I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-416? at DVinfo.net

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Old July 22nd, 2011, 09:06 AM   #1
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I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-416?

I'm trying to decide between a NTG-3 or MKH-416 for a outdoor shotgun. My thinking is that since sometimes I will be doing shots with multiple people in it, I want the NTG-3 since it's the scope of what it picks up is slightly larger (as you can tell, my background is not in audio........)

does that logic make sense? is that a reason for making this choice?
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 09:33 AM   #2
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

The pattern of the NTG-3 is a little wider but that still won't cover more than one person at a time. All shotguns need very precise aiming ... it needs to be kept pointing within an imaginary circle about 8 inches in diameter centred on the subjects throat. While it is a trifle wider than the 416 it's not enough to make any signifigant difference in handling.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

To get dialogue between two people with a single shotgun mic your boom op has to aim the mic which is why it's important for him to have read the script and understand the blocking and pacing of the scene. If it's an ENG or documentary shoot your boom op has to be good and pay close attention to what is going on, and he/she has to be listening very closely.

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Old July 22nd, 2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

There's also the Sanken CS-1e to consider in that price range. It has a similarly wide pickup pattern (super cardioid, low & mid) as the NTG-3 and sounds very nice. The US rep described the CS-3e as needing expert use with the CS-1 (before the "e" was released) being more forgiving, due to the wider pattern. As described above, you would still need to aim it at the person speaking, rather than hoping that it would cover two or more people in one position.

One thing nice about the CS-1e is that it's as sensitive a shotgun (from the spec) as you will find at -24dB sensitivity. Most mics range from -40dB to -30dB, so this is 10dB or so hotter than the typical mic. This will let you record with a relatively inexpensive recorder and still keep the noise low. Between the relatively wide pattern and very hot signal, this would be a great choice for the audio non-expert. The Sennheiser MKH-8060 is similarly hot and wide, but costs significantly more.

The NTG-3 has moderately high sensitivity at -30dB as does the 416 at -32dB.

Any of these mics would serve you well - but need to be aimed.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

Sometimes I'm able to get a sound person. And sometimes it's me with the mic attached to my camera. That being the case, how should that affect what mic i want? Im aware the sound is never nearly as good without a boom person. But that's not always an option.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 06:33 AM   #6
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

On-camera mounting is rarely suitable for dialog recording. The reason is that for proper sound pickup, microphones in general, including shotguns, need to be much closer to the subject than the typical camera position. A typical short shotgun such as mentioned in the posts in this thread - the NTG-3 or -3, MKH-416, CS3, etc - need to be within about 22 to 24 inches away from the subject for optimum results. Placing the camera 2 feet from the subject would be very, very unusual.

IMHO, saying I'm working by myself so I'll have to live with sub-par sound is like saying I don't have much time so I won't focus or white-balance the camera. If you need a boom operator to get proper results, the solution is not to look for a non-existent 'telephoto microphone' or to say to yourself "I'll live with it," the solution is to acquire a boom operator. You wouldn't dream of going on a shoot without all the camera equipment and knowledge to run it that you need to make proper images. Don't go without the sound equipment and someone with the skills at using it that you need to get capture proper sound either. You do whatever it takes to get it right. Less than the best you can do is never acceptable.
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Last edited by Steve House; July 23rd, 2011 at 07:54 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 07:40 AM   #7
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

Noam,

Unfortunately Steve speaks the truth in volumes (no pun intended). The answer to the no boom op problem is to also have a pair of wireless mics in your kit. I have been in situation where I do not have a boom op available. I'm getting ready to run out the door to a shoot today where I've got 3 subjects that I need to follow for a documentary. They will be walking through a state park as they reflect and tell stories. Booms won't work because it will be during a dedication ceremony with crowds so no room. The only solution is three wireless lavs.

If those situations are rare then rent in those cases. If those are the situations you run into more often it may be worth the investment to buy some now and rent the shotgun when you need it.

The main thing is don't compromise on sound. George Lucas said that sound is 51% of your movie.

-Garrett
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: I'll be doing shots outdoors with more than one person. So, NTG-3 instead of MKH-

I shoot a lot of outdoor multiple people impromptu shoots and I went with a Rode SVM. I have the 416 (which is great) and wireless set ups but I can capture a much wider range of dialog and ambient sound with the Rode SVM. Also when people look away from the camera and talk (such as to each other) it seems to capture clearer audio.

For these shoots I have no time (or help for that matter) for wireless, booms etc and this is the mic I have found that gives the best "group" coverage.

The mic was mounted on an Canon XF100. (I believe the last 10 or so videos on my vimeo account were shot with this mic so if you want to hear more, feel free)

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