of the camera is really only perfect for one thing and that is for picking up the sounds of the operator and the operation of the camera. Handling noise, zoom movement, cloths rustle, breathing etc. A shot gun type mic will, of course, reduce this problem slightly however because of its length it has the disadvantage of impinging into your frame on wide shots thus restricting your shot selection. Using a stereo mic will only make matters worse as they have a much wider pick-up pattern.

Of course there is another option available to you, why not invest in a friendly sound recordist, get a good one and you need never have to worry about any of the above ever again.
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